References and Easter eggs are a common sight within the GTA series.
Unsurprisingly, plenty of these references and Easter eggs are related to games outside the franchise. Sometimes it's a jab at competitors, while at other times, it's an homage to an old Rockstar Game title outside the GTA universe. Some are obvious, while others are a bit more foreign to the average player.
Predictably, this article will not include nods to other GTA games. Nonetheless, these five references and Easter eggs should interest fans looking to know a neat little fact or two. All fans of the GTA franchise should know that Grand Theft Auto has no shortage of interesting details.
Five tips of the hat to other games in GTA
#5 - True Grime
It's not uncommon to see Rockstar take a jab at other games. These references aren't technically Easter eggs, but they still heavily reference other titles outside the GTA universe. As seen from this billboard in GTA San Andreas, GTA clones aren't seen too fondly.
This True Grime billboard is a reference to the True Crime series. Considering some people view police officers as garbage men cleaning up the streets, it's an appropriate comparison given that True Crime is told from the perspective of law enforcement.
#4 - John Marston as a dad in GTA Online
John Marston, the beloved protagonist of Rockstar's Red Dead Redemption, is an option for the player's "dad" for the sake of genetics. He can only be chosen as a father if players have joined Rockstar Games Social Club and have linked their Xbox live gamer tags or PSN usernames.
Sadly, he isn't playable or seen in-person, nor are there any references to him being chosen as the player's father (thus relegated to a simple Easter egg). It's merely a neat little nod to a popular game also made by the same developer.
#3 - "Tanner, you s**k a**!"
During the mission "Madd Dogg's Rhymes" in GTA San Andreas, astute players might notice one of the guards playing a game and saying, "How could Refractions mess up so bad? Tanner, you s**k a**!" It might seem like random GTA humor initially, but it's a reference to the Driver series' protagonist, Tanner.
Driver is sometimes seen as a GTA clone (despite the first game coming out before GTA 3), so Rockstar decided to throw a little nod towards the series. Tanner has been mocked in other GTA games as well.
It's also important to note that Refractions refers to Reflections Interactive, the people who made the Driver games.
#2 - The Yacht from Max Payne
There are numerous references and minor Easter eggs related to the Max Payne series found throughout several GTA games. The most noteworthy Easter egg is the yacht known as Dignity in GTA 5. It's virtually identical to the yacht found in the chapter "Sun Tan Oil, Stale Margaritas and Greed" in Max Payne 3.
Michael de Santa also bears a resemblance to Max Payne, which makes him visiting the yacht even more interesting. The interior in GTA Online is also nearly identical to the one in Max Payne 3.
#1 - Body Harvest
Not many people know that Rockstar made a game on the Nintendo 64 known as Body Harvest (the company itself was known as DMA Design at the time).
Body Harvest is a fun game with many similarities to the GTA series. The player fights against aliens instead of criminals with numerous weapons and vehicles in multiple cities and locations. The mission itself has the player driving a Combine Harvester similar to the one found in Siberia in the N64 game (including the option to shred NPCs with it).
The mission "Body Harvest" in GTA San Andreas is a reference to this game. It came out one year after the original GTA game but was 3D and had several features that would later be implemented in GTA 3. It might not be the most well-known game, but its influence on the highly successful GTA series shouldn't be ignored.
Disclaimer: This list reflects the writer's personal views.