You're a cool guy, but come on, you should better than to write nonsense like this. I know some of you guys on here don't like GTA V, and I respect that. I really like GTA V, but even then it's not my favorite GTA.
But to suggest it was the reason why the HD GTAs never achieved the same popularity the series enjoyed since it was released is ludicrous and silly.* Anyone who says this is clearly hating on GTA V's huge, legendary success, and they either are bitter about, or cannot seem accept the great lasting legacy V has left behind in the entire series**. I'd like to think that's not you.
* The HD GTA's have
achieved the same popularity in scale. They are both best-sellers and critically acclaimed, even if in hind-sight we can criticise and make judgements about their many flawed details. It happens with SA, it happened with IV, it's happening with V!
** The new direction GTA V has took, whether it's liked or not, is legendary. Like with SA, IV, it may not be perfect or tightly-knitted, but they both have set a great legacy and will shape the future direction of the series.
I think this summarises how hate can turn into massive posthumous appreciation pretty well. Every game in the GTA series is equally important, even though they can be totally different. What the GTA series is managing to do is provide heaps of variety to cater to a wide range of peoples tastes. Every time a game doesn't match someone's tastes, they'll get excessively critical about it, act like it's going to ruin the whole series and say it's complete garbage. Those people often go away, promising to never return, having lost faith in the series - like the tonnes of people who hated IV, as well as a lot of the ones who hated SA, but then a whole new crowd comes about when IV, or V is released, who appreciate it more than the ones who had joined because of their love for SA, or IV...
So GTA's biggest strength AND weakness is how unpredictable it can be, and how it can change it's façade quite often. Underneath, it's still the same. It's a game which can wear plenty of different costumes to look like a completely different game, while actually being pretty much the same. Regardless, people will see and experience its outward appearance and choose whether they like it based on that. It doesn't represent the exact quality of the game comparative to the series in any way, though. No GTA game can accurately be considered better or worse compared to the rest of the games in the series - the same way no two women can be compared on attractiveness (well, actually, to a point there's a science behind that - but when it comes down to the details, opinion defies science frequently - and some even find scientifically uglier women more attractive than the scientifically more attractive women - I might want to mention inner beauty to not sound sexist, but I want to keep this parenthesis gap short, so forget it
) accurately. It'd be quite mean to point at what is blatantly the uglier girl (IV) and call her names, because someone (SoL), as weird as they may be for it, might actually find that ugly girl (IV) the most beautiful person in the world... Okay, now I'm just teasing, but you get the point
We can treat sales, publicity and the technology as indicators of the scientific beauty of each game (with technology probably being the 'actual' beauty - being that it's the most prominent thing we can accurately measure), but it still won't affect who has the right to call each one ugly or attractive. This goes towards my whole point all along. If you find her ugly, look away, don't criticise, because it honestly doesn't help. Creating beautiful people is hard, and what needs to happen is for only the ones who can see the beauty in the things you find ugly to make a judgement.TL;DR:
Don't look a gift horse in the mouth!