HomeGamingGTA Games In Order: History of Grand Theft Auto Games (2022)

GTA Games In Order: History of Grand Theft Auto Games (2022)

Are you looking for all the GTA games in order? Want to know what’s the correct chronological order of the titles? Then, this article will help you as we have listed all the Grand Theft Auto games in order of their release date along with the chronological order.

Grand Theft Auto or GTA might be one of the biggest gaming franchises in the world. Developed by Rockstar Games, the franchise has an estimated worth of $330 million to up to $600 million. That’s some insane figure right there. That makes sense considering this franchise’s massive popularity to date.

GTA, as a series, revolutionized the entire open-world gaming. With each installment, Rockstar Games have pushed the segment even further. Even today, the gaming community admiringly enjoys the decades-old installments from the series.

With so many titles spanning over multiple years, things do get a bit confusing or tricky. That is the reason why we have compiled this article featuring all the Grand Theft Auto games in order!

We have divided the GTA games into two lists: main installments and spin-offs. Furthermore, we’re going to look at the GTA games in release order and then in chronological order.

GTA Games in Order of Release Date (2022)

1. Grand Theft Auto 1 (1997)

grand theft auto 1

Released in: 1997
Available for: Windows, PlayStation, GameBoy, Android
Protagonists: Player’s choice

In 1997, Rockstar Games launched its action-adventure video game, Grand Theft Auto or GTA. It was a top-down 2D game bringing an open-world gaming experience to the gamers.

The title has around three massive cities: San Andreas, Liberty City, and Vice City. What was more interesting at that time was these cities resembled real-life locales even though they were named fictionally.

GTA 1 had multiple playable characters: Travis, Nikki, Katy, Divine, Bubba, Troy, Ulrika, and Kivlo. The player had to choose anyone to jump into the crime-based story of the installment. Players could do multiple quests to progress in the storyline while also doing side activities for fun.

The game built the franchise’s foundation by introducing various elements such as open-world exploration, driving, weapons, violence, and more. To Rocktar’s surprise, the game ended up selling 3 million units.

2. Grand Theft Auto 2 (1999)

grand theft auto 2

Released in: 1999
Available for: Windows, PlayStation, GameBoy, Dreamcast
Protagonists: Claude Speed

After tasting the success of GTA 1, Rockstar Games debuted the second installment named Grand Theft Auto 2. This title took place in Anywhere city in the retrofuturistic society. It followed the same 2D universe but included three districts: residential, downtown, and industrial.

Throughout the story, you explore each area by unlocking them by earning more money, and you earn money by doing missions.

GTA 2 brings some new concepts to the gameplay, such as respect level, star system, and much more. It also brought the concept of the safe house where you can save the game by heading to the church.

Once again, the game was received very well in the gaming community, with gamers enjoying the much more immersive experience.

3. Grand Theft Auto 3 (2001)

grand theft auto 3

Released in: 2001
Available for: Windows, PlayStation 2, Xbox, Mobile
Protagonists: Claude

Next up in the GTA games in order list, we have Grand Theft Auto 3, released in 2001, and you had to play as Claude in the famous Liberty City.

A lot was changed when it came to GTA 3. For starters, we’re looking at a much more immersive 3D experience. The developers improved every aspect of the open-world exploration by almost ten times.

We’re looking at better driving, better weapon and shooting mechanism, and improved third-person exploration. Even the storyline had more twists and felt more immersive with this new title.

The protagonist, Claude, explores and does missions with Catalina. Things turn upside down when Catalina decides to betray Claude with Miguel.

Claude, all alone in Liberty city, decides to take revenge and, in doing so, also ends up climbing the criminal ladder. With this new storyline, GTA 3 built a new base for the forthcoming installments.

4. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (2002)

grand theft auto: vice city

Released in: 2002
Available for: Windows, PlayStation 2, Xbox
Protagonists: Tommy Vercetti

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City changed the landscape of the entire franchise. Tommy Vercetti, the main protagonist of the installment, became a fictional legend in the gaming community. Once again, the game takes place in Liberty City.

In terms of gameplay, the developers didn’t really change much. There were solid improvements in graphics and a few mechanics, though.

Tommy Vercetti, after being released from prison, wants to go back to his criminal ways with the help of Sonny Forelli. A small typical drug job ends up turning Tommy’s life upside down. The developers added multiple gangs such as Cubans, Haitians, and biker gangs to make the game even more exciting.

Once again, you do various missions, with most of them dealing in crime such as assaulting drugstores, jewelry stores, gun stores, robbing banks, killing, and much more. GTA: Vice City brought whole new popularity to the franchise.

5. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (2004)

grand theft auto: san andreas

Released in: 2004
Available for: Windows, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Xbox, Xbox 360, Mobile
Protagonists: Carl Johnson, aka CJ

After the immense success of GTA: Vice City, it was time for Rockster Games to bring improved and better experiences to the table. So, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was released, bringing another soon-to-be-legendary character, Carl “CJ” Johnson.

The game took place in three cities: Las Venturas, Los Santos, and San Fierro. Once again, we’re looking at a revenge story as CJ was betrayed by his old band members.

Most of the game revolves around a gang rivalry between the Bloods and the Crisp. With each mission you do, you end up gaining more respect among peers. The game brought the concept of controlling neighborhoods by gaining power.

We saw improved mechanics and gameplay, along with the addition of several new activities. We’re looking at activities such as exercise, buying outfits, more weapons, swimming, driving trains, climbing walls, and much more. GTA: San Andreas brought a new scope to the open-world exploration.

To even this date, GTA: San Andreas has the best storyline in the franchise, with gamers enjoying every second of this installment.

6. Grand Theft Auto IV (2008)

grand theft auto 4

Released in: 2008
Available for: Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Protagonists: Niko Bellic

With Grand Theft Auto IV, Rockstar Games took a solid amount of time. Released after 4 years of GTA: San Andreas, the game returned to its traditional root, i.e., Liberty City. With GTA 4, the developers started using a brand-new engine bringing an entirely new and improved experience.

In the game, you play as Niko Bellic, an Eastern European war veteran. Niko comes to Liberty City hoping to live up to the American dream. However, he slowly ended up finding himself on the criminal path, unable to escape.

With GTA 4, the developers took the storyline up a notch further. We saw impressively detailed cutscenes, straightforward character journeys, and some strong personalities.

The game also brought the concept of choices where you can have three different types of endings. We saw significant improvements in weapon mechanics, driving, and third-person shooting. The NPCs were much more intelligent, and so were the AI-driven police. The game also brought some unique additions, such as using the internet in cafes.

It also brought ragdoll physics allowing players and NPCs to interact with the surroundings dynamically. Vehicle collisions, falling, blood, and accidents seemed much more natural and physics-backed.

7. Grand Theft Auto V (2013)

grand theft auto 5

Released in: 2013
Available for: Windows, PS 3, Xbox 360, PS 4, Xbox One, PS 5, Xbox Series S/X
Protagonists: Michael De Santa, Franklin Clinton, Trevor Philips

Rockstar Games took an extended amount of time to bring out the next-gen Grand Theft Auto V. The game brought a massive improvement in terms of graphics and gameplay mechanics.

The developers improved almost every single aspect of the game heavily. It was the first-ever GTA game that allowed players to play as multiple characters throughout the storyline. We’re looking at three protagonists: Michael De Santa, Franklin Clinton, and Trevor Philips. The game takes place in the present day in Los Santos.

GTA 5, as expected, pokes fun at the present-day situation. You see the mockery of things like social media, celebrity status, and even the government.

Released in 2013, GTA 5 is still relevant to this day, even after a decade. Games are still enjoying the game without getting bored by it. Even from the graphics POV, the game was way ahead of its time. Even today, it looks top-notch when it comes to mechanics and graphics.

The game is also considered the priciest in history, with an estimated budget of 265 million dollars. Rockstar Games did a fantastic job in the storyline by intertwining the stories of three different characters. The three protagonists are from different worlds, having an entirely different life.

In GTA 5, you can do almost everything from online shopping and sports to heists and more.

The game also brought a multiplayer online version dubbed GTA Online. GTA Online ballparked the entire franchise and enjoyed immense popularity to this day. It receives so many requests that there was a time when the average server joining time was in hours. Even to this day, GTA Online has a huge player base.

8. Grand Theft Auto VI (yet to be released)

grand theft auto 6

Released in: TBA

Rockstar Games has officially announced that it is working on the next major installment in the GTA franchise. The title should follow the same naming scheme. There’s not much known about GTA 6, but we should expect some heavy improvements and a lot of new activities. Of course, the storyline is going to be top-notch, as expected.

With GTA 6, we expect to hear about a new, improved version of GTA Online built on top of the latest installment.

GTA Games in Order – Expansion Packs:

1. Grand Theft Auto: London 1969 (1999)

grand theft auto: london 1969

Released in: 1999
Available for: Windows, PlayStation 1
Protagonists: Player’s choice

Grand Theft Auto: London 1969 is the first-ever expansion pack of the entire franchise. This expansion took place in a completely different location and allowed the player to explore the city of London. Of course, the expansion pack brings new content to gamers but not improvements.

The London 1969 expansion pack added some new missions, new locations, and of course, new vehicles. The pack had some references to British culture, such as music from the era, cars driving on the left, and much more. Once again, the player can choose from the list of characters to explore London city.

2. Grand Theft Auto: London 1961 (1999)

grand theft auto: london 1961

Released in: 1999
Available for: Windows
Protagonists: Player’s choice

Soon after the first expansion, Rockstar Games announced its second expansion pack dubbed Grand Theft Auto: London 1961. Once again, we’re looking at London as the primary location but set in 1961.

The devs added various references to the then-British culture. All the nifty details would remind you of London in the year 1961. To properly enjoy this expansion pack, gamers must have the previous one.

3. Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned (2009)

grand theft auto 4: the lost and damned

Released in: 2009
Available for: Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Protagonists: Johnny Klebitz

After taking a solid break from expansion packs, Rockstar Games brought GTA IV: The Lost and Damned. In this expansion pack, the story revolves around the protagonist, Johnny Klebitz. The game takes place in the same location as GTA IV, i.e., Liberty City. Johnny Klebitz is a member of a biker gang named The Lost.

The developers added new missions, allowed you to interact with gang members, and gave you a more immersive experience. Surprisingly, the expansion pack revolved around the story of the original protagonist, Niko Bellic.

4. Grand Theft Auto IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony (2009)

grand theft auto 4: the ballad of gay tony

Released in: 2009
Available for: Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Protagonists: Luis Fernando Lopez

GTA IV was lucky enough to get a second expansion pack. The second expansion pack was titled The Ballad of Gay Tony and revolved around a new protagonist, Luis Fernando Lopez. Luis is a bodyguard of a well-known drug lord, Anthony Prince, also known as Gay Tony.

This expansion pack was unique because you don’t need a GTA IV copy to run it. You can play this expansion pack independently. You explore the Dominican criminal ring while living a luxury life. Another thing worth noting was that most of the game took place in the nighttime.

So, you can expect to encounter bars, adult entertainment places, and similar places throughout the pack. We also saw the additions of new content such as vehicles and even a new multiplayer option.

Grand Theft Auto Games in Order – Handheld Games:

1. Grand Theft Auto Advance (2004)

grand theft auto advance

Released in: 2004
Available for: GameBoy Advance
Protagonists: Mike

Grand Theft Auto Advance was the first handheld game in the franchise and was specifically designed for the then-popular GameBoy Advance. Hence, the name Grand Theft Auto Advance.

With GTA Advance, Rockstar Games took the same approach of storyline to the likes of Vice City and San Andreas. You play as Mike, who wants to retire and live a good life, but his last job throws the entire plan to disarray.

As a result, you are now caught in criminal charges as you are an alleged murderer of Vinney. It’s time to prove your innocence, and the only way to do that is to find the killer yourself and get revenge.

2. Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories (2005)

grand theft auto: liberty city stories

Released in: 2005
Available for: PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 2
Protagonists: Toni Cipriani

GTA: Liberty City Stories was the second handheld game in the franchise, and it was designed for PSP and later made its way to PS2. You play as Toni Cipriani, who wants to show everyone what he’s capable of and wants to rise ranks.

This title adds a lot of exciting missions and new activities such as participating with mobs, fighting with mafia families, and more.

3. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories (2006)

grand theft auto: vice city stories

Released in: 2006
Available for: PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 2
Protagonists: Victor Vance

You play as Victor Vance in this new handled GTA title available for PSP and PS2. One wrong decision changed the course of Vic’s entire life, forcing him to submit to the hidden crimes of Vice City. Vic joins hands with his brother Lance and is on the path to taking over the city.

GTA: Vice City Stories is one of the popular handheld GTA games as it brought a solid storyline to the table.

4. Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars (2010)

grand theft auto: chinatown wars

Released in: 2010
Available for: PlayStation Portable, Nintendo DS, iOS
Protagonists: Huang Lee

Once again, we’re back to the heart of Liberty City, exploring yet another story of revenge. This time you play as Huang Lee, a triad member. Huang is seeking revenge for his father’s assassination and wants to bring back his ceremonial sword that was precious to his family.

GTA: Chinatown Wars brought something different to the franchise, i.e., a comic-like visual experience. With over 100 missions to complete, the extra content in this title is impressively insane for a handheld title.

Grand Theft Auto Games – Bonus Titles:

[Bonus] Grand Theft Auto Online (2013)

grand theft auto online

Released in: 2013
Available for: Windows, PS 3, Xbox 360, PS 4, Xbox One, PS 5, Xbox Series S/X
Protagonists: N/A

GTA Online changed the entire landscape of the whole franchise and made the series relevant to this day, even though the last title was launched almost a decade ago. GTA Online is the franchise’s only title that keeps getting new content to keep up with the real-world calendar.

With GTA Online, you can set foot in Liberty City with your friends. So, we’re not looking at a storyline here but a lot of exciting and fun missions you can do with your friends. Do missions to earn more money, buy fancy vehicles, jets, apartments to live a luxurious life, and much more.

The game offers vast capabilities to the players with so many things to do that the game is still popular to this day.

[Bundle] Grand Theft Auto: The Definitive Edition (2021)

grand theft auto: the definitive edition

Released in: 2021
Available for: PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Switch, and Windows

GTA: The Definitive Edition is the company’s recently announced bundle with all three classics, namely GTA 3, GTA: Vice City, and GTA: San Andreas. Rockstar Games has improved the graphics of all three titles for this bundle. Sadly, there’s no new content, additional missions, more activities, and such.

All The GTA Games in Chronological Order

Here are all the GTA games in order of timeline, i.e., the in-game universe years. In this order, we are not dividing the titles into main installments, expansion packs, and more.

  • Grand Theft Auto: London 1961 (1961)
  • Grand Theft Auto: London 1969 (1969)
  • Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories (1984)
  • Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (1986)
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (1992)
  • Grand Theft Auto 1 (1997)
  • Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories (1998)
  • Grand Theft Auto: Advance (2000)
  • Grand Theft Auto 3 (2001)
  • Grand Theft Auto IV (2008)
  • Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned (2008)
  • Grand Theft Auto IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony (2008)
  • Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars (2009)
  • Grand Theft Auto 2 (2013)
  • Grand Theft Auto V (2013)
  • Grand Theft Auto VI (TBA)


That brings us to the end of this article, as we have looked at all the Grand Theft Auto games released so far. I am sure you are a massive fan of the franchise and must have played all the titles listed above. If that’s not the case, then I am 100% sure that you have at least played GTA: Vice City or GTA: San Andreas because those two titles are the most popular, followed closely by Grand Theft Auto V.

Now that you have read the complete list of all the GTA games in order, I would also ask you to share the article with your friends so that they can have a look at it and gain some precious information about the franchise.

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