Metascore
88

Generally favorable reviews - based on 65 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 62 out of 65
  2. Negative: 0 out of 65
  1. 100
    On a visual level, the game looks simply awesome. It's not quite as detailed as "Vice City" or "San Andreas," but it absolutely destroys the original "GTA 3."
  2. It’s not often that a console title can make the successful leap to a handheld, but when that handheld version actually surpasses the console in many key factors, you know you have something special.
  3. Don't be fooled by its size. LCS delivers the full GTA experience in the palm of your hand. Definitely worth the time and money if you own a PSP.
  4. Sure, there are some targeting issues, but aside from that, this is a brilliant execution of the basic concepts on a system that nobody thought would be possible. This is the very definition of a must-have game, and the reason to own a PSP.
  5. 95
    The game looks downright terrific on the PSP. It's great to once again troll for flat-backers on the mean streets of Liberty City. (Aka, Pick up hoochies-for-hire.) The load times are incredibly short, considering how massive the game is.
  6. Rockstar just took numerous people to school on PSP development, showing you can take a huge game and put it on a UMD without sacrifice, and even add stuff to the mix.
  7. I was stunned by how well made this game was. Stories certainly is a wonderful achievement for the PSP, but it does have a few drawbacks with the slowdown, camera issues, battery and a lack of online play, but you still can’t be that disappointed as this is the best game on the PSP.
  8. If these are the types of games we can expect to see coming to the PSP, Nintendo is going to see their market dwindle away.
  9. The addition of a robust multiplayer mode makes this homecoming all the sweeter. [Dec 2005, p.188]
  10. One of the best handheld games I have ever played, hands down... This is the type of game that changes the definition of a handheld.
  11. Aside from brilliantly recreating the series’ look, feel and universe, the game’s multiplayer feature will make you feel the true power of the PSP.
  12. Although flawed, Liberty City Stories is a remarkable achievement; it shames the efforts that many other developers have put into their PSP games.
  13. The game includes cars, motorcycles, and boats and more specifically, ambulances, trucks, vans, big rigs and armored vehicles, among many others. They all handle very distinctly and very well.
  14. Despite the new control scheme and a minor technical glitch here or there, once you’ve gotten past these idiosyncrasies you’re left with a truly engaging title with plenty of content to keep you recharging your PSP’s batteries time and time again.
  15. If you have enough people around you'll find the [multiplayer] experience just as engrossing as the single player game.
  16. 92
    It would be easy to sit back and pick apart the little things that are wrong with the game, but why do that? In the end, it’s a blast to play, keeps you going for hours upon hours, and both looks and sounds amazing.
  17. With a lengthy story, exciting multiplayer modes, and plenty of white-knuckle action, Liberty City Stories offers just about everything you could want from a Grand Theft Auto game.
  18. While the single player game may have taken a couple of steps backwards, it’s still a big deal to have a game like this on a handheld, and an even bigger one to have a fully realised multiplayer mode.
  19. Rockstar deserves props for miraculously cramming this much candy into such a small pouch without ripping a hole in the bottom, and while it doesn’t favorably compare to its older kin, it far outshines other attempts at shrinking GTA.
  20. Rockstar has cut no corners in crafting the game for the PSP and it shows. This is the real deal... A few control issues hold it back from getting a perfect score, but we'll save that for "Vice City Stories" (we hope).
  21. Single player gameplay is excellent. The missions are fun and the difficulty level ramps up over time so you’re usually given a pretty good challenge without being frustrated.
  22. The story may not be too in depth and the characters don't endear themselves as previous titles do, but for those that bought a PSP, Liberty City Stories pays off big.
  23. Not a truly outstanding new Grand Theft Auto game then, but an excellent PSP game.
  24. It’s a full GTA on an UMD, capiche? Besides the controls and a few way too difficulty missions LCS provides you with more fun and durability than three standard PSP games put together.
  25. The absolute pinnacle of PSP entertainment, with enough variety to appeal to a wide audience and comedy to outsell the legend Bill Hicks himself (well, maybe). Essential purchase? This should be tacked, taped and stapled to the forehead of every single PSP owner out there.
  26. With so much lasting appeal, including 100 hidden packages and side missions with taxis and pizza bikes, as well as that amazing multiplayer, you will never get bored.
  27. For those who thought it can not be done, Rockstar has proven you wrong with this almost perfect port of a cleaned-up "GTA III" for the sweet PSP handheld.
  28. A brilliant extension of the GTA series, and the new yardstick against which every future PSP title will be measured. [Christmas 2005, p.72]
  29. 90
    While rough around the edges, Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories offers a deep, console-like GTA experience. There's so much to see and do that finishing the main story portion leaves around 60% of the game to experience.
  30. This is the reason to have a PSP. [Jan 2006, p.83]
  31. If you were stuck on a desert island with a PSP and only one game, this is the game that you’d want to have with you.
  32. If you were thinking that Rockstar would cowtow to the critics and release something on the PSP that was a watered-down shrinking violet of a story, rest easy. Liberty City Stories is as brutal and harsh as you've come to expect from the series.
  33. 90
    Missions are much shorter and less complicated than you saw in "San Andreas"...It makes the whole thing more handheld friendly, without losing the GTA-ness of it all.
  34. Everything you loved about the original games is in here, in glorious, put-in-your-pocket color. This is a must-have title for any portable punk.
  35. The GTA formula we all know and love has been flawlessly integrated in this handheld edition, complete with an insane amount of new story content padded with hours of potential car chase action. [PSW]
  36. Even with its portable limitations Liberty City Stories steps up to the plate a delivers a solid single player game with the same addictive continuity as its other versions.
  37. 90
    The cop response isn't quite as overwhelming as in the console GTA's, but overall GTA Liberty City Stories is not only an amazing technical achievement but an awesome portable game worth any PSP owner's £35.
  38. 90
    Whilst the game isn't as impressive as San Andreas, it's still incredible and some aspects that were missing from "GTA III" have been included in LCS like motorbikes and more aggresive police.
  39. A sure bet on any platform, GTA on the PSP is the beginning of a portable revolution, setting the bar even higher for any future games that dare challenge it.
  40. Short version: It rocks! Longer version: Sony PSP's killer application has arrived. It is GTA as we know it. Fantastic! [Dec 2005]
  41. Liberty City Stories stands out on the PlayStation Portable like an elephant in a henhouse, and puts almost every other PSP game -- especially console ports -- to shame.
  42. As a value proposition, there's nothing on PSP that comes close. It's a gigantic game; the core gameplay will probably take you 40 or 50 hours to get through, and it has 33 additional "games" that have the potential to occupy you another five or even 10 hours, if you really want to push it.
  43. 90
    The amount of content in the game is simply amazing and, like the console games, you'll find yourself playing even after you've completed the main story.
  44. Everything you'd expect from the PS2 game has somehow made it intact, lending credence to Sony's claims that the handy portable is almost as powerful as its big brother.
  45. It would have been nice to see a few more concessions made in the transition to the handheld, such as the ability to save anywhere and restart missions immediately, but minor quibbles aside, it’s a heck of an effort from Rockstar.
  46. An astounding addition to the Grand Theft Auto catalogue, and it barely suffers from the supposed constriction to a handheld device.
  47. On par with "GTA III" and "Vice City," and it includes multiplayer. Fans of the series should just go get it now.
  48. Whether you want to play for 18 hours or 15 minutes, the game is designed to accommodate to the hardcore and the moderate gamer.
  49. While the game is definitely a fine technical achievement and one of the best PSP games to date, the dull storyline and basic mission design do bring the whole thing down a bit.
  50. Frame rate issues, targeting hiccups and other minor quibbles aside, this is a portable 3D version of the Grand Theft Auto series, which is phenomenal to behold and even better to play on the go.
  51. Despite some flaws and an overall feeling of deja vu that might alarm series veterans, Liberty City Stories is still an utterly irresistible and hugely enjoyable addition to the GTA family and an instant PSP treasure.
  52. 85
    My favorite aspect of the GTA franchise has always been the ability to experience and explore an entirely new world and that is one thing LCS is sorely lacking.
  53. A fantastic achievement. This is full-on, full-size GTA running on a handheld. Something most of us would probably have thought impossible back when "GTA III" originally came out.
  54. On one hand, it is watered-down, it is not as interesting, it is relatively short, and the gameplay is not all that it could have been. On the other hand, it is a real GTA game in the palm of your hand, and it’s pretty well-made to say the least.
  55. It’s all here: the hoi polloi, the ambience, the weather, the police pressure, and the emergent scenarios that can make you feel special or wretched. It feels familiar, but remains primed for fresh exploration and mischief, reapplying a formula that still feels superior to its imitators’ approaches. [Christmas 2005, p.107]
  56. 80
    As ever with GTA, the flaws and problems can be overlooked for the sheer amount of things which do work, though what Liberty City Stories shows more than any other recent title in the series, is that this can’t go on forever.
  57. Within minutes you’ll be up to your old tricks, throwing drivers onto the pavement, beating up shoppers, jumping off buildings on motorbikes... the possibilities are once again limited only by player imagination. [Christmas 2005, p.120]
  58. Fans expecting something as expansive as San Andreas will be disappointed, but anyone looking for portable craziness at impossible speeds should pick this up.
  59. A strange contradiction of achievement and disappointment.
  60. 80
    Frustration has always been a factor in the GTA universe, but never quite so much as in Liberty City Stories.
  61. 80
    I'm actually conflicted with this game, because the more and more the controls piss me off the less I want to play.
  62. But Liberty City Stories has flaws, not the least of which is a control stick that is as unbalanced as a drunk with a pendulous belly, who shambles along barefoot on a sidewalk strewn with broken glass.
  63. Perhaps the greatest legacy of Liberty City Stories will be to serve as a cautionary tale. As the power of portables becomes more analogous to home consoles, developers will be well-served to remember that even though the screen may be smaller, it does a great job of magnifying flaws.
  64. After playing "San Andreas," Liberty City Stories is the greasy cheeseburger that untrained players will enjoy, but connoisseurs can only tolerate it instead of basking in the full favor of something greater.
  65. An amazing technological showcase for the PSP, but makes the biggest series in gaming feel small. [Jan 2006, p.86]
User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 396 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 45 out of 208
  1. Jan 22, 2014
    9
    I LOVE the PSP version and still play it to this day. It is fun GTA carnage on the go. It may feel like a watered-down clone of San Andreas (which is my favorite), but its on a handheld. Sadly the same can't be said about the PS2 version. That version sucks. This version doesn't. Full Review »
  2. Jan 1, 2014
    6
    Its not the best GTA game but Liberty City Stories is still entertaining and has great characters and a good storyline. Plus it being the first PSP GTA its another big leap for the series. Full Review »
  3. Nov 16, 2013
    6
    I have a feeling that Liberty City was just a bit too big of a bite for the original PSP and its main bottleneck the UMD. I never got around to finishing this game, because it just felt too dumbed down compared to GTA games that I've played on the PC before it. I also couldn't care less about the characters, which felt very shallow. Something not common for a GTA game. And then there were the controls, PSP in general had terrible controls whit just one thumb stick and this game made the lack of the second one very obvious. The targeting system was downright terrible. Full Review »