It’s quite hard to believe it, but yes – yesterday marked 10 years since GTA 5 first released on PS3 and Xbox 360.
It’s undoubtedly become a milestone of recent gaming history, driven by an impressive figure of over 160m lifetime sales, critical reception, and endless controversies from developer Rockstar Games and its parent company Take-Two. The popular multiplayer mode, GTA Online, continues to stand the test of time as Rockstar continually adds new updates and content.
As Rockstar works on GTA 6 and Take-Two suggests it might be released as early as next year, now feels like an appropriate moment to take stock of the achievements, missteps, and musings that surround GTA 5.
Here’s where it all began with our initial review of GTA 5 from 10 years ago. There’s been plenty of time since its release for players to complete multiple playthroughs of the story campaign, at which point Donlan began to consider the threads of the game and how we, as the player, get to weave with them ourselves.
Our resident VR expert Ian explored a mod which lets you play GTA 5 from beginning to end in VR and he definitely had a good time racing around Los Santos. Embedded earlier in this page is a video of Ian attempting stunts like driving on the wrong side of the road and accidentally becoming a shark’s dinner in GTA 5 VR.
As Ian noted in his blog write-up of his experience, you need quite a beefy PC to run the mod without any hitches. Thankfully, Digital Foundry investigated GTA 5’s PC release to look at the best hardware for the game, which acts as a nice benchmark for your own computer.
GTA 5 has prompted plenty of different conceptual breakdowns too, not just technical ones. Although its cynical humour and satire are some of the most memorable things about the game, it’s gained divided opinions on its use and effect. GTA Online’s continued existence was summed up aptly by The Cayo Perico Heist, a content update added in 2020.
GTA Online made it into our Games of the Decade series for the 2010s for a multiplayer experience that’s possibly unmatched by any other. It’s full of stories waiting to be discovered and told, like The Diamond Casino Heist and a casino that finally opened its doors to players after six years.
The love Take-Two has for GTA 5 fans has at times been less obvious, however. It’s been eight years since the company sent two private investigators to one modder’s home to convince them to stop work on a mod called FiveM that would add an alternative online option to the game. Take-Two has continually gone on the hunt after modders, repeatedly taking down mods ranging from added maps to AI-powered NPC conversations. However, in a twist to the pattern of events, last month Rockstar announced it had hired the group of modders behind FiveM, who were previously banned from playing GTA 5 and GTA Online.
It’s truly been a whirlwind 10 years for GTA 5. Will its longevity last for another 10? Only time will tell.