There are a lot of GTA games out there today, adding another one with GTA VI on the horizon. Here’s every GTA game in order of their release date.
The rumors and leaks about the release date of GTA 6 have heavily increased as the years go by. People are excited for the newest installment in the Grand Theft Auto franchise. It’s a series that we’ve all come to love and enjoy throughout the years. GTA has become a staple in the gaming industry. We’ve all enjoyed the game, causing havoc and chaos in the city.
Some people think that GTA VI is the 6th GTA game. However, there are a lot of other GTA games that were released in between the main series games. These games are all amazing in their own right, follow different stories, and have their own unique mechanics. They’re worth revisiting, especially some of the new remastered GTA games.
If that got you curious, here’s a complete list of all the GTA games in order according to their release date.
List of Every GTA Game Released
The first-ever GTA game made its debut in 1997. Since then, the franchise has expanded and released numerous games throughout the years. The GTA games have drastically changed. They’ve introduced new characters, new art styles, new game mechanics, new graphics, and new storylines. However, one thing remains the same in all of them, they all feature an open-world type experience where you can cause chaos and commit crimes.
Because of the numerous GTA games that have been released over the years, a lot of people get confused when talking about them. Fans have decided to separate the games into different Generations according to their graphics capabilities and other features. So, we’ll also be dividing them based on their Generations.
Without further ado, here are all the GTA games in order.
First Generation GTA Games in Order
The following games represent the first generation of GTA games. They are the grassroots of the franchise and paved the way for the modern GTA games we all love today.
GTA 1 – (Main Series: 2D Universe)
Release Date: October 21, 1997
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 1, Game Boy Color
Grand Theft Auto 1, or simply GTA, was released in 1997 for MS-DOS and Windows computers. It was also released on the original Playstation and the Game Boy Color. This was the game that started it all. It featured most of the mechanics that we enjoy and love today. These include things like open-world, driving and stealing cars, crime and violence, and the wanted star rating.
It was a simplistic arcade-type game where you played as a low-life gangster trying to climb the ranks. For the most part, the game was all about quests and getting from one point to another. But, it did feature many fun things and pushed the limits of what’s considered a “clean and decent” videogame.
GTA London 1969 – (GTA Expansion: 2D Universe)
Release Date: April 30, 1999
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 1
GTA London 1969 is an expansion pack that takes place in London. It’s the first DLC in the Grand Theft Auto franchise and came with 32 new missions and 30 new vehicles for players to use. The expansion pack was available for PC and PlayStation. It required you to own the original GTA game to play it.
The GTA London expansion packs are the first and only GTA games set in an actual city and the only games set outside of the United States.
GTA London 1961 – (GTA Expansion: 2D Universe)
Release Date: June 1, 1999
GTA London 1961 is another expansion pack released a few months after GTA London 1969. It’s set 8 years before the events of GTA London 1969. It offers a ton of new missions, 22 new vehicles, a new cutscene, and a new multiplayer deathmatch map.
Unlike the previous expansion pack, GTA London 1961 is only available for PC. It requires you to own both the original GTA game and GTA London 1969 to play it. GTA London 1961 is one of the least famous games in the franchise due to the lack of marketing from Rockstar Games.
Second Generation GTA Games in Order
There’s only one second-generation game, mainly because of the shift in graphics and art style in the early 2000s.
GTA II – (Main Series: 2D Universe)
Release Date: September 30, 1999
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 1, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Dreamcast
Grand Theft Auto 2 is the 2nd main series game that was released for PC, Dreamcast, PlayStation, and the Game Boy Color. It was set in a “futuristic” city called “Anywhere City” in 2013.
It follows the story of Claude Speed as he works for multiple gangs as you try to raise your respect level. GTA II is the game that introduced the “wanted star” system that increases based on the number of crimes you commit, among your other actions.
Third Generation GTA Games in Order
The third generation of games is home to some of the most popular games in the franchise. They started branching out to different platforms and made a huge leap in terms of graphical performance and overall art style.
GTA III – (Main Series: 3D Universe)
Release Date: October 22, 2001
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Xbox, iOS, Android, Mac OS
The third generation of games is where things start to get spicy. The game that introduced the third generation is GTA III. It’s the third installment in the main series of Grand Theft Auto and ushered in the 3D graphics style for all GTA games.
GTA III was released in 2001 for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, Mac OS X devices, and Microsoft Windows. GTA III made a huge leap in terms of gameplay and graphics, allowing the franchise to be more popular than ever before. Later on, versions for the PlayStation 3, iOS, and Android devices were added. The game still followed Claude Speed after he got betrayed by Miguel and Catalina, abandoning him in Liberty City.
GTA Vice City – (Main Series: 3D Universe)
Release Date: October 29, 2002
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 2, Mac OS, Xbox, iOS, Android, Fire OS
GTA Vice City is the second installment in the franchise with 3D graphics. It was released about a year after GTA III and was available for PlayStation 2, Windows, Mac OS, and Xbox. It also later received ports for iOS, Android, and Fire OS.
The game is set in 1980s Vice City, based on real-life Miami City. This was a time when Cubans, Haitians, and biker gangs were prevalent in the city. The game had a very retro feel and took heavy inspiration from the Miami Vice tv show. GTA Vice City quickly became a huge success and became one of the best-selling games during its time.
GTA San Andreas – (Main Series: 3D Universe)
Release Date: October 26, 2004
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Xbox, Xbox 360
Next up, we have GTA San Andreas. San Andreas is a fictional city based on California. It’s the seventh Grand Theft Auto game in the franchise and is set in the 1990s. It acts as a sequel to the 80s themed GTA Vice City and a prequel to GTA Liberty City Stories and GTA III.
During its time, GTA San Andreas was the largest, most complex, and most ambitious GTA game ever created. It featured three different cities, Los Santos, San Fierro, and Las Venturas, among other outdoor settings. It’s one of the most popular GTA games in the franchise and was available for PlayStation 2, PC, Xbox, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360.
GTA Advance – (Spin-off: 3D Universe)
Release Date: October 26, 2004
Platforms: Game Boy Advance
GTA Advance was released on the same date as GTA San Andreas. However, unlike previous Grand Theft Auto games, GTA Advance was only available on the Game Boy Advance and not on PCs or consoles.
Grand Theft Auto Advance is the fourth and final game that featured a completely top-down perspective. It’s also the only game that wasn’t mainly developed by Rockstar Games themselves. It’s set in the early 2000s in Liberty City, right before the events of GTA III.
GTA Liberty City Stories – (Spin-off: 3D Universe)
Release Date: October 24, 2005
Platforms: PlayStation Portable (PSP), Android, PlayStation 2, iOS
Grand Theft Auto: Liberty Stories is another quite popular game in the franchise. This was mainly because it’s the first GTA game that was made for the PlayStation Portable. But, it was also released on the PlayStation 2.
Liberty City is based on the real-world New York City, and the events in the game were set in the late 1990s. You play as Toni Cipriani, who was forced into hiding after killing a made man. Trying to reclaim his name, Toni Cipriani will do whatever it takes to secure his place in the high ranks of the Leone Family.
GTA Vice City Stories – (Spin-off: 3D Universe)
Release Date: October 31, 2006
Platforms: PlayStation Portable (PSP), PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3
The final game in the third generation of GTA games is GTA Vice City Stories. The game revisits Vice City and explores the events in 1984, a couple of years before the events of the GTA Vice City game.
GTA Vice City Stories was released as an exclusive game on the PlayStation Portable in 2006, but was also released for the PlayStation 2 in the following year. It was also another quite popular GTA game, which is why it was also released on the PlayStation 3 via the PlayStation Network in 2013.
Fourth Generation GTA Games in Order
This generation introduced the Rockstar Advanced Game Engine or RAGE, which allowed all future GTA games to have better graphics and better performance, among other game enhancements.
GTA IV – Main Series: HD Universe)
Release Date: April 29, 2008
Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC
GTA IV continues the story of the main series games and is the first fourth generation game to be released in the franchise. It also started the “HD Universe,” which includes the different GTA games that feature Rockstar’s new RAGE engine. The HD Universe offers great in-game graphics, realistic visuals, and stunning sceneries. It’s still the graphics engine that GTA V uses.
You play as Niko Bellic, who is an immigrant trying to live out the American dream. Unfortunately, this leads Niko on a dark criminal path. The game offers choices that can lead you toward one of three different endings. It’s still set in Liberty City but offers new graphics, better AI, more weapons, and better in-game mechanics overall.
GTA IV was released in 2008 for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Microsoft Windows.
The Lost and Damned – (Expansion DLC: HD Universe)
Release Date: February 17, 2009
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
The Lost and Damned is GTA IV’s first DLC and expansion content. It features a new protagonist in Jhonny Klebitz and tons of new vehicles, a new storyline, outfits, and missions. Even though the DLC features a new protagonist, the overall story is still related to Niko Bellic’s adventures in GTA IV.
The DLC first became available for PC in 2009 and was released later on onto other platforms. The Lost and Damned DLC requires you to own GTA IV in order to run.
The Ballad of Gay Tony – (Expansion DLC: HD Universe)
Release Date: October 29, 2009
Platforms: PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
Rockstar released another DLC episode titled “The Ballad of Gay Tony” a few months later. It was the last DLC for GTA IV and featured another new protagonist in the series. The story revolved around Luis Fernando Lopez, a retired Dominican militia officer turned assassin.
Luis Fernando Lopez works for mafia boss Tony “Gay Tony” Prince, whose trust he has to earn. The Ballad of Gay Tony’s story and missions all happen at night. This makes it one of the more unique GTA games out there.
The Ballad of Gay Tony was released in 2009 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Windows PCs. It acts as an expansion to Grand Theft Auto IV but doesn’t require a copy of the game to run.
GTA Chinatown Wars – (Spin-Off: HD Universe)
Release Date: March 17, 2009
Platforms: Nintendo DS, PlayStation Portable (PSP), Android, iOS
The final game from the Fourth Generation is a spin-off called GTA Chinatown Wars. It’s the only GTA game that isn’t available on PCs or powerful consoles. GTA Chinatown Wars is available for the Nintendo DS, PlayStation Portable, Android, iPad, iPhone, and iPad touch.
GTA Chinatown Wars’ story revolves around Huang Lee and a stolen family sword in Liberty City. The game has unique graphics which feature a comic book-like appearance and a great art style. It also makes use of a unique aerial POV camera, allowing players to rotate it freely.
It’s a fun and complex game filled with hundreds of missions, tons of great vehicles and weapons, and everything else you’re looking for in a GTA game.
Fifth Generation GTA Games in Order
The final and latest generation introduced the most popular and successful game in the entire series. It also introduced the first legit online multiplayer GTA game.
GTA V – (Main Series: HD Universe)
Release Date: September 17, 2013
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X and Series S, Xbox One, Xbox 360
We’re finally down to some of the latest releases from Rockstar Games. GTA V is known as one of the most successful games in history. It’s Rockstar’s “Golden Child” and remains the premier and best GTA game almost 10 years after its release.
GTA V is part of the main series of games that explores three protagonists. You get to follow and play as Michael Townley, Trevor Philips, and Franklin Clinton. These three former bank thieves live in Los Santos, where they execute different heists to rise up within the criminal ranks.
GTA V also features the most beautiful graphics that the series has ever produced. With a whopping $265 million budget, Rockstar Games was able to deliver a Grand Theft Auto gaming experience like no other. The storytelling, cinematography, and graphics are just on a whole nother level and still worth buying today. Grand Theft Auto V is available on the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and Series S, and Windows PCs.
GTA Online – (Main Series: HD Universe)
Release Date: October 1, 2013
Platforms: PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X and Series S, Xbox One, Xbox 360
GTA Online is Rockstar Games’ latest release. It was released a mere few weeks after GTA V and acts as both an expansion and stand-alone game. GTA Online is Rockstar’s first actual multiplayer game that allows players to go online and play with people all over the world.
Unfortunately, GTA Online doesn’t have a storyline that you can follow. Instead, it allows you to participate in heists, robberies, and other in-game missions. It allowed you to play outside of the traditional GTA storyline and pretty much do whatever you wanted. There are even dedicated “roleplay servers” that allow you to join a GTA Online community and play as a citizen within that world.
Almost 9 years after its release, both GTA V and GTA Online still get regular updates and even get improvements for current-gen consoles and hardware. GTA Online can be accessed inside GTA V and is available for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and Series S, and Windows PCs.
And those were all the released Grand Theft Auto games to date. The franchise has been around for 25 years now, and it’s still going strong. There’s no question that GTA is definitely one of the most successful games in history. Nothing beats an open-world sandbox-type game filled with violence, crimes, and RPG elements.
GTA games are definitely among some of the best PC games to play with friends, especially the online version. Only time will tell what Rockstar Games will do with future titles in the franchise. But one thing’s for sure, the Grand Theft Auto franchise will go down as one of the best game franchises in history.