Rockstar Games is a video game publishing company known for its iconic AAA games since 1999. It houses a number of studios under its umbrella and rose to fame with the Grand Theft Auto (GTA) franchise. Since then, the company has branched out to various other titles and games, which have also earned their own fair share of praise.
Rockstar Games has a plethora of video games under its belt as of 2022, with a couple of upcoming projects in development. The company’s last mainline release was Red Dead Redemption 2 in 2018, a critically acclaimed title and was nominated for a number of different awards.
With GTA 6 currently in development and no new titles arriving any time soon, this is a great time to take a look at the best titles Rockstar Games has to offer from its catalog over the course of the last 23 years. Here is a ranking of the top 5 titles from Rockstar Games.
This article reflects the writer's opinion.
Ranking the top 5 titles from Rockstar Games
Considered an under-18 version of the GTA games, Bully holds a rather unique place in Rockstar Game’s library. In a high school setting, Bully lets players experience life in a boarding school in the world of GTA, as they step into the shoes of Jimmy Hopkins, who is sent to Bullworth Academy to complete his education.
Lethal weapons were replaced by high school equivalents such as slingshots and wooden baseball bats. Cars and bikes could no longer be ridden. Instead, players had to rely on skateboards and bicycles. They were also required to attend classes and score good grades to unlock various upgrades.
Due to its unique nature, Bully remains a fan favorite to this day, as a highschool sim, as much as GTA is a sim for city life. While reports of a canceled sequel have surfaced recently, it does not look like Bully will be getting a second game, at least not anytime soon.
4) GTA: Vice City
Those expecting GTA San Andreas to be on this list would be disappointed, as the game just nearly missed the cut, thanks to its predecessor. GTA: Vice City was most people's introduction to the franchise, as it was the game that ushered in a new era for the legendary series.
The game was released on October 29, 2002, and told the story of Tommy Verecetti in a Mafia-focused story set in the fictional metropolis of Vice City. Featuring a fully voiced protagonist for the first time in a GTA game, Tommy was brought to life by Hollywood star Ray Liotta.
The open-world featured in the game was based off of the real city of Miami, and was certainly a stunning visual experience. It adds to the entire vibe of the game, of a neon-rich environment, enveloped by gang wars and 80s nostalgia. It was also the first time a GTA story was so stellar that it blew players away, which would soon become a Rockstar Games staple.
3) Red Dead Redemption
This was Rockstar Games’ first foray into the Wild West, and was one of the best games of the genre that players would ever get their hands on. Set during the early 20th Century in a fictional representation of the American Wild West, players took on the role of a retired gunslinger by the name of John Marston.
Released on May 18, 2010, this action-adventure game allowed players the freedom to role-play as a cowboy. They could hunt animals, help out locals, and take part in side activities, in addition to the main storyline. This was one of the most intricately designed worlds created by Rockstar Games, succeeded only by its sequel.
The narrative saw John being thrown back into the world he’d left behind, as his past came back to haunt him. This game’s ending and emotional journey was a surprising shock for many, as they were not used to such stories from Rockstar at the time.
2) GTA 5
GTA 5 was released on September 17, 2013 by Rockstar Games, and has remained, to this day, the most recent GTA game. This is primarily due to the success it enjoyed upon launch, which has since seen it enjoy re-releases for new consoles, as well as continued support due to its Online mode.
GTA 5 did something new with its story as well, introducing 3 main protagonists, between which the player could switch anytime during free roam. In the storyline, the three worked together to undertake various heists and make money, which led them on quite an adventure around the game's vast open-world.
The game returned to the fictional city of Los Santos, previously featured in GTA: San Andreas, and was the most detailed urban environment Rockstar had ever designed. It features many iconic locations from the real-life city of Los Angeles, and also serves as the hub world for GTA Online, where players can play out their second life through their avatar.
1) Red Dead Redemption 2
The sequel to Red Dead Redemption became Rockstar Games’ crowning achievement and saw players return to the Wild West, this time in a prequel story. This narrative revolved around John Marston's old outlaw gang, one among which was Arthur Morgan, the protagonist for the title.
Released on October 26, 2018, Red Dead Redemption 2 told one of the most heartwarming and emotional stories yet in a Rockstar game. The title lets gamers decide whether they would play as a heartless gunslinger or a cowboy with a heart of gold, the latter of which is mostly the correct choice.
RDR2’s world is quite possibly the most intricate video game open-world ever developed, with a preponderance of tiny details incorporated into the map. Players can ride from one point of the map to another and be swept up in the call to adventure along the way, which could either end in a great reward or a grim death.
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