Grand Theft Auto III

aka: GTA 3, GTA III, GTA3, GTA: Liberty City, Grand Theft Auto III: 10 Year Anniversary
PlayStation 2 Specs [ all ]
(prices updated 9/20 2:59 PM )

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 437 ratings with 27 reviews)

Guns, violence, harsh language and ice cream trucks. What more could you want?

The Good
As an Australian who missed out on the original GTA3 on PS2 before it was replaced with a cut-up version, the fact that the PC version has every little detail as it was originally intended is a big bonus.

Anyway, the game itself is a real blast. Although at first I was a little worried that the transition to 3D might hurt the series, after a few hours blasting my way through the biggest virtual city I've played in, those doubts were thrown out the window, shot to pieces, left on the road and run over by an incoming ice cream truck.

Gameplay itself is varied, very varied. There's so much to do in the city, it's crazy. There are, of course, objectives to be met and thankfully DMA and Rockstar have allowed for some form of open ended adventures since you can complete the objectives to open new areas and items, or just blast around the place ignoring everyone and everything.

Nothing tops grabbing a rocket launcher and blasting everything in the world the to bits. Only Red Faction comes close to creating an environment that can be totally destroyed with pleasure beaming on the players face.

The Bad
There are some slight problems with the graphics (only slight, nothing really to worry about) and you need a fairly strong computer to get the most out of it.

Oh, and if you don't like Ice Cream trucks, stay well away.

The Bottom Line
I'm sure it will get a fair share of "Kids should not play this game, it is a disgrace". What a minority of people don't understand is that this game was never built with kids in mind, therefore developers and publishers should not be put to shame over their ideas, but parents who allow younger children to play it. Not that I want to fight over this.

GTA3 is a sign that the older generation of gamers (from the 20-30 onwards range) don't want to be left out in the cold. DMA and Rockstar should be proud of this achievement. I certainly am.

Now if you will excuse me, I have an Ice Cream truck waiting for me.

Windows · by Kartanym (12382) · 2006

Bringing Crime and Action Game-Play to a Whole New Level: No Levels!

The Good
GTA3 brings a strong and irreverent sense of humor, making fun of the stereotypes people have of gangs and city life. Each neighborhood lampoons neighborhoods straight out of various gang movies such as the Godfather, Colors, and Do the Right Thing. The people walking along the street throw out humorous epithets. And the cut scenes can be a riot, standing the stereotypes on their head.

And the Radio… this is the best produced game sound ever. It fits perfectly in the game, sounding just like real radio, yet with an ironic twist. Even today, I listen to my radio in the car and realize how right on the comedy was. Statements such as “Music you were tired of when they were hot” and “Calling out to any sane people in Liberty City” still sound familiar and leave a smile on your face. And the music is well done, with the correct variety for each station and none sounding out of place. This game device is one that definitely will be emulated, but never reproduced.

One of the strongest points of GTA3 is the big and alive world of Liberty City. The world draws you in with its gritty cityscapes, adding to the campy feel. The constant Chinese decoration of Chinatown, the upscale feel of Staunton island complete with modern gyms, and the obvious uphill rich living over the hood in Shoreside Vale, all examples of the stylized world you are exploring.

What really brings the game world to life is the background characters. Each neighborhood carefully has placed the crowds with the stereotypical people of the neighborhoods. And they act realistically with some gang members grabbing purses, hookers and pimps having fights, and humorous little comments from each group. It feels like they have their own lives. And it really works when your character, the carjacker, get jacked by a bystander. Now you are a victim of your own kind of crime!

The game-play depend on mixes of two kinds of game-play, driving or third person shooter. But, they really have some creative ways of making the game-play interesting. Some of the games are in the main missions, which advance the story. They have missions such as get to a place in a certain time, guard a van going to an appointed place, snipe some bad guys so a friend won’t die. More like these can come from the phones, which will be pointed to by your “pager.” They mix up the types of missions, and they can be somewhat challenging, but never too difficult.

Then, the city has tons of hidden missions. You can collect packages hidden around the city to improve the weapons you get at the home. Police, taxi, fire trucks, and ambulances each have their own missions you can complete. There are Rampage icons that give you a brief amount of time to kill a certain number of gangsters or destroy a certain number of gangster vehicles. There are the creative “Toyz” missions where you drive an RC car, which will destroy gangster vehicles, and the more you destroy, the higher the score. Really, this is a lot of game-play, enticing you to explore the city and see the detailed areas.

On top of this is the freedom you have to do what you want, creating your own challenges. You can cause your own mayhem. You can rob people or chase down muggers. You can find unique jumps and try various vehicles to see how they jump. You can take the subway across the city or explore the tunnels once they are open. You can steal a boat and float around the city. You can steal a Dodo plane and learn how to fly it (difficult, but fun). You can go on your own rampage and see how dangerous the cops can really be, especially as your wanted level goes up. GTA3 really sets the standard on freedom in an action game and every activity has its own rewards.

If you have the pc edition, you have some nice treats. You can add your own music to the radio and have it as an extra station. I found Shaggy was a good addition to my stations. Also, you can get different skins for you character make a more customized look from the Elvis impersonator you seem to be playing. Finally, the graphics are much improved from its PS2 brother, with cars looking sweet and city blocks having much more detail, though character models are still unimpressive, as I will describe.

The Bad
Even though the game-play is pretty varied, it can be somewhat repetitive as they are mostly variations on the same themes. I went about halfway through the game before I needed to take a break from it. The complete-est in me wanted to get all the mini-missions before moving to the main missions, and that became drudgery before too long. Its better to take advantage of the varied missions and not redo the same ones over too often.

The illusion of the vast city can be easily ruined by the way the game handles it various pieces. Turn one direction and then back again will change the type of people and cars at a certain radius from the player. This is useful when you need new people to shoot at when reaching a mission quota, but rather weird to see. When the game needs to add people to the mix, they can be caught dropping from the air (kind of funny when you see it). Cars you collect and leave as blockades will just suddenly disappear if the world has too many cars. This can be inconvenient when you need to the set up roadblocks or create cover if you’ve got a five star wanted rating.

And despite these tricks to save on processing speed, the graphics still must suffer to make the game work. Character models are extremely blocky, especially the Lego hands everyone has. Many of the characters are so ugly; it’s hard to match them to the nice hand drawn characters in the map.

Another issue is the way missions can be cheated easily. On one mission I need to avoid the police by being chased around and keeping alive. I found I could run into a garage to hide until the timer expired, not the desired point of the mission. And this can be found in many missions where all you need is luck to win. Some races or chases were made obscenely easy when cars would destroy them selves by falling off cliffs or get trapped in ally’s you could navigate but they can’t.

Now, the next big problem is the story. It’s a simple get revenge on the former lover story that has some promise. But much of the time what you are doing does not make much sense. You just get told do this or that and don’t see why you are doing it. Then you start helping out new bosses with no real reason of how or if they are furthering your goals. It does not help that the main character is silent, so his motives are always his own. And it ends suddenly, feeling like they ran out of time and had to end it.

And this is my final gripe. The final area, Shoreside Vale is poorly used. They made a complex place to navigate that seems ripe to create new challenges for the game-play, and then they never really use it. Sure, you get to go there for a few missions, but part of a go all over the city mission. If it weren’t for the rampages and the police missions, there would be no reason to go to Shoreside Vale.

The Bottom Line
GTA3 is a genre breaking action game that really creates a gritty yet over-the-top world to leisurely explore or rigidly complete all tasks. Now, I am somewhat biased, in I discovered GTA when it first came out and loved its game-play and non-conformist view of gaming. Really, they took the game-play from 2d to 3d, but it works so much better.

With a massive amount of things to do, the game keeps you interested. It then sells itself with a live feeling world, full of people and cars that act like you’d see in a real city. And on top of this it goes so over the top that you realize every action is a parody of real life, so you can go about this world with a smile at the wit.

Certainly, it is not perfect, as the game styles are used again and again, the illusion of the world lowers the graphics level and uses cheap tricks to populate it, and there are certain levels if the story missions can. But GTA3 succeeds despite its limitations, and its sense of humor successfully covers for these limitations.

What GTA3 achieves is something RPGs were already doing. It brings to the action table the ideas of moving beyond levels and exploring a world, with action at the core. It proves that action game-play can work within a much larger frame of reference than levels.

Windows · by Dwango (298) · 2005

I'll mess you the heck up..... and laugh for days about it!

The Good
I'll summarize a story. I was being chased by a cop after doing some sort of crime that did not go over well. I decided to turn into an ally instead of continuing on the road. I realize, too late, that I am entering the territory of the Mafia, who I've angered enough that they open fire whenever they see me. There is a goon at the end of the ally, but there is a huge cop car behind me, so I hit the gas. As I approach the goon, he opens fire, but realizing I am not being swayed, begins to dive out of the way. He does not see the wall there. After he hits the wall face-first, he bounces off. Then, as I begin to pass the goon, his head smacks the side of my car, an falls to the ground where he is run over by the cop chasing me. These are the types of stories you will come away with from this game. You are introduced to a living city, which is a bit rare in a computer game. You can go anywhere and do anything, within limits. The game is truely open ended. The graphics are amazing. The sound of amazing. This game is truely amazing, and you can do the things you want to do in real life, but would feel terrible for doing, like pulling the guy out of the car next to you and beating him to death, then running over his body with his own car.

The Bad
The game has high system requirements, though that is easily forgetable once you start playing. I thought the game ended abrubtly. I wished I could do more, find another 100 missions, even random ones. I didn't like that the game was banned in Australia.

The Bottom Line
The best game I've played in ages, and extremely free-form. You can be as evil or nice as you want, kill more or less people than the next guy, and play chase with the cops. This game is everything you'd expect and more. It is what you WANT to play.

Windows · by Eduardo Gabrieloff (23) · 2002

[ View all 27 player reviews ]


Subject By Date
Pirates / unofficial cover PavelDAS (1389) 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. Android, iPhone, iPad, Macintosh added by Kabushi. Windows added by phlux.

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

Game added November 5th, 2001. Last modified September 24th, 2023.