How To Play All The Existing ‘GTA’ Games In Chronological Order While You Wait For ‘GTA 6’

Who hasn’t heard of GTA, the three glorious alphabets depicting one of the most blockbuster video games of all time? As the world prepares to peek into the sixth iteration of Grand Theft Auto, titled GTA 6, it only gives us a good reason to look at the franchise of GTA games in chronological order to decode what makes it so desirable and immensely popular.

In a world where production houses and studios focus on delivering cinematic experiences, the Grand Theft Auto franchise has always cared about giving freedom to the players. Do you want to fly around in an Air Force jet? You can do that in GTA. Do you want to recreate intense police chases from Hollywood movies? GTA has you covered. Do you seek to honour your love while being a law-abiding citizen amidst all the crime? You can do so as well, but doesn’t that defeat the purpose of getting all the freedom?

Regardless of what you want your Grand Theft Auto playthrough to be like, GTA games have always offered a grand experience over the last two decades. And it’s not that older titles were terrible. Even if you pick up 2004’s GTA: San Andreas, you are assured of a gala time with a hint of vintage art style.

Hence, we have created a list of all the GTA games released in chronological order over the years, leading up to the release of GTA 6.

Before we deep dive into that list, however, here’s a list of  all the GTA games in order of their release date:

All ‘GTA’ games in order of their release date

  • Grand Theft Auto (1997)

  • Grand Theft Auto: London DLC packs (1999)

  • Grand Theft Auto 2 (1999)

  • Grand Theft Auto III (2000)

  • Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (2002)

  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (2004)

  • Grand Theft Auto Advance (2004)

  • Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories (2005)

  • Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories (2006)

  • Grand Theft Auto IV (2008)

  • Grand Theft Auto: The Lost and The Damned (2009)

  • Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars (2009)

  • Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony (2009)

  • Grand Theft Auto V (2013)

  • Grand Theft Auto Online (2013)

Now, without further ado, here’s a list of all the games in the popular franchise as per their chronological order.

All ‘GTA’ games released in chronological order

1 /16

Grand Theft Auto: London DLC packs (1999)

Released on: PC, PS1

Rockstar Games released a DLC pack for the original GTA game in 1999, titled Grand Theft Auto: London 1969. This expansion pack added eight new British characters from that period and included a couple of missions in a fictionalised version of London in the 1960s. In the same year, a second DLC pack was released for players on PC, titled Grand Theft Auto: London 1961 and was available to download for free. This pack was set in the same fictional London with the same characters but had a shorter story set in 1961. 

(Image Credits: Courtesy Rockstar Games)

2 /16

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories (2006)

Released on: PSP, PS2 PS3 

Following in the footsteps of GTA: Liberty City Stories, GTA: Vice City Stories plays as a prequel to GTA: Vice City. Released on Sony’s PlayStation consoles, the game puts you in the shoes of Victor Vance, who is betrayed by his fellow military men and discharged from his duty. Teaming up with his brother Lance, Victor starts from the bottom and fights his way to the top, taking charge of the streets of Vice City. Some of GTA: Vice City’s characters make an appearance in this instalment and by the end of the story, the stage is set for Tommy Verceti. 

(Image Credits: Courtesy Rockstar Games)

3 /16

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (2002)

Released on: PC, PS2, Xbox, Mac OS, Android, iOS, Fire OS

The most widely distributed (read pirated) version of GTA that made the franchise extremely popular, this game takes us back to 1986’s Vice City, a fictionalised version of Miami, wherein you step into the shoes of gangster Tommy Verrceti. After getting betrayed by his new employer, Tommy starts from the bottom and rises up the ranks to take control of a crime syndicate. When not doing missions, players could roam the city with vehicles and do side missions to earn money. Similar to GTA III and GTA: San Andreas, GTA: Vice City got a remastered version in 2021 and is also available on mobile platforms.

(Image Credits: Courtesy Rockstar Games)

4 /16

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (2004)

Released on: PC, PS2, PS3, Xbox, Xbox 360, Mac OS, Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Oculus Quest 2

No other video game has achieved a cult status like GTA: San Andreas has. Released in 2004, it continues to be one of the best-selling games of all time.

This isn’t surprising, given that GTA: San Andreas was the finest evolution of the franchise’s ‘3D era’, with the developers throwing everything they could imagine. Whether it was hijacking a train or flying a jetpack, buying clothes for your date with your girlfriend or swimming your way into the other parts of Los Santos and modding cars with lift kits, this GTA game had it all. Not to mention, CJ (Carl Johnson) is an iconic protagonist who has to go through an interesting storyline to take control of the streets.

All in all, this is a must-have title for your video game library.

(Image Credits: Courtesy Rockstar Games)

5 /16

Grand Theft Auto (1997)

Released on: PC, Sony PS1, Game Boy Color

This is the game that started it all. Released in 1997, the original Grand Theft Auto introduced the concept of an open-world setting where you get to be an outlaw. Players get to pick one of eight protagonists and complete assigned missions across the three fictional cities of Vice City, Liberty City and Los Santos. With a healthy choice of weapons and a wide variety of vehicles at their disposal, players could go around town with a top-down view. 

Grand Theft Auto didn’t age well though and after staying in the midst of controversies, it paved the way for the next version. 

(Image Credits: Courtesy Rockstar Games)

6 /16

Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories (2005)

Released on: PSP, PS2, PS3, Android, iOS, Fire OS

GTA: Liberty City Stories was released in 2005 as a prequel to 2001’s GTA III.

The story revolves around Toni Cipriani, a prime character in GTA III, and his past life including how he got involved with the mafia. The ending of the main story sets the stage for GTA III’s Claude but the overall gameplay stuck to the tried-and-tested GTA formula that had made the franchise so popular with gamers across the world. 

(Image Credits: Courtesy Rockstar Games)

7 /16

Grand Theft Auto 2 (1999)

Released on: PC, PS1, Dreamcast, Game Boy Color

The second instalment in the GTA franchise brought us a refined version of the original’s formula. While the top-down view with the dated graphics was retained, the gameplay was refined with a new story and a single new protagonist called Claude Speed. Set in a retro-futuristic town called ‘Anywhere City’, players had to undertake the role of a criminal, competing missions while exploring the world with free will.

GTA 2 didn’t receive the same response as its predecessor and it quickly sent Rockstar Games back to the drawing board. 

(Image Credits: Courtesy Rockstar Games)

8 /16

Grand Theft Auto Advance (2004)

Released on: Game Boy Advance

Alongside GTA: San Andreas, Rockstar Games released GTA: Advance for Nintendo Gameboy Advance players. With its own story based on an altered version of Liberty City, you play as Mike and are tasked with taking revenge for your deceased partner. Some of the original characters from GTA III make an appearance in the storyline as well.

(Image Credits: Courtesy Rockstar Games)

9 /16

Grand Theft Auto III (2001)

Released on: PC, PS2, Xbox, macOS, Android, iOS and Fire OS

GTA III changed the course of the franchise and kickstarted a new era of open-world gaming. With a new 3D view that is more immersive, GTA III puts you in the shoes of Claude after being betrayed by his girlfriend during a heist. As the story progresses, Claude gets engaged with the underworld and rises up the ranks to get his revenge on his former love. The game stood out with its diverse open world, good graphics (for its time), lots of playable opportunities and the freedom to do anything. 

The game was originally launched in 2001 but Rockstar Games later released a version for iOS and Android. In 2021, a remastered edition of GTA III was released on PC and consoles as part of the GTA Trilogy: The Definitive Edition

(Image Credits: Courtesy Rockstar Games)

10 /16

Grand Theft Auto IV (2008)

Released on: PC, PS3, Xbox 360

After Rockstar Games decided to dial down the craziness of the GTA franchise, 2008 saw the release of GTA IV. Ushering into the ‘HD era’ of the games, GTA IV dropped jaws with its impressive graphics and a new physics system to match reality.

The story brings us back to Liberty City (a faithful recreation of New York), where you play as Niko Bellic, an ex-soldier from Yugoslavia, meeting his cousin Roman to live the American dream. Things shortly go south after Niko gets drawn into the underworld and chaos unfolds, taking him across Liberty City for survival.

Beyond the unique storyline, the game was applauded for its immense attention to detail and plethora of things to do in the free mode. 

(Image Credits: Courtesy Rockstar Games)

11 /16

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

Released on: PC, PS3, Xbox 360

Released a year after GTA IV, Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned was one of the two expansion packs for the main game. The story mode now focused on a biker gang in Liberty City, with the game putting you in the shoes of Johnny Klebitz, who is looking after The Lost MC motorcycle gang. However, once the gang’s President, Billy Grey, comes out of rehab, he starts a gang war with the rivals, resulting in internal conflicts within the Lost MC gang. There were lesser missions to play but the player now got to explore Liberty City from the perspective of Johnny.

(Image Credits: Courtesy Rockstar Games)

12 /16

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

Released on: PC, PS3, Xbox 360

The second expansion pack for GTA IV introduced us to a new protagonist called Luis Fernando Lopez, who helps ‘Gay Tony’ overcome various problems like drugs, debts and disputes with the Mafia. The game also ties together the storylines from GTA IV and The Lost And The Damned, completing the entire arc.

(Image Credits: Courtesy Rockstar Games)

13 /16

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars (2009)

Released on: Nintendo DS, PSP, Android, iOS, Fire OS

This was the last GTA game to be developed for mobile platforms. GTA: Chinatown Wars was set in the same Liberty City that was featured in GTA IV. However, the game’s focus on mobile-friendly gameplay gave it the top-down camera view and cartoonish graphics, something that we last saw in GTA 2. There was the usual GTA storyline involving gangs, theft, drugs and police evasion. 

(Image Credits: Courtesy Rockstar Games)

14 /16

Grand Theft Auto V (2013)

Released on:  PC, PS3, PS4, PS5, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox Series S|X

GTA V needs no introduction! The longest-running game in the franchise’s history has been released on multiple platforms over a decade, overseeing a lot of mid-life graphical upgrades. GTA V brought the action back to Los Santos (the city featured in GTA: San Andreas) wherein the player gets to play as three different protagonists – Michael, Franklin and Trevor – that you get to switch between as and when you wish (except for during missions).

Other than the graphical upgrade, GTA V offered a large and diverse map to explore along with lots of exciting new gameplay mechanics and easter eggs to enjoy.

(Image Credits: Courtesy Rockstar Games)

15 /16

GTA Online (2013)

Released on:  PC, PS3, PS4, PS5, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox Series S|X

Released alongside GTA V, GTA Online has evolved into a phenomenon over the last decade. With regular content updates and new activities, GTA Online lets you step into the world of San Andreas on your own. You get to live the ‘American Dream’ as your own character but there’s money to be earned and jobs to be done. The game also has a couple of story-based missions involving characters from GTA V but you can team up with up to 30 real-world players to make them interesting.

(Image Credits: Courtesy Rockstar Games)

16 /16

Grand Theft Auto 6 (yet to be released)

The next instalment in the GTA series is expected to take us back to Vice City, a fictional rendition of Miami. Countless leaks have hinted at GTA 6 featuring two protagonists named Jason and Lucia, with the latter being the first-ever female protagonist of the series. After a long development cycle, the game is expected to replicate the life of two drug dealers in Miami. Players can expect to see new features such as swamps, alligators, jet skis, planes, metro trains and a lot more. The first trailer for GTA 6 will be released in December 2023, with the game expected to launch sometime in late 2024.

(Image Credits: Courtesy Rockstar Games)