All GTA Games in Order of Release Date (1997 – 2021)

GTA Time Machine

Many consider the Grand Theft Auto (GTA) video game franchise to be one of the most successful action-adventure genres of all time, with over 280 million units sold to date. This impressive figure places GTA as the fourth highest-selling game series in history

In this article, we have collected all GTA games in the series and listed them below in chronological release. The games are grouped into “Main Series” and “Expansion Packs/Spin-Offs”

Main Series

1) Grand Theft Auto – (1997)

Grand Theft Auto 1997

Released in 1997, the original Grand Theft Auto (GTA) was first available on MS-DOS and Windows PCs but later became accessible on PlayStation and GameBoy Color. The game features three cities, San Andreas, Vice City, and Liberty City, each inspired by real-life cities. GTA offers players the option to follow the quest or participate in other criminal activities, such as stealing cars, in a fully open world.

Players select one of eight playable characters and complete the game’s story in one of the three available locations. Gameplay is a top-down open-world adventure, with players driving and shooting while the city’s emergency system reacts.

2) GTA 2 – (1999)

GTA 2 was released in 1999 for Windows and later became available on PlayStation, Dreamcast, and GameBoy Color. The game features the retro-futuristic city of “Anywhere City” and introduces the recurring character of Claude Speed.

Players can engage in a variety of activities to earn money and have fun, many of which involve chaotic gameplay. However, the most effective way to make money is by completing missions.

As players progress through the game’s missions, they gain respect from a specific criminal gang while making enemies with others. Additionally, the game includes a “Star” system that increases police reactions based on the player’s actions.

3) Grand Theft Auto III – (2001)

Grand Theft Auto III

In 2001, GTA 3 was released for PS2 and Xbox and later became available on macOS, Windows, iOS, Android, and PS3. The game’s third-person perspective introduced 3D graphics improved driving mechanics, and better shooting and exploration mechanics compared to its predecessors.

The game’s plot follows the story of Claude Speed, who is betrayed by Miguel and Catalina during a bank robbery and left stranded in Liberty City. The player must help Claude climb the criminal ladder to exact revenge.

4) GTA: Vice City – (2002)

Released in 2002 for PlayStation 2 and later available on Windows, Xbox, macOS, Android, and Fire OS, GTA: Vice City takes place in 1986 in the fictional Vice City, inspired by Miami and the TV show Miami Vice.

The game’s plot follows the story of Tommy Vercetti, a small-time thug trying to recover stolen money from his boss, Sonny Fiorelli. The game features real-life gangs, including Cubans, Haitians, and biker gangs, as well as events from the 1980s.

One of the game’s novelties is its allowance for players to assault drugstores, jewelry stores, gun stores, and other establishments for money.

5) Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas – (2004)

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

In 2004, GTA: San Andreas was first released for PlayStation 2, Windows, Xbox, Xbox 360, PS3, and macOS. It was later made available for PS4, Xbox One, iOS, Android, and Windows.

The game’s plot is set in the fictional state of San Andreas, which includes three metropolitan areas: Los Santos, San Fierro, and Las Venturas. It boasts the second-largest map in the GTA franchise after GTA V.

The story follows Carl “CJ” Johnson in 1992, seeking revenge against his former band members who betrayed him. The game revolves around a gang rivalry between the Bloods and the Crisp, with CJ gaining power within one gang and controlling neighborhoods. However, the other gang will actively pursue the protagonist in areas he doesn’t control.

San Andreas introduces several new activities, including exercising, purchasing outfits, accessing more weapons, swimming, driving trains, and climbing walls. The game also features a character progression system that improves as CJ performs various activities.

6) GTA IV – (2008)

The fourth installment of the GTA franchise was released in 2008 for PS3, Xbox 360, and Windows. The game runs on a new proprietary game engine, the Rockstar Advanced Game Engine.

The game’s protagonist is Niko Bellic, an immigrant in Liberty City who is forced into a life of crime and is determined to rise above it. GTA IV places a greater emphasis on narrative, using cinematic cuts, strong personalities, and clear character journeys to enhance the story. Niko Bellio even has choices to make, leading to three different endings.

Gameplay in GTA IV sees improvements to driving and third-person shooting, as well as enhanced enemy and police AI and a larger selection of weapons. One unique feature is that Niko can restore his health by paying for the services of a male entertainer.

7) Grand Theft Auto V – (2013)

Grand Theft Auto V

Set in beautiful Los Santos, Grand Theft Auto V encompasses a wonderful cast of characters including Franklin, Trevor, and Michael. Players can easily toggle through the different players to gain a new perspective of each mission throughout their journey.

Their personalities and actions provide a new flavor to each mission allowing players to see the details from different angles. From complicated heists to challenging operations, the goal is to intertwine each character and understand the role they have to play in earning points.

Whether it’s bringing in henchmen or finding the right vehicles to travel across Los Santos, the opportunities are endless in this charming setting. Enjoy a powerful set of missions with robberies, fast cars, illegal activities, and more in this incredible version of Grand Theft Auto.

8) GTA 6 (TBD)

Released in 2013, GTA 5 left players eagerly anticipating the next installment in the series. However, it wasn’t until February 2022 that an official announcement confirmed that GTA 6 was in development.

Rockstar has been tight-lipped about the game, but some details have emerged through leaks and rumors. It’s important to note that these details are subject to change before release.

One key feature of GTA 6 is said to be a “Bonnie & Clyde” element, and there have been signs of a return to Vice City in early gameplay footage. This suggests that at least part of the game’s setting will be in Florida.

Early rumors suggested that the game would take place in the 1980s, but the presence of cell phones in the in-game footage suggests a modern setting.

Expansion Packs – Spin-Offs

9) London 1969 – (1999)

London 1969

Considered as the first mission pack for Grand Theft Auto, this expansion offers an official extension to the original game. With Miami, New York, and Los Angeles in the rearview, players can now enjoy a new urban playground set in Victorian-era London.

The expansion pack boasts impressive graphics, new missions, and unique vehicles, all set in the charm of England’s capital city. Players can indulge in the London experience, complete with fun-filled references.

From robbing people to finding speedy cars and engaging in criminal activities, this expansion pack offers a wide array of missions. The 1960s version of London is the perfect backdrop for organized crime at its best.

10) London 1961 – (1999)

This is mission pack #2 for Grand Theft Auto and requires the original version to work. In Grand Theft Auto: London 1961, players are transported into a beautiful part of historic England with its unique vehicles, Cockney slang, and renowned landmarks.

Players can enjoy a flurry of new cutscenes, brand-new English-styled vehicles, and the ability to head over to Manchester for a deathmatch. This expansion pack is a beautiful way to enjoy the perks of Grand Theft Auto in a fresh setting.

GTA Timeline

11) Double Pack (2003)

Double Pack was a special edition that bundles GTA III and GTA Vice City. It debuted in 2003 for PS2, and it reached the Xbox in 2003. It’s not available anymore.

12)Advance (2004) (Spin-off)

GTA Advance debuted in October 2004 for Gameboy Advance. It has a similar style as GTA and GTA II, as it delivers its gameplay with a birds-eye view.

The adventure happens in Liberty City, where lowly criminal Mike wants to avenge his fallen friend Vinnie.

Its gameplay was the barebones the series has to offer. However, it added street racing, taxi missions, fire department missions, ambulance missions, and similar activities.

13) Liberty City Stories (2005) (Spin-off)

Liberty City Stories

Released in 2005 for the PSP, Liberty City Stories is a spin-off of GTA III featuring Tony Cipriani, a mafia member, as the protagonist. The game was later made available for the PlayStation 2, iOS, Android, and Fire OS.

Set in Liberty City, the game follows Cipriani’s rise as a crime boss of the Leone family, a character from the original GTA III. The game includes new features such as interior places, outfits, bikes, and camera movements.

14) Vice City Stories  (2006) (Spin-off)

Vice City Stories premiered in 2006 for PS2, PS3, and PSP. It’s the last GTA game using the RenderWare game engine that debuted with GTA III.

The story takes players to 1984, in Vice City. Protagonist Victor Vance is a former military officer involved in criminal activities.

As a novelty, the game added a construction mode. The player can use the money to buy a store and then use the construction mode to develop the place.

15) GTA: Chinatown Wars – 2009

In 2009, Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars was released for handheld consoles such as Nintendo DS, PSP, Android, iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch. Unlike other games in the series, this one is exclusively available on handheld consoles.

The game follows Huang Lee as the protagonist in Liberty City, who is in search of a stolen family sword. Despite being a handheld game, it has over 100 missions and is packed with content as you would expect from any GTA title.

The gameplay features an aerial camera that players can freely move and rotate, and the graphics are cel-shaded, giving the game a comic-like appearance.

16) The Lost and Damned – (2009)

The Lost and Damned

Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned is the original expansion pack for Grand Theft Auto IV, and it’s set in the same Liberty City setting as the original game. The expansion pack features a fascinating protagonist and allows players to become a part of an enthralling biker gang, immersing themselves in the nuances of this fascinating setting.

Whether players are hiring henchmen, completing missions, or interacting with other members, the game offers an experience that is both engaging and entertaining. Additionally, the clubhouse offers various minigames such as pool and arm wrestling, allowing players to take a break from the main missions.

The expansion pack also offers players the ability to shift between different modes and experiment with a range of weapons, including a pool cue, automatic 9mm, grenade launcher, and an assault shotgun.

17) The Ballad of Gay Tony – (2009)

This is the second expansion pack for Grand Theft Auto IV and is established around a brand-new character in the form of Luis Fernando Lopez. In this version, players get the play as a bodyguard for well-known drug lord Anthony “Gay Tony” Prince.

This adventure places players in the heart of a Dominican drug circle while living a life full of luxury. Whether it’s sleek sports cars, endless riches, or parachutes, it’s easier than ever before to appreciate everything that comes along with Grand Theft Auto IV.

While completing missions as Luis Fernando Lopez, players can revel in activities such as dancing at a nightclub and going for a round of golf.

18) GTA Online (2013)

Initially launched in 2013, GTA Online started as an online mode for Grand Theft Auto 5 on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Later on, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One got their own port in 2014. A year after that, the game made its debut on Windows.

Even though the various versions of the game had a high level of feature parity, there is little in the way of true crossplay between platforms.

Originally a secondary play mode for GTA V, GTA Online has benefitted from over nine years of significant updates. In particular, 2015’s Heists update vastly expanded the game’s capabilities and served as a solid proof of concept.

Since Heists, GTA Online has built upon that concept in a number of unique and fun ways. Nowadays, players can join GTA Online with up to 29 other players to explore a huge and lively San Andreas. The current state of GTA is essentially a heavily upgraded and expanded version of GTA V that can almost be seen as a sequel.

19) The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition (2021)

The year 2021 saw the release of GTA: The Trilogy for almost all popular consoles, with mobile releases for Android and iOS expected in 2024.

GTA: The Trilogy offers players the chance to enjoy remastered versions of the first three Grand Theft Auto games on the platform of their choice. Similar to GTA Online, The Trilogy had a rocky launch with numerous graphical issues due to AI upscaling, leading to oddities within the game.

Players reported stability issues and typos, while even powerful systems struggled to maintain framerates in both performance and fidelity modes. However, updates have been able to resolve many of the bugs that shipped with GTA: The Trilogy.

Today, most systems can run the game with a solid 60 FPS in performance mode, and issues with rain and weather conditions have been fixed. Minor issues, such as typos, have also been corrected, making GTA: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition a mostly satisfying experience.

FAQs

Which Grand Theft Auto Game Is the Best?

This is subjective and varies from person to person. Some fans consider GTA V to be the best due to its open-world gameplay, story, and expansive multiplayer mode. Others prefer the classic titles like GTA III or Vice City. It ultimately depends on personal preference.

What Platforms Are Grand Theft Auto Games Available On?

Grand Theft Auto games are available on various platforms, including PlayStation, Xbox, PC, and mobile devices. Some titles are exclusive to certain platforms, while others are available on multiple platforms.

Is There Crossplay in Grand Theft Auto Online?

No, there is no true crossplay between the various platforms on which GTA Online is available. Players can only play with others on the same platform as them.

Are There Plans for A New Grand Theft Auto Game?

Rockstar Games has not officially announced a new Grand Theft Auto game, but it is widely speculated that GTA 6 is in development. However, no release date or platform has been confirmed.

Why Is Gta 6 Taking so Long?

There are a few different reasons why GTA 6 is taking so long to come out. Rockstar Games is known for taking their time to make sure the game is as high quality as possible, and since GTA 5 was a huge success, the expectations for GTA 6 are even higher.

The team at Rockstar is likely still working on the game engine and making sure it can accommodate the large open world that GTA 6 is expected to feature. Finally, the coronavirus pandemic has put a strain on the development process, as the team is likely working remotely and having to adjust to new workflows.

Conclusion

The GTA franchise has come a long way since its debut in 1997. From the top-down view of the original to the third-person perspective of GTA III, and the massive open world of GTA V, the franchise has consistently pushed the boundaries of what an open-world game

Who We Are

At Kingston College, we are your dedicated guides to a world of learning, innovation, and personal growth. With a passion for knowledge and a commitment to your success, we bring you diverse content, expert insights, and practical guidance in every category we offer.

kingston who we are