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What Order Should I Play the Grand Theft Auto Games?|


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So I recently got Grand Theft Auto III, thus completing my collection of the mainline games (III, Vice City, San Andreas, IV and V) I am relatively new to the Grand Theft Auto franchise, only having played V. I was wondering what order should I play the games. I wanted to wait to until I got III before I started playing the games, and since I finally got III in the mail today, now I can start playing the games. Should I play them III-Vice City-San Andreas-IV-V? Or, since based on my understanding that some games take place in the 80s and 90s, should I play them in chronological order based on the in-game timeline. I am aware that some of the games have not aged particularly well, but I am willing to overlook that and try and enjoy the games as best as possible. Also, I do not have any DLCs for the games, and do not plan on playing online.

 
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In order to see how the franchise progressed you should start with Grand Theft Auto III, then Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and so on.

 

This way you'll be able to appreciate the progress and regress.

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Discounting the original top down games that came out before 2000, there are two separate universes that GTA games fit into, the HD universe (IV & V) and 3D universe (III to San Andreas).

 

Seeing as you’ve played V, I’d say play IV next. I’d recommend getting the Episodes from Liberty City DLC for IV, too, as the three games have an entwined story and form a trilogy. The other GTA titles aren’t really connected like that, they’re more separate games with references to each other.

 

From there, I’d play them in the order of III -> Vice City -> San Andreas. 
Characters, and some other things, from III and Vice City appear in San Andreas, and I think it would be more enjoyable to play SA if you’ve already played the previous two games—it’s also a bigger title with more more in it, it’s much more fleshed out than III and Vice City.


Then, if you’re able to play them, you have the smaller Liberty City & Vice City Stories titles.

Edited by nob
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  • 1 month later...
KingAJ032304
On 4/24/2021 at 10:54 PM, sefus said:

Canonically, 

  • VCS
  • VC
  • SA
  • LCS
  • III
  • 4 and TLAD
  • TBOGT
  • 5

In all honesty I think vc, sa, lcs, iii, and vcs is the proper way to play it storyline wise. Something about vcs just doesn't work as the first game 

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Posted (edited)

This is the order in which they came out:

 

III

Vice City

Advance

San Andreas

Liberty City Stories

Vice City Stories

IV (and Episodes from Liberty City)

Chinatown Wars

V

 

But, according to in-game chronology:

 

VCS

VC

SA

LCS

Advance

III

IV

CTW

V

 

The order doesn't really matter. Things would be fun and make sense no matter what order you played it in. But if you intend to play it in the latter order I gave, I'd also recommend you to go to each game's official website and read up on background lore as well as listen to the in-game radio, they make it much more immersive. Also, when you get to the HD era games, I'd suggest you periodically do hangouts with friends to hear extra world-building dialogue and read up on the in-game internet articles regularly. They add to the immersion. Lastly, play IV and EFLC in this order.

Edited by E Revere
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billiejoearmstrong8
Posted (edited)

If you're committed to playing all of them I'd start with the 3D era games, because they probably won't seem as good after playing IV. And I'd just play them all in the order of release, that's how they were "designed" to be played and I don't think there's much benefit to playing them in timeline order. Even though they take place in the same universe and some are prequels they all function as standalone games and I think these particular prequels are better played as prequels. 

 

Also, the prequels in question (Liberty City Stories and Vice City Stories) were originally released on PSP and imo they're more "bonus" games. They're worth checking out but if you want to get to the good stuff they're the ones to skip. IV is amazing and it's very much worth getting the DLCs (The Lost and Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony, you can get them together as Episodes From Liberty City) as a complement to the main game. 

Edited by billiejoearmstrong8
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CynicalMexican
9 minutes ago, billiejoearmstrong8 said:

If you're committed to playing all of them I'd start with the 3D era games, because they probably won't seem as good after playing IV. And I'd just play them all in the order of release, that's how they were "designed" to be played and I don't think there's much benefit to playing them in timeline order. Even though they take place in the same universe and some are prequels they all function as standalone games and I think these particular prequels are better played as prequels. 

 

Also, the prequels in question (Liberty City Stories and Vice City Stories) were originally released on PSP and imo they're more "bonus" games. They're worth checking out but if you want to get to the good stuff they're the ones to skip. IV is amazing and it's very much worth getting the DLCs (The Lost and Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony, you can get them together as Episodes From Liberty City) as a complement to the main game. 

Hey I'm gonna politely disagree with the "bonus" stuff lol. I loved LCS back in the day, it gives so much context to what happens in GTA 3 too.

2 hours ago, KingAJ032304 said:

In all honesty I think vc, sa, lcs, iii, and vcs is the proper way to play it storyline wise. Something about vcs just doesn't work as the first game 

 

It's kinda jarring to play VCS first knowing how extremely polished it is, and then play GTA VC which came 4 years earlier and was rushed.

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This topic is an interesting one as it was posted by a spambot who very obviously posted a spam link at the end of their bad bot copy-paste (y no one report it), but it's also a valid discussion even if they got it from some old post in these forums, so I've banned the spambot OP, removed the link but left this open.

 

Cheers!

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