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The 5 best-selling GTA games of all time

GTA 5 is the most successful game by a long shot (Image via Rockstar Games)
GTA 5 is the most successful game by a long shot (Image via Rockstar Games)
ANALYST

The top five best-selling GTA games aren't exactly what some GTA fans might have in mind, at least in the order they're in.

The GTA franchise has had a storied history ever since the first game in the series was a thing. GTA 1 sold over 3,000,000 copies, which is incredibly impressive for the first entry to a brand new video game series. However, that still pales in comparison to some of the later entries in the GTA series, many of which get almost quintuple that much.

Many of the numbers shown in this article are quite old, with some dates from over a decade ago. However, the numbers shown here are reliable and are taken from various sources. More likely than not, the numbers have grown quite a bit since then, especially since platforms like Steam are still popular worldwide. Still, the old data gives a good indication of various GTA titles' popularity.



The top five best-selling GTA games of all time

#5 - GTA 3 (14.5 million+ copies since March 2008)

GTA 3 is the game that revolutionized the Grand Theft Auto series. It is one of the most significant games for the series, so it isn't surprising to see that it sold so well. Compared to the first entry in the series, GTA 3 sold nearly five times as many copies, and that's just for data in March 2008.

Given the former game's obscurity in recent years compared to GTA 3, the difference between the two has likely grown. It is unlikely that it will surpass the later mainline titles given that the public tends to prefer those games, but GTA 3 will likely stay at a comfortable #5 for many years to come.

#4 - Vice City (17.5 million+ copies since March 2008)

For some fans, GTA Vice City is basically a superior version of the previous entry. It has an arguably better soundtrack, slightly better graphics, and a more memorable cast. Unsurprisingly, mainline sequels within the Grand Theft Auto series tend to sell better than their predecessors, with only one exception on this list.

Vice City is a beautiful city to explore. So much so that many fans of the series have been requesting to see Vice City return as a location in some future title. It is the only major location from the 3D universe of GTA games yet to show up in the HD universe.

#3 - GTA 4 (25 million+ copies since November 2012)

Surprisingly, GTA 4 did not sell more than San Andreas. It isn't the first mainline game to sell less than its predecessor, as GTA 2 sold less than GTA 1 by approximately a million copies.

The date this data comes from is extracted from November 2012, whereas San Andreas's data comes from the year before, so it's unlikely to change anytime soon. Still, GTA 4 sold very well for a game that deviated so much from its predecessors, and it did introduce fans into the HD universe of games.

Note: This doesn't include the Episodes from Liberty City expansion packs. That sold approximately 3,000,000 copies in November 2013, which is a separate metric altogether.

#2 - San Andreas (27.5 million+ copies since 2011)

For old-school fans, GTA San Andreas is the greatest title in the series. Unsurprisingly, it's more than just a cult classic; it's a genuinely successful game that has sold millions upon millions of copies.

This data comes from 2011, so it's likely grown quite a bit since then. Even if PS2 copies aren't selling (for obvious reasons), GTA San Andreas is still available on PC and mobile devices, which are very popular platforms to have video games on.

#1 - GTA 5 (140 million+ copies since March 2021)

2020 was a fantastic year for Rockstar Games, who even went on record saying that it was almost as good as 2013, the year GTA 5 was launched. Some vocal fans online might despise GTA 5 being ported over and over again, but the truth is that the title is a license to print money.

GTA 5 was the main requirement to play GTA Online back in the day, so it isn't surprising to see the titular game become so successful over the years.

It is incredibly unlikely that any other GTA title will surpass GTA 5 anytime soon. The best-case scenario would be GTA 6, but it would still take years before that could even be a realistic possibility.

Note: This article reflects the writer's personal views.


Edited by Nikhil Vinod
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