Boxart is a unique trait introduced by Rockstar, in which, it contains important and/or significant features of the game which are displayed in a traditional "box" style in later installments.
The first Grand Theft Auto games varied between boxart style, for example, no correlation between features in them was present; they all differed in many ways, with the only significant shared feature been the type of font/text used.
The feature was first revamped in Grand Theft Auto III's boxart, which was also the first game to feature the font "Pricedown" to title the game on the cover. The font "Pricedown" appeared successful and has been used in all installments ever since.
In the newer forms of boxart is formed by each individual piece of official Rockstar artwork separated by thick black lines, which individually create a netting of boxes, wrapping around the main "Grand Theft Auto" text, centered on the cover.
Each game with boxart have shared some significant features between them; for example, almost all games contain a helicopter in the top left hand corner, and a car on the bottom row.
Games with Boxart
Grand Theft Auto 1
The first Grand Theft Auto game, GTA 1, features a plainly-altered image with the respective logos centered. The image is made into a panorama. The picture includes a 1970's Dodge Diplomat NYPD car centered at the base of the cover, with New York's Times Square being the main focus. Buildings and cars surround the rest of the cover. "Grand Theft Auto" appears in the center, with a yellow/orange font, along with the original wanted level stars at the sides of the text. Other details are also labelled on the cover.
Grand Theft Auto: London 1961
Completely different to the latter, Grand Theft Auto: London 1961's cover features a red, blue and white color scheme, based around the Flag of the United Kingdom (the main setting of the game). It also features an entirely new logo for the game; "GTA" is focused in the center of circle with an arrow facing east, based around a blue and red color scheme as well. No Rockstar Logos appear on the cover.
Grand Theft Auto: London 1969
Being almost identical the London 1961's cover, Grand Theft Auto: London 1969's cover only adds logos and titles to the cover, as the game is treated as a sequel to the original London 1961.
Grand Theft Auto 2
Grand Theft Auto 2's cover is similar to that of GTA 1's, in which, the image is photo-realistic. This time, the image is mainly focused on the aim of a sniper zoomed in on a New York Taxi, looking down from a high point of view. Several cars and people are located around the area, but are blurred out. A strange arrangement of different-focused squares appears around the edge of the cover. "GTA2" appears in the center, with a ovular wrapping around the curved font. "2" appears in red. GTA 2's cover is the first to contain Rockstar's new yellow logo, with the R and "star" within it.
Grand Theft Auto III
Grand Theft Auto III's boxart was the first game to introduce the new "box" style, which contained game artwork produced by Rockstar, and black lines separating them into smaller images. The game featured the first use of the "Pricedown" font, which was favored by Rockstar, and was continued to be used in later games.
Grand Theft Auto III's boxart goes as followed (from left to right, top to bottom):
- A Maverick (possibly a beta Police Maverick) is printed sideways on a red background, in the top left square.
- Joey Leone's face is centered with a green color scheme in the top center square.
- Misty appears on a red background in the top right square.
- 8-Ball appears faintly in a blue color scheme with Miguel behind him, below the Maverick's square.
- Ray Machowski appears to the right of the word "theft" in another red color scheme.
- A Stallion appears with a white/orange color scheme, below 8-Ball's square.
- Salvatore appears below "auto III", to the right of the Stallion's square, with a blue background.
- An unnamed car appears to the right of Salvatore's square, with another orange color scheme.
- El Burro appears with a green color scheme, below the Stallion's square.
- A Mafia member appears separated into two boxes, with a red background, completing the boxart.
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City's cover revamps the color scheme fitted to the box art. Instead of solid two-tone colors (mostly red and black), Vice City adds multiple colors into each of its artwork.
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City's box art goes as follows (from left to right, top to bottom):
- A Maverick firing weaponry appears in the top left square.
- Sonny Forelli appears pulling his glasses from his face, in front of a mansion, in the top center square.
- A character on a red PCJ-600 performing a jump on a dark blue background appears in the top right square.
- One of the twins turning around, holding a martini glass with a pink bikini on appears below the Maverick's square.
- A yellow beta Infernus with a pink building in the background appears to the right of the "theft auto" text.
- Ricardo Diaz with a cigarette in his mouth appears beneath [name of character2]'s square.
- A large square consisting of two cars exploding in mid air appears in the bottom center square.
- Lance holding a pistol across his upper body with sunshades on appears in the bottom left square.
- A Squalo at high speed appears in the bottom left square.
Grand Theft Auto Advance
Grand Theft Auto Advance's cover is a plain grey background, with the Gameboy Advance logos and text on the left side, and the Pricedown font displaying "Grand Theft Auto" in the center.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas's cover brings the return of the original cover style found on Vice City's cover. Yet again, the Pricedown font makes a return.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas's cover goes as follows (from left to right, top to bottom):
- A Police Maverick beaming its police search light within a sunset-orange sky appears in the top left square.
- Carl Johnson with a balaclava on and holding an AK-47 up appears in the top center box.
- Rochell'le holding her glasses whilst looking down appears in the square below the Maverick.
- Carl Johnson on a BMX appears to the left of the "theft" text.
- Close up of The Truth's face appears below Carl on a BMX.
- A close up of some gambling chips on a gambling table appears below Rochell'le's picture.
- A Tram on the streets of San Fierro appears in the box below the "San Andreas" text.
- Cesar Vialpando on the hood of a red Savanna holding a Pistol.
- Three gang members performing a drive-by with Micro-SMGs in possibly a Greenwood, appearing in the bottom left corner.
Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories
Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories' cover bears similar resemblance to the latter games' covers, however, the black line borders are slightly thicker and text is slightly chunkier.
Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories' cover goes as follows (left to right, top to bottom):
- A Maverick (possibly a Police Maverick) in the top left corner.
- Maria Latore holding a gun up beside her head in the top right square.
- An unknown character holding a pistol, wearing a grey suit, situated below the Maverick's square.
- Kazuki Kasen to the right of the "theft auto" text.
- A red Kuruma speeding away from an explosion in the background, beneath the "LIBERTY CITY STORIES" text.
- A close up on Salvatore's face, to the right of the red car.
- A side view of Ray Machowski's face, where he holds a Pistol up, located below the red car.
- A character on possibly a green Freeway located in the bottom right square.
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories' cover still keeps the original concept of artwork in boxes, as well as the original Pricedown font, however, the back outlines are now white, and are thicker. The box case is also relatively thinner.
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories' cover goes as follows (left to right, top to bottom):
- Once again, a Maverick is found airborne in the top left square, with a character sat on the side armed with a rifle.
- A biker on an Angel is to the right of the Maverick.
- Close up on Umberto Robina's face, beneath the Maverick picture.
- Diego Mendez beneath the character on a motorcycle.
- A female character leaning against an Infernus is located below Diego Mendez.
- Mystique in a red bikini is located in the bottom right square.
- A Reefer with several characters aboard out at sea appears in the bottom left square.
Grand Theft Auto IV
Keeping the previous games' trait, the Grand Theft Auto IV boxart also uses significant game elements, vehicles and characters to promote the game.
Grand Theft Auto IV's box art goes as follows (from left to right, top to bottom):
- An orange and white Maverick appears in the top left square.
- Niko Bellic's face appears in the top central square.
- A character on a red and black NRG-900 is seen passing besides a subway train.
- Lola Del Rio appears, licking a lolipop, below the Maverick's square.
- Niko Bellic looking down the sights of a Sniper Rifle, stood on a rooftop, appears besides the word "theft", below the biker's square.
- Mikhail Faustin appears holding a cell phone to his ear, armed with a Pistol, appears below Lola's square.
- A Skycar passing besides the suspension tower of Algonquin Bridge appears under "auto IV".
- Little Jacob appears holding a pistol upwards, besides his face, appears next to two boxes.
- A Shafter being pursued by an LCPD Police Cruiser appears in the bottom left rectangle.
Episodes from Liberty City
Grand Theft Auto V
Grand Theft Auto V's boxart is the most similar boxart to IV's, in which, the positioning, color schemes and choice of location is mostly replicated.
Grand Theft Auto V's boxart goes as follows (from left to right, top to bottom):
- A Buzzard Attack Chopper flying in Downtown Los Santos is seen firing its weaponry during Three's Company, in the top left square.
- Michael equipped with a gas mask is stood outside the Blaine County Savings Bank, presumably during The Paleto Score, to the right of the Buzzard's square.
- Franklin on a Sanchez, holding a Micro-SMG above him whilst riding down the LS River during The Jewel Store Job, to the right of Franklin outside the bank's square.
- [name of character1] holding up her cell phone on the Vespucci Beach, appearing below the Buzzard's square.
- Trevor holding up a Sniper Rifle, with the Vinewood Sign in the background, on the right hand side.
- Chop growling with a chain lead attached to him, presumably in Grove Street, with a purple background, in the bottom left rectangle.
- Michael on a Seashark near the Del Perro Pier, below the "auto V" text.
- Franklin holding a Pistol to his face, in the bottom center square.
- A 9F being pursued by an LSPD Police Cruiser on Vinewood Boulevard, in the bottom right square.
Grand Theft Auto Online
Unlike other Grand Theft Auto games, Grand Theft Auto Online's cover is landscape, since the cover isn't designed to fit on a standard DVD box case (since the game wasn't released on Disk). Because of this, GTA Online's cover has a larger amount of space for more artwork.
Grand Theft Auto Online's cover goes as follows (left to right, top to bottom):
- Two P-996 LAZER's dogfighting (top left).
- A player holding up a store clerk (top center).
- A female player about to hit a male player carrying a rifle over the head with a Baseball Bat (top right).
- A player looking down the sights of a Carbine Rifle beside a Rumpo. (middle left).
- A player parachuting (to left of "GTA Online" text).
- A player zooming a sniper rifle sight on another player shooting from behind a crate (to right of "GTA Online" text).
- Two players racing on Blazers (middle right).
- Several players wearing balaclavas drive-by shooting from a Cavalcade (bottom left).
- Two players in Jetmaxs (bottom center).
- A player on a motorcycle ride-by shooting a player in a Coquette (bottom right).
- All GTA games (except GTA 1, GTA 2 and GTA London) had the "Grand Theft Auto" text in Pricedown font, and all had the numbers in Roman Numerals (excluding named-games).
- The GTA Online artwork featuring players wearing balaclavas shooting from a Cavalcade is like a reference to the GTA San Andreas artwork, where several characters drive-by shoot from a car in the same way.
- Almost all Grand Theft Auto game boxarts feature a helicopter in the top left corner.