Universal acclaim - based on 86 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 86 out of 86
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 86
  3. Negative: 0 out of 86
  1. Yes, there's still the freedom to cause havoc, and inevitably you do; the difference is that you’re no longer impelled to toy with GTA IV's world in quite the same sadistic way - you live in it. [June 2008, p.82]
  2. 100
    Almost everything you do in Liberty City would be good enough to drive its own game, and the best parts would be good enough to outrun the competition, but the reason it works so well is that Rockstar has made a game that requires no patience to play. This, as much as its usual coherency and the best script in the series, is what makes GTA IV the best openworld game yet, and why it will take something miraculous to rob it of game of the year status.
  3. GTA IV may not have the best graphics, gunplay, A.I. or driving, but few other games have ever combined so many elements so successfully. It excels in creating a genuinely cinematic atmosphere, with writing on par with anything Hollywood can produce and action sequences that would sit comfortably in any movie.
  4. 100
    It's prettier, more detailed and more fun than ever before; it may have stuck to the same formula, but it's as effortlessly brilliant as ever.
  5. Grand Theft Auto IV is by far the most complete package I have seen in the last five to ten years.
  6. It's got a world you believe in, a cast you care about and a script stuffed with brilliant moments... Utterly stunning in every resepct. [May 2008, p.79]
  7. We all knew GTA 4 would be a great game and sell millions of copies, but I didn't expect it to shame pretty much every other game I've played this generation.
  8. A fantastic, life-affirming piece of software that has set a new standard for what the medium can achieve, with a magnificent multiplayer mode to boot. If all games were this good, no one would ever leave the house. [Issue#33, p.84]
  9. 100
    Grand Theft Auto IV lives up to its grand expectations by weaving a Hollywood-ready "American Dream" plotline with a finely-tuned game experience -- taking the tried-and-true GTA formula and plugging it into a living, breathing version of Liberty City.
  10. With so much to see and do that even months of play won’t cover it all and some of the tightest mechanics seen in a modern game, GTA IV is every bit as good as you could ask for it to be. You quite simply will not need another game this year.
  11. 100
    GTA IV is the best action game ever. The game has beautiful details, nice situations, extrodinary gameplay, sharp humor and great graphics. There are certainly a few minor negatives about the game, but the positive points are just too much. We have one piece of advice: Buy!
  12. But GTA IV will never get old, or start repeating itself. It will always offer anyone who turns it on an experience to savour.
  13. The game is fantastic, a true work of art, and should be owned by anyone who considers themselves a fan of video games. Grand Theft Auto does so many things right that calling it a "sandbox" title is doing it a harsh disservice. It does shooting better then many shooters, driving better then many racing games, and has a better, more involved story then half of the most popular RPGs.
  14. It's not merely the fact that Rockstar have taken an already engaging gameworld and rebuilt it from the ground up, it's the fact that they've done that, and shoehorned in realistic weather systems, day to night transitions, realtime lighting, realistic character movement and animation, realistic physics and kinetics, incidental details, solid and well written dialogue, convincing AI and non-player characters and a multiplayer system that puts other games to shame.
  15. 100
    Rockstar North has once again managed to elevate the GTA franchise to new levels of excellence. It's the best GTA experience to date, with a fantastic online mode to boot. Sure, this title does have its share of flaws, but when the game as a whole is nothing short of a masterpiece there is no reason as to why this game shouldn’t be a perfect ten.
  16. 100
    This game is a masterpiece! We have never seen such a harmonic virtual world before. The story is as good as a movie and the graphics offer tons of incredible moments. GTA IV is more than a game.
  17. 100
    I could go on and on about why Grand Theft Auto IV is one of the best games we've ever seen and why even folks who are easily offended should play it, but that would be pointless. The only thing you need to know is that you have to play this game. Period.
  18. Smashing down the barriers between videogames and movies, GTA4 is what happens when flawless game design and ridiculously high production values collide.
  19. 100
    A game that you simply have to play. The single-player game, which you can still play long after you complete the story, is the series' best by far, and the multiplayer features are good enough that you'll likely have no problem finding people to play with for many months to come.
  20. 100
    GTA IV seamlessly integrates open-world exploration and character-driven storytelling, unlike any other game to date. Liberty City is now a living, breathing work of art.
  21. 100
    It's amazing that a sequel that keeps the core gameplay concepts of its prior incarnations can do so much to change itself into something new. Cabs are awesome, as is the cellphones capabilities. But perhaps the biggest innovation is the notion that you can create a game that's as valid a piece of art as any book or movie. Is this our "Citizen Kane" moment?
  22. I now know how film critics felt after screening "The Godfather." It's been days since Grand Theft Auto IV's credits rolled, yet I can't seem to construct a coherent thought without my mind wandering off into a daydream about the game. I just want to drop everything in my life so I can play it again. Experience it again. Live it again...Grand Theft Auto IV doesn't just raise the bar for the storied franchise; it completely changes the landscape of gaming.
  23. GTA4 is a traditional crime story through and through, with a script that rarely strays from its purpose, a pitch-perfect supporting cast, and an expert combination of in-game storytelling and crafted cut-scenes. [June 2008, p.80]
  24. Grand Theft Auto IV is undoubtedly one of the strongest games of this generation. The amount of content is simply mind-blowing.
  25. It's a game of the decade contender. 'Nuff said.
  26. 100
    In my opinion, Grand Theft Auto IV is the best game of this generation, thus far, and one of the best games ever made.
  27. 100
    The depth of game, the level of characters and the interaction between the populated world of Liberty City is just breathtaking.
  28. 100
    Grand Theft Auto IV is a must buy if you like video games.
  29. Grand Theft Auto IV is not a perfect game, but it is fantastic through and through, from start to finish and beyond. It is so massive, vast and impressive that it is almost mind-boggling to imagine how much work must have gone into the game to come up with so much detail.
  30. 100
    I could go on for another couple thousand words about the amazing experience that is GTA IV, but what's most important for you to know is that this game is an absolute masterpiece.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 2674 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Dec 21, 2010
    Wow. I really loved this game. It in every way blew me away. A captivating, epic, and deep storyline keeps you into it the entire way through. Me trying to find at least one thing to complain about. Nothing. This game really deserves GOTY. And I really have to say Niko Bellic is the only character in the GTA series that you can truly connect with. Understanding his difficult life and mis-adventures you can really feel his emotions. And for a free-roaming game they really knocked me out. The free roaming really is amazing. Its awesome how they can have such a nice, luminous city and still have amazing and almost flawless graphics. As for the multi-player, I didn't really play it that much but i love the fact that you can roam around Liberty City causing as much mayhem as you want. The ranked matches are good too, with death-match (etc...) it was pretty cool to see that in a GTA game. Surely I can truly say that you have not experienced free-roam/sandbox games until you have played GTA IV. Full Review »
  2. Oct 24, 2011
    Something is REALLY fishy with all the extremely positive reviews of this game.
    I have played all the previous games of the series and i have
    to say this is the most boring and overrated game of the series. I've played all the previous games and i thought they were pretty good games. After 2 hours of playing i was already bored. I tried to give this game a chance and played for another 10 hours. Then i couldn't take it anymore. The story is not interesting, the characters are not interesting and many of the previous games gameplay elements have been removed. Even if all the above are just my opinion this game definitely does not deserve 10/10 so many reviewers gave it. Full Review »
  3. Jul 15, 2012
    In some ways. Perhaps the worst game ever made-
    GTA IV was going to be this generations game that made the HD era worthwhile- it was hyped so
    much- given 10/10s and considered the best game ever made.... but what went wrong?
    the game has no soul. rockstar had a chance to make something meaningfull and challenge gaming itself- but its shareholders knew a san andreas 2.0 would sell 10 million copies- so they made san andreas 2.0 with better shooting and less content. disappointment is an understatement.
    apparently there were 70000 lines of dialogue recorded for the peds- you wont care- the peds are bots- no purpose but to get shot- and that should be fine EXCEPT ELDER SCROLLS OBLIVION HAD RADIANT AI 10 YEARS AGO- ULTIMA 7 HAD AI 20 YEARS AGO- gta IV is a dinosaur.
    nikos story is lovely- but thats the problem- take away his story and you have an empty shell of a city- there are lovely graphics- but do the buildings have any purpose? no- they are cosmetic.... the whole world is an empty shell of nothingness coated in a HD sheen- its so disappointing when you realise after 2 hours you have seen everything this game can ever offer.
    gta 5 will be more of the same- there wont be pedestrian AI- other than "hey shoot me"- there wont be any meaningful choices and consequences- the side missions will be tacked on fetch quests that would shame an MMO- it will sell millions but the fans who were tthere from gta 1- who remembered how smart GTA 2's factions system was will not be there- wont be fooled again.
    Full Review »