Grand Theft Auto III

aka: GTA 3, GTA III, GTA3, GTA: Liberty City, Grand Theft Auto III: 10 Year Anniversary
Moby ID: 5189
PlayStation 2 Specs

Description official descriptions

After leaving San Andreas and going on a crime spree throughout the country, Claude Speed and Catalina head to Liberty City for a life of crime. During a bank heist, Claude is betrayed by Catalina and her Colombian friend Miguel, and he is shot by her just as they are leaving the scene of the crime. Claude fully a prison cell. However, while being transported to a prison, Colombians ambush the prison van for an inmate riding with Claude. Claude and his friend, 8-Ball, escape in the process. Now it is time for revenge. Claude slowly rises through the ranks of the local gangs, gaining trust from local mob bosses and turning on others. Claude gains influence, trust, and most importantly, money along the way. It is time for Claude to rise from the dead and get revenge for what Catalina has done.

Grand Theft Auto III is similar in its concept to its predecessors: the player is cast in the role of a vicious (albeit novice) criminal, who performs tasks for crime lords and gradually raises his rank in the criminal world. Driving is the main gameplay element in the game, though the player can also fully explore the city on foot. For the first time in the series, the entire game is rendered in 3D. Different camera angles are available for driving, and free camera rotation is available when on foot.

As opposed to the previous games, Liberty City is the only city the player can explore in the game. The game puts more emphasis on the story, displaying cutscenes before each mission. In order to complete the game, it is necessary to perform all the main story missions; however, the player often has the choice between several missions at a given moment. The missions include chases, races, short third-person shooter sequences, as well as various mini-game-like activities. Outside of the missions, the player is free to explore the city and undertake sub-missions, for example working as a taxi driver, delivering sick people to the hospital in an ambulance car, etc.


  • 侠盗车手3 - Simplified Chinese spelling
  • 俠盜獵車手3 - Traditional Chinese spelling

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Credits (PlayStation 2 version)

213 People (185 developers, 28 thanks) · View all



Average score: 92% (based on 102 ratings)


Average score: 3.7 out of 5 (based on 442 ratings with 27 reviews)


The Good

The Bad

The Bottom Line

PlayStation 2 · by T DAW · 2023

Groundbreaking in 2001, dated in 2005

The Good
Okay kids, set the wayback machine for late 2001.

A somewhat nascent PS2 had been available in the United States for about a year, and while some major titles had been released already (Final Fantasy X, for example) the platform had yet to see a truly revolutionary title.

Enter Grand Theft Auto 3.

Your nameless character, wandered the tough streets of Liberty City, taking jobs from various underworld bosses, all the while trying to take out the partner who (metaphorically) stabs you in the back at the beginning of the game.

Those of us who had played the PS1 religiously saw this one coming from a mile away. Back in the summer of 1999 there were three games constantly spinning in the PSs of the world, Grand Theft Auto 2, Driver, and Syphon Filter. Grand Theft Auto 3 was a combination of the best features of all three of these, inside of a car, the game was basically an update of Driver; your action on foot was almost identical to that of Syphon Filter; finally, the whole thing was tied together by the open ended, kill-em-all, gangster/gangsta style of Grand Theft Auto 2.

It was a veritable wet dream for PS1 fanatics; and a defining moment for the PS2 platform.

Part of the success of this game is due to the fact that back in 2001, open ended (or “sandbox”) games were virtually unheard of; they just were not as popular or technologically feasible as more linear games. This game changed all that, not only was the mission structure non-linear, but the missions themselves almost without exception, totally non-linear. Instead of the player completing a mission by following pre-determined paths or utilizing a highly rare resource at the exact moment the programmer desired, the player could play through a mission HIS way.

This carried over to the rest of the game; you could play through the mission structure in the order you preferred, using whatever tools you happened to find.

It was new, it was fresh, and everyone ate it up. The success of GTA 3 made “sandbox” games an industry standard, and a slew of them followed, for every type of platform and every type of situation; but it all started with GTA 3.

The Bad
Okay, back in 2001, when this game was first released, the only real complaints that one could have about this game were because of the 1) shoddy camera system and 2) the shoddy targeting system. Even 4 years ago these systems were hard to use/control and glitchy.

Circa 2005, however, there are a whole host of complaints one could make about this game.

Graphics: This game looks pretty ugly by modern standards, the graphics are only slightly better than what one could expect from a PS1. Textures, resolution, etc. all bite the big one, and just can not compete up with anything released in the last 2 years.

Sounds/Music: Unlike modern games or any of the later GTA games, the music in this game is generally pretty awful. Most of the tunes in this game were created in-house at Rockstar/DMA and do reach the standards set by the soundtracks of Vice City or San Andreas.

Control: As mentioned above, the camera and targeting control in this game was bad back in 2001, it is HORRIBLE by today’s standards. You will constantly fight against these systems during this game.

Story: This game has a very thin storyline, nowhere near as developed as later GTA games. I believe that DMA purposely created the game this way to accentuate the open-endedness of the gameplay, but it is lacking nonetheless.

Gameplay: This is the one category where GTA 3 matches up with later games. You can do basically whatever you want, to whomever you want, wherever you want. As long as you don’t want to fly a helicopter, the gameplay is almost identical to Vice City.

The Bottom Line
This game was an instant classic when released. It has become a bit dated in the following years as newer games have refined and revamped it's basic formula.

PlayStation 2 · by Edward Beezy (27) · 2005

this is the greatest game ever accept no substitutes EVER !!!!!!!

The Good
the entire game was and is great i bought the game last november 2001. and i am still playing it to this day no other game has been as addictive to me like this one has the controls and game play are great simple and after about 5 or 10 minutes of cruising around town youll be at home with the controls. i was kind of put off before i played it because i thought the other 2 sequels were and are cr*p but the look it had made me buy it and im glad i did .

the size of the areas you can explore in each part of the city is amazing (area 1) portland (area 2) staunton island (area 3) shoreside vale. the best car to drive is the banshee (dodge viper) its fast and has great handling. it can be found in area 1 at the car show room and in area 2 at the car park of kenji`s casino and at the car park of the building where you work for the japanese chick next to the water and in area three at the car park on the way down the snake like road to your hide out in shoreside vale(after you cross the bridge in the third area)or if you see one in the street (tax it - steal it).

the missions are fun and some of them are a challenge but if you keep at it youll figure out a way to get past it. missions range from simple ones like picking someone up and droping them off to drive by shootings to assassinations basically everything all those mafia guys do and other criminals do its fun and addictive. i have been playing this game since nov 2001 when it was released and i am still playing it today you dont know the meaning of the word addiction till you play this game . the story has a kind of moovy feel to it it draws you in to it and makes you feel as if you are in a hollywood moovy which is partly to blame for it being so addictive. i could go on and on about this game but i will not this is the best game ever and its the best game on the ps2 better looking than it`s pc version. i hope the next one gta-vice city is as good as this little beauty.

The Bad
the radio stations were and are cr*p not one decent station. they should have included a metal/rock station after all that is what you call driving music it gets you all worked up and ready to kick rearend. and also makes you want to drive faster which in this game is exactly what you need.

the company are called - rockstar - so why did they not put a station on that was rock ?.

thank christ they gave you an option to turn the crp off if you did not like it . it`s because they gave you this option that the game is still great . if you never had this option then i would not have it in my collection.

The Bottom Line*
if you are looking for a decent game i.e not rpg or strategy or platform or sports then this is for you . if you like a game that involves cars then look no further because this is one hell of a good game the handling of the cars is good unless you tax a bus or a bucket lorry(trash collector) :). and you be kicking arse in no time at all controls are easy to get the hang of .

PlayStation 2 · by Iced Earth (9) · 2002

[ View all 27 player reviews ]


Subject By Date
Pirates / unofficial cover PavelDAS (1390) Nov 22nd, 2021
Terror attack date wrong in trivia. CheerioDM (32) May 7th, 2014
Holy crap! What just happened? Beep (197) Nov 25th, 2010


1001 Video Games

Grand Theft Auto III appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Australian release

Grand Theft Auto III has been banned in Australia due to displays of graphic acts of violence. Rockstar/Take-Two are working in conjunction with the Office of Film and Literature Classification in Australia to release a revised version of the game in January 2002. A few copies of the game were sold there before the ban was put in place.

After lengthy talks with the Office of Film and Literature Classification, DMA removed certain sexual content and the final version has been approved. However, many people are asking for an R18+ rating to be added to the games rating system (which currently only goes up to MA15+, meaning restricted to over 15) so this will not happen again.

Cancelled port

A 2D driving-based version was in the works for a release for the GameBoy Advance, but it was ultimately cancelled.

Controversy in Japan

Shortly after several Japanese prefectures planned to legally ban GTA III's sale to minors, a 17-year-old Japanese fan of the game stabbed his parents. The coincidence of these two events sparked an effort in the Japanese game industry to work on an ESRB/PEGI-style rating system.

Cut content

  • A multiplayer mode was planned for the PC version, but later cut.
  • Originally, the player had to solve missions for a homeless man named Darkel. There are many rumours about him being a terrorist with missions like blowing up a bus full of children or flying the dodo into a building (sometimes connected to Donald Love's sudden disappearance). Because of the last bit, it is rumored that the character was removed shortly before release because of the terror attacks of 11 September, 2001. The official line is that the mission rumors are baseless, the character was cut because he didn't fit into the game and his missions were sub-par, and he was removed several months before release.

Flashback radio

The playlist for Flashback radio is:

Rush Rush - Deborah Harry
Shake It Up - Elizabeth Daily
Scarface (Push It To The Limit) - Paul Engemann
She's On Fire - Amy Holland
I'm Hot Tonight - Elizabeth Daily

If it sounds familiar, that's because all five songs come from the 1983 movie Scarface.

German release

The German PC version is censored - no blood or gore is to be seen. Also missing are the rampage missions, the possibility to hurt people with melee weapons when they lie on the ground and money left behind by killed people.


The silent main character formerly known as "Fido" (among various other aliases) is actually named Claude. This is discovered if you listen carefully during one of the phone calls in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. It is rumored that Claude is the same Claude as Claude Speed, from GTA2.

Radio stations

A number of the fake radio advertisements that fill the game's wonderful made up radio stations have real websites registered by the designers.

For example, will take you to a small website where you can play with Pogo and listen to all the 'reviews' of his new 'game'.


In one mission for Asuka Kasen you have to stop an undercover cop named Tanner. Tanner is also the name of the main character in the Driver games, where he is an undercover cop.

References to the game

In August 2006, Coca Cola launched a new TV commercial inspired by the scenery and gameplay of GTA III. At first, you seem to witness car chases, robbery and theft, but the tables are turned and the main character pays for his products, helps old ladies, and extinguishes fire. The link to the video can be found in the related links section.


  • The Playstation 2 version of Grand Theft Auto III has sold over seven million copies, and is now known as the highest selling game ever for the console. Sony has signed a deal with Rockstar making sure all future GTA games are PS2 exclusive until 2004.
  • Grand Theft Auto III is listed by Guinness World Records as the first full sandbox action-adventure and the biggest selling game of 2001.


  • If you look hard around the city, you'll find little notes pasted on walls or signs like the infamous 'You weren't supposed to be here you know' sign on the wall, or the secret website links.
  • In Staunton Island, look for the internet cafe, and go inside. Check out what's on the computers.


It is impossible to enter the stadium via normal means. Although by using several cheats you can get the tank to fly over the stadium.

If you look at the layout of the seats within the stadium the different colours spell out "Cocks"

Windows version

The PC version allows players to use their own MP3 files for ingame music. You can copy the files to a directory in the game directory, the game will then add the radio station "PLAYER'S MP3" which will be automatically used in random cars (or can be selected with the change radio button).


  • 4Players
    • 2001 - Game of the Year
    • 2001 - Action Game of the Year
  • Computer Games Magazine
    • April 2003 (Issue #225) – Game of the Year (Editors' Choice)
    • April 2003 (Issue #225) – Game of the Year (Readers' Choice)
    • April 2003 (Issue #225) – Funniest Game of the Year
    • March 2003 (Nr. 148) - #6 in the "10 Best Games of 2002" list
  • Computer Gaming World
    • April 2003 (No. 225) - Game of the Year 2002
  • EGM
    • February 2006 (Issue #200) - #9 on the "Greatest Games of Their Time" list
  • Electronic Gaming Monthly
    • April 2002 - Game of the Year (Readier's Voting)
  • Game Developer's Choice Awards
    • 2002 - Game of the Year
    • 2002 - Excellence in Game Design Award
  • Game Informer Magazine
    • October 2004 (Issue #138) - One of the "Top 25 Most Influential Games of All Time"
  • GamePro (Germany)
    • 2011 - #3 Handheld Game of the Year (Readers' Vote)
  • GameSpy
    • 2001 – Game of the Year
    • 2001 – PS2 Game of the Year
    • 2001 – Most Offensive Game of the Year
    • 2001 – Best Use of Radio of the Year
    • 2002 – PC Action Game of the Year
  • GameStar (Germany)
    • Issue 01/2007 - One of the "Ten Most Influential PC-Games". It is the first action game that adopted free worlds from Role Playing Games. Grand Theft Auto III stands for the connection between game and pop culture and is the role model for a new kind of games where not only the player reacts to the world but the world also reacts to the player's actions.
  • PC Gamer
    • April 2005 - #12 in the "50 Best Games of All Time" list
  • Retro Gamer
    • September 2004 (Issue #8) – #95 Best Game Of All Time (Readers' Vote)

Information also contributed by Archagon, Big John WV, Bob Shand, Entorphane, jaXen, Kartanym, Macintrash, MegaMegaMan, PCGamer77, phlux, Ray Soderlund, Sciere and Zack Green

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Syed GJ.

PlayStation 4 added by Flapco. PlayStation 3 added by Sciere. iPhone, Android, Macintosh, iPad added by Kabushi. Windows added by phlux.

Additional contributors: nullnullnull, Archagon, Unicorn Lynx, JL3001, phlux, Apogee IV, tarmo888, Sciere, Alaka, Yoshy, formercontrib, Paulus18950, Patrick Bregger, Victor Vance, FatherJack.

Game added November 5th, 2001. Last modified October 15th, 2023.