GTA: V is one of the game-changing titles of the past decade, and that’s true when you consider the single-player campaign alone. It turns ten years old today, and part of what has given it some incredible staying power is the online community that erupted from GTA: Online, which started off small and has become a fierce force of nature that has overtaken the single-player merits considerably.
How Did GTA: V Change Gaming Forever?
It’s hard to believe, but Rockstar Games’ GTA V is now a decade old and remains one of the most important, game-changing experiences out there. Released on September 17, 2013, this open-world action-adventure game not only shattered records but also redefined the gaming industry in numerous ways. GTA is no stranger to changing the gaming landscape, and the 5th entry in the series was no exception.
GTA V became an instant sensation, selling over 110 million copies worldwide and generating more than $6 billion in revenue by 2023. It not only became one of the best-selling video games of all time but also laid the foundation for what a modern gaming experience could be. It wasn’t a single-player world anymore. Players wanted a shared world and a shared experience, and GTA: Online laid the groundwork for a new type of online world.
Open World Redefined
One of the most game-changing aspects of GTA V is its open world, Los Santos. The city’s sprawling, detailed, and immersive environment set a new standard for open-world games. Players were given the freedom to explore a vast, living, breathing world filled with activities, from heists to tennis matches. The main story felt like it could’ve been crafted by Quentin Tarantino, and the three-character dynamic showed the gaming world there was a new way to tell a story. Side missions were littered throughout, and there was never a dull moment when it came to gameplay. This level of detail and interaction has influenced countless other titles since, including recent games such as Starfield.
Open World Redefined
One of the most striking aspects of GTA V is its open world, Los Santos. The city’s sprawling, detailed, and immersive environment set a new standard for open-world games. Players were given the freedom to explore a vast, living, breathing world filled with activities, from heists to tennis matches. This level of detail and interactivity has influenced countless other titles since.
GTA V’s storytelling, characters, and satire of American culture sparked discussions and controversies. It tackled topics like crime, politics, and the media, further proving that video games could be powerful mediums for not only storytelling but also social commentary as well.
The mature story marked a change in the way games would frame their narratives going forward, embracing more mature stories. It became less about buffed-up action heroes taking on armies by themselves and far more about real characters. Character personality began to shine through far more than before, and even characters known for their light-heartedness, like Nathan Drake of the Uncharted series, began to take darker turns in an attempt to be taken more seriously.
Online Multiplayer Evolution
GTA Online, the game’s multiplayer component, was a game-changing addition as well. It allowed players to create their criminal empires, complete heists, and engage in countless activities with friends and strangers alike. The entire GTA experience online was something players only dreamed of before this. The success of GTA: Online contributed to the rise of live-service games, which has been a defining trait of many games in the 2010s.
As we anxiously await the next entry in the series, it’s worth looking back at the most successful title in the franchise’s impressive history. GTA V still holds up today as a great single-player experience as well as a one-of-a-kind online experience.