The 52 Most Important Video Games of All Time (page 8 of 8)

Grand Theft Auto III

Grand Theft Auto III

1. Grand Theft Auto III

In everyone's life, there comes a time when you can confidently point to an Earth-shifting cultural change and just know. Elvis Presley didn't merely alter the landscape of rock, he changed music. Star Wars didn't influence genre films or set precedents in science fiction, it changed movies. Forever. And in that same way, Grand Theft Auto III changed video games because its influence will extend to almost every genre of games, possibly forever.

Sure, folks took umbrage at the game's pervasive violence, questionable ethics, and potentially terrifying impact on society. But nobody can deny GTA III's revolutionary impact on game design. When Grand Theft Auto III landed in October of 2001, it instantaneously dated every game that came before it. The open-ended sandbox design of GTA III was a masterstroke, allowing the player an unprecedented degree of freedom to play as they choose. Whether following the main plot or ignoring it, players were free to indulge in any number of diversions at whatever level of morality they found comfortable. Suddenly, level-based gameplay -- an unspoken contract between gamer and game designer for more than 20 years -- was laughably antiquated. Even the hub-style launching points popularized by Super Mario 64 felt old and dusty. Simply put, GTAIII redefined how games are played, serving as a wake-up call to an industry that had had for years fallen into a safe, sleepy rhythm. GTA III's lesson? That creative boundaries must be attacked with the same vigor as technological hurdles.

After GTA III, everything from Tony Hawk to fighting games, shooters and even the Simpsons franchise went back to the drawing board. No other game in the last 20 years has had more impact than Grand Theft Auto III. It radically evolved the bond between gamer and game, in the process changing everything about how games are made and played.

* -- Wikipedia

** --

Comments [10]

post a comment

  • First
    • 1
  • Last

The Legend of Zelda is NOT an RPG... nor has it ever been or ever will be, an RPG.. *doi*


Nr#1 FAIL.
GTAIII was heavily inspired after Die Hard Trilogy from 1996 on the PS1.
GTAIII represents the Doom of the 2000's, it's a bad example for society, for gamers.It's a life simulation, it's exaclty the opposite of what Video-Games should represent-FANTASY.I personally play Games to escape reality, realism & GTA3 represents the nr#1.


Frankly i find it ridiculous that pokemon isnt in the top 52, no matter how much you hate it its impossible to deny the huge effect it has had on popular culture


Sorry GamePro, not only have you missed it out of the list, it should be the number 1 most important game of all time.

And the game...

R-Type on the PC Engine (TG-16)

The first game to bring the arcade realistically into the living room. And without it, importing of Japanese video games would not have started back in 1988. And who knows where the industry would have been if that hadn't have happened...


Um, did i miss Sonic the Hedgehog on this list, or was that not one of the 52 most important games of all time. I thought it was almost singly instrumental in Sega Genesis selling 17mill units. I remember reading that sonic at one point was more popular with kids than Mickey Mouse. But i could be wrong Gamepro. At least tony hawk pro skater 2 and enter the matrix made the list. :^\


imagine gaming without gta3? half of us wouldnt even be gaming right now. that game changed gaming as we know it. just like mario 64 did 12 years ago, just like the wii is eventually going to do. gta 3 took gaming in a new direction. this game arguably caught the attention of "non gamers" everywhere. this game introduced alot of people into gaming. dont even deny the fact that you know at least 1 person that bought a ps2 just to play that game


ooooooooooooooooooooooooh yeah thats right i have the most important game of all time

  • First
    • 1
  • Last

post a comment