"It was revolutionary and just awesome back then."
The Grand Theft Auto (GTA) series is arguably gaming’s most iconic franchise, having seen a total of 15 games.
Every release has unique stories and characters set in fictional locations based on actual American places.
The cities of Los Santos, Liberty City and Vice City are beautifully created for players to cause havoc.
The series is critically acclaimed and commercially successful, having sold over 250 million units.
It is the fourth highest selling video game franchise of all time, behind Nintendo’s Mario and Pokémon franchises, and Tetris.
GTA is played by all who enjoy video games, especially ones released after 2001 when the series became mainstream.
It is debatable which Grand Theft Auto game is the best as they all have memorable stories.
The GTA series is a huge favourite among British Asians who have played through most of the games, enjoying each one along the way.
Everyone has a favourite for a number of reasons. We explore the five best Grand Theft Auto games enjoyed by British-Asian gamers.
Grand Theft Auto III
The 2001 release sees gamers play as Claude, the silent protagonist who is left for dead and quickly becomes entangled in a world of gangs, crime and corruption.
Compared to other GTA games, it lacks any content outside of main missions.
However, a lot of gamers love GTA III because it is recognised as being the pioneer of many open-world games today.
It ushered in a 3-D open world instead of a top-down 2-D game like its predecessors.
GTA III was the first game that lets you do whatever you want instead of following the script of the game.
Many gamers want to play a game that gives you freedom and GTA III does just that.
It was also the first mainstream game to explore dark themes like corruption and crime, which developers Rockstar are known for doing.
According to GTA fan Siddharth Chopra, he says that it is because other developers were scared to cover such themes.
He said: “Back then developers were too scared to do that and Rockstar decided to cross the line and shock the world.”
“It was revolutionary and just awesome back then.”
GTA III is loved for being more of a revolutionary game as opposed to the main story.
If it was not for the release of GTA III, then maybe other open world franchises such as Assassins Creed and Just Cause would be much different.
Grand Theft Auto IV
The first release in the high-definition era of GTA games is one of the most enjoyable.
It was also the first game Rockstar shifted towards a more realistic and detailed style compared to others which provide arcade-like fun.
Like GTA III, this game set the benchmark for a new generation of open-world games.
Some players did not like the changes, but the majority praised it, with some even saying that gameplay is better than 2013’s GTA V 10 years later.
Aditya Periwal, who has played most of the games in the franchise, prefers the realism of GTA IV.
He said: “It has more realistic damage physics, unlike GTA V.”
“I personally like the kind of dated look of everything in GTA IV, the cars, the buildings, the technology, I just love it!”
“GTA IV is much more realistic than GTA V. While GTA V has better graphics, GTA IV takes the cake.”
Protagonist Niko Bellic remains a fan favourite in the gaming world, with his sarcastic sense of humour and caring personality.
His story is a roller coaster ride of emotions which enhances the depth of the storyline.
For this reason, many gaming experts have ranked Niko as one of the greatest characters in gaming history.
The breathtaking skylines of Liberty City and the awesomeness of Niko Bellic make the game one of the favourites among British Asian gamers.
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
GTA: Vice City is considered by many as the best game of the entire franchise even though it was released in 2002.
While it is not much of an improvement in terms of graphics, the brilliant story is what has drawn many British Asian fans.
People love the vibrant 80s’ setting, based on Miami, and each mission is just fun mayhem.
The plot has many influences from Hollywood movies, notably Scarface (1983), which make it all the more enjoyable.
Vice City is one of the first games to feature A-list voice actors, showcasing the franchise’s popularity.
The protagonist Tommy Vercetti is voiced by Goodfellas (1990) star Ray Liotta and is one many remember for his likeability.
Enthusiast Ajay Gupta only likes two main characters from the entire franchise, one of them being Tommy. Even fan favourite Trevor Philips from GTA V does not match up.
He said: “The only two characters I have ever liked in GTA‘s history are Trevor and Tommy.”
“Trevor is our beloved psychopath but for me, he doesn’t match up with Tommy. Man, that guy was charismatic.”
“His story from a bully to Diaz’s right hand to one of the most powerful men in Vice City was just too good to not like.”
Tommy, coupled with his bright blue Hawaiian shirt, is one of the best characters in gaming. His rise in becoming the kingpin of Vice City makes it one of the best GTA games enjoyed by British Asians.
Grand Theft Auto V
By far the most immersive game in the franchise is GTA V, featuring three unique characters and a huge map.
It has been Rockstar’s most ambitious game for five years until 2018 with the release of Red Dead Redemption 2.
The return of Los Santos from San Andreas had fans in delight, especially now that it was modernised.
It is the fastest-selling entertainment product in history, earning $800 million in its first day and $1 billion within three days.
GTA V has lots to do in a world full of life with Trevor, Michael and Franklin, the game’s heroes.
Trevor, in particular, is a fan favourite for his psychotic behaviour and how believable he is.
Gamers say that he is one of the few protagonists in the series that would willingly execute player actions, like murder.
Priya Sharma enjoys playing GTA V for this reason. She said:
“I honestly really loved GTA V, purely because of Trevor.”
“I was feeling pretty ‘eh’ about Michael and Franklin, but the things that you do in GTA and the missions you end up doing don’t really fit as much with those two.”
“With Trevor, you can totally see his character doing it. His personality is just perfect for it.”
There is so much to do within the vibrancy of Los Santos among the stunning graphics.
From playing golf to going to the cinema, it is hours of fun outside of main missions.
The heists though are the most enjoyable part in missions. Assembling your team and making a choice on how to execute the heist highlights the different scenarios and promises lots of cash.
This can then be spent however you want. Buy luxury supercars or properties, the choice is yours.
While it is definitely the best game in the franchise, many British Asians feel that another is more enjoyable.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
The 2004 release is many gamer’s favourite in the entire series. It is game far ahead of its time with the magnitude of the map.
Its scale is very impressive, even by today’s standards with three immersive cities to explore.
All of which are full of life and accessible using different means of transport.
San Andreas has a lot to offer for those who want to explore the diverse landscape.
The large number of customisation options for protagonist CJ engaged many gamers.
He can go to the gym and become muscular or eat a lot and become overweight. Give him a stylish haircut and choose a variety of clothes. It is up to you what you choose.
It has a huge amount of celebrities lending their voice for characters. This includes Samuel L. Jackson as the game’s antagonist, Officer Tenpenny.
San Andreas is the longest title to date with 100 storyline missions within a gripping story.
These features have gamers replaying the game, especially since it has backwards compatibility on Xbox One.
Rohan Varma said: “It is by far the most playable of all the GTA III era games, not to mention the replayability value of the game.”
“It was like a big, open playground, and still is.”
CJ and his story were always exciting for gamers, with them wondering what they would be doing. They ranged from the violent to quite weird.
Although it is not as advanced as future releases, the memorable characters and features are what British Asians love about San Andreas and why it is the most enjoyable game in the franchise.
While other games include Liberty City Stories and Chinatown Wars, they have not had the amount of impact on gamers that these five have.
Players have different reasons why each game is the best in their opinion. However many gamers see San Andreas as the best in the series that they enjoy.
The question is, when will the next Grand Theft Auto game be announced, the location and if it will be as enjoyable as the five listed.