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Grand Theft Auto V (1997) is the latest in a series of action-adventure games where you travel around one large location taking part in different criminal activities: pulling off heists, with lots of shooting and stealing and driving a variety of cars and other vehicles.

GTA V is considered a particularly technically impressive example of open-world games, which can be credited to its huge development team and budget. Similar games include Sleeping Dogs, which is set in Hong Kong, and Saints Row IV, which features similar mechanics but openly makes fun of GTA and other games.

It's the first game in the GTA series to have multiple main characters. It tells the stories of three criminals: Michael, a rich former bank robber living under witness protection; Trevor, Michael’s old partner in crime; and Franklin, the youngest of the three. The single-player campaign sees them team up to commit crimes, though their relationships – with each other and with people outside of the group – are heavily tested.

The Grand Theft Auto games are often called satire, as they parody various aspects of American life like politics and celebrity culture. However, some critics have said that GTA V doesn’t manage to get beyond simple offensive humour.

While some will undoubtedly play GTA V because they enjoy speeding away from the cops in a stolen car or carrying out acts of extreme violence, others will be drawn in by the impressive technical achievement that is its open world of Los Santos, closely mirroring Los Angeles, and filled with things to do, whether that’s driving around taking selfies, making money through the stock market, or taking in a round of golf.

Grand Theft Auto has been around since 1997:
  • Grand Theft Auto (1997) on PC
  • Grand Theft Auto 2 (1999) on PlayStation 1, Dreamcast, PC
  • Grand Theft Auto III (2001) on PlayStation 2, Xbox, PC, iOS
  • Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (2002) on PlayStation 2, Xbox, PC, iOS, Android
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (2004) on PlayStation 2, Xbox, PC, iOS, Android
  • Grand Theft Auto IV (2008) on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC
  • Grand Theft Auto V (2013) on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC, PS4, Xbox One
  • Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned (2009) on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC
  • Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony (2009) on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC

There are handheld versions:
  • Grand Theft Auto Advance (2004) on GBA
  • Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories (2005) on PS2, PSP, iOS and Android
  • Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories (2006) on PS2, PSP
  • Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars (2009) on PSP and DS, iOS, Android

Our examiner, Ben Kendall, first checked Grand Theft Auto V 4 years ago. It was re-examined by Andy Robertson and updated 8 days ago.
Kids not old enough for this yet? There are lots of games similar to Grand Theft Auto V. Here are some similar younger-rated games:

Play StylePlay Style

This is an Action and Adventure game with Fighting, Narrative, Role-Play, Shooting and Traversal elements. You can play this by yourself or as a 30-player online game. There is no local multiplayer, but Grand Theft Auto Online an online multiplayer mode in which players can explore that open-world together and team up to carry out heists or stab each other in the back.

 
You can play this game in the following styles:

DurationDuration

Play Time: This game will take between 27 hours and 28 hours to complete. The story takes about 28 hours to complete, but there are so many side activities that people could easily play for dozens of hours more, especially if they play the multiplayer. Those with less experience with action games may find it challenging to complete missions in order to progress the story, which may also feel at odds with the open world.

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Content Rating

Rated PEGI 18 for Gambling, Violence and Bad Language. This game features violence against vulnerable and defenceless characters, who may be shot, beaten up or run over. There are also scenes of torture in which a variety of tools may be used to cause maximum injury. Violence is strong and graphic. For example, incendiary bullets may set characters on fire, who then writhe on the floor screaming in pain. There is sight of wounds on bodies. The game also includes use of strong language ('*!@?*' and '*!@?*'). The game also includes use of illegal drugs, including the production of methamphetamine in a lab. It also contains sexual scenes, without visible genitals.
 
User-Generated Content: This game includes content created by other players, such as maps, outfits and items, that are not reflected in the game rating.
 
Users Interact: The game enables players to interact and communicate with each other, so may expose players to language usually associated with older rated games.

Skill Level

16+ year-olds usually have the required skill to enjoy this game. Still, it's important for parents and guardians to consider the maturity required to process the game content. Although many children tell parents that all their friends are playing this from as young as 11 or 12-years old, our experience is that many parents don't let children play this until they are much closer to the Age Rating.

Account Rating

  • You need be 18-years-old to to subscribe to Xbox Live Gold for online play, but can then configure family accounts for younger players to play online with Xbox One or Xbox Series X|S.
  • You need be 18-years-old to subscribe to PlayStation Plus for online play, but can create sub-accounts for younger players of 7-years or older to play online with PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 5.

CostsCosts

Grand Theft Auto V usually costs £17.68 to £39.99. 

Grand Theft Auto V

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There are the following additional costs associated with this game:
  • In-Game Purchases: Additional in-game purchases are offered for items that enhance the experience.
  • You need a subscription to play online:
    • You need to purchase a PlayStation Plus subscription to play online with PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 5.
    • You need to purchase a Xbox Live Gold subscription to play online with Xbox One or Xbox Series X|S.
 
Grand Theft Auto V offers purchases of content like The Doomsday Heist, Gunrunning, Smuggler’s Run, Bikers. You can also purchase cash and similar enterprise packs for Grand Theft Auto Online.

The following versions of the game include additional content for free and increasing value of in-game currency:
  • Grand Theft Auto V: Premium Edition (£24.99)
  • Grand Theft Auto V: Premium Online Edition & Great White Shark Card Bundle (£39.99)
  • Grand Theft Auto V: Premium Online Edition & Whale Shark Card Bundle (£49.99)
  • Grand Theft Auto V: Premium Online Edition & Megalodon Shark Card Bundle (£74.99) 
 
It's important to set up your accounts and devices appropriately. More information is on our Financial Resources page.
 

DetailsGame Details

Release Date: 01/01/1997, updated in 2022

Price: 50% off

Out Now: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox X|S

Skill Rating: 16+ year-olds

Players: 1 (30 online)

Genres: Action, Adventure (Fighting, Narrative, Role-Play, Shooting and Traversal)

Accessibility: 26 features

Components: 3D Third-Person, Day and Night, Open World and Weather

Developer: Rockstar Games (@RockstarGames)


Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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