Grand Theft Auto III/infobox Template:Chronology Grand Theft Auto III, also known as GTA 3 or GTA III, is the third installment of the Grand Theft Auto series and was released in 2001. The game is the first of the GTA III Era and introduced many new features and increased the fan base of the series. It was originally released on the PlayStation 2, PC, and Xbox.

GTA III is the first foray into true three-dimensional GTA gameplay, with the player taking control of the game via a third-person perspective, viewed from behind and above the player character, as opposed to the Top-Down Perspective in the earlier Grand Theft Auto 1 and Grand Theft Auto 2 games. The transition from top-down to full 3D has been widely regarded as a great maneuver, proven by its phenomenal sales figures.

The changes made for GTA III marked a defining point in the series' graphical representation and control scheme. More recent GTA titles have stuck with the same 3D control and visual scheme, and all other titles of GTA are likely to remain so, albeit improved in visual quality as hardware improves.

The game was met with an outstanding universal critical acclaim, becoming one of the highest rated video games in history.


From the official site

LIBERTY CITY, USA. The Worst Place in America.

You've been betrayed and left for dead. Now you're taking revenge, unless the city gets you first. Mob bosses need a favor, crooked cops need help and street gangs want you dead. You'll have to rob, steal and kill just to stay out of serious trouble. Anything can happen out here.

At the beginning of the game, a getaway car pulls up at a bank. Three people are escaping after committing a robbery: three men, one of whom is the protagonist (whose name is later revealed to be Claude in GTA San Andreas), another robber, the getaway driver, Miguel and one woman, Catalina. Catalina kills the other robber, injures Claude and takes the money for herself and Miguel and flees with him. Claude soon gets arrested and takes the blame for the robbery, however while crossing the bridge to Portland Island, the police convoy is ambushed by the Colombian Cartel who kidnaps the Old Oriental Gentleman and blow up the Callahan Bridge; leaving Portland isolated from the rest of the city. Claude is set free with 8-Ball while the convoy is ambushed. Claude and 8-Ball escape the bridge and hide out in Portland. 8-Ball introduces Claude to Luigi Goterelli and Claude works for him to prove himself useful. Luigi soon introduces Claude to Joey Leone and works for him against the Forelli Family. Joey soon introduces Claude to Toni Cipriani and helps him take revenge on the Triads. Toni introduces Claude to the Leone's big boss Salvatore Leone who has him help out his wife Maria Latore. Salvatore soon believes the a bartender named Curly Bob is selling information about the Leone's to the Cartel in exchange for SPANK. Claude then tails Curly Bob to the harbor where he overhears a conversation between Curly Bob and Cartel Leaders Catalina and Miguel causing Claude to whack Curly Bob even though Catalina and Miguel escape. Salvatore plans to take revenge on the Cartel by having Claude and 8-Ball blow up the Cartel Ship supplying the SPANK. Before celebrating Salvatore asks Claude for one last favor to get rid of a dirty car. Maria warns Claude by pager that the car is a trap and meets her at the docks. Maria explains that Salvatore didn't trust Claude and wanted to offer him to the Cartel for free. Maria introduces him to the Yakuza (enemies of the Leone's) leader Asuka Kasen and they move to Staunton Island to escape the Leone's. Soon Asuka wants Claude to prove that his ties with Leone's are completely broken by sniping Salvatore as he's leaving Luigi's club which he successfully does. Claude works for Asuka against the Leone's and the police to help the Yakuza. She soon introduces Claude to her brother and waka-gashira Kenji Kasen and corrupt cop Ray Machowski. Claude works for Kenji against the Yardies and the Cartel and works for Ray to keep his connections to the Yakuza secret from the rest of the police such as killing his partner Leon McAffrey. Ray soon introduces Claude to billionare Donald Love and Claude soon begins to do work for Love. Claude first rescues the Oriental Gentleman from the Cartel and also to start a war with the Yakuza and Cartel by whacking Kenji with a Cartel Car. Claude also gets some packages for Love as a plane drops them in the ocean but Love soon reveals those packages were a decoy and the real packages were on the plane itself. Claude then heads to the plane hangar only to find the package already taken by the Cartel to Fort Staunton. There Claude finds the package in possession of none other then Catalina and Miguel, as they attempt to escape Claude is able to stop and surprise them with two warning shots. Miguel attempts to negotiate with Claude only to get shot in the back by Catalina who escapes by jumping into a dumpster. Asuka appears still thinking that the Cartel killed her brother and begins to torture Miguel for information as Claude leaves to get the packages back to Love. After doing some more more work for Love, Claude finds Love has disappeared and leaves the building. He then does some work for Asuka against the Cartel in "revenge" for Kenji's death but Claude soon finds Asuka and Miguel both dead and a note from Catalina saying that she has kidnapped Maria and will kill her unless he brings $500,000 to the Cartel Mansion. However it is revealed to be an ambush and Catalina orders her men to kill him and she takes Maria away in a helicopter. Claude escapes the ambush and follows the helicopter to the dam where he rescues Maria but Catalina reboards the chopper causing Claude to shoot it down killing Catalina. As he and Maria leave the dam she keeps talking to him and stops as a gunshot is heard.


Main Article: Liberty City in GTA III Era

There are different districts in Liberty City. It consists of three islands - Portland Island, Staunton Island, and Shoreside Vale. Liberty City is based on New York, so the three islands are comparatively similar to Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Staten Island, respectively.

Portland IslandEdit

This is the old industrial district, consisting largely of workmen in old cars, the Leones, Triads, and Diablos.

The manual's description:

Here you will find the docks, the Red Light District, warehouses, factories, markets, garages as well as some useful suppliers. The area is populated with hookers, pimps, laborers, dockworkers, politicians and general scum. Crime is rife in Portland and it has a long history of Mafia control. But this is being challenged by the Triads. A bloody turf war has been underway for several months. A delightful district with something for everyone.

This is the first area the player will interact with in the game.

Staunton IslandEdit

This is the business district. Lots of rich people can be found here, along with their nice cars. The resident gangs are the Yakuza, the Yardies, and Colombian Cartel.

The manual's description:

This is the central business district. This is where all the big business takes place in Liberty City and is dominated by the rich, powerful and corporate. During the day the area is bustling with businessmen doing their 9-5 thing - insider trading, taking bribes and selling their grandmothers for ten bucks. At night it is dark, desolate and very dangerous.

Staunton Island is the second of the three districts the player will see in the game.

Shoreside ValeEdit

This is the suburban area of Liberty City. The wealthy live here, along with the middle-class residents and gangs. The Francis International Airport is also located here. The local gangs are the Southside Hoods and the Colombian Cartel.

The manual's description:

Suburban bliss and tranquility Liberty City style. Home to many of Liberty City's more affluent gangsters, Liberty City's commuter-belt is a patchwork of swimming pools, picket fences, backyards, basketball nets, street gangs and five car garages. It's littered with ostentatious mansions paid for with blood money, protected by high security guards and gates to keep out gangs of bored teenagers looking for something to do to bring some excitement to their middle class existence. The designer dogs and the station wagons give a shallow serenity to suburbia, but don't be fooled. Violence and corruption are at the heart of every home.

This is where the ending of the game takes place.


It could be said that Grand Theft Auto III has the third least amount of influences in the entire GTA series, only having two, which is the movie GoodFellas and the classic TV show The Sopranos as most of the mafia theme in the game was influenced by the both the show and the movie.


Upon release, Grand Theft Auto III was met with near-unanimous critical acclaim. Various critics praised the game for its story, gamplay, and the near unlimited freedom gain to the player; GTA III was touted as revolutionary by several game review websites and publications.

GTA III holds a 97/100 on Metacritic, making it (along with Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3) the highest rated PlayStation 2 game on the website. The game holds a 95% on GameRankings, making it the highest rated PlayStation 2 game on the website, as well the second highest rated game of its year, behind Halo.

IGN heavily praised the game, giving it a 9.6/10, calling it "a massive scale operation that just gets better and better as players dig into it, even though its gets ridiculously difficult at points." Eurogamer gave the game a perfect 10, calling it "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". gave the game an A+, saying "The best game of the year? Maybe the best game ever".

GameSpot gave the game a 9.6/10. stating "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". Game Informer gave it a 9.5/10, stating "The environments of Liberty City are stunning in scope and detail, dwarfing anything I've ever seen, and your choices are endless". GameSpy awarded the game with 9.4/10 stating "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. ". Game Revolution gave the game a perfect score, stating "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". GamePro gave the game a 5/5, stating "Greatly improved in GTAIII is the stunning visual and sound package." GamesRadar gave the game a perfect 10, stating "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."

Edge was less favorable, rating the game 8/10.

The PC version of the game recieved less positive, yet strong, reception. The PC version has been criticized for performance problems, especially in light of the much smoother performance of Vice City. This was due to technical issues. IGN gave the PC version a 9.4/10, while GameSpot gave it a 9.3/10.


GTA III emerged with an US$49.95 price, becoming the #1 selling game of 2001 in the United States. The game was later discounted to the price of $19 after becoming one of Sony's "Greatest Hits". The game has became the secong most best-selling game of 2002, behind its sequel, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. As of September 26, 2007, Grand Theft Auto III has sold 12 million units according to Take-Two Interactive. As of March 26, 2008, Grand Theft Auto III has sold 14.5 million units according to Take-Two Interactive.

GTA III is the fourth best-selling game of the series, behind Grand Theft Auto IV, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.

10th Anniversary EditionEdit

The 10th Anniversary Edition was announced by Rockstar Games during October 2011. The edition was released for mobile phones and tablets, such as iPod, iPhone and Android. The game was released in fall 2011.

A limited edition of Claude action figure is available for pre-order for $149.99; only 1,500 pieces were made.

In addition to the Claude action figure, it is also notable that Rockstar Games released a "concept art" image of Claude Speed during the 10th Anniversary Edition release that coencides with the original concept, box, and instruction manual art of GTA III. This is the first instance of Rockstar officially naming the character Claude, outside of code written in the game, and the first time his last name is officially revealed as Speed.

The iOS version of GTA III has received favorable reception, with IGN rewarding it with a 7.5/10.

Alternate ArtworkEdit

In some PAL territories, Grand Theft Auto III was released with different cover artwork, despite there being no major differences in the game itself. Below are examples of several box arts.


  • The first four cars seen in the mission " Give Me Liberty " ( Rumpo , Police, Enforcer and Patriot) have no drivers.
  • GTA III was the first GTA title to feature a third-person perspective.
  • GTA III was the last game to have a top-down camera view in third-person perspective.
  • GTA III was the last game to have the artwork on the cover not be a collage of different images (though only for Europe (excluding Germany), Australia, and New Zealand).
  • GTA III for PC was delayed one year because it shipped with high quality radio and textures. However, Rise FM wasn't remastered, and shipped with the PS2 quality. Differences in quality between Rise and other radio stations are quite audible.
  • Some early copies of GTA III still featured the logo of DMA Design, the original name of Rockstar North, during the opening credits.
  • The cash rewards for missions are very rewarding, although there isn't really anything to buy with the money; except weapons, vehicle bombs, and Pay 'n' Spray (even though Pay 'n' Spray cost an amazing $1,000 per use, the highest ever in the GTA series). Money can also be spent through healthcare when the player is wasted, or by police bribes when arrested.
  • In GTA III, when the player bumps cars, there is a small cash bonus, like in previous GTA games.
  • On the radar, there are no Ammu-Nation "gun" icons, nor are there any Pay 'n' Spray "can" icons. These icons only appear during certain missions. Also, GTA III was the only game which had hidden these icons.
  • When Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories was released several years later, the designers took the unusual step of maintaining continuity with the earlier game by keeping the layout of Liberty City very much the same as it is in GTA III. This gave an advantage to players familiar with the city from GTA III when they moved on to the later game, and vice-versa for players who are playing the games in chronological order (LCS first, then GTA III). However, those familiar with the control scheme of LCS and other later games may find GTA III more challenging to play: the right analog stick (on the PS2) cannot be used to move the camera around while driving, and there is no on-screen map to plot routes (the radar is all there is, and it only shows the immediate area; in addition, it is impossible to seperate on-ground roads with tunnels, rivers, and so on using the radar).
  • Grand Theft Auto III is now celebrating a 10th year anniversary, releasing a few GTA III toys and games for Apple iOS and Android Market for Mobile Phones.
  • This is only game in GTA III era that doesn't have the tracksuit outfit.
  • It was rumored that many features of the game were scrapped after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. However, Rockstar denied this and claimed that only about 1% of the game was changed. A reference to terrorists was removed, and a few cosmetic details like cars and certain civilian comments were changed. A major change was a remix of the US packaging, which would eventually become Rockstar's signature style.[1]
  • This game, Grand Theft Auto San Andreas, Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories, and Grand Theft Auto IV are the only games where the protagonists and the main characters of the story are on the run from the antagonists of the story.
  • Almost Grand Theft Auto III era games are rated Mature at ESRB

See alsoEdit


10th Anniversary TrailerEdit





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