The 15th anniversary of Grand Theft Auto III is upon us, and it’s got us reflecting on the ways in which the Rockstar Games’ flagship series has changed video games. After all, few gaming franchises have set new benchmarks in the gaming world quite like GTA has. Often replicated but almost never duplicated, Grand Theft Auto has been truly revolutionary in almost everythingm from its gameplay, use of music, storytelling, violence, tone, and setting. In fact, the influence of GTA has extended to every corner of popular culture – from movies and television shows to music videos and even fashion. Here are 10 ways in which Grand Theft Auto changed video games – and the world at large.
10. The Franchise Tossed Political Correctness Out The Window
Political correctness is quite the hot button issue these days, but back in 1997, Grand Theft Auto debuted and showed absolutely no regard for political correctness whatsoever. The series has only gotten progressively more offensive in the decades since, to the point where critics no longer bother mentioning it when they talk about the series. Oh and when we say it pushed the limits, we’re not talking about the game’s infamously violent content — video games were criticized for their violence long before GTA came along. We’re talking about hiring an escort, doing the deed in the back of a car, and then beating the woman to death with a baseball bat. Drinking and driving was even introduced in Grand Theft Auto IV. This general attitude of “anything goes” broke many taboos in the video game industry and blew things wide open for future game developers.