GTA III is the "granddaddy" of modern GTA and has many features that helped revolutionize the industry.
Some fans love to dunk on GTA III for one reason or another (although some of it is valid), but it is undeniable that the game was immensely popular for its time. Its reputation was legendary, and so many kids wanted to get this game back in the day.
This popularity wasn't just a marketing ploy done right. GTA III had some genuinely good features that stood out from the rest of the pack at the time.
Compared to its contemporaries, GTA III helped revolutionize the gaming industry. While the GTA franchise is no stranger to controversy, GTA III helped establish the series as a legitimate frontrunner in the video game market.
Predictably, all of the features listed in this article ended up becoming a part of the core identity of the GTA series.
5 GTA III features that transformed the gaming industry
#5 - Prostitutes
Using a prostitute's services and then killing her is one of the most controversial aspects of GTA III, but its impact was felt throughout the industry. Aside from its controversial aspects, this feature showcased the moral compass of GTA III and how the player was allowed to make questionable choices whenever they wanted to.
Prostitutes weren't just a raunchy feature in GTA III; they provided a valid way to restore health if the player didn't know where to find easy health packs. Another huge benefit of using a prostitute's services is that the player could go beyond their maximum health limit.
Prostitutes were introduced in GTA III and predictably became a prominent feature in later GTA titles.
#4 - Collectibles
The GTA series has many valuable collectibles worth collecting. Collectibles aren't mandatory, but they provide numerous benefits for players that do go out of their way to collect them.
Unique Stunt Jumps are not only fun, but they serve as an excellent way for players to acquire more money.
Hidden Packages, on the other hand, are physical collectibles that help unlock various weapons and armor such as Rocket Launchers (100 Hidden Packages), Body Armor (50 Hidden Packages), and a Pistol (10 Hidden Packages).
Every 10 Hidden Packages unlocks something new, so it incentivizes players to explore the world and not just focus on the linear story.
#3 - Drive-By Shooting
Although Drive-By Shooting has existed since GTA London: 1961, it was more limited in that game since it was a powerup. In GTA III, a player can do a Drive-By Shooting anytime as long as they have a submachine gun with ammo. Predictably, this feature would later become a staple within the GTA series, as it's one of the best ways to deal with enemies inside of a vehicle.
Players won't always have access to explosives or the luxury to stand still near a mob of enemies. Hence, having the ability to perform a Drive-By Shooting is one of the greatest features in the GTA series. Although it may be costly, given how fast ammo is depleted with submachine guns, players get plenty of money to spend in GTA III (not to mention, there isn't much to buy in that game).
#2 - Safehouses
Safehouses are a godsend for GTA players. Fortunately, it isn't like a Jesus Saves in GTA 2 where the player spends $50K to save, as saving in GTA III is completely free.
Safehouses also allow the player to store vehicles they fancy. Something valuable like a Banshee can be stored in one, so the player wouldn't have to keep searching for it later on.
There are only three Safehouses in GTA III, but these three buildings helped introduce the concept of a hideout for a player to relax in.
Collecting Hidden Packages will spawn various weapons outside of their Safehouse, which means that the player is given several reasons to visit it. It's not a bad gimmick, even if players would prefer to save whenever they want.
Even in GTA games where one can do that, Safehouses still exist as a convenient feature where they may store their vehicles and other valuables.
#1 - Radar
Maps are valuable in any game, but having a minimap on a player's screen at all times is extremely useful. Players don't want to use third-party sources to find basic locations, so having a Radar helps tremendously. It lets players know where the mission marker is in relation to their current location, while also showing nearby streets for easy navigation.
The Radar is often described as one of the best features in the GTA series. It's an essential part of every GTA player's experience, making it a commonplace feature in other games outside of the GTA series.
Note: This article reflects the writer's personal views.