This is Objection Network’s countdown of the top 25 video game series of all-time. We’re counting down to the best franchise ever on March 31. For more info on the voting process, click here.
21) Grand Theft Auto (2 votes, 65 points)
Chris: I might be in the minority on this, but I think Grand Theft Auto has suffered the more serious it has become. While IV was a highly regarded game, I played it and felt dead inside most of the time (especially at the ending). I’m not saying it should be Saints Row or anything — more on that later — but it still needs to feel like it has character. That’s why V was a step in the right direction: a serious story, but plenty of humor and personality spread across its three protagonists.
Personally, I’ll ride or die with San Andreas as my favorite in the series and one of the best games ever made. The early games were solid, III successfully brought the franchise into the third dimension, and Vice City’s soundtrack is one of gaming’s all-time greats. But San Andreas…mmm. Loved that game, loved the weird pseudo co-op mode, loved the RPGesque leveling system.
Grand Theft Auto deserves a ton of credit for what it has done for video gaming. There have been sandbox games before and since, but you can see a number of GTA’s influences spread throughout the city. And when I feel the need to mow down hundreds of pedestrians with my car or stir up shit with the cops just to see how ridiculous the response is at five stars, there’s nowhere I’d rather turn.
Cary: Is GTA charming? Um…no. Does it have the charisma of, say, the Batman: Arkham series? Eh, not so much. Is it subtle in its depictions of humanity, and does it stand tall on the pillars of good taste. Oh hell naw! Y’know what the GTA series is? It’s downright freedom – freedom to make the worst decisions you’ve ever made for a set of fictional character. Freedom from consequence, because so what if a few (thousand) people have to die along the way? Freedom within a decently thoughtful set of sandbox environments in which you (mostly) get to set your own path. (And yes, I’m referring to the 3D GTAs, as my experience with the series didn’t start until Vice City.) Hell, if all that freedom ain’t enough, then GET AWAY FROM ME YOU COMMIE BASTARD!