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Grand Theft Auto III

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"One of the most influential and successful games ever made."
―The New York Times

Grand Theft Auto III Main Theme

Grand Theft Auto III
GTA3 Box Art
DeveloperDMA Design/Rockstar North (PS2, PC)
Rockstar Vienna (Xbox)
PublisherRockstar Games
Release datesPS2
Flag of the United States Flag of Canada 22nd October 2001
Flag of the United Kingdom Flag of the European Union 26th October 2001

Flag of Australia Flag of New Zealand 26th October 2001
Flag of Japan (bordered) 25th September 2003

Flag of the United States Flag of Canada 20th May 2002
Flag of the United Kingdom Flag of the European Union 24th May 2002
Flag of Australia Flag of New Zealand 24th May 2002
Flag of Japan (bordered) 25th September 2003

Flag of the United States Flag of Canada 21st October 2003
Flag of the United Kingdom Flag of the European Union 2nd January 2004
Flag of Australia Flag of New Zealand 2nd January 2004
Flag of Japan (bordered) 29th July 2004 

15th December 2011

15th December 2011

6th December 2015

Platforms PlayStation 2
PlayStation 4
Personal Computer
iOS Devices
Android Devices

BBFC: 18
ELSPA: 18+ (PC only)
OFLC: MA 15+ (originally RC)
OFLC (NZ): R18
USK: 16+
SELL: 16
aDeSe: +18
VET/SFB: 18 (Square)

LocationLiberty City

Grand Theft Auto series
chronology of events

2D Universe

1961London 1961
1969London 1969
1997Grand Theft Auto
2013Grand Theft Auto 2

3D Universe

1984Vice City Stories
1986Vice City
1992San Andreas
1998Liberty City Stories
2001Grand Theft Auto III

HD Universe

2008Grand Theft Auto IV
         – The Lost and Damned
         – The Ballad of Gay Tony
2009Chinatown Wars
2013Grand Theft Auto Online
2013Grand Theft Auto V

Grand Theft Auto III, also known as GTA 3 or GTA III, is the third installment of the Grand Theft Auto series and was released in 2001. The game is the first of the 3D Universe and introduced many new features and increased the fan base of the series. It was originally released on the PlayStation 2, PC, and Xbox.

GTA III is the first foray into true three-dimensional GTA gameplay, with the player taking control of the game via a third-person perspective, viewed from behind and above the player character, as opposed to the Top-Down Perspective in the earlier Grand Theft Auto 1 and Grand Theft Auto 2 games. The transition from top-down to full 3D has been widely regarded as a great maneuver, proven by its phenomenal sales figures.

The changes made for GTA III marked a defining point in the series' graphical representation and control scheme. More recent GTA titles have stuck with the same 3D control and visual scheme, and all other titles of GTA are likely to remain so, albeit improved in visual quality as hardware improves.

The game was met with an outstanding universal critical acclaim, becoming one of the highest rated video games in history.



The protagonist of GTA III, Claude.

From the official site

LIBERTY CITY, USA. The Worst Place in America.

You've been betrayed and left for dead. Now you're taking revenge, unless the city gets you first. Mob bosses need a favor, crooked cops need help and street gangs want you dead. You'll have to rob, steal and kill just to stay out of serious trouble. Anything can happen out here.

At the beginning of the game, a getaway car pulls up at a bank. Three people are escaping after committing a robbery: three men, one of whom is the protagonist (whose name is later revealed to be Claude in GTA San Andreas), another robber, the getaway driver, Miguel and one woman, Catalina. Catalina kills the other robber, injures Claude and takes the money for herself and Miguel and flees with him. Claude soon gets arrested and takes the blame for the robbery, however while crossing the bridge to Portland Island, the police convoy is ambushed by the Colombian Cartel who kidnap the Old Oriental Gentleman and blow up the Callahan Bridge; leaving Portland isolated from the rest of the city. Claude and 8-Ball free themselves while the convoy is ambushed. Claude and 8-Ball escape the bridge and hide out in Portland. 8-Ball introduces Claude to Luigi Goterelli and Claude works for him to prove himself useful. Claude is soon introduced by Luigi to Joey Leone and works for him against the Forelli Family. Joey soon introduces Claude to Toni Cipriani and Claude helps him exact revenge on the Triads. Toni introduces Claude to the Leone's big boss Salvatore Leone who has him help out his wife Maria Latore. Salvatore believes that a bartender named Curly Bob is selling information about the Leone's to the Cartel in exchange for SPANK. Claude then tails Curly Bob to the harbor where he overhears a conversation between Curly Bob and Cartel Leaders Catalina and Miguel.  Claude kills Curly Bob, but Catalina and Miguel escape. Salvatore plans to take revenge on the Cartel by having Claude and 8-Ball blow up a Cartel Ship supplying SPANK. After Claude blows up the ship, Salvatore asks Claude for one last favor, to get rid of a dirty car. Maria warns Claude by pager that the car is a trap and tells him to meet her at the docks. Maria explains that Salvatore didn't trust Claude and wanted to offer him to the Cartel for free. Maria introduces him to the Yakuza (enemies of the Leone's) leader Asuka Kasen and they move to Staunton Island to escape the Leone's, Asuka wants Claude to prove that his ties with Leone's are completely broken by sniping Salvatore as he's leaving Luigi's club which he successfully does. Claude works for Asuka against the Leone's and the police to help the Yakuza. She soon introduces Claude to her brother and waka-gashira Kenji Kasen, along with corrupt cop Ray Machowski. Claude works for Kenji against the Yardies and the Cartel.  Claude also works for Ray to keep his connections to the Yakuza secret from the rest of the police by doing things such as killing his partner Leon McAffrey. Ray soon introduces Claude to billionaire Donald Love and Claude soon begins to do work for Love. First, Claude rescues the Oriental Gentleman from the Cartel, then he starts a war between the Yakuza and the Cartel by whacking Kenji with a Cartel Car. Claude also gets some packages for Love as a plane drops them in the ocean.  Love soon reveals those packages were a decoy, however, and that the real packages were on the plane itself. Claude then heads to the plane hangar only to find the package already taken by the Cartel to Fort Staunton. There, Claude finds the package in possession of none other than Catalina and Miguel.  As they attempt to escape, Claude is able to stop and surprise them with two warning shots. Miguel attempts to negotiate with Claude only to get shot in the back by Catalina, who escapes by jumping into a dumpster. Asuka appears still thinking that the Cartel killed her brother and begins to torture Miguel for information.  Claude leaves to get the packages back to Love. After doing some more work for Love, Claude enters Love's apartment only to find he has disappeared and leaves the building. He then does some work for Asuka against the Cartel in "revenge" for Kenji's death but Claude soon finds Asuka and Miguel both dead with a note from Catalina saying that she has kidnapped Maria and will kill her unless he brings $500,000 to the Cartel Mansion.  Claude brings the money, however it is revealed to be an ambush and Catalina orders her men to kill him while she takes Maria away in a helicopter. Claude escapes the ambush and follows the helicopter to the dam where he rescues Maria.  Catalina reboards the chopper, but Claude shoots it down and kills Catalina. As Claude and Maria leave the dam, Maria complains about her appearance.  She keeps talking until her voice is silenced by a shotgun sound.


Main Article: Liberty City in 3D Universe

The game takes place in Liberty City, which is loosely based on New York City, but also incorporates elements of other American cities. There are different districts in Liberty City. It consists of three islands - Portland Island, Staunton Island, and Shoreside Vale. The three islands are comparatively similar to Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Staten Island, respectively.

Portland Island

This is the old industrial district, consisting largely of workmen in old cars, the Leones, Triads, and Diablos.

The manual's description:

Here you will find the docks, the Red Light District, warehouses, factories, markets, garages as well as some useful suppliers. The area is populated with hookers, pimps, laborers, dockworkers, politicians and general scum. Crime is rife in Portland and it has a long history of Mafia control. But this is being challenged by the Triads. A bloody turf war has been underway for several months. A delightful district with something for everyone.

This is the first area the player will interact with in the game.

Staunton Island

This is the business district. Lots of rich people can be found here, along with their nice cars. The resident gangs are the Yakuza, the Yardies, and Colombian Cartel.

The manual's description:

This is the central business district. This is where all the big business takes place in Liberty City and is dominated by the rich, powerful and corporate. During the day the area is bustling with businessmen doing their 9-5 thing - insider trading, taking bribes and selling their grandmothers for ten bucks. At night it is dark, desolate and very dangerous.

Staunton Island is the second of the three districts the player will see in the game.

Shoreside Vale

This is the suburban area of Liberty City. The wealthy live here, along with the middle-class residents and gangs. The Francis International Airport is also located here. The local gangs are the Southside Hoods and the Colombian Cartel.

The manual's description:

Suburban bliss and tranquility Liberty City style. Home to many of Liberty City's more affluent gangsters, Liberty City's commuter-belt is a patchwork of swimming pools, picket fences, backyards, basketball nets, street gangs and five car garages. It's littered with ostentatious mansions paid for with blood money, protected by high security guards and gates to keep out gangs of bored teenagers looking for something to do to bring some excitement to their middle class existence. The designer dogs and the station wagons give a shallow serenity to suburbia, but don't be fooled. Violence and corruption are at the heart of every home.

This is where the ending of the game takes place.


It could be said that Grand Theft Auto III has the third least amount of influences in the entire GTA series, only having two, which is the movie GoodFellas and the classic TV show The Sopranos as most of the mafia theme in the game was influenced by the both the show and the movie.


Upon release, Grand Theft Auto III was met with near-unanimous critical acclaim. Various critics praised the game for its story, gamplay, and the near unlimited freedom gain to the player; GTA III was touted as revolutionary by several game review websites and publications.

GTA III holds a 97/100 on Metacritic, making it (along with Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3) the highest rated PlayStation 2 game on the website. The game holds a 95% on GameRankings, making it the highest rated PlayStation 2 game on the website, as well the second highest rated game of its year, behind Halo.

IGN heavily praised the game, giving it a 9.6/10, calling it "a massive scale operation that just gets better and better as players dig into it, even though its gets ridiculously difficult at points." Eurogamer gave the game a perfect 10, calling it "A luscious, sprawling epic of a game and one of the most complete experiences I have ever encountered. If this is what I've waited a year to see on my PS2, then I would have waited ten. Magnificent". gave the game an A+, saying "The best game of the year? Maybe the best game ever".

GameSpot gave the game a 9.6/10. stating "While the violent nature of the game will surely turn some people off and kids simply shouldn't be allowed anywhere near it, GTA III is, quite simply, an incredible experience that shouldn't be missed by anyone mature enough to handle it". Game Informer gave it a 9.5/10, stating "The environments of Liberty City are stunning in scope and detail, dwarfing anything I've ever seen, and your choices are endless". GameSpy awarded the game with 9.4/10 stating "A fantastically designed and fun game that's one of the most absorbing, entertaining titles released in a while. It gets better and better with every single day, as you continue discovering new little features here and there. ". Game Revolution gave the game a perfect score, stating "Just about the best game yet released on the system and one of the most impressive console titles we've ever seen. And I ain't blowing smoke up your tailpipe". GamePro gave the game a 5/5, stating "Greatly improved in GTAIII is the stunning visual and sound package." GamesRadar gave the game a perfect 10, stating "Almost immediately after your first play you'll realise that underneath the cloak of controversy that will forever shadow GTA3 sits a truly special, groundbreaking and brilliant game. You'll love it."

Edge was less favorable, rating the game 8/10.

The PC version of the game received less positive, yet strong, reception. The PC version has been criticized for performance problems, especially in light of the much smoother performance of Vice City. This was due to technical issues. IGN gave the PC version a 9.4/10, while GameSpot gave it a 9.3/10.


GTA III emerged with an US$49.95 price, becoming the #1 selling game of 2001 in the United States. The game was later discounted to the price of $19 after becoming one of Sony's "Greatest Hits". The game has became the second most best-selling game of 2002, behind its sequel, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. As of September 26, 2007, Grand Theft Auto III has sold 12 million units according to Take-Two Interactive. As of March 26, 2008, Grand Theft Auto III has sold 14.5 million units according to Take-Two Interactive.

GTA III is the fifthh best-selling game of the series, behind GTAV, Grand Theft Auto IV, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.

10th Anniversary Edition

The 10th Anniversary Edition was announced by Rockstar Games during October 2011. The edition was released for mobile phones and tablets, such as iPod, iPhone and Android. The game was released in fall 2011.

A limited edition of Claude action figure is available for pre-order for $149.99; only 1,500 pieces were made.

The iOS version of GTA III has received favorable reception, with IGN rewarding it with a 7.5/10.

Alternate Artwork

In some PAL territories, Grand Theft Auto III was released with different cover artwork, despite there being no major differences in the game itself. Below are examples of several box arts.


  • The first four cars seen in the mission "Give Me Liberty" (Rumpo, Police, Enforcer and Patriot) have no drivers.
  • GTA III was the first GTA title to feature a third-person perspective.
  • GTA III was the last game to have a possibility to switch to a top-down camera view in third-person perspective.
  • GTA III was the last game to have the artwork on the cover not be a collage of different images (though only for Europe (excluding Germany), Australia, and New Zealand).
  • GTA III for PC was delayed one year because it shipped with high quality radio and textures. However, Rise FM wasn't remastered, and shipped with the PS2 quality. Differences in quality between Rise and other radio stations are quite audible.
  • Some early copies of GTA III still featured the logo of DMA Design, the original name of Rockstar North, during the opening credits.
  • The cash in GTA III is inflated 10 times compared to the succeeding titles in the series, this is why the cash given for completing missions looks so rewarding.  This is evident when you compare the cost of healthcare and using the Pay 'n' Spray, which both cost $1000 in GTA III but only $100 in GTA Vice City for example, and the reward for collecting Hidden Packages, which are worth $1000 each in III but just $100 in VC. Remember GTA III and Vice City have a 15 year difference.
  • In GTA III, when the player bumps cars, there is a small variable cash bonus, like in previous GTA games.  Destroying a vehicle gives the player a bigger bonus.
  • On the radar, there are no Ammu-Nation "gun" icons, nor are there any Pay 'n' Spray "can" icons. These icons only appear during certain missions and for a short while after unlocking Staunton Island. Also, GTA III was the only game which had hidden these icons.
  • When Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories was released several years later, the designers took the unusual step of maintaining continuity with the earlier game by keeping the layout of Liberty City very much the same as it is in GTA III. This gave an advantage to players familiar with the city from GTA III when they moved on to the later game, and vice-versa for players who are playing the games in chronological order (LCS first, then GTA III). However, those familiar with the control scheme of LCS and other later games may find GTA III more challenging to play: the right analog stick (on the PS2) cannot be used to move the camera around while driving, and there is no on-screen map to plot routes (the radar is all there is, and it only shows the immediate area; in addition, it is impossible to separate on-ground roads with tunnels, rivers, and so on using the radar).
  • Grand Theft Auto III celebrated a 10 year anniversary, releasing a few GTA III toys and games for Apple iOS and Android Market for Mobile Phones.
  • This is only game in 3D Universe that doesn't have the tracksuit outfit.
  • It was rumored that many features of the game were scrapped after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. However, Rockstar denied this and claimed that only about 1% of the game was changed. A reference to terrorists was removed, and a few cosmetic details like cars and certain civilian comments were changed. A major change was a remix of the US packaging, which would eventually become Rockstar's signature style.[1]
  • This game, Grand Theft Auto San Andreas, Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories, and Grand Theft Auto IV are the only games where the protagonists and the main characters of the story are on the run from the antagonists of the story.
  • This is one of the only games in the 3D Universe, alongside GTA Advance, which did not feature helicopters and motorcycles. Many gamers were confused why they where usable in LCS. Rockstar stated that between LCS and 3, bikes were temporarily banned in Liberty City due to thick roads, and the number of accidents and helicopters were limited only to licensed pilots and police officers due to the increased number of terrorist activities in the city.
  • This is the only game in the whole GTA series to use photographs/decals as textures. This is evidenced in the wheels of some cars, doors and windows on buildings, and accessories on pedestrians, examples being the door on the Portland police station, the wheels on Sentinels with a Honda logo, and a Louis Vuitton handbag carried by a ped.
  • This is the only game in the 3-D universe to take place during the year it was created.
  • This is the first game in the series to use roman numerals in the title.

See also


Grand Theft Auto 3 Trailer01:00

Grand Theft Auto 3 Trailer

Grand Theft Auto 3 Trailer 200:30

Grand Theft Auto 3 Trailer 2

10th Anniversary Trailers

GTA III - 10 Year Anniversary Edition - Official Launch Trailer01:00

GTA III - 10 Year Anniversary Edition - Official Launch Trailer

Grand Theft Auto III 10 Year Anniversary Trailer01:13

Grand Theft Auto III 10 Year Anniversary Trailer


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