The streets in the Grand Theft Auto games have been made unsafe by players for multiple gaming generations. But what are the best GTA games? That’s why we made a list of Grand Theft Auto Games Ranked From Best To Worst.
For these rankings, we will use the scores the games have been given on Metacritic with the highest scoring version of the releases to give the best listing possible.
Grand Theft Auto IV (98 – PS3)
Grand Theft Auto IV, released in 2008, took a more realistic and somber approach to the series. Set in the fictional Liberty City, the game follows Niko Bellic, an immigrant searching for the American Dream while becoming embroiled in crime and corruption. GTA IV’s narrative depth, complex characters, and attention to detail set a new standard for storytelling in open-world games. The expansion packs “The Lost and Damned” and “The Ballad of Gay Tony” further enriched the experience with their own perspectives on Liberty City’s criminal underbelly.
Grand Theft Auto III (97 – PS2)
Grand Theft Auto III, released in 2001, revolutionized the gaming industry by popularizing the open-world sandbox genre. Set in Liberty City, the game marked the transition from top-down perspectives to a fully immersive 3D world. As Claude, players navigated the criminal underworld, completed missions for various factions, and explored a living city filled with secrets and surprises. GTA III’s impact on the industry cannot be understated, as it set the stage for the expansive worlds and narratives seen in subsequent entries.
Grand Theft Auto V (97 – PS3)
Released in 2013, Grand Theft Auto V (GTA V) stands as the pinnacle of the series. Set in the sprawling city of Los Santos and its surrounding areas, the game follows the three protagonists Michael, Franklin, and Trevor, each with their own stories and perspectives. With its revolutionary blend of storytelling and open-world gameplay, GTA V offers a massive world to explore, heists to plan, and a variety of activities to engage in. The inclusion of GTA Online further extends the experience, allowing players to create their own criminal empires, participate in multiplayer modes, and collaborate on heists with friends.
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (95 – PS2)
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, released in 2002, transported players to the neon-soaked streets of Vice City, a fictional recreation of 1980s Miami. The game’s homage to the era’s pop culture, music, and fashion created a nostalgic atmosphere that resonated with players. As Tommy Vercetti, players embarked on a journey of power, crime, and revenge, all while navigating a dynamic world that felt like a living time capsule.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (95 – PS2)
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, released in 2004, remains a fan-favorite and a true open-world epic. Set in the fictional state of San Andreas, the game follows Carl “CJ” Johnson as he navigates a narrative that spans cities, gang warfare, and personal growth. With its diverse environments, extensive character customization, and numerous side activities, San Andreas introduced groundbreaking features that influenced the series for years to come. The game’s blend of humor, drama, and social commentary has solidified its place as a timeless classic.
Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars (93 – DS)
Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, released in 2009 for handheld platforms, offered a unique take on the series by delivering a top-down experience on the Nintendo DS and PSP. Set in Liberty City, the game followed Huang Lee as he navigated the criminal underworld while uncovering a web of deception and betrayal. With its engaging missions, drug trade mechanics, and stylus-based minigames, Chinatown Wars provided a fresh perspective for players on the go.
Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories (88 – PSP)
Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories, released in 2005 for the PlayStation Portable and later for other platforms, took players back to the fictional Liberty City, three years prior to the events of Grand Theft Auto III. As Toni Cipriani, players navigated the criminal underworld while working for various crime families and uncovering a web of intrigue. The game’s portable format showcased the potential for open-world experiences on handheld devices, offering a condensed yet familiar version of Liberty City to explore. Liberty City Stories added depth to the narrative of Grand Theft Auto III, giving players a chance to experience the events leading up to Claude’s arrival in the city.
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories (86 – PSP)
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories, released in 2006 for the PlayStation Portable and later for other platforms, takes players back to the neon-lit streets of Vice City, two years prior to the events of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. As Victor Vance, players delve into the criminal underworld and navigate the challenges of the drug trade, family loyalty, and power struggles. The game captures the nostalgic charm of the 1980s, immersing players in a world of vibrant colors and iconic pop culture references. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories offers a fresh perspective on Vice City’s criminal landscape, providing insight into the events that set the stage for Tommy Vercetti’s rise to power in the later installment.
Grand Theft Auto 2 (70 – PlayStation)
Grand Theft Auto 2, released in 1999, built upon the foundation laid by its predecessor. With a top-down perspective and a unique futuristic setting, the game allowed players to experience criminal endeavors across three distinct districts. While not as widely acclaimed as other entries, Grand Theft Auto 2 retains a dedicated fan base and stands as an important step in the series’ evolution.
Grand Theft Auto (68 – GBA)
The original Grand Theft Auto, released in 1997, introduced players to the concept of open-world crime and chaos. With a top-down perspective, players engaged in a variety of criminal activities across multiple cities. While the graphics and gameplay mechanics may feel dated compared to modern standards, the original GTA holds historical significance as the foundation of a series that would reshape the gaming landscape. The original release is unrated on Metacritic, so we picked the 2004 GBA version to include it in the list.
If you enjoyed these rankings, why don’t you check out our ranked page? Here you can see all the games we have ranked. Please let us know what series you would wanna see us rank in the comments or on Twitter/Discord!