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5 reasons why GTA 4 is heavily underrated

GTA 4's Lola Del Rio, Niko Bellic, and Elizabeta Torres (Image via Rockstar Games)
GTA 4's Lola Del Rio, Niko Bellic, and Elizabeta Torres (Image via Rockstar Games)
Alan Sahbegovic
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GTA 4 has strangely become one of the GTA series' more underrated titles in recent years.

When GTA 4 came out, it was one of the most anticipated GTA games ever. However, as time went on, it has become one of the franchise's more underrated titles, as it's been entirely eclipsed by GTA 5, one of the most successful video games of all time.

What was once one of the most prestigious Grand Theft Auto titles out there eventually became a great, albeit less-talked-about game within the GTA community.

Of course, there are more underrated titles within the GTA series compared to GTA 4. However, it's worth noting that this article will go over why this game is an underrated masterpiece, not necessarily that it is the most underrated GTA game out there.


Five reasons why GTA 4 is an underrated masterpiece

5) It's between GTA San Andreas and GTA 5

It's tough for GTA 4 to be praised when it's in-between these two legendary games (Image via LibertyCity.net)
It's tough for GTA 4 to be praised when it's in-between these two legendary games (Image via LibertyCity.net)

Both GTA San Andreas and GTA 5 are often considered to be Rockstar Games' magnum opuses. Fans of the former tend to be old-school, who wouldn't care much about GTA 4's advancements, whereas GTA 5 fans would prefer the newer game with even more features.

That said, GTA 4 did exceptionally well for a game sandwiched in between those two legendary titles. It's not the highest-rated GTA game on Metacritic without reason.


4) Had two DLC expansion packs

The Episodes From Liberty City added a lot of value to GTA 4 (Image via Steam)
The Episodes From Liberty City added a lot of value to GTA 4 (Image via Steam)

Although GTA 4: Episodes From Liberty City was not everybody's cup of tea, these DLC expansion packs did add a lot to the world of GTA 4. It helped introduce players to other stories taking place simultaneously with the base game of GTA 4.

Both The Lost and Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony had their unique features to make them stand out compared to most other GTA titles, which only helps add to GTA 4's legacy.


3) Realistic approach

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One of the main things people critiqued about GTA 4 was that it was too realistic, making it a huge departure compared to GTA San Andreas. However, that same argument can be twisted in its favor, as this makes it a one-of-a-kind GTA title.

Realism seeps into both GTA 4's gameplay and story. The former introduced several great physics-related features, whereas the latter told (arguably) GTA's most remarkable story yet.


2) It has its own online mode

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The vast majority of fans are aware of GTA Online, for better or for worse. While it's from the most popular GTA game ever created, there are legitimate critiques to be made regarding its quality.

GTA 4's online mode is entirely different from the modern version of GTA Online. For starters, there are no over-the-top weaponized vehicles, which is a massive boon in and of itself.

Sadly, not too many people talk about GTA 4's online mode, which did some things better than GTA Online did (including the things people often complain about).


1) Liberty City as a map

A small map, but an efficient one at that (Image via GTA Wiki)
A small map, but an efficient one at that (Image via GTA Wiki)

GTA 4's Liberty City is smaller than San Andreas's map, but fans could argue that the former makes better use of its environment. In the latter, a good chunk of the map is the countryside, which is non-existent in GTA 4.

This is a bigger boon to GTA 4's status compared to GTA 5, as a lot of the latter's map is unnecessarily big thanks to its even bigger countryside compared to GTA San Andreas.

Note: This article is subjective and solely reflects the opinion of the writer.


Edited by Ravi Iyer
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