Before the release of any Grand Theft Auto game, there were features that were removed from the final product. These changes range from deleted vehicles and player skins to the removal of entire characters and mission strands.
See Beta Vehicles for information about the vehicles.
Grand Theft Auto 2
- A weapon called the "Microwave" was removed.
- A weapon called the "Instant vehicle bomb" was removed.
- A weapon called the "ElectroBaton" was removed.
Grand Theft Auto III
- Claude's appearance went through many different designs. Some screenshots show a poorly detailed Claude, who looks completely different from the final version. Other pictures show a more final Claude with different hair and a chubbier appearance.
- Curtly was removed from the final version.
- The character of Darkel, a revolutionary domestic terrorist, was cut.
- Tom Novy was meant to make an appearance in the game as himself, but was removed along with his song, "Back to the Streets" for unknown reasons.
- 8-Ball's name was originally going to be Mullan.
- Joey Leone's original surname was Sorvino.
- Salvatore's original name was Frankie Sorvino.
- The Liberty City Triads originally sported black outfits.
- Certain player skins, accessible with cheat codes, were removed.
- Elderly pedestrians with walkers were removed.
- Children were planned for the game.
- Police Officers originally had mustaches.
- Originally the Liberty City Triads had tattoos.
- Some, but not all, of Darkel's missions were subsequently given to other characters. It has been said that Darkel had 13 missions for Claude, though most of them were cut.
- A mission that involved flying the Dodo was cut.
- Originally, when doing Vigilante, Paramedic, or Firefighter missions, the vehicles radio could go out of range - requiring the player to drive closer to the nearest police station/hospital/fire station.
- A mission where you need to bomb a school bus full of children was cut due the violence and gore. (?)
- The Old School Hall changed appearance. It previously looked newer and lit up.
- Punk Noodles was originally just with a small grass park with two statues. The statue model still exists in the game's files.
- In the beta, the airport was once in Staunton Island and there are many roads in Shoreside Vale. Callahan Bridge is also absent.
- The airplane landing at Francis International Airport was destroyable with a Rocket Launcher.
- The ability to blow limbs off of non-playable characters was cut, but only from the PS2 version of the game.[] This can still be activated in the PS2 version via cheat codes.
- You could originally run with the baseball bat.
- Online multiplayer was cut.
- The graphics were originally "cartoonish".[] (possibly due to a rumored cancelled Sega Dreamcast release)
- A very early HUD was very different.
- The radar was light blue instead of yellow.
- The ability to name the character, much like in Grand Theft Auto, was cut. An unused line of text reads "[DEFNAM] Claude----------------------" - interestingly, this confirms that the protagonist’s name is Claude.
- Unused lines of text within the game's text files contain phrases, such as "You're perfectly healthy, get out of here!" and "I'll just fix you up". These lines of text seem to imply that the game's hospitals were, originally, accessible/usable.
- The "Busted!" text and target arrows were originally red instead of blue.
- There was also a bus company named Jelly Tours.
- The song "Back to the Streets", was deleted out of the track with no explanation.
- Grand Theft Auto III was originally going to be released for the Dreamcast, which might explain the cartoonish graphics from early screenshots.
- The Baseball Bat was originally red and yellow.
- The Rocket Launcher's original scope looked alot like the one of sniper rifle.
Some of these changes are thought to have been as a result of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, although others were made as well before that time.
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
- A character called Mr. Moffat was removed from the game.
- Tommy Vercetti wore a blue Hawaian shirt. 
- Diaz's original name was supposedly Fernando Diaz.
- Pastor Richards was scheduled to give protagonist Tommy Vercetti a mission.
- BJ Smith was originally named BJ Jones.
- It is believed by some fans that trash collecting missions based on the Paramedic missions were in the beta.
- According to some screenshots, there was no Leaf Links in the beta
- Fort Baxter Air Base originally included an air traffic control tower and a runway. The runway is totally absent, but the tower can still be seen in the distance from Vice Beach.
- There was no stadium in the beta.
- The northeast part of the beach didn't exist.
- Vice Port has a waterway and ships are absent.
- There are no shacks in the sea.
- Some roads didn't exist in the beta version.
- There were no rocks and even the lighthouse was absent.
- There were bus shelters around the city. The bus shelter model, bustopm.dff, is still inside Vice City's file. 
- The long road from the police station going to the Ammunation is absent in the beta map.
- The Deli across from the Little Havana Police station had it's large Exploder billboard replaced with a different, smaller one.
- A Grenade Launcher was cut.
- The beta MP5 looked shorter and very different, it can be seen in the intro of GTA Vice City
- The PSG-1 didn't have a silencer in the beta.
- There is a model and textures for an AK-47 in the game files. However, it has never appeared in any of the screen shots or trailers for the game. What some fans claim to be an AK-47 in one of the trailers, is actually the Ruger with its brown texture from the PS2 version of the game.
- There was a Tazer, a Nailgun and Landmines in the beta version, textures exist in the game files.
- The shotgun from GTA III was originally in the game.
- Shown on a poster featured in the flash version of the official website, there was a silenced Ingram.
- The M4 had a longer barrel and a different aim in the beta.
- There was originally a Steyr Aug in the beta version, files of it exist in the PS2 Version.
- The ability to manage fuel in the car was cut
- There were many phone conversations between Tommy and Mercedes Cortez. 
- There were many lines cut from characters such as Kent Paul, Umberto Robina, Mercedes Cortez, Mr. Moffat and BJ Smith in Sunshine Autos. []
- Tires were able to be slashed and recorded into the stats. 
- There was going to be an additional outfit called "MC Tommy," but it was taken out. It was originally a brown biker jacket that could be found in Howlin' Petes Biker Emporium
- The Haitian gangster who wears the blue shirt used to have a picture on the shirt instead of the word "Relax". 
- There was once a blond haired prostitute with pigtails and a red skirt. She was supposed to appear around the streets of the downtown area, and dance in the Malibu Club as shown in several trailers.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
Out of all the Grand Theft Auto games, San Andreas may have had the most changes before release. For the first and only time in the series, there were animals in the game, the player was able to have uncensored sex, drink, and do drugs. There were many interiors that were left unused, though many remain in the game files. There were a considerable amount of missions cut, as well as numerous weapons, vehicles and character models.
- Characters including Officer Carver, Larry and Poncho were removed.
- Both Sweet and Big Smoke had their appearances changed. Sweet was originally dressed in black and wore a black beanie, Big Smoke wore a white jersey and did not wear a hat, exposing his shaved head.
- Kendl Johnson's facial model and clothing were altered.
- Gang members looked different and wore different clothing.
- Each city had its own motorcycle cop model, whereas in the final release the same model is used for all cities (The beta cop models can still be found on the game´s files)
- There are many deleted missions which include The Truth is Out There and Impounded, or missions with different objectives which include Doberman, Photo Opportunity and Beat Down on B Dup.
- During the mission Saint Mark's Bistro, CJ had communication with Francis International air traffic control.
- Fish in a Barrel was supposedly an actual mission instead of a mere cutscene.
- In Sweet's Girl, originally Sweet did not have a gun, so CJ escorted him out.
- In Photo Opportunity, unused text implies that CJ hijacked and used a helicopter.
- There was going to be a mission involving a search for Big Smoke.
- There was going to be different a race in Los Santos Stadium.
- According to cut text, San Andreas was going to have a mission pack.
- The Pizza Boy side-mission was removed.
- The Top Fun mini game from Vice City was supposedly to return but its was removed for unknown reasons.
- Originally, if Carl Johnson killed a pedestrian, a news van would arrive and the crew would report on the event.
- If Carl crashed into a lamp post a mechanic would arrive to fix it. If the player killed the mechanic the lamp post would remain broken for a time, even if the player left the immediate area.
- The Mulholland Safehouse seemed to have a full interior that can be seen from the outside. The change on final version causes a glitch which allows the player to go through the wall.
- Donut shops such as Rusty Brown's Ring Donuts were places Carl Johnson could eat.
- San Fierro in the beta had very few docks and more parks. The beta map of San Fierro was very detailed and can be seen in Driving School.
- The construction yard near the hospital in Downtown Los Santos had a crane.
- The Easter Naval Base had a different outline, it had a dock and the ship is missing.
- San Andreas was much bigger and had several different land masses, such as a larger San Fierro (which resembled San Francisco more closely), A full beta map of San Andreas can be found on a wall in the Lil' Probe'Inn.
- Las Venturas had a different name by the initials "LG". In early screen shots of Las Venturas, Police Cars had the initials "LG" printed on their doors. One can only assume what "LG" stood for.
- Santa Flora Medical Center had 2 helipads on its roof. These pads were most likely meant for the Maverick and Raindance that spawn there in the alpha. Oddly enough, these helipads were absent in the alpha, so the choppers simply spawned on the roof.
- The Clown's Pocket Casino was originally called The Ringmaster, its original name can still be seen on the paper map included inside the game box.
- Hardware Stores was originally included in-games, and you can buy tools (like in Vice City).
- Pharmacies from Vice City was originally included in-games were you can buy health and adrenaline.
- The Skateboard was cut from the final game (its icon is still on the disk, and it can still be used but only as a weapon).
- Strategy guides and other prints speak of a Gun Cane available alongside the Cane. The Gun Cane does not appear anywhere in the game.
- The Parachute was originally smaller and blue (it can be seen in the demonstration video in Flight School showing how to control parachute).
- Accorded to some early preview of the games, 150 weapons where originally included in-game.
- A another rocket-launcher called "M47 dragon" was cut, the files of exist can be found in the PS2 version only.
- A sniper rifle named "M82" was cut.
- The grenade launcher was cut again.
- Two machine guns named "M249 SAW" and "M60" was cut, the files of exist can be found in the PS2 version only.
- The Micro-SMG was removed, the weapons can be seen in early screenshot of the games.
- Animals that would roam the rural areas were cut. (Their models are still available in the game's files, albeit without AI present).
- Originally, there were over 300 gang territories to be taken over all over the map.
- The ability to create and run your own casino was taken out after the alpha version.
- Usable car-washes, similar to those in GTA IV , were cut.
- The ability to ride the Trolleys in San Fierro was cut.
- Early magazine previews showed that cops would hold on a vehicle's bumper if the player tried to speed away.
- The mobster who Carl kills in Saint Mark's was originally going to be called Marco Forelli but due to deleted audio, his name was never mentioned in the final version.
- The Grove Street Families were originally going to be called The Orange Grove Families.
- Gangster would walk into accessible places like safehouses, stores, etc.
- Pool tables were originally going to be colored green instead of blue.
- The motor bikers had a different design.
- Carl Johnson would be able to use drugs, which would make the camera wobble around making it more difficult to control CJ.
- The ability to drink beer was cut from the alpha version
- Through the hidden interiors universe unused Brothels can be found, these were most likely to be placed on top of Strip Clubs.
- Pre-release magazine articles showed that stealing cars was to be much more difficult. In early screen shots, car jacking was shown to involve smashing the car's window and then hot wiring it. This was all removed, possibly due to the limitations posed by the PS2. A similar system is present in GTAIV.
- The ability to rob stores (like in GTA: Vice City) such as 24/7 was removed.
Grand Theft Auto Advance
- The Barrel was cut from the final version.
Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories
- The Liberty News cut-scenes were cut.
- Toni's casual clothes were a purple shirt with a green vest.
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories
- Bryan Forbes originally had a mustache
- According to screen-shots, there was going to be a mission where Bryan and Vic were attacked by the Mendez Cartel.
- In the mission, Last Stand, there was an additional man that Vic had to kill other than Martinez and Diego Mendez. It is widely believed that the third man is Armando Mendez.
- The Casual clothes were originally yellow.
- Tattoo Parlors, similar of those in San Andreas, were cut.
- The Army Fatigues originally had USMC on the shirt, suggesting that Vic would join the Marines instead of the army.
- The Fort Baxter Air Base said "Sempter Fi" on one of the building.
Grand Theft Auto IV
- The mission involving killing lawyer Tom Goldberg was originally called Small Fish in Big Pond.
- Missions American Dad, Jacob's Ladder, American Dream and I and High were cut.
- In the Deconstruction For Beginners, Niko was used to destroy some warehouses.
- Originally, It's Your Call was set at night.
- There were originally female police officers.
- A mobster, Raymond Alberga, was deleted from the final version.
- Little Jacob originally did not wear glasses.
- Michelle had a different looking face.
- Playboy X used to have a plain maroon hoodie.
- U.L. Paper had a different voice.
- Real Badman didn't wear a hat.
- Some areas named Anger Bay, Norfolk, Jefferson Heights, Acter Bay, Richmond , Frogtown, Washington Heights were cut. Two areas called Hedgebury and Goatherd can be seen on roadsigns on the Broker-Dukes Expressway. It is likely that they are two more cut neighborhoods, or they could be beta names of the neighborhoods that are where Hedgebury and Goatherd supposedly lead to (Firefly Projects for Goatherd, and Outlook for Hedgebury).
- The setting of the game was originally going to be Liberty State, rather than just Liberty City, and it would have included countryside surrounding Liberty City, mountains based on the Adirondacks and Catskills , and possibly The Caraways.
- A street called Liberation St was either cut or renamed.
- A street called 128th St was either cut or renamed
- Fingerless gloves were probably available during game play. Pre-release screen-shots and videos of the PC version also show Niko with fingerless gloves but were still not available in the game. They still however can be found in the game files.
- Binco was going to be the first clothing store. It is replaced by the Russian Shop, while ZIP has become Modo.
- Beta weapons include a Silenced 9mm, Pool Cue, and Revolver.
- In an early preview, Little Jacob would sell a rocket launcher to Niko. It was originally attached to the underside of his car.
- As mentioned in early previews or heard in trailers there were several songs that were removed from the final version:
- Burn it all Down - VHS or Beta
- Downtown Swinger - MOP
- Cocaine - Humble Pie
- Hollaback Girl - Gwen Stefani
- How About Some Hardcore - MOP
- Get Up, Stand Up - Bob Marley & The Wailers
- Restless - UNKLE (feat. Josh Homme)
- They Say Vision - Res
- Junior Kirkstart - The Go! Team
- Shit it Real - Fat Joe
- Sucker M.C.s - Run-D.M.C.
- Tuff Gong Radio was called Babylon
- The first removed haircut design for Niko was a cut that seemed to resemble helmet-hair.
- The second removed haircut design for Niko was a buzz cut.
- The Well Stacked Pizza Co. was originally meant to return but removed before release. Outside Pizza This, the employees are still seen sporting the logo and some with "Well Stacked Pizza Co." on the back of their shirts. This may also indicate that this once once the original location for one of the stores.
- Pedestrians were to carry planks. A model is still present in the game files.
- According to early in-game previews, a city bus service was available for Niko to use, with a bus schedule popping up after walking to a bus stop. A bus driver character model is also found in the in-game files. Occasionally, an operating bus with the driver will be seen exiting the runway roads of Francis International Airport, however, if the player attempts to get in, the driver is 'pulled' from the bus.
- According to previews, Niko could climb telephone poles.
- Niko would have been able to get limo rides just like taxi rides.(?)
- According to the model names of Roman's taxi depot, he was originally supposed to do limos. This may have a connection with the limo rides mentioned above.
- Niko would originally bring prostitutes to his home.
- There were seagulls flying around the city, like in GTA San Andreas.
- There were two deleted cheats : the first one gave money to the player, it was probably "729-555-0100" ("729" for "PAY"); the second one made the game advance the time by one hour, probably something like "???-555-8463" ("8463" for "TIME").
- Originally, the bailing out animation involved Niko diving forward, as seen in the second trailer.
- The police helicopter would originally fly very low.
- Cars could explode very differently, and turn on their sides and catch fire in the cabin.
Grand Theft Auto: The Lost and Damned
- Content from the mission Politics was cut.
- A Game Informer preview states Johnny could originally change outfits.
- According to previews, Johnny had the access to date girlfriends.
- A mission called "I Want One of Those" was deleted.
- TAC-700 was cut. However, files of exists in game's files.
- The Lost MC Clubhouse originally had a newer exterior, it had white walls with the door moved more to the right, it was also much smaller which can be noticed in several early pictures.
Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony
- An early interview stated that there would be a random character encounter where a crazy ex-girlfriend of Luis would rig a bomb to his car (possibly Margot).
- Tony wore different glasses
Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars
- The alpha map looked very different.
- ↑ Grand Theft Auto 3 First Impressions - Gamespot.co.uk retrieved from Internet archive
- ↑ 
- ↑ FEN_PLA: Number of players: FEN_TY0: Deathmatch FEN_NCI: NOT CONNECTED TO THE INTERNET in American.gxt
- ↑ Tommy Vercetti
- ↑ Bus Shelter
- ↑ Bus Shelter Mod
- ↑ Page 13 of the Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Manual, "Street Racing".
- ↑ text\american.gxt>MAIN>MOB54_A-MOB59_F
- ↑ text\american.gxt>MAIN>TYRESLA>Tires slashed with a blade
- ↑ Page 5 of the Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Manual, "Population and People".
- ↑ text\american.gxt>CASIN10>CAS11BA>This is private flight CJ101 on approach to Liberty, over.
- ↑ models\txd\LD_RACE.txd>race12
- ↑ Mulholland Safehouse