'Grand Theft Auto V' Brings Rockstar's Magnum Opus Home

September 19, 2013

In 2001, Grand Theft Auto III revolutionized the video games industry by introducing gamers to the wildly violent world of Liberty City. Players got the keys to an open world that let them cross the moral line into the seedy underworld of crime in ways unlike any other game that came before it. GTA III sold an excess of 14.5 million copies. 2002's Vice City and 2004's San Andreas both showcased what Rockstar’s developers could create on consoles, while a series of releases for the PSP and DS let gamers take their criminal activity on the go. As big as the GTA series grew on the last console generation, it was nothing compared to 2008's Grand Theft Auto IV where players got to step into the boots of Niko Bellic, and revisit a living and breathing Liberty City, that felt more like New York than a video game. With over 25 million copies sold, GTA IV is one of the biggest, most played, most respected, and most successful games of this console generation. It took five years, but Grand Theft Auto V takes everything from GTA IV and blows it out of the water by going bigger and badder than any game ever released.

Developer: Rockstar North
Publisher: Rockstar Games

Rockstar North’s reputation should precede them, having worked on all of the GTA games dating back to the original, top-down experience from 1997. While the company may have changed names back in 2001, seeing the Rockstar North logo on a game’s box (it's the blue one) has been a consistent sign to gamers that they are going to play a game by one of the industry's best studios.

Take the Grand Theft Auto you know and love, and multiply that times three. Seriously. GTA V tells the story of not one crime-loving protagonist, but three. There's Franklin, the tough guy from the 'hood. Michael is the recovering ex-con with a family. And Trevor, the crazy guy with the sketchy past. These three amigos each have their own lives that intersect as the stars of GTA V. Players are able to jump between characters at any point in the game, both in and out of missions, to experience the world from a different perspective. If you've had enough of the game's story, you can switch over to co-op or competitive multiplayer (available October 1), or just explore the bustling city of Los Santos. You can while away your time with a huge range of activities: from yoga to tennis, go for a hike in the mountains or explore the beaches, try your hand at the stock market or help out a fellow stranger or freak. The possibilities are almost limitless in GTA V, so spend your time wisely, and make sure to pull a heist or two every now or then so that you have the cash to live the good life in Los Santos.

Grand Theft Auto V brings its reign of crime to your Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3. The PS3 version is available on a single disc or as a download from the PlayStation Network, whereas the Xbox 360 version comes on two discs, one of which is a required install before you begin playing. If you want to take a piece of the game to go with you, you can also download the iFruit companion app for your smartphone, and sync up your Rockstar Social Club account for a little piece of GTA V in the palm of your hand.

This is one of those cases where just saying, "because it's Grand Theft Auto V," really should be enough. In short GTA V is the culmination of everything that's been great about this console generation. From the graphics to the expansive gameplay, Rockstar have created one of the most expansive game worlds ever to appear on the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3. There is enough going on in Los Santos to keep you busy for years to come, and what better place to live a virtual life than in a Grand Theft Auto game where you’re the successful criminal.