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Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories

aka: GTA: Liberty City Stories, GTA:LCS
Moby ID: 19892
PSP Specs
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Description official descriptions

This is the next installation of the Grand Theft Auto series, now back in Liberty City, just like GTA 3.

This time, the action takes place in 1998, and you're in the footsteps of Toni Cipriani. As usual in the series, you start off pretty low and work your way up in the food chain of the mob, fighting wars with other mafia families and doing all other sorts of dirty work.

The game is part of the Grand Theft Auto universe, so there you'll occasionally encounter characters you met in previous games of the series, although the storyline is pretty independent and makes few references to previous incidents and events.

All the other well-known elements of earlier games are in: You can have little side-missions as a pizza delivery boy, vigilante, cab driver, and more.

The PSP version supports multiplayer gameplay. Up to six gangsters can compete in deathmatches, capture the flag, and king of the hill.


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Credits (PSP version)

412 People (302 developers, 110 thanks) · View all



Average score: 86% (based on 103 ratings)


Average score: 3.6 out of 5 (based on 67 ratings with 2 reviews)

The great PS2 game shrunk down to portable size.

The Good
Even though this game is now on a portable, it is still a fully fledged GTA game. Liberty City has been perfectly recreated on the psp, and this game looks better than GTA 3 looked. Throw in new mini games and a bum load of missions, and you've got a good 80-100 hours of gameplay right there.

The Bad
The only problems I really had was with aiming, I mean, it;s not easy using the analog nub to aim, but you eventually get used to it.

The Bottom Line
If you are 17+, and want an actual good game for your psp, this is the one you want.

PSP · by Joshua Price (24) · 2005

Back to Liberty City - in more than one way

The Good
I guess I'm not the only one who started considering buying a PSP only after this game was announced. After all, who doesn't start drooling over the idea of having all the fun and excitement of the GTA series on a portable console so you can play it as you're on the go, or, for the perfect irony, while waiting in line at the DMV? It sounds too good to be true.

That's one thing I can tell you right away: It's not. Liberty City Stories really delivers. Rockstar has managed to capture what was good about the GTA series onto the small handheld.

We're back in Liberty City, this time in the later 90s. Today's protagonist is Tony Cipriani, and we're back at the familiar scenario: He's a small-timer, working his way up to control Liberty City. Nothing has changed: You go from mission to mission, performing tasks like secretly taking pictures, delivering goods, protecting people, or simply whacking someone.

The graphics are on par with earlier versions on the PS2 - and it looks better than the original GTA3. The graphics are nice and smooth, the environmental effects (such as day/night-time and the occasional rain with light reflections on the ground) are present.

The controls work perfectly on the PSP. It takes mere seconds to get acquainted with all the buttons and their functions, and the game design does a great job of gradually introducing you to all the features.

The soundtrack is once again made out of a bunch of radio stations, each one with a certain theme; however, Liberty City Stories' soundtrack is no match to the incredible San Andreas playlist. Many of the songs are somewhat generic and bland, but at least the wacky radio station talkshows are still prominently present.

The streaming data system seems to work nicely - you barely notice new data getting streamed in. I couldn't say that about San Andreas on the PS2.

Even the locking system (one of my pet peeves of San Andreas) isn't too bad. You do run in trouble locking onto people sometimes (especially when they're close), but generally speaking I had few problems with it.

The Bad
One thing that gradually improved over the series was the story. Unfortunately, this part is a big step backwards. The characters in the game are cardboard cut-outs with very little backstory to them; the plot isn't very exciting and doesn't move along as nicely as it did in San Andreas.

The AI is okay. It is admittedly very hard to program good AI in a complex environment like this, but it can still be annoying sometimes. In rare occasions, you might fail a mission because the car you were supposed to tail crashes into a truck that happened to drive along, forcing you to replay the entire mission.

Liberty City Stories employs the same retarded save system I had complained about in the previous installments. This is an even bigger issue on the PSP, where you usually don't play for a long time. You can only save in-between missions, and even then, you have to be at a safe-house. This is particularly annoying towards the beginning of the game when there is only one safe-house. The game at least supports sleep mode, so you can freeze the game at any time and restart later on. This is fine if GTA is the only game you play, but if you plan to switch back and forth between several games, you're out of luck.

The stupid save system is also made worse by the loading times. They are not too long, but they just add up, especially since it usually makes more sense to reload a game after you fail a mission so you don't lose all your weapons. So here we go: Play a mission and die. Reload game. Load time. Exit safe house. Load time. Go to mission. Load time. Skip that stupid cut-scene. Load time. Okay, the mission starts now. Finally.

With the game using a streamed world and playing music off the disc, there is a lot of UMD action. This is unavoidable, but it might affect your battery power.

For simplicity purposes, the role-playing aspects that were introduced in San Andreas have been cut. It is probably a question of taste whether or not you enjoyed the little stats system in the first place, but the lack of a fully customizable character is a slight downer. Other than selecting one from a few pre-built outfits (which you usually only do for the purpose of a mission), you can't change your appearance.

The Bottom Line
The bottom line is: There is GTA for the portable PSP, and it plays just as its grown-up predecessors, so people who want to play GTA "on the go" can rejoice.

However, I wouldn't go so far as to consider this game the next iteration in the GTA family. Technically it is, but it is a step backwards in many ways: Some new elements of San Andreas were removed (like the RPG system and the dynamic and customizable player), the story is much more generic and seems hastily written, the soundtrack not very memorable. You can tell that the game was put out in a hurry to fill a void in the market.

But don't let that scare you: Just keep in mind that this is simply a move from the series to the world of the portables, not the next big step in the series. If you remember that, you won't be disappointed.

PSP · by EboMike (3094) · 2005


1001 Video Games

The PS2 and PSP versions of Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories appear in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

German version

There are a number of changes in the German version: * People lying on the ground can't be hurt with melee weapons * There are no decapitations * Bloody tire marks after driving over people were removed * Killed enemies don't leave money behind * During the mission "Karmageddon" driving over civilians don't count towards the mission goal * Two statistics which count killed persons were removed * The Rampage missions were removed

A detailed list of changes can be found on schnittberichte.com (German).


Like in all Grand Theft Auto games since GTA III, DJ Lazlow makes an appearance as a Radio Host on Liberty City Free Radio in this game's rendition of Chatterbox. Although in this particular game, his show is only a segment on the station, rather than the only running show on it, as was typically the case in other GTA games.


As of 2008 Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories is listed by Guinness World Records as the best-selling PSP game of all time.


  • GameSpy
    • 2005 – PSP Game of the Year
    • 2005 – PSP Game of the Year (Readers' Vote)
    • 2005 – #4 Offline Multiplayer Game of the Year
    • 2005 – PSP Action Game of the Year
    • 2005 – PSP Multiplayer Game of the Year
  • Golden Joystick Awards
    • 2006 - Online Handheld Game of the Year

Information also contributed by piltdown man and Sciere.


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  • MobyGames ID: 19892
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by EboMike.

PlayStation 3 added by Fred VT. iPhone, Android, iPad added by GTramp. PlayStation 2 added by TigerFury007.

Additional contributors: Unicorn Lynx, Foxhack, Jae Rune, coenak, Patrick Bregger, Victor Vance, FatherJack, 一旁冷笑.

Game added November 9, 2005. Last modified March 13, 2024.