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GTA Series: Ranking the games based on how long it takes to complete them

The GTA games are some of the biggest games in terms of playtime (Image Credits: Pinterest)
The GTA games are some of the biggest games in terms of playtime (Image Credits: Pinterest)
Rahul Bhushan
ANALYST
Modified 29 Aug 2020, 19:07 IST
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The GTA franchise is one of the most valuable franchises in gaming history, with each entry in the series receiving massive commercial and critical success. It is no less than an industry juggernaut, and surprisingly, all the games have aged fairly well.

The satire of each GTA game is still as sharp as it was then, and the gameplay is still satisfyingly chaotic. The GTA games are some of the biggest games in terms of playtime. They might not be comparable to RPGs such as Oblivion and Fallout but they are certainly on par with some of the biggest games in the genre.

In this article, we look at the GTA games and rank them according to how long it takes to finish each one. The times have been taken from howlongtobeat.com, which considers the average time of completion.

There are multiple styles which players can employ in the game, and the Completionist style (finishing the game 100%) obviously takes considerably more time. This list is based on the completion of the story mode in GTA plus some extras.

Ranking the mainline entries in GTA according to playtime

(Note: Only games from Grand Theft Auto III (3D Era) and onwards are taken into consideration.)

Notable Exclusions:

  • Grand Theft Auto Vice City Stories
  • Grand Theft Auto Liberty City Stories
  • Grand Theft Auto Chinatown Wars

5) GTA III

GTA III (Image Credits: Wallpapercave)
GTA III (Image Credits: Wallpapercave)
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The first game in the series to take the franchise into the 3D era of open-world games is quite understandably the shortest game on the list. However, the game, GTA III, will still take a considerably long time.

The average playtime of the game with only the Story Mode plus some side missions comes around to 23 Hours, with the Main Story capping off around 16 Hours.

Completionist: 40½ Hours

4) GTA Vice City

GTA Vice City (Image Credits: Wallpaperaccess)
GTA Vice City (Image Credits: Wallpaperaccess)

The next game in the series after Grand Theft Auto III is built on the foundations of the previous game and delivered a more comprehensive experience. GTA Vice City has a slightly longer story, with more side missions and other collectibles that added considerably more playtime.

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The average playtime of the Main Story plus some extra missions and detour comes out to be around 28½ Hours, with the Main Story taking up around 19½ Hours.

Completionist: 45 Hours

3) GTA V

GTA V (Image Credits: Wallpapercave)
GTA V (Image Credits: Wallpapercave)

Surprisingly, the latest instalment in the series is not the longest game to beat. While it has the biggest open-world map and the most side missions, it still is outdone in terms of playtime by its predecessors.

GTA V is the most gameplay-rich entry in the series, and its main story alone takes up 31½ Hours and after including a few side missions, the time is extended to 47 Hours.

Completionist: 78½ Hours

2) GTA IV: The Complete Edition

GTA IV: The Complete Edition (Image Credits: Wallpaperabyss)
GTA IV: The Complete Edition (Image Credits: Wallpaperabyss)
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This is a bit of a stretch but it can be argued the only way to play GTA IV in 2020 is along with its EFLC counterparts: The Lost and Dammned and Ballad of Gay Tony.

While Grand Theft Auto IV alone takes an impressive 41 hours, it is the DLC that truly makes this a great package. The game's Main Story plus extra mission playtime comes around to a staggering 61 hours.

Completionist: 83 Hours

1) GTA San Andreas

GTA San Andreas (Image Credits: Pinterest)
GTA San Andreas (Image Credits: Pinterest)

The seminal entry of the franchise that has players flocking to the game series with its charming and thoroughly campaign, San Andreas is packed with an insane amount of collectibles and things to do.

The main story and extra missions take up around the same time as GTA V, with 47 hours being the average playtime, and the Main Story alone takes an identical 31½ Hours.

However, it is the Completionist style that puts it above on top of the list.

Completionist: 84½ Hours

Published 29 Aug 2020, 19:07 IST
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