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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 recovers....in 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.


Grand Theft Auto III Windows Walking the streets, enjoying the newfound freedom.
Grand Theft Auto III Windows I love these lonely nights at the harbour, just standing here in the night, watching, thinking...
Grand Theft Auto III Windows Dawn of the dead thef.
Grand Theft Auto III Windows On the run, armed with my trusty baseball bat (okay, I admit it: I wanted to steal that jeep but he just drove past me :)

Promo Images

Grand Theft Auto III Logo
Grand Theft Auto III Screenshot
Grand Theft Auto III Screenshot
Grand Theft Auto III Screenshot


Alternate Titles

  • "ไฟ ็›œ็ต่ปŠๆ‰‹3" -- Traditional Chinese spelling
  • "ไพ ็›—่ฝฆๆ‰‹3" -- Simplified Chinese spelling
  • "GTA: Liberty City" -- Informal name
  • "GTA III" -- German / Finnish PS2 title
  • "GTA 3" -- Informal title
  • "GTA3" -- Informal title
  • "Grand Theft Auto III: 10 Year Anniversary" -- iPhone / iPad / Android title

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

It may be the bad boy of the videogaming world, but it's also a well-deserved classic. Windows Zovni (10623)
The best version of one of the most addictive games in history. Windows Sycada (191)
Guns, violence, harsh language and ice cream trucks. What more could you want? Windows Kartanym (12705)
A realistic, revolutionary title that gets passed off a mindless violence PlayStation 2 Matt Neuteboom (989)
Computer asks man: "Is that what you want?" Man replies "Hell yes!" Windows The Cheshire (6)
I'll mess you the heck up..... and laugh for days about it! Windows Eduardo Gabrieloff (34)
An excellent free-form game with some flaws. Windows Archagon (113)
A game beyond all my expectations - a definitive must-play! Windows phlux (4331)
Ahh...to live in a world without sin and restrictions...Oh yeah! Windows Indra was here (20839)
Bringing Crime and Action Game-Play to a Whole New Level: No Levels! Windows Dwango (300)

Critic Reviews

Adrenaline Vault, The (AVault) PlayStation 2 Nov 08, 2001 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars 100
GamesFirst! PlayStation 2 Nov 25, 2001 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars 100
Entertainmentopia PlayStation 2 Jun 22, 2002 A 100
Svenska PC Gamer Windows Jul, 2002 95 out of 100 95
Gamers' Temple, The PlayStation 2 2001 95 out of 100 95
Computer and Video Games (CVG) PlayStation 2 Nov 22, 2001 9 out of 10 90
Gameplanet PlayStation 2 Dec 04, 2001 4.5 out of 5 90
Gamekult PlayStation 2 Oct 31, 2001 9 out of 10 90
PC Action (Germany) Windows Jun, 2002 89 out of 100 89
Jeux Vidéo Magazine iPad Feb, 2012 17 out of 20 85


Topic # Posts Last Post
Pirates / unofficial cover 2 Plok (96973)
Nov 22, 2021
Terror attack date wrong in trivia. 2 Alaka (94128)
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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, www.pogothemonkey.com 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) โ€“ Game of the Year (Editors' Choice)
    • April 2003 (Issue #225) โ€“ Game of the Year (Readers' Choice)
    • April 2003 (Issue #225) โ€“ 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 โ€“ Game of the Year
    • 2001 โ€“ PS2 Game of the Year
    • 2001 โ€“ Most Offensive Game of the Year
    • 2001 โ€“ Best Use of Radio of the Year
    • 2002 โ€“ 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) โ€“ #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

Related Web Sites

Contributed to by Flapco (45796), Sciere (831493), Kabushi (257791), Syed GJ (1577) and phlux (4331)