Design by Collin Oguro
See it in Action!
Our video depiction of the History of Grand Theft Auto takes a surprising and dramatic turn.
The Grand Theft Auto series has been celebrated by video game fans, demonized by politicians, and even studied by academia. More so than any other game franchise, the franchise elicits strong emotions from a wide range of people, even those not tied into the game industry in some way. Former presidential candidate Joe Lieberman has denounced the series repeatedly, calling it "horrendous." Meanwhile, respected professors, such as Henry Jenkins of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, find redeeming value in the very same games, noting their open-ended nature and the way the games explore the "notion of choice and consequence." The combination of popularity and edgy content made Grand Theft Auto a lightning rod for the debate on violence in video games.
Thanks in part to publicity generated by the controversy over the content of the games, the Grand Theft Auto franchise is one of the most recognized video game brands on the market. All this attention isn't without merit, though. The newer iterations in the series are widely recognized as excellent games, garnering widespread critical acclaim and generating incredible sales. Grand Theft Auto III and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City have won numerous editorial awards and both have sold millions of copies over a range of different platforms. The newly released Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas has also rated highly with critics thus far and is poised to sell millions of units over the next several months. On the night of the game's release, gamers lined up outside the doors of retailers across the country so they could pick up their versions of San Andreas.
It's hard to believe that a game that has become an icon of the entire video game industry got its start from a primitive-looking and sounding 2D game. In fact, the original Grand Theft Auto didn't even rate highly with critics. It wasn't until the third game in the series that the franchise really took off and achieved pop icon status. GameSpot's History of Grand Theft Auto traces the story of this controversial franchise back to its roots to give you a perspective on where it has been and where it might be going.
For those who started the series with GTA III, seeing what the original game looked like may come as a surprise