Even after almost a decade without a new entry in the Grand Theft Auto franchise, the series’ popularity hasn’t died down. Given how many years it takes to create an open-world experience on the level of GTA 5, it’s no surprise that GTA 6 is still in development and will be for the next few years.
While starting the Grand Theft Auto series, a new player might get intimidated after a quick look at the number of games. However, the best thing about this series is the ability to start with any GTA game you want as all the games are completely separate from each other.
This guide has been together in order to help new players looking to get into the Grand Theft Auto series as well as help returning players who want to take a walk down the memory lane. Even though you can start with any GTA game you want, this guide will help you to narrow down your selection.
1. The Release Order to Play the Grand Theft Auto Series
The release order features all the Grand Theft Auto games which have been released over the years. Check out the list for the entire rundown of all the games in the series:
- Grand Theft Auto (1997)
- Grand Theft Auto: London 1969 (1997)
- Grand Theft Auto: London 1961 (1999)
- Grand Theft Auto 2 (1999)
- Grand Theft Auto 3 (2001)
- Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (2002)
- Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (2004)
- Grand Theft Auto Advance (2004)
- Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories (2005)
- Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories (2005)
- Grand Theft Auto 4 (2008)
- Grand Theft Auto 4: The Lost and Damned (2009)
- Grand Theft Auto 4: The Ballad of Gay Tony (2009)
- Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars (2009)
- Grand Theft Auto 5 (2013)
- Grand Theft Auto Online (2013)
- Grand Theft Auto Trilogy (2021)
It’s worth noting that GTA Online servers are still up. While it has been nearly a decade since its release, GTA Online still holds a huge player base. Updates are added to the game regularly by Rockstar Games as well.
2. Which Grand Theft Auto game should you play first?
You can start with any Grand Theft Auto game you like. However, people tend to start the series with Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. The game was released back in 2004 but it was way ahead of its time. Majority of the players start with Grand Theft Auto 5 as well.
GTA 5 is the latest entry in the GTA series. There’s a night and day difference between the older GTA games and GTA 5. It features a brilliant standalone single-player narrative along with a fun online mode.
3. Do you need to play the Grand Theft Auto Series in order?
One of the best things about the Grand Theft Auto series is the ability to play whichever game you want at any point during your playthrough. Every GTA game is separate from each other and doesn’t feature any substantial connections between them.
Each Grand Theft Auto game consists of a different story, different characters, different lore. You can skip any game you want based on your preferences. Hence, you don’t need to play the GTA series in any order. You can start with any GTA game you like.
4. Which is the hardest Grand Theft Auto game?
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is basically the antithesis of Grand Theft Auto 5 when it comes to difficulty. San Andreas is, undoubtedly, the hardest mainline GTA game with GTA 5 on the other end of the spectrum, being the easiest game in the series.
San Andreas can feel incredibly punishing when played in 2023 due to its shaky combat mechanics and gunplay. Enemies tend spawn at random areas and get a shot off on CJ. However, the story still holds up to this day, despite its outdated mechanics.
5. Which is the longest Grand Theft Auto game?
When it comes to the longest Grand Theft Auto game, GTA: San Andreas and GTA 5 are tied. Both games take approximately 31.5 hours to beat and maybe even more based on the activities that you do in-game. If you’re going for a completionist run, it may take more time for you to complete the game.
San Andreas’ mission variety makes 30+ hours fly by. On the other hand, GTA 5’s big map along with the campaign with three playable protagonists make the game an absolute joy to beat.
6. When will Grand Theft Auto 6 release?
Last year, early gameplay footage of Grand Theft Auto 6 surfaced online, along with lines of source code from the game itself. The footage proved that the game is still early in development and the release date is still at least a couple of years away.
Rockstar insiders say that the GTA 6 launch date is still “two years away” and will be set in a Vice City-style Miami, featuring a Latina, female protagonist. The voice actors for the game were also discovered by the GTA Forums community. Safe to say, it’s gonna be a while before we see footage from Grand Theft Auto 6.
7. About Grand Theft Auto V
Grand Theft Auto V or GTA V is developed by Rockstar North and published by Rockstar Games. Initially released on 1 October 2013 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, and on 18 November 2014 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and in the next year on 14 April 2015 for Microsoft Windows. A late 2021 release is scheduled for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.