Grand Theft Auto 5’s Historic Decade has Redefined the Open World Genre

Grand Theft Auto 5’s Historic Decade has Redefined the Open World Genre

Highlights Grand Theft Auto 5 has had a significant impact on the gaming industry, inspiring


  • Grand Theft Auto 5 has had a significant impact on the gaming industry, inspiring other developers with its side content and level design.
  • The open world of Grand Theft Auto 5 is still enjoyable and provides a diverse and expansive playground even after a decade.
  • The user-generated mayhem in Grand Theft Auto 5’s online component is unmatched and has kept players entertained for years, demonstrating the longevity of open-world games.

Grand Theft Auto is a series that caught traction on the PlayStation 2 with a trilogy of exceptional games. To many, those are the peak of the franchise, but in 2013 Grand Theft Auto 5‘s incredible ambition was rewarded with astronomical sales and endless critical acclaim. An online component released just two weeks after the base game, which has kept people invested in Los Santos ever since.

Be it single or multiplayer, the heart of Grand Theft Auto 5 lies in its gorgeous, diverse, and unforgettable open-world city and its surrounding areas. The upcoming sixth mainline game has a lot to live up to, as the title that released a decade ago is still one of the most populated games around, and has been the benchmark for the genre, more than any other in gaming history.

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GTA 5 Has Inspired a Generation of Open-World Games

Grand Theft Auto 5’s Historic Decade has Redefined the Open World Genre

There are few games that can say they truly had an impact on the medium as a whole. Grand Theft Auto 5 launched on September 17, 2013, in a calendar year that included exceptional titles like BioShock Infinite, Gone Home, and The Last of Us. Rockstar Games’ offering would be the most commercially successful of all, but more impressive was just how much it influenced other offerings from notable developers moving forward. Games like Watch Dogs, Mafia, and Rockstar’s own Red Dead Redemption 2 owe GTA 5 so much in terms of side content and level design.

In the last 10 years, none has truly captured the scale of Grand Theft Auto 5, and given gamers a title that covers that many activities in one release. The space is filled with things to do, from tennis to GTA 5‘s whole in-game stock market, and other creators have looked to it for guidance but never surpassed what it did. Experiences like Grand Theft Auto 5 that set the bar so high that a decade doesn’t see it usurped are far from common, and the works of some other developers of open-world games go to show that imitation really is the best form of flattery.

Grand Theft Auto 5’s Open World is Still Providing Fun Experiences

GTA Online

The promotional material leading up to the release of Grand Theft Auto 5 promised an expansive and diverse playground, being added to the online portion for the foreseeable future. Often, outlandish claims can be misleading, and gamers have to temper their expectations accordingly. However, Los Santos lived up to the hype and continued to do so for a decade. Its landscape is large, varied, and tonally refreshing, meaning that going back to its sunny shores is more enticing than the drab streets of Liberty City in GTA 4. The size and vibe lends itself perfectly to escapism, and though the story offers limited choice, the fun in Grand Theft Auto has always been found most outside the main campaign.

It’s user-generated mayhem that makes the series shine, and Grand Theft Auto 5 facilitates it the best of anyone, and arguably better than any game released since. The single-player adhered to players’ expectations of the franchise, but remarkably, the online portion took place in the same space and showed that the open world had the potential to provide hundreds more hours of fun with other players. It simply never got boring, even after 10 years. Grand Theft Auto 5 showed that players can expect not just quality, but longevity out of their open-world games, and no other offering since has captured the hearts of gamers across the world quite like Grand Theft Auto 5.

Grand Theft Auto 5 is available now for PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.

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