Grand Theft Auto III (2001)


Genre Period Developer Publisher Theme
Action, Adventure, Open World, Sandbox Modern (2001 – 2010) DMA Design Rockstar Crime, Organized Crime, Gangsters, Mafia, New York City, Racing

GTA III is third installment and the first 3D title of the GTA series. This title is revolutionary in many ways, but most importantly as pioneer of OPEN WORLD and SANDBOX gaming. Although open world games existed before GTA III, this game put the feature right near the top of the list from where it went on to become the most dominating characteristic found in almost all of today’s top of the range games. In this game you play the role of a wronged criminal on his quest for revenge. Betrayed by your own (very hot) girlfriend, you find yourself right at the bottom of the pile, from where you must rise up through the ranks… by doing petty crimes and driving around mob bosses in the beginning, but assassinations, heists, auto theft, racing, and every type of criminal activities you can imagine as you progress along the game. The setting is Liberty City, loosely based on New York City. You can drive cars or boats. You can roam around freely. Some parts of the city will unlock based on your progress through the story-line. Missions are given out by characters strewn around the city. Apart from missions, there are plenty of side-missions which will net you lot of money as well as excellent perks that are very useful for the story missions. If you are fan of open world, sandbox style gameplay, and do not mind challenges, you aboslutely must play this.

Game Assessment

Complexity Matrix 

Complexity Parameters Values (0, 0.5, 1)
Control Scheme 0.5: Moderate
Complexity 1: Complex
Story 1: Story
Lore 1: Rich lore (World of GTA+Trilogy)
Immersion 1: Role-play
Difficulty 1: High
Learning Curve 0: Easy
Total Score 5.5/7: Heavyweight game 

Satisfaction Matrix

Needs Satisfaction Score (0-3)
Analytical 0: Not met
Creative 0: Not met
Mastery 3: Well met
Destructive 2: Moderately met
Entertainment 3: Well met
Pace 2: Moderately met
Horror 0: Not met
Total Score 10/21: Good Game

Game Review

TL;DR A brilliant piece of work. Reveolutionary and unparalleled during its time, GTA III is a masterpiece. It pretty much created its own niche and if you like open world adventures with infinite possibilities for completing missions, then you need to play this.


  • Whacky and sarcy humor
  • Rich in entertainment
  • The overall plot is cliched but the connecting dots make for a pretty good storyline
  • Multiple ways to complete missions, your own creative thinking is the only limit
  • A vast open world throbbing with life and all its quirkiness


  • Difficult and can prove often frustrating
  • Has some gameplay issues as explained below

Game completed.

96% completion with just 3 4×4 vehicle missions and the paramedic mission remaining to be done.  These missions, however, are real pains and probably I will take a rain check on them. Total play-time is 65 hrs.

Purpose – Entertainment

Gameplay – Gameplay is not GTA III’s forte. Very quirky and over-sensitive. Too many “insta-fails”. Too many missions are based on the “learn through failure” policy which I do not like. While some such missions have to inevitably exist, a good game design should have enough missions following the policy of “planning ahead through clues” as well. That goes on to give better immersion and realism. Then there is the annoying aspect of hostile territory which makes sense during the main story-line, but after the completion it should not persist, or else what is the point of completion. And this  aspect is an immense barrier towards the 100% score due to its interference with the paramedic mission, which in itself is an extremely unrealistic mission. But then again on the brighter side, the open-ended nature of the gameplay is commendable. Wide variety of options available to complete the missions with lot of room for out-of-the-box thinking. Considering everything, I would give 50-50 rating. TIP: If you complete the various types of side-missions, then some of the most difficult missions will not appear as impossible they can otherwise seem, in fact some of them will become a walk in the park. TIP2: In some missions you will have to think out-of-the-box and not try too hard.

Graphics – Revolutionary 3D graphics for 2001. Human figures look a bit weird, but the cars, buildings, city architecture, etc. are very nicely done for its time.

Performance – Good grade toaster can effortlessly run it. Modern systems might cause some trouble like stuttering or freezing.

Entertainment – One of the most entertaining games you will ever play. Set the tone for GTA to become entertainment king of gaming. Whacky humor, crazy events, ridiculous ways to complete missions, a nice plot, colorful characters, pretty much everything you can want from a game.

Plot (if applicable) – Very entertaining plot.

Replay value – Quite high. The game being extremely difficult and at the same time very large, replaying can give you lot of fresh enjoyment and satisfaction which you might not be able to derive on your very first play-through.

Immersion – It can’t be called immersive in its truest sense as it is not a real RPG, and nor can you customize your character in any way. Nevertheless there still is a sense of immersion quite deep due to the sandbox gameplay and the setting of a modern metropolis.

Overall a superb game with the dated graphics being its only drawback. Mods are available to improve on that account. Although caution should be exercised about using mods in case you want to hit the 100% completion mark. Mods and cheats are known to be interfering with that.