Which GTA should I play first?

Answered by Cody Janus

When it comes to deciding which game from the Grand Theft Auto (GTA) trilogy to play first, there are a few factors to consider. The trilogy, which includes GTA 3, GTA Vice City, and GTA San Andreas, has been recently remastered and re-released as The Definitive Edition. While all three games offer a unique and immersive experience, I believe that GTA 3 is the best starting point for several reasons.

First and foremost, GTA 3 was the game that revolutionized the open-world genre and set the foundation for the subsequent games in the series. Released in 2001, it introduced players to the sprawling city of Liberty City, a gritty and crime-ridden metropolis that serves as the backdrop for the game’s narrative. Playing GTA 3 first allows you to experience the origins of the series and appreciate the advancements made in later games.

Furthermore, GTA 3 provides a solid introduction to the mechanics and gameplay elements that are prevalent throughout the trilogy. From navigating the city streets to engaging in missions and side activities, playing GTA 3 first allows you to familiarize yourself with the core mechanics and controls. This familiarity will make it easier to transition into the more complex and feature-rich Vice City and San Andreas.

Another reason to start with GTA 3 is the narrative progression within the trilogy. While each game has its standalone story, there are subtle connections and references that enhance the overall experience. By playing GTA 3 first, you can fully appreciate the callbacks and Easter eggs present in Vice City and San Andreas, creating a more cohesive and immersive storytelling experience.

From a technical standpoint, starting with GTA 3 also allows you to witness the graphical and gameplay improvements made in the remastered version of the game. As the first game in the trilogy, GTA 3 received significant enhancements in The Definitive Edition, including improved visuals, updated character models, and enhanced controls. Experiencing these improvements firsthand will make the transition to the other games in the trilogy smoother and more enjoyable.

Lastly, personal preference plays a role in the decision-making process. If you have a particular affinity for the urban setting and atmosphere of Liberty City, starting with GTA 3 allows you to fully immerse yourself in this environment before exploring the different locations in Vice City and San Andreas. However, if you have a strong preference for the 80s aesthetic and the nostalgic vibes of Vice City or the sprawling open-world of San Andreas, you may choose to start with one of those games instead.

While all three games in the Grand Theft Auto trilogy offer unique and exciting experiences, GTA 3 is the best starting point. Its groundbreaking nature, introduction to core mechanics, narrative progression, and technical enhancements in The Definitive Edition make it an ideal choice for players looking to delve into the world of GTA. Ultimately, the decision of which game to play first depends on personal preference, but starting with GTA 3 ensures a solid foundation for the rest of the trilogy.