Grand Theft Auto is one of the biggest video game franchises ever, even though there hasn’t been a new game for more than five years. The undisputed king of ‘open world’ gaming, GTA V, released in 2013, has sold more than 90 million copies worldwide. In 2017, four years after it was originally released, GTA V was still selling millions of copies – more than most of that year’s major new releases.
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The game is based on the player completing individual missions to progress and side activities if they choose. The game involves elements such as carjacking, driving, third-person shooting, and racing. Players play as various characters, all of whom are attempting to make it in the criminal underworld, and run into multiple ‘villains’ who attempt to stop them.
As well as being popular with gamers, the series has attracted some seriously A-list voice talent, with Debbie Harry, Axl Rose, Samuel L Jackson, Phil Collins, and Dennis Hopper all playing characters.
The series is now so big that when new games are launched, fans from all over the world queue overnight just to be the first to get their hands on a copy. Apple who?
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The devil is in the detail.
Grand Theft Auto’s open world gameplay is unparalleled in its level of design and detail. Everywhere you turn, there’s something you can get stuck into. The side quests alone could add hours to your total game time, without you making any forward progress in the actual missions. You can even take a seat and watch ten minutes of parody TV shows that exist within the game.
Dialogue is an often-overlooked element of what makes the game so great. When driving to missions, or wherever else you’re headed, some of the zingers spoken by the characters are hilarious. Keep an ear out for one-liners that subtly advance the plot.
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While this type of world-building is common in the post-GTA gaming landscape, each new release solidifies why the franchise is still the best of the best, and one of the best-reviewed games ever.
Of course, the core experience of GTA is also pretty much perfect. Driving recklessly through a cityscape at top speed? We’ll sign up.
We can’t talk about Grand Theft Auto without mentioning its distinctly ‘adult’ content, as this is undeniably a real reason why the series has been so successful. The poster child for violent video games, the crime-focused narrative enables players to go on murderous rampages with guns, hit people with cars, go on killing sprees, or just run around, causing general mayhem and breaking laws.
There’s also a strong sexual element to the game, which has made the franchise Public Enemy Number One hugely popular with everyone else.
You know what they say – all publicity is good publicity. The makers of GTA have done very well out of turning the controversy into sales.