Universal acclaim - based on 56 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 56 out of 56
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 56
  3. Negative: 0 out of 56
  1. 96
    A massive scale operation that just gets better and better as players dig into it, even though its gets ridiculously difficult at points.
  2. 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.
  3. With almost unlimited possibilities, a winning story, funny moments (even if a little dark or mature), easy on the eyes graphics, and a kickin' soundtrack, how can anyone argue with this title? It stands tall among the great legends.
  4. The environments of Liberty City are stunning in scope and detail, dwarfing anything I've ever seen, and your choices are endless. [Dec 2001, p.87]
  5. 94
    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.
  6. 100
    Greatly improved in GTAIII is the stunning visual and sound package.
  7. 100
    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.
  8. Silent Hill 2, ICO, Devil May Cry, and Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 are all must have titles in their own right, but with that said, I've had the most pure, unadulterated fun with Grand Theft Auto III than any other title this year.
  9. 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.
  10. By far the best game you could ever get for your PS2. This game is reason enough to buy a PS2 even if you never buy another game. Sure, it's dark and dirty, and maybe even a bit evil, but we’re all consenting adults here.
  11. 100
    An amazing experience, resulting in a classic crime drama on par with "Heat," "Goodfellas," or "Casino."
  12. A masterpiece on so many different levels, and this review is barely able to convey my sheer respect for this game.
  13. 100
    So good I have no idea where to start. The graphics? Superb. The music/sounds? Perfect. Is it fun? Hell yes...To be quite honest, this is the most interesting and fun game I have ever played.
  14. 100
    An amazingly huge, free-roaming, entertaining game that will last you for ages and is a must-have for everyone old enough to own it.
  15. Freedom is the name of this game, featuring a downtown playscape so massively intricate that players can literally do whatever they want, whenever they want. [Feb 2002, p.58]
  16. GTA3 gives you the freedom to do enough to fill 10 games. [Jan 2002, p.206]
  17. A technical masterpiece...One of the most impressive aspects of the game is the sheer massive geographical completeness of the environment combined with the overall sense of freedom and open-ended goodness.
  18. It's funny, well built and almost flawless in terms of game-destroying problems.
  19. A benchmark game that future games will both try to imitate and be judged against as well.
  20. This is game design at it’s best.
  21. A remarkable achievement of proportions we never imagined possible. It has single-handedly changed the way we see all videogame entertainment and the repercussions it should have for the industry are staggering. In one fell swoop your entire games collection has become obsolete, all other games seeming pathetic attempts to waste your time.
  22. After a while it can get tedious, but while it lasts it is excellent to play before going out before you feel the need to go back to something like FIFA or Bust A Move.
  23. The greatest part of GTA3's open-ended nature is the choice to conduct your character as you want. Feeling good? It's possible to complete the game without harming one innocent person. Feeling bad? Hell, my game's body count statistic just passed one thousand.
  24. The most innovative, outlandish, brilliant video game I've ever seen. [Jan 2002, p.126]
  25. One of the best videogames experience we've had in a very long time. It’s not about the blood, or being able to indulge in illegal activities, although amusing, the simple fact is that GTA3 is so playable.
  26. The handling is excellent whether you are driving or on foot, the dual shock controller and control system sit nicely in your hands and the whole thing feels natural.
  27. The gameplay is absolutely phenomenal, as this is single-handedly one of the most environmentally open games since "Midnight Club" and "ATV: Offroad Fury."
  28. This game is the absolute personification of what free-roaming means. You can do damn near anything you want, and more often than not you'll be rewarded for it. Sounds fun, doesn't it?
  29. 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.
  30. Simply put, Grand Theft Auto III is the best game to be released in the past two years. Possibly the best to be released in the past ten.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 476 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 21 out of 214
  1. Mar 27, 2012
    GTA III is a classic , Rockstar's creativity to make an open-world/sandbox game at that time was innovative. You can send hours goofing on the streets killing,destroying or crashing cars , set with an interesting story that will not be forgotten for those that payed attention. GTA III delivers enough to satisfy last generation and current/future generation alike. Full Review »
  2. Apr 5, 2012
    play this absolutely epic truly the greatest playstation 2 game ohnestly endless fun great atmosphre. fun missions and for its time good graphics. if i had to complain it would be the character models a bit fuzzy Full Review »
  3. Jan 1, 2012
    If someone were to play this game, having played GTAIV and its subsequent add-ons, you would definitely see how dated and sloppy some areas of GTAIII can be. But at the time of its release, it was an absolute landmark in gaming. It set the standard for open world games as know it and introduced game-play elements that are now common ground. It can be hard to appreciate this game as much as it should be appreciated, considering it is definitely outdated nowadays, but respect is still deserved for one of the greatest games ever made. Bring on GTA5! Full Review »