Grand Theft Auto III

PC, PS2, IPHONE OS, ANDROID / Action / Release: May 21, 2002 / ESRB: M

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Grand Theft Auto DNA, part 2: the art of sandbox gaming

Grand Theft Auto DNA, part 2: the art of sandbox gaming

Editor's Note: In part 1 of Grand Theft Auto DNA, we explored how vehicles and driving physics evolved over the GTA series. Today, we discuss the role of sandbox environments like Liberty City and San Andreas.


Playing a Grand Theft Auto game is a lot like observing an ant farm. The AI-controlled citizens of Rockstar North's worlds drive around, obey traffic laws or blow red lights, loiter on the sidewalk to panhandle and gab with friends, and throw fisticuffs after getting into a fender bender at the intersection of Columbus and Jade. I've spent hours in each GTA sandbox just driving around, marveling at how alive each world feels.

Read more: Setting the bar for open-world games »

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Grand Theft Auto DNA, part 1: driving evolved

Grand Theft Auto DNA, part 1: driving evolved

Editor's Note: In part 1 of our Grand Theft Auto DNA, we dissect the driving system in GTA 3, Vice City, San Andreas, and GTA 4 to understand how driving evolved over the course of those series, and how it should work in the upcoming GTA 5.


In August 2001, Sony's PlayStation 2 celebrated its first birthday with little fanfare. More a glorified DVD player than a hot-ticket game machine, the PS2 lacked a system seller, industry jargon for a game so popular that gamers plunked down hundreds of dollars on a console just to experience that one game. Two months later in October, Rockstar North filled the void with Grand Theft Auto 3, an open-world romp where players could hijack cars, splatter pedestrians, treat traffic jams like impromptu destruction derbies, and wage crime sprees.

Read more: What made the early games great »

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Grand Theft Auto 3 re-release delayed due to music licensing issue

Grand Theft Auto 3 re-release delayed due to music licensing issue

The PS3 digital re-release of Grand Theft Auto 3 was supposed to happen today. Unfortunately, it's been pulled at the last minute. The PlayStation.Blog tells fans that "due to an unforeseen complication, the Grand Theft Auto III PS2 Classic is not publishing with today's Store post. We will update you when a new release date has been identified. We apologize for the inconvenience."

So what happened?

Read more: Audio track causing issues »

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Grand Theft Auto 3 re-releases on PS3 next week

Grand Theft Auto 3 re-releases on PS3 next week

More PlayStation 2 classics continue to find their way to the PlayStation Store. Next week, on July 31st, you'll be able to download Grand Theft Auto 3 on your PS3.

This isn't an HD re-release. In fact, because it's a digital PS2 classic re-release, it's coming with zero enhancements. Don't expect trophies, or any of the visual upgrades featured in the game's recent iOS adaptation.

Read more: Budget priced as well »

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Grand Theft Auto 3 and Vice City re-rated for PS3 (again)

Grand Theft Auto 3 and Vice City re-rated for PS3 (again)

With Grand Theft Auto fans waiting anxiously for the next installment in the open-world gangland series, it looks like the franchise's classic PS2 games may be coming to the PlayStation Network, according to new entries posted by the ESRB.

Read more: Both games listed for PS3 »

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Nyko PlayPad controller for Android impresses with backwards compatibility app

Nyko PlayPad controller for Android impresses with backwards compatibility app

While there are many great mobile games that work perfectly fine with touch controls, others are a bit lacking. Virtual control sticks and virtual buttons are a sufficient stopgap for some--but people like myself prefer the precision offered by physical buttons and analog sticks.

Nyko is the latest peripheral manufacturer to attempt creating a game pad for mobile devices. However, what makes their controller so unique is not the hardware itself--but bundled software that can ensure backwards compatibility with all mobile games.

Read more: Support for NVIDIA Tegra games »

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Grand Theft Auto 3 getting fan port to GTA4 engine

Grand Theft Auto 3 getting fan port to GTA4 engine

Rockstar's rendering of Manhattan in Grand Theft Auto III was awfully impressive, but technology marches ever onward. Nowadays, even our phones can handle it. So if you crave the mafioso story, but wish it looked prettier, GTA3 is getting a visual upgrade in the mod scene.

Watch: Trailer for GTA3 using the Rage engine »

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Grand Theft Auto 3 and Vice City rated for PS3

Grand Theft Auto 3 and Vice City rated for PS3

So far, PS2 re-releases via the PlayStation Network have consisted of forgotten classics. However, that's about to change with the re-release of the biggest blockbuster of the last generation. The ESRB has rated both Grand Theft Auto 3 and Vice City for PS3.

Read more: HD re-release unlikely »

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GTA3 retrospective addresses lingering 9/11 rumors

GTA3 retrospective addresses lingering 9/11 rumors

Influential open-world game Grand Theft Auto III is hitting its ten-year anniversary, and Rockstar is answering fan questions as part of a retrospective series. The latest batch of questions have to do with mysteries and rumors surrounding the game, especially the notion of cut content due to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Read more: Rockstar calls more extreme theories 'nonsense' »

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Grand Theft Auto III mobile supports PC mods

Grand Theft Auto III mobile supports PC mods

Both the Android and iOS editions of Grand Theft Auto III support user mods originally made for PC, cunning players have discovered. It's a bit wonky, but people have had luck bringing in new cars, textures, songs, and more.

Read more: How to get modding »

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Field Report: Grand Theft Auto 3 (iPad)

Field Report: Grand Theft Auto 3 (iPad)

There's something timeless and magical about driving atop sidewalks through groups of horrified civilians as the song "Scarface (Push It to the Limit)" blasts over the radio of a stolen vehicle.

Grand Theft Auto 3, the Rockstar classic, is now available for iOS and select Android devices. When the game first launched in 2001, it pushed the PlayStation 2 and game design. That tradition continues today, proving mobile platforms can feature wild, expansive worlds I never thought possible.

Read more: Controls push frustration 'to the limit' »

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MobyGames Classic: Grand Theft Auto 3 community stories

MobyGames Classic: Grand Theft Auto 3 community stories

On Wednesday, we revealed the next MobyGames Classic title was Rockstar's genre-defining Grand Theft Auto 3.

Released in late 2001, Grand Theft Auto 3 was lauded for its sandbox-like environment that continues to help shape games made today. Ten years after launch, the game has undoubtedly left its mark on the industry as one of the best games ever made. After the break, the Shacknews community shares their stories and impressions of Grand Theft Auto 3, and answer why they feel it's deserving of a spot on our list of classics.

Read more: Shacknews community stories about GTA3 »

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MobyGames Classic: Grand Theft Auto 3

MobyGames Classic: Grand Theft Auto 3

In October 2001, DMA Design (now known as Rockstar North) changed the landscape of game world design and helped create an entire sub-genre of video games that still exists today with the release of Grand Theft Auto 3. Lauded for its sandbox-like environment, the game was an immediate commercial and critical smash-hit for Sony's year-old PlayStation 2 system. Whether it truly is the granddaddy of open-world titles is inconsequential, Grand Theft Auto 3--and the franchise--has left its mark on the industry and is remembered ten years later as one of the best games ever made.

Read more: Why is Grand Theft Auto 3 a classic »

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How 9/11 shaped Grand Theft Auto 3

How 9/11 shaped Grand Theft Auto 3

It's been ten years since Grand Theft Auto III made ripples throughout the game industry with its emphasis on the open world. But in a new retrospective, Rockstar's Dan Houser reveals that the game's proximity to 9/11 made the company very cautious about any imagery or dialogue that could rub the fresh wounds of the tragedy.

"It was a very strange time, but we were very close to 9/11, far closer than the vast majority of people, and therefore I believe we were capable of making sensitive judgments about what was appropriate and what wasn't appropriate," Houser said.

Read more: 'We'd watched it on our doorstep' »

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Grand Theft Auto 3 coming to iOS and Android

Grand Theft Auto 3 coming to iOS and Android

To celebrate next week's tenth anniversary of Grand Theft Auto III's release, Rockstar has announced a mobile port of the classic open-world murder simulator, coming to select iOS and Android devices. A 1:6 scale doll of the game's star Claude is also in the works, for the collectors amongst you.

Read more: Is GTA3 coming to your mobile computer thing? »

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