Universal acclaim - based on 77 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 74 out of 77
  2. Negative: 0 out of 77
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  1. My favourite handheld game of all time. It's funny, it's full of great ideas, and above all else it's wickedly fun. Whether you're a GTA veteran or someone who's never played one of these games before, you should know that this is one of the best games available for your PSP - or, indeed, for your DS. To miss it would be criminal.
  2. Play Magazine
    If you missed this one the first time out (for shame!), here's your chance to play the definitive version of not just the year's best portable offering, but one of the year's most engaging titles offered on any platform. It's a living, breathing Liberty City in the palm of your hand.
  3. 100
    Whether you prefer two smaller screens or one bigger one, analog stick or d-pad, DS or PSP, you can't go wrong with Chinatown Wars.
  4. 100
    GTA Chinatown Wars delivers on PSP! Liberty City is always a lot of fun.
  5. Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars shines bright on Sony's handheld, bringing everything that made the original so much fun with it.
  6. The technical aspects of Chinatown Wars were impressive on the DS, and the PSP version looks quite a bit sharper and cleaner than the original release.
  7. It may not rock the boat as much as it did on DS, but Chinatown Wars is still one of the finest examples of handheld action on the market.
  8. An absolute must-own in every sense of the word, Chinatown Wars is a game with the single most important factor in any portable offering: every time you pick it up, there's always something to do. And after that, there's another 20 more.
  9. The PSP incarnation is fantastic translation; it retains all of the originals strengths, augments the entire package with its added technical muscle, and compromises only with a negligible handful of minor squabbles.
  10. The PSP version of this fantastic GTA game is even better than the DS original.
  11. Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars is essentially an improved version of the DS release with a few new side missions, a couple of new characters, and a completely overhauled graphics engine. Despite the fact that the game was built specifically for the DS, porting it to Sony’s less popular, but more powerful handheld has actually improved its playability.
  12. The best ever handheld iteration in the GTA series to date. China Town Wars is a quality production from start to finish.
  13. Games Master UK
    So good it's criminal. [Dec 2009, p.87]
  14. 95
    Amazingly Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars outshines every other portable version of the series, and even some of the console offerings. This game is absolutely one of the most diverse and feature-rich games on the PSP, or any other system for that matter.
  15. An utterly brilliant and addictive gem. With amazing missions, a great story and plenty to do in the city, this game is just non-stop fun from start to finish. Forget the DS; this game truly shines on the PSP.
  16. Though an update of the DS version, GTA Chinatown Wars is a great game that grabs you from the first minutes play and won't let go. Another must have title from Rockstar.
  17. Play UK
    Bar some combat control issues, GTA: Chinatown Wars has perfectly translated to the PSP and is a must-have game. [Issue#185, p.68]
  18. Overall, CW for the PSP is a slightly better version of the game than the DS original. Although the mini-games do feel a little out of place without touch-screen controls, everything else is just as good if not better than it was on the DS.
  19. If you already have played the DS version to death, getting the PSP version may not be a good idea since it’s basically the same game only with a few but noticeable improvements. Now, if you haven’t bought or played the DS version, there’s no way you can pass on what is being offered here. GTA Chinatown Wars for the PSP is a great game that deserves your attention and a place in your collection.
  20. 93
    Chinatown Wars is outstanding. The story is great, the game itself is a blast, running drugs is a welcome addition, the new cop takedowns are cool, and there’s so much to do.
  21. Regardless of the game’s mechanical simplicity, Rockstar has created an addictive, bite-sized serving of its patented “breaking the law” gameplay. Chinatown Wars jams an entire metropolis in your handheld that’s just begging to be exploited.
  22. If you haven't done so already, get stuck into this, because it has depth, fun, excitement, and longevity. If you were to pick between formats, maybe the touch screen would swing you in the DS direction, but the improvements made on the whole for the PSP cannot be ignored, and the PSP version stands out for all the right reasons.
  23. The PSP version of Chinatown Wars is easier to play, more precise, and visually more outstanding than the Nintendo DS version.
  24. 91
    As a PSP game, it's still a well-done portable GTA; not necessarily a better one than before. But that's fine; it's still worth playing Chinatown Wars for those bite-size bits of the GTA formula, and if you're still warm to it, then definitely give it a go.
  25. The huge variety of missions, solid story, and great visuals and details make up what I think is the best portable Grand Theft Auto yet.
  26. Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars for the PSP is certainly another quality entry in the series, and it was nice to see Rockstar attempt a throwback-style of game. With a more arcade-like feel, many hours of addictive gameplay, and a structure well suited to portable gaming, it's absolutely worthy of checking out.
  27. Welcome in Liberty City, this title is a must-have for everyone who ever caught himself playing any Grand Theft Auto and enjoying it. No big weak points, a tremendous storyline, immersive depth and limitless options – go get it!
  28. 90
    An absolute blast from start to finish with plenty of trademark Liberty City locales ripe for exploration, not to mention a cast of incredibly memory characters (Chan Jaoming, I hardly knew ya.) If you're looking for a good action adventure experience that harkens back to the more cartoony Grand Theft Auto days, then Chinatown Wars is certainly worth the investment.
  29. Between the clever mission design, comedy storyline and imaginative drug-dealing angle, it represents many hours of play, all of which live up to its legacy.
  30. There are just enough new ideas to lure those in who’ve never cared, and just enough left alone to keep the fans happy. Pity all of the DS-minded bits drag the finished product down a notch.
  31. Rockstar has made only one mistake: keeping the minigames of the DS version. Without the stylus-support they aren’t nearly as fun. But the game is still a classic after half a year of waiting and the graphics and sound have improved a lot. A lovely distraction to the GTA-games on consoles.
  32. People with both a DS and a PSP will probably want to get the game on the DS - it's the better version of the game. If you're a PSP loyalist though, Chinatown Wars definitely rates as a must have on your handheld of choice.
  33. Every trick this celebrated developer has learnt – from crafting a solid plot laced with dark humour to reckless driving and action-packed criminal endeavour – has been distilled into a game that demands your immediate attention.
  34. Although Rockstar Leeds could have probably pushed the quality of this porting a bit further, Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars proves to be an excellent game, capable of entertaining throughout the adventure. A real must buy for any PSP owner.
  35. 90
    The downside to all these positives is that the mini-games, so enjoyable on the DS touch screen, become little more than button tapping affairs here losing most of their charm in the process.
  36. More PSP exclusive content would have sealed the deal, but as it stands this is wonderful stuff.
  37. Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars has problems, but we're still giving it a hefty thumbs up. The brutal nature of the series remains intact, the new top-down perspective rocks on PSP and there's plenty to do, both on your own and with a friend. Unless the violence offends you, it's a must have game.
  38. Expect that, if you missed the original release due to the lack of consoles on which it worked, now you have no more excuses: Huang Lee and Liberty City are waiting for you!
  39. A perfect porting of one of the greatest portable games of this year.
  40. 90
    However, the PSP’s traditional but less constricted control setup and higher storage threshold lead to a more playable, content-rich experience than either the DS or (in all probability) the App Store release.
  41. Chinatown Wars on PSP doesn't push the hardware like it did on the DS, and the presence of two GTA's episodes with the "real" 3d graphics will probably left some users slightly disappointed. But overall, this is the best version of the game; a great game, by the way.
  42. Rockstar's epic franchise gets another round on the PSP, arguably the portable platform it was best suited for in the first place. There are a number of enhancements over the DS release, but it's not all good news as some of the minigames have been lost in translation. Overall though, a stand-out title filled with the type of quality you've come to expect from Rockstar.
  43. Once again, GTA proves that it is not affected by small stature - Chinatown Wars is the definitive handheld GTA experience that is further enhanced by the PSP's vastly superior presentation.
  44. 90
    GTA fans that might not have been satisfied with past iterations of the franchise on handhelds may want to give Chinatown Wars a closer look because the experience translates very well here.
  45. There is no doubt that Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars is a must-buy for any PSP owner, and is a very welcome port.
  46. Playstation Official Magazine UK
    Accessibly strategic and addictive. [Dec 2009, p.108]
  47. Don’t get scared off by the simple graphics. This is a brilliant game. The news from the DS version is few but it feels as a full sized GTA game. The story, the car chases, the missions and the characters are all there to make it yet another brilliant chapter in the GTA saga.
  48. Playstation: The Official Magazine (US)
    Questionable controls aside, Chinatown Wars is a beautiful blend of the modern 3D games with the pick-up-and-play appeal of the '90s original. [Holiday 2009, p.70]
  49. Rockstar has given all, to deliver the complete experience of Chinatown Wars on the PSP and succeeded to do that. The game looks great and the extra missions are bringing more variation to the game. The story has less dept then other GTA-games en that is being hided well by the humour in the game. The minigames don’t come to there right without the touchscreen, but that doesn’t matter. Chinatown Wars is still a great game, which keeps you busy for a long time.
  50. Playstation Official Magazine Australia
    Compared to GTAIV’s paint-by-numbers mission design, the average job in Chinatown Wars is more of a left-field, mayhem-filled shenanigan. This even extends to the wanted system; Huang doesn’t skulk away and hide from the heat like Nico – he prefers to utterly destroy pursuing cop cars in a crazy Blues Brothers-esque escape. [Christmas 2009, p.78]
  51. LEVEL (Czech Republic)
    Superb game from GTA series comes to PSP and shines just like its DS cousin – makes Chinatown Wars one of the best handheld games these days. [Dec 2009]
  52. Chinatown Wars will certainly keep you busy for a long time. The story is interesting and involving, and the gameplay is fun and diverse.
  53. You'll still find mayhem for mayhem's sake in this title, but for the first (second if you count the DS version) time, the GTA series has delivered more than just hooker target practice; there's a great game here as well.
  54. I sincerely hope that Rockstar decides to do an HD release of this for the PS3, as a downloadable game, it's surely be a treat. But this is a superb handheld game, a definite must own.
  55. I absolutely hated the game at first, but after three missions I was definitely feeling the love. This is the perfect example of not judging a book by its cover.
  56. Chinatown Wars on PSP was always going to be a port job, and though it soils some of DS original's intuitive mini-games it maintains the inventive, thoroughly entertaining and built-for-handheld mission structure of the original - and that's what we loved most in the first place.
  57. Chinatown Wars is a game that feels new and fresh, even though it's no better and not much different than the DS version. It's a big Liberty City experience in the palm of your hand.
  58. PSM3 Magazine UK
    Substantial, hilarious and huge. Sadly, this port feels hamstrung next to the DS version. [Dec 2009, p.88]
  59. 87
    A fine PSP game on the PSP. The minigames were better on the Nintendo DS, but the PSP version is graphically better than the Nintendo DS version. Buy this part if you don’t own a Nintendo DS. Do you have a Nintendo DS? Buy the Nintendo DS version.
  60. Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars finally burst onto PSP. The highly acclaimed DS game now offers better aspect than ever, with improved graphics and additional content. Unfortunately, the sound section practically remains identical to the original version. An essential game, ideal companion of GTA: Liberty & Vice City Stories.
  61. 85
    Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars on the PSP may be no better and not much different than the DS version, but it's definitely worth a shot for any GTA fan who hasn't played it yet.
  62. 85
    Although the game could have been further improved, because PSP is a more powerful machine, it retains the excellent gameplay and narrative of the original.
  63. Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars PSP has passed the test: the conversion from the excellent DS version to the less versatile Sony portable went smoothly. The loss of interaction given by the touchscreen was compensated by a clever use of combined commands, and by the addition of new, exclusive missions.
  64. 85
    Got a PSP? Awesome! Strike now. This is well worth your time and money. You won't be disappointed. Got both? Get the DS version. Better graphics don't trump the touchscreen.
  65. Chinatown Wars on the PSP is definitely worth picking up.
  66. AceGamez
    While it may upon the surface seem like a backwards step for Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wards to revert to its decade old roots, it’s really nothing to be scared of; the game is fun, amusing, over the top, and perfect for playing on the go.
  67. Chinatown Wars is a big package, and Liberty City’s pants are bursting at the seams.
  68. Although the PSP port suffers from the fact that Chinatown Wars was undoubtedly designed around the DS, the major qualities still remain and make for a GTA that is considerably different but nonetheless entertaining.
  69. The DS is the definitive version but this still does some things better than the home consoles GTAs.
  70. 80
    Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars has problems, but we're still giving it a hefty thumbs up.
  71. 80
    Chinatown Wars will never go down in history as a 'big' GTA-title, but nevertheless, it deserves a place in your PSP collection. It's a GTA with its own character and its own pair of balls. Besides, during these dark ages for PSP gaming, there aren't a lot of PSP games that win our hearts.
  72. There are plenty of flaws and rough edges here but at the end of the day it retains the same feel that has made GTA such a success and it offers many hours of engaging gameplay.
  73. Grand Theft Auto Chinatown Wars is the biggest and most ambitious handheld GTA game ever, and the production values really show in the PSP port, with its vastly improved graphics and audio.
  74. More of the same, but when a game is as great as Grand Theft Auto novelty is something that doesn't matter.
  75. 70
    So, while Chinatown Wars is a solid, entertaining title for the PSP, it simply lacks the oomph and "oh wow!" factor that it had on DS.
  76. Chinatown Wars is not an evolution, but a step back. The same city, the same gameplay, the almost forgotten top-down camera angle, cardboard clichés starring as main characters. This is the first GTA game that I didn’t want to explore.
  77. With a visual downgrade and a quieter audio track, there is definitely something lost in the translation, and with Liberty City and Vice City Stories performing much more adequately, this PSP port may not have enough weight to keep it from drowning in obscurity.

Awards & Rankings

#3 Most Discussed PSP Game of 2009
#1 Most Shared PSP Game of 2009
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 244 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 38 out of 244
  1. StephenS.
    Oct 22, 2009
    At first I was a little skeptical about whether or not i shuld get this game. I couldn't imagine gta with a top down view and there was At first I was a little skeptical about whether or not i shuld get this game. I couldn't imagine gta with a top down view and there was so much that could go wrong. I am happy to say that all of my fears were unfounded and am thoroughly enjoying this game. I like this game so much that i think that this is the way to go with the portable series of gta from now on. This game really gave the series the fresh breath it needed. Great game and I recommend this to anyone looking for another great psp game to add to their library. Full Review »
  2. Mar 9, 2012
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. This is the kind of game that you really have to play to get into it's atmosphere. Apart from the perspective, it has as much content as any other modern GTA, and even more than the other two PSP titles. I guess people that complain about the viewing perspective of the game and the toned down, cartoonish graphics have no idea where GTA is coming from. Full Review »
  3. Sep 9, 2011
    Take-Two have obviously payed for reviews. The game is well structured, and is fun quite a lot, but it's not amazing. I would recommend youTake-Two have obviously payed for reviews. The game is well structured, and is fun quite a lot, but it's not amazing. I would recommend you buy it, but don't expect something amazing. Full Review »