The Grand Theft Auto (GTA) series is undoubtedly one of the most successful video game franchises in history. Since its inception in 1997, the series has sold over 350 million copies worldwide and has become a cultural phenomenon. With each new release, the series has pushed the boundaries of what open-world games can be, inspiring countless imitators and setting the standard for the genre.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the legacy of GTA and how it has influenced open-world games today. If you’re interested in learning more about the legacy of GTA and how it has influenced the gaming industry, click here.


Revolutionizing the Gaming Industry


The first GTA game was released in 1997 by DMA Design (now known as Rockstar North). It was a top-down game that allowed players to control a criminal in a city, completing missions and engaging in activities like stealing cars and committing acts of violence. While the game was popular, it wasn’t until the release of GTA III in 2001 that the series truly took off.

Enter the third Dimension

GTA III was a groundbreaking game that introduced 3D graphics, a fully realized open world, and a compelling story. For the first time, players could explore a vast, living city and interact with its inhabitants in a way that felt real and immersive. The game’s story, which followed the rise of a small-time criminal named Claude, was gripping and cinematic, and the game’s mechanics allowed players to complete missions in a variety of ways.

From Groundbreaking to Game-Changing


GTA III was a huge success, and it set the stage for a series of sequels that would continue to push the boundaries of what open-world games could be. GTA Vice City, released in 2002, was set in a fictional version of Miami in the 1980s and featured a stunning soundtrack and an even more immersive world. GTA San Andreas, released in 2004, was set in a fictional version of California in the 1990s and featured an even larger world, with a variety of landscapes and environments to explore.

The Devil in the Details

One of the things that set GTA apart from other open-world games at the time was its attention to detail. The cities in the game felt like real places, with their own unique cultures, landmarks, and personalities. The game’s radio stations, which featured a mix of licensed and original music, talk shows, and commercials, added to the feeling of immersion.

Boldly Pushing Boundaries


Another aspect of the series that set it apart was its willingness to tackle controversial subjects. The games often dealt with themes like organized crime, police corruption, drug use, and political corruption. While some criticized the games for their depictions of violence and sexual content, others praised them for their honesty and realism.

The Enduring Legacy of GTA

Today, the influence of GTA can be seen in countless open-world games. Games like Assassin’s Creed, Watch Dogs, and Red Dead Redemption owe a debt to GTA for paving the way and showing what was possible in an open-world game. Even non-open-world games like The Last of Us and Uncharted have been influenced by the cinematic storytelling and attention to detail that GTA popularized.


In conclusion, the GTA series has had an enormous impact on the video game industry, inspiring countless imitators and setting the standard for open-world games. With its attention to detail, compelling storytelling, and willingness to tackle controversial subjects, the series has left an indelible mark on gaming history. As the series continues to evolve and innovate, it will undoubtedly continue to influence the next generation of game developers and players.