Several GTA games are well-known for being critically acclaimed masterpieces, but there are also a few games that didn't score so well on Metacritic.
However, not all GTA games have scores. It's worth noting that something like the GTA London expansion pack isn't rated, even if it would be considered one of the weaker GTA games by default. Also, this list will try to rate games based on their original appearance.
Likewise, GTA 1 isn't rated on Metacritic. Speaking of Metacritic, this list will only go over the five lowest GTA games on that site. Other sites like Game Rankings won't be considered for this list. It's mostly done as a counterpart to this previous article.
Five GTA games with the lowest Metacritic scores
5) GTA 4: The Ballad of Gay Tony (89)
GTA 4's base game was the highest rated GTA game of all time with an impressive score of 98. By comparison, its DLC episodes rated noticeably lower, with The Ballad of Gay Tony rating lower with an average score of 89 on the Xbox 360.
The most obvious reason for this score disparity is that it's more of the same. It's the same general location while featuring some familiar characters and an identical physics engine.
It's a great game on its own, and a score of 89 is nothing to be ashamed about.
4) GTA Liberty City Scores (88)
There is a 10% difference between its PSP score and its PS2 score. Fortunately, its PSP score is higher, and it was also the original score for GTA Liberty City Stories. In all honesty, a score of 88 is pretty good.
Still, it's a far cry from the usual mid 90s that some players associate with the series. After all, the GTA franchise has some of the most iconic video games of all time, so going from GTA San Andreas to Liberty City Stories seems disappointing.
3) GTA Vice City Stories (86)
The PS2 version is rated 75, but the original PSP version is rated 86. It's a respectable score, although that does make it the third-lowest GTA game on Metacritic for original releases.
It's strange, as it seems superior to Liberty City Stories in most ways (as reflected in their user scores). Still, critics liked the previous game more than GTA Vice City Stories, perhaps as it doesn't change too much on a fundamental level.
2) GTA 2 (70)
The PC version isn't rated on Metacritic, but the PS2 version is. 70 is a decent, if unremarkable, score. Many critics complained about how similar it was to the previous game. The gameplay was solid, but it isn't so radically different from GTA 1 or its London expansion packs.
Given that some GTA games have scores in the mid to high 90s, a score of 70 just seems so disappointing. Players who like the traditional 2D gameplay will like this game, while most modern fans would probably rate it lower.
1) GTA Advance (68)
GTA Advance was only released on one console and it was the Game Boy Advance. It's a terrific system full of many memorable games, but GTA Advance is sadly not one of them. It's an okay game in its own right, but it was by far the lowest-rated GTA title by critics on Metacritic.
On Metacritic, it has 13 positive scores, 16 mixed scores, and four negative scores. Unsurprisingly, this is much lower than what the series is used to. Even the user score isn't much better, and it's easy to see why when one plays the game.
This game has mediocre graphics, and it's played from a top-down perspective like with the old 2D games. Due to the hardware, it lacks many useful features other games would have (or it has downgraded versions of those features).
Note: This article reflects the writer's personal views.