GTA 2 introduced some of the most iconic features still seen in a GTA game.
It was only the second mainline game, and it was the fourth GTA title overall (as the London games technically count as two separate ones). Naturally, it introduced several new features that later games would implement. As it's also one of the earlier titles, this inevitably means that these features have become staples since then.
GTA 2 is a criminally underrated game for what it's worth. It was the last game of the 2D universe, and it brought several beloved features into the GTA series that players still love to this day. In a way, it's pretty surprising that GTA 1 didn't include these features.
Five GTA 2 features that are still largely relevant in the GTA series today
5) Molotov Cocktails
New GTA games often introduce new weapons. One of the more iconic and interesting weapons introduced in GTA 2 is the Molotov Cocktail. It's a fun weapon for pyromaniacs, and it's been in a dozen GTA games since its debut in GTA 2.
Like in the later games, the Molotov Cocktails in this game create a small burst of fire upon hitting something. However, it doesn't leave a lingering flame as it does in later games. Still, they're a throwable weapon that most die-hard GTA fans should remember.
4) A single protagonist option
The vast majority of GTA games have it so the player only plays as a single character. However, this feature is more about the fact that the player doesn't have to choose a protagonist. This applies to the original version of GTA 2, as the GBC port was more similar to GTA 1 in terms of having multiple protagonists to choose from.
Every single-player GTA game since then had only one protagonist that was defined before the game began. The only exception is in GTA 5, where there are three of them.
3) Six-star Wanted Level
Many GTA fans remember getting their first six-star Wanted Level in a GTA game. Surprisingly, this feature did not debut in the first game in the series, as that title only goes up to four stars (technically heads, but it's the same system).
GTA 2 is the first game in the series to have the army attack the player if they get six stars (once again, they were heads in this game, rather than stars). This includes the popular Rhino tank, which was a hidden vehicle in the game. Most GTA games since then have had the army involved in some capacity when the player hits six stars.
Radio stations have been around since the first GTA game, but they felt overly simplistic. There were fewer songs, so GTA 2 naturally added more variety to this feature. But that wasn't all that GTA 2 added to the series. One of the most noticeable features was commercials on radio stations.
Surprisingly, the commercials are well-written. It has that classic GTA charm that fans know and love, although it should be noted that there aren't too many commercials. Some of them are even repeated on other radio stations, although it's worth noting that some stations only broadcast in specific parts of the city.
1) Save points
One of the most iconic ways to save in a GTA game wasn't always around. GTA 1 had saving, but only in very select moments in the game. Hence, it wasn't a convenient feature as the system fans know and love today. Of course, GTA 2 had a stranger saving feature than most.
This game utilized something known as Jesus Saves. Players had to spend $50K to save (and it's $50K per save, not just to unlock the saving feature). In GTA 2, this meant that they could realistically save every few missions, which was a step up from the previous game.
Also, players could know where they were able to save. Later games would just ditch the $50K requirement.
Note: This article reflects the writer's personal views.