Every Grand Theft Auto Game Ranked Worst to Best
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Every Grand Theft Auto Game Ranked Worst to Best

Grand Theft Auto London 1969/1961

11. Grand Theft Auto London 1969/1961

The London expansions to the original Grand Theft Auto might be a little more obscure than GTA Advance, but at least they’re slightly better games. Like most expansions of the ‘90s, you’re getting the same gameplay of the base game, but with a different coat of paint and in a smaller package. The retro soundtrack is nice, but beyond that, there’s not much here to distinguish it from the other early GTA games.

London 1969 was released in April 1999, and the freeware expansion 1961 followed a few months later (though it really didn’t add much beyond a few more missions). Curiously, this remains the series’ only trip to a real-world city (and one outside the U.S.). For whatever reason, Rockstar seems unwilling to revisit those ideas, though they’d certainly have a lot of potential in a 3D installment.

Grand Theft Auto

10. Grand Theft Auto

It can be difficult to go back to the original Grand Theft Auto now, but if you spend a little time with it, it’s remarkable to see just how much of the series’ core gameplay ideas were here from the start. The very first game featured Liberty City, Vice City, and San Andreas, as well as the trademark freedom to complete missions however you see fit. Or ignore all of that and just go on a random crime spree. Even the radio stations were part of the series from the start.

That doesn’t mean the game is without issues, though. Even when it came out in 1997, the top-down graphics were dated, and the controls weren’t great. While you can see the potential was there for what the franchise eventually became, the original GTA could have also just as easily become a footnote in gaming history.

9. Grand Theft Auto 2

Grand Theft Auto 2 is a better game than the original, but just barely. The graphics and sound are a tad bit better, but the actual gameplay is largely the same. A few tweaks to the engine do give random pedestrians more to do so the world feels somewhat more alive. The big difference is moving the action to one larger city with three districts, and a new syndicate system where completing missions for one faction can turn the others against you. 

Even though it didn’t do much different from its predecessor, a lot of gamers who grew up in the ‘90s played the hell out of GTA 2 at release (whether on PC, PS1, Dreamcast, or the awful Game Boy Color port), but it’s not a title many people go back to often after the series took a quantum leap forward with its next sequel.