Universal acclaim - based on 56 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 56 out of 56
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 56
  3. Negative: 0 out of 56
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  1. An insanely deep game that offers a lot to do outside of the 70+ missions. If you understand that it's just a game and that these selfsame actions are not healthy in the real world, you'll enjoy a well-developed world disguised as a deviously fun game.
  2. 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.
  3. Hot Games
    If a copy of dis game should happen to fall off a truck somewheres in yas naybahood, pick it up. It's an offer you shouldn't refuse, capice?
  4. It's lacking any social conscience but loaded with replay value, so it'd be very disrespectful to leave this one out of your collection.
  5. 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.
  6. AceGamez
    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.
  7. 100
    Greatly improved in GTAIII is the stunning visual and sound package.
  8. 100
    Liberty City looks phenomenal and there's plenty of life and atmosphere that impresses. The different textures, solid framerate and incredible diversity make this one of the most impressive PS2 games yet.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Play Magazine
    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]
  14. Official U.S. Playstation Magazine
    The most innovative, outlandish, brilliant video game I've ever seen. [Jan 2002, p.126]
  15. GamePen
    The voice acting is simply amazing. Unlike most video games, much of the voice acting is done by fairly famous names, including Joe Pantoliano, Michael Rapaport, Kyle MacLachlan... Each delivers some of the best voice acting found in anything animated, let alone video games.
  16. From the eight professional-style radio stations to the variety of mission objectives and hidden goodies, GTA III is packed with high production values and oozing with addictive gameplay.
  17. 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.
  18. In what could be billed as "the complete criminal experience" this game delivers in every category with jaw dropping graphics, stunning sound effects, a unique musical score that's presented with countless hilarious commercials through your car's radio, and a relentless AI that will hunt you down whenever warranted.
  19. The incredible versatility of the gameplay, coupled with stellar sound and visuals, make this game nothing less than sheer bliss on a DVD.
  20. 100
    It's funny, well built and almost flawless in terms of game-destroying problems.
  21. Cheat Code Central
    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.
  22. 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.
  23. 100
    An amazing experience, resulting in a classic crime drama on par with "Heat," "Goodfellas," or "Casino."
  24. From the moment I tried out this game I was hooked. This game is all it's cracked up to be.
  25. The end-all, be-all of console action games. Period...For me GTA3 is the best action game I have ever played on a console system and I highly recommend it to adults (the intended audience of this game) who know the difference between good and evil.
  26. netjak
    Expect dozens of hours in the game, with an almost endless replay value.
  27. A masterpiece on so many different levels, and this review is barely able to convey my sheer respect for this game.
  28. 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.
  29. The gameplay is absolutely phenomenal, as this is single-handedly one of the most environmentally open games since "Midnight Club" and "ATV: Offroad Fury."
  30. This is game design at it’s best.
  31. 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?
  32. 96
    A massive scale operation that just gets better and better as players dig into it, even though its gets ridiculously difficult at points.
  33. I did like the variety of the characters, yet I wished that there could have been more of a variety.
  34. 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.
  35. A benchmark game that future games will both try to imitate and be judged against as well.
  36. 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.
  37. Game Informer
    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]
  38. A pint of blood, a teaspoon of decapitation, and a helluva lot of violence makes the perfect evil action game.
  39. Happy Puppy
    From the music on the radio to the individual sub-missions that make up a large part of the game, GTA3 pulls it off with amazing ease.
  40. 95
    You don't know the meaning of the word surreal until you've stood in the rain, beating a pimp to death while opera music provides an eerie chorus.
  41. One of the greatest games of all time. Although there will be many political battles over this game for a long time, Grand Theft Auto 3 won’t be pulled from shelves.
  42. Rockstar Games has done the unthinkable, turning murderous greed into an honest to God art form with Grand Theft Auto 3.
  43. 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.
  44. Multiplayer modes would have made this game even better, but it seems Rockstar Studios didn't find it worth the time it'd have taken to finish it (plus, there's the chance they're planning a whole separate multiplayer GTA game for later). Despite its problems and lack of multiplayer, GTA3 is a wonderful title that'll keep you whacking gangsters and cops for weeks.
  45. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    GTA3 gives you the freedom to do enough to fill 10 games. [Jan 2002, p.206]
  46. The game is completely open, and apart from the first couple of compulsory missions, what you do is up to you.
  47. There are dozens of hours of gameplay here, with 80 main missions and countless optional side missions such as drag racing for extra cash or carjacking cabs.
  48. GMR Magazine
    A phenom in terms of gameplay and sales. [Feb 2003, p.92]
  49. 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.
  50. 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.
  51. 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.
  52. The random beatings you can inflict on people always makes for a good laugh when you’re with friends, and the versatility of this game provides you with the best of all worlds.
  53. While the game certainly has a flair for the illegal, the graphics are just average. Characters all look underworldly, but they also look to remedial and blocky.
  54. Next Generation Magazine
    Adding to the frustration is the fact that your targeting system is practically useless, and the vehicle physics model is annoyingly floaty. [Jan 2002, p.78]

Awards & Rankings

#4 Most Discussed PS2 Game of 2001
#1 Most Shared PS2 Game of 2001
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 1134 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. GeoffC.
    Sep 9, 2002
    I was reading this section, when someone named"Cool Am Ivan" gave this a 3. What game is he talking about? Boggsville? Blacksmiths in Grand I was reading this section, when someone named"Cool Am Ivan" gave this a 3. What game is he talking about? Boggsville? Blacksmiths in Grand Theft Auto 3? Is he on something? You know, this "person" is very stupid to put a review on the wrong game. Anyway, I thought the game was great. so don't listen to that loser!!! Full Review »
  2. DarrylC.
    Jul 2, 2003
    Great game the best game i have ever bought and i have 75 of them. No matter how many times you play it you just want more.
  3. 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 theGTA 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 »