A friend borrowed me GTA IV in holidays like four years ago (wow, that's a lot), and I finished the game and was all like "huh, good game" and that was it. My oldest brother finished the game too and he was a lot more excited than me, something weird because he only finished GTA III.
A year or so ago I bought the digital copy for Xbox and really enjoyed so much the story, weapons, physichs... everything, I love the game since then. During my first gameplay I used to say "f*ck that old man Niko, he's boring", today I think is my favorite character in all the videogames I've ever played.
Today I'm doing a "perfect" playthrough, 100% and after downloading TLAD all I can say is wow, what a masterpiece this game is. Joined a deathmatch too, 100 times better than crappy deathmatches in GTA Online. I actually felt like skill was involved.
After all this, I get the conclusion that you need to grow up and get a mature mentality to enjoy this game. And I think that's the reason why so many disliked GTA IV and the episodes (considering a lot of GTA players are kids who love Trevor Philips because he's a yoloswagger generic badass). The depth in characters and the gray atmosphere make this game unique, and the way you're growing up (from driving a Vigero in Schotler to driving a Turismo in Star Junction) are unique in this game.
It's sad how people can't appreciate a game like this one. Guns sound better, the characters are actually lovable and not just hypocrites that only swear, the game feels faster, the cars are better, the driving is worth to master, a better story... and the episodes that make the complete story.
I want to know if someone feels the same way I do... I used to think this was a bad game, and now look at me, favorite of all time.