Image: Rockstar Games

There are five GTA games on Xbox and they are all brilliant. Besides, now that we are finally got a release date for Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition, we’re excited to be diving back into some classic rock star games. It’s been too long and with a slew of new tweaks, it will be great to see the titles with some modernized refinements.

But the question is, which game are we looking forward to the most? And how are they compared to the more modern titles like Grand Theft Auto V.?

Just for fun, we decided to rate all Grand Theft Auto games playable over the Xbox’s 20 year lifespan. Of course, just because our list may differ from yours does not mean it is invalid; everyone has different opinions!

Without further adieu, here is Pure Xbox’s ranking of the Grand Theft Auto series on Xbox:

5. Grand Theft Auto III

Any ranked Xbox Grand Theft Auto game
Image: Rockstar Games

Rockstar’s first attempt at converting the Grand Theft Auto series to 3D may be at the bottom of our list, but that doesn’t make it any less impressive. Originally released in 2001, the game was a breakthrough achievement, delivering an open world that would forever change the way games were made.

By today’s standards, the game undoubtedly shows its age through mission design, graphics, and gameplay. However, if the Definitive Edition manages to freshen up some of the controls (which it appears to be), we can imagine that it could still be a phenomenal blast from the past.

When the game originally launched, it received critical acclaim across the board. While some of its violence has been controversial, many praised its ambition, with some reviewers calling it “epic”. Many other entries have started since then Grand Theft Auto III who refined the formula, but it’s still an extraordinary adventure well worth embarking on.

4. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City

Any ranked Xbox Grand Theft Auto game
Image: Rockstar Games

Of everything on this list, putting Grand Theft Auto: Vice City The penultimate one will probably be the most controversial, we think – but something has to be done here, right?

Released just a year after Grand Theft Auto III, the Rockstar team were already showing how they honed the experience of the previous game. While Liberty City was bathed in lots of dark, gray colors, Vice City was a stark contrast and a perfect representation of the 80s. From the first moments you jump on a motorcycle and hear Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean through your speakers, you know you’re having a good time.

As Tommy Vercetti, brilliantly played by Ray Liotta, Vice City perfectly embodies classic gangster films like Scarface and takes you into the criminal underworld of a fictional representation of Miami. It really got you into that era and it’s still a classic to this day. Full of additional content like buying a home or becoming a taxi driver, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City will no doubt be a title many will want to revisit.

3. Grand Theft Auto V

Any ranked Xbox Grand Theft Auto game
Image: Rockstar Games

Despite several new releases and a negative reception of certain aspects of its online component, Grand Theft Auto V. still has an absolutely phenomenal single player mode. It’s easy to forget after such bad press, but there’s a reason it’s so popular.

It offers you three different characters to play as, and it often feels like the game is a love letter to the series as a whole. Franklin and friends have a similar relationship with CJ and his crew in San Andreas, Michael feeling like he could have grown up in Vice City while Trevor takes on the madness embodied in previous entries on the series. When all three are available to you it offers so much in terms of gameplay.

The world is also a phenomenal achievement that only Rockstar’s later work in Red Dead Redemption 2. It feels so alive and naturally delivers some of the show’s best moments. You can lose hours simply walking the streets and seeing how the NPCs react to certain daily events. There’s nothing like it, and it holds up even eight years later.

2. Grand Theft Auto IV

Any ranked Xbox Grand Theft Auto game
Image: Rockstar Games

While Grand Theft Auto IV is often viewed as a bit capricious and with some questionable design choices like the clumsy controls, it also comes across as a mature version of the series. As the audience got older it felt like a natural evolution. It wasn’t for everyone, but for those who liked it – like us – it left a lasting impression.

Niko Bellic was an instantly likeable protagonist and his cousin Roman gave the darker story a touch of comedy. It held us to the end as we watched the tragic end. In addition to the narrative, it also offered a fresh look at Liberty City and a taste of the future as rock stars move towards more mature titles.

For those who wanted things a little easier, however, the two excellent extensions paved the way for more fun. Both The Lost and Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony offered unique ways to play and could be viewed as separate, smaller entries. We also got our first taste of online gaming without the relentless need for microtransactions. Even today we remember the magical momentum that would propel us and our friends across the map. Grand Theft Auto IV is getting bad packaging these days and it’s ultimately not deserved.

1. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

Any ranked Xbox Grand Theft Auto game
Image: Rockstar Games

What else could be number one? The sprawling epic that is Grand Theft Auto San Andreas When it was launched in 2004, it captured our hearts and imaginations. Offering three large and diverse islands to explore, the game was a playground for discovery and put its open-world gameplay to the fore.

Even the story that follows protagonist CJ was an incredibly compelling tale with a wide variety of singing talents, from Samuel L. Jackson to Danny Dyer. But the best character was the world itself, which the series served as its own take on cities like Las Vegas and San Francisco. Even if you avoided the story altogether, you could still lose hours and hours just living in this world.

It also offered some RPG lite elements, such as: B. Foods that affect CJ’s weight and exercises that increase your stamina. There’s just so much on offer that it’s hard to find faults in the game. You could pick it up today and still find secrets you never knew existed. Players still venture into the woods in hopes of finding BigFoot – a popular myth that used to appear in school playgrounds.

If there’s one title we’re looking forward to, it’s Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Oh, and it comes to Game Pass!

How is your ranking on the Grand Theft Auto series? Let us know in the comments below.

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