Universal acclaim - based on 64 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 64 out of 64
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 64
  3. Negative: 0 out of 64
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  1. 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.
  2. But GTA IV will never get old, or start repeating itself. It will always offer anyone who turns it on an experience to savour.
  3. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    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]
  4. 100
    The depth of game, the level of characters and the interaction between the populated world of Liberty City is just breathtaking.
  5. 100
    The visuals are spectacular and the in-game music and dialogue manage to suck you in even further.
  6. Rather than try to out-do the Crackdowns and the Saints Rows of the world with bigger land masses and more missions, Rockstar went the other way, and managed to craft an amazingly impactful story and weave it into an open-world game in an incredibly meaningful way - all without losing the heart and soul of what makes Grand Theft Auto so popular in the first place. The end result is absolutely masterful and absolutely worth your time and money.
  7. 100
    An absolutely essential landmark title for the games industry. In terms of the sheer scope, emotion, ambition, and the stupidly high fun factor it offers, there is no better available in the genre today. In fact, no one else comes anywhere near.
  8. 100
    Brilliant and absolutely mind-blowing, Grand Theft Auto IV is not only the best game in the series but also a true achievement in game design.
  9. There is one thing that did stand out at all times: the story, which is undeniably one of the most fun rides you'll ever have in gaming, and one of the most compelling cast of characters to go along with it.
  10. This is an event game, the kind of thing you simply need to own ... even if you don't consider yourself a Grand Theft Auto fan.
  11. Grand Theft Auto IV is a game for the ages, one that will without doubt be included in gaming halls of fame and remembered fondly by everyone who was there to play it when it was released.
  12. 100
    With three massive areas and your hundreds of square miles of your own personal urban jungle, this Liberty City, more than any other version, is yours to do with as you please. The possibility for creative anarchy is limited only by the expanse of your imagination.
  13. 100
    GTA IV is a game not to be missed, an experience that must be lived by everyone who claims to be a videogame player, and that once again ups the ante for the next chapter.
  14. games(TM)
    We would never have thought that that by retreading the same patch of ground a studio could leave us feeling like we have just played one of the best videogames of all time. [June 2008, p.102]
  15. AceGamez
    There is no alternative that comes anywhere close to capturing the joy of virtual existence in Liberty City - and that's exactly why it deserves full marks, because it pushes the envelope for immersive, modern, virtual worlds further than any other game - that and the fact that it simply has to be played by anyone with an interest in videogames.
  16. 100
    Any way you slice it, Niko Belic journey through Liberty City and his quest for answers to his shadowy past is an experience you just cannot afford to miss.
  17. 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.
  18. Maxi Consolas (Portugal)
    Rockstar chose to cut off some of the features from the previous games, offering instead a much richer and cohesive world, with an amazing plot and even better cast. Superb in every aspect, GTA IV is an essential experience that justifies as no other its expensive price. [June 2008]
  19. Official Playstation 2 Magazine UK
    The most involving, witty, well-rounded and goddam exciting GTA ever. [June 2008, p.86]
  20. It's a landmark game, unmatched and unrivalled and absolutely unmissable. We've not talked about the belly achingly funny radio shows, great licensed music, fantastic voice acting, the cabaret shows, the strip clubs, the restaurants, the zeitgeist tapping plot or even the guest appearances and cameos. All that you can find out for yourself.
  21. 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.
  22. Playstation Official Magazine UK
    GTA IV is richer, deeper and more involving than its predecessors. By the time the story threads start to tie up, the mission trees shake out, you're totally invested in the characters and their world. I'm actually jealous of everyone about to experience it for the first time. The greatest testament to GTA IV's brilliance is that I haven't been able to stop thinking about it since putting the pad down. [May 2008, p.88]
  23. 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.
  24. 100
    Expectations were so high for Grand Theft Auto IV that one of the biggest surprises is that it's managed to meet them. That it's also gone on to confound these is truly a marvel, and the game's Liberty City is nothing less than one of the greatest videogame worlds yet conceived.
  25. Playstation: The Official Magazine (US)
    The light cast across the spectacuarly detailed facades, the slick road affecting car handling and causing footsteps to kick up splashes, the imposing skyscrapers, the flashing neon, it all changes wiht each passing street, and weather system...That's what you'll take away from GTA IV, along with the multiplayer gift that will keep on giving. [June 2008, p.36]
  26. 100
    None of these little flaws take away from Liberty City's breathtaking vistas, incredibly varied scenery, and lived-in look (the PS3 version has the slightest visual edge, plus motion-control support -- but then it's missing Achievements and the eventual downloadable episodes exclusive to the 360 game). The city just feels alive.
  27. It's not flawless, and it probably won't change your life, but GTA IV is an absolutely amazing piece of entertainment. It does things that no other game does, it's immersive in ways that no other game is and it's one of the biggest, wildest, most enjoyable games we've ever played.
  28. 100
    Although its got plenty of excellent features, it's ultimately the storytelling that makes it an instant classic, a game unlike any we've played before. As is the case with many great books and movies, you'll want to know what happens to the characters after the game ends, and one can't help hoping that all of their American Dreams comes true.
  29. 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.
  30. After more than 40 hours Rockstar's most ambitious game to date was over and left me wondering if I'll ever be able to look at 'normal' video games in the same way again.
  31. 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!
  32. A masterpiece from both a technical and storyline standpoint. You have not and probably never will play another game quite like it again.
  33. 100
    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.
  34. 100
    The important thing is that after many years of frustrating missions, driving back home to save repeatedly, struggling with wonky physics, and dealing with farcical storylines, GTA IV has delivered a polished and almost fully renovated experience with a darker and more mature treatment of the subject matter.
  35. In order to describe every little thing that you see in this game would require volumes. There is a staggering level of detail and for every detail we've mentioned so far, there are at least a dozen we've missed. Still, that's the beauty of Grand Theft Auto IV: the details will always be there for you to discover yourself.
  36. GTA IV is the kind of title every gamer must have in their collection to justify their title as said gamer. It's near perfection in all areas, and in all honesty, I won't be reaching for my copy of GTA III anymore whenever I need my fix.
  37. 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]
  38. Let me put it this way, there are times when I’m playing GTA IV and I forget that it’s a game. It literally is an immersive experience.
  39. You may think you're simply not a GTA fan. You didn't like the other games; they're just not your style. Well, we don't want to tell you what your personal preferences should be, but GTAIV is one of the best games ever made. Ever. Nothing is perfect, but this is about as close as you can get to virtual perfection when you look at the entire package.
  40. Games Master UK
    There's love poured into every second of it, and the result's a game that's easily worthy of all the hype... Simply awesome. [June 2008, p.62]
  41. Grand Theft Auto IV is simply the must have game for all mature gamers with a gaming console. Either on the Xbox 360 or PS3 you will be blown away with the vast impressive world Rockstar games has concocted in the unique-cool style that only Rockstar games can provide.
  42. 98
    Without a doubt, rest assured this is the best game yet for this generation. The only reason we've resisted giving it full marks is that in the same way GTA III’s template was blown out so much further in "Vice City" and "San Andreas," we’re confident the next GTA on this generation will up the ante considerably.
  43. 98
    With only the most insignificant flaws remaining, Grand Theft Auto IV is a triumphant epic that no other developer could ever create. Designed with unrelenting passion, the series has categorically set the standard for the coming years.
  44. One of the most significant changes lies in the combat. The awkward auto-aiming of previous titles is replaced by a useful cover system and excellent lock-on aiming. The usefulness of the cover system cannot be overstated.
  45. Niko is the best character that Rockstar has ever created, and as such, helps to provide the best single player experience in a GTA game to date.
  46. 98
    It's time to invite [non-hardcore] players into the back room to find out what we've all known for years. Namely, that games like GTA IV can offer all the story, all the immersion and all the witty, post-modernistic commentary you could ever wish for, wrapped-up in grin-inducing gameplay that never lets up or becomes repetitive. This is indeed a vital game.
  47. The more lifelike direction that the team went in takes a little getting used to, especially when it comes to getting behind the wheel, but once you get over the learning curve, you're handed an amazing experience and hands down the best work Rockstar North has ever put out.
  48. These co-op modes provide a new thrill and excitement similar to when we played "Battlefield 1942" for the first time.
  49. PSM3 Magazine UK
    Imperfect, but the most focused, compelling GTA ever takes 'last -gen' gaming to next-gen highs. [June 2008, p.64]
  50. 95
    There are a few technical issues; the frame rate does drop at times when things get hectic and there is some very noticeable pop-in when you're driving through the city.
  51. But, more importantly, GTAIV offers such an addictive, polished, content-packed experience that previous non- to semi-fans (like myself) will finally want a piece of the gangsta' gaming action.
  52. The pointless debate rages on whether to buy this game for the PS3 or Xbox 360, but the root of that argument is correct – you need to buy this game.
  53. The game will most likely leave you the same sweet taste should you be one of the chosen few that understood it's message and enjoyed it's humor, and bitter because once you let go of it you have to go back to your everyday life, with it's ups and downs, with prejudice and misery, poverty and worries, in a real east-European city, with no politically correct crap to worry about.
  54. Yeah, I had a lot of fun with it. It just wasn't something that held my attention as long as I was expecting. Single player was the golden goose.
  55. Rockstar has delivered everything they needed to here—bigger, better, and most importantly more, more, more GTA. Simply put, it rocks.
  56. One of the greatest video game stories ever told. It may have its flaws, but it is the most ambitious game made to date and, without a doubt, the best game so far this generation.
  57. Grand Theft Auto IV's caricatured slice of urban Americana is a criminal masterpiece.
  58. To borrow a Jedi phrase, "This isn't the revolution you're looking for." Ultimately, GTA IV ends up feeling more like an upgrade than a real sequel. Strange, considering that neither "Vice City" nor "San Andreas" received the new number designation. GTA IV has fewer substantial changes and is far less ambitious than either of its two predecessors.
  59. At the end of the day, Grand Theft Auto IV is an amazingly good game that overcomes many of its problems.
  60. 90
    The new art direction, investment in physics technology, and better animation sum up to a huge aesthetic improvement over previous games, giving GTA IV a level of visual appeal it strained for in the previous generation.
  61. If you loved other GTA titles or have developed an affinity for sandbox style games then this will stay in your PS3 for months to come.
  62. Rockstar has outdone itself yet again, with the multiplayer portions lifting the overall game, but there's still room to improve the single-player elements, which feel recycled and drag on at times.
  63. There are issues with controls, gameplay and graphics.
  64. The nature of the open-ended gameplay still makes for memorable random and not-so-random occurrences you'll repetitiously be reciting to friends, but for the most part it's nothing we haven't seen before.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 4871 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Oct 2, 2010
    After playing GTA III, Vice City and San Andreas it was hard to imagine being swept away again by another GTA game but man does this gameAfter playing GTA III, Vice City and San Andreas it was hard to imagine being swept away again by another GTA game but man does this game deliver. The story, the characters, the setting and the game world are so well crafted and put together it's nice to see some developers still take time to prepare their works and not just milk a franchise with yearly releases. Full Review »
  2. May 12, 2011
    What happened?!? How did this go so wrong??? I was so unbelievably excited about this game, and I thought for the first 5 minutes that itWhat happened?!? How did this go so wrong??? I was so unbelievably excited about this game, and I thought for the first 5 minutes that it would be as great as I had always hoped... and then it just wasn't. I can't particularly put my finger on an exact reason why... I'm going to blame GTA san andreas, which just set my hopes so high. Sure GTAIV has a great story line, interesting characters (If a little stereotypical and annoying) and sometimes fun gameplay... but I've seen it all before and I didn't get sucked into the world in the same way I have in previous iterations. No customisation, a bland city with such a small amount of variety....... How did it go downhill so much from SA??? Overall I think this is a fun game, but one of the most over-rated of all time. Full Review »
  3. SamL.
    Aug 12, 2008
    Over hyped. A plain game pagued with framerate issues and bad gore effects. Ohh.