Rockstar Games have pretty much dominated the modern open-world gaming market with the GTA franchise. While many other gaming series have been able to make a big splash in the industry, few have had the success and critical acclaim of the GTA franchise.
The GTA games are incredibly polished pieces of work that Rockstar Games have spent decades trying to perfect. GTA 5 is representative of the pinnacle of modern open-world games, with plenty of hours of gameplay, high cinematic value and so much more.
Over the past couple of decades, players have seen plenty of new open-world games trying to replicate and surpass the GTA franchise, with varying degrees of success.
Here, we take a look at 5 things that make GTA 5 stand out as one of the most influential games of its time.
What did GTA 5 do better than other modern open-world games?
The GTA franchise and satire go hand-in-hand. Rockstar Games have pretty much perfected the art of satire in video games, whether that means ruthless commentary on social media or extreme political leanings.
The GTA franchise is home to Rockstar's best work in terms of satire. Despite being a product of its time, the game's satire still seems to hit home, even nearly 8 years after its release.
Satire and comedy usually don't translate well into video games, but it's a whole other ball game when Rockstar are behind the wheel.
#2 Online multiplayer
Many open-world games have attempted to blend their massive single-player experience into an equally expansive multiplayer game. While some have been quite successful, not many have had the monumental success of GTA Online.
GTA Online is easily one of Rockstar's biggest money makers and is one of the primary reasons why GTA 5 is relevant years after its launch. Rather than making it a simple tacked-on game mode, the developers have been hard at work improving the Online experience with quality title updates and new heists.
GTA Online has climbed heights no one could have predicted and is an experience that will be very hard to replicate.
#3 Story and iconic characters
Ambitious and quality storytelling has always been at the top of Rockstar's list of priorities. While Red Dead Redemption serves as a 'serious' outlet for writing, Grand Theft Auto 5 might just be one of the most ambitious stories told by the studio.
One of the biggest risks that Rockstar took with regards to narrative complexity and ambition is the inclusion of not one but three protagonists in GTA 5. While that could have easily derailed any semblance of focus or emotional value, the game managed to be as exciting as it was designed to be.
The three protagonists helped the player have different perspectives of the story as well as the game world. It allowed Rockstar to experiment not only gameplay-wise, but also in terms of narrative.
#4 AI and NPCs
Rockstar Games' NPCs are widely considered as some of the most sophisticated and authentic AIs ever seen in games. Each NPC interacts and reacts in a manner that is authentic to the player's actions. They even have their own set of routines.
Recent releases have proven just how incredibly difficult it is to manage all the different AI subsystems at work. However, Rockstar seem to do it better than anyone.
From pedestrians to police AI, all aspects of the GTA 5 world have been polished to an extreme extent. This makes for an incredible life-like experience within a video game.
#5 Authenticity of the open world
Rockstar Games took inspiration from games like Ocarina of Time with regards to 3D open-world areas and modeled an entire city in the early 2000s. They would go on to reiterate their ideas with future titles, and GTA 5 represents the very best of the modern open-world city.
Los Santos and Blaine County are some of the most breathtaking areas ever seen in open-world games, and it is truly a wonder that the game had come out in the PS3 generation. Despite it being nearly 8 years old in 2021, the world of GTA 5 still manages to be one of the best ever seen in video games.
It is truly a testament to Rockstar's attention to detail and the complexity of their open world. From street signs at every corner to the markings and bills on the walls, every aspect of the open world is given equal amounts of love and care in GTA 5.