WHAT’S A GTA VIDEO?
In this context, GTA stands for Grand Theft Auto, the massively popular video game franchise that dates back to 1997, when the first Grand Theft Auto video game was released. Now that you know that, you can probably figure out that a GTA video is a video that relates to this series in one way or another. Most of them are videos of gameplay, but there are some other assorted treats out there in the world of Grand Theft Auto videos.
First, we’ll take the series game by game and show you some videos for each one. Naturally, we’ll begin with Grand Theft Auto, which hit the scene in 1997. If you’re a newcomer to the world of Grand Theft Auto, you might be surprised by how different the games in the series’ “2D universe” look from the games that later took the world by storm. Check out what I mean:
If you watched that video, you noticed that it isn’t just a gameplay video but that it includes a running commentary. This is a big thing with video game related content on YouTube and other video websites in general, so if you’re looking for GTA videos you’ll probably have to put up with it. And a lot of people actually like commentary, so maybe you’ll get something out of it.
The first Grand Theft Auto game also had two expansion packs – London, 1969 and London, 1961, for players who wanted to pretend to be Michael Caine when they stole cars. Here’s some video of London, 1969 being played:
And here’s London, 1961:
After the success of Grand Theft Auto, as is often the case with successful video games, there was an out and out sequel. It’s called Grand Theft Auto 2, and it’s the last game in the series to take place in the 2D universe established by the first game. For an idea of how that game looked, look no further than the video below.
Don’t worry, if you’re in love with the Grand Theft Auto 2D universe, there’s some more goodies later in this post. But for now, let’s move onto the game that is considered by some to be the Grand Theft Auto’s breakthrough entry into the mainstream. It’s Grand Theft Auto III, which blew enough minds in 2001 to qualify as a pop cultural phenomenon, one that’s still going strong today. And that means there are plenty of videos out there for you to get your 3D GTA fix even if you’re nowhere close to a video game console. Here’s just one of the gameplay videos out there – and at 10 minutes long, it’s on the shorter end of the spectrum:
After Grand Theft Auto III, Rockstar Games took the franchise down south – South Florida, that is. The Scarface-inspired Grand Theft Auto: Vice City took the expansive gameplay of previous installments of the series to a new level, and remains one of the most popular GTA games ever. It also had an unprecedented level of production value – not just in its 3D graphics but in its star-studded voice cast, which includes names like gangster movie favorite Ray Liotta. Here’s a gameplay video that might give you a vague idea of why it was so popular:
After Vice City, the Grand Theft Auto franchise had its work cut out for it in topping the expectations of fans. The result was Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, which you can get a look at right here:
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas marks the final game in the 3D universe of Grand Theft Auto, but there were a few other games developed during this time that are also part of the series. They were the Grand Theft Auto games developed for portable consoles like the Game Boy Advance and the PlayStation Portable. For the former, there was Grand Theft Auto Advance, which you can see in action below:
Then there are the two games that were developed for the PSP, Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories:
It is at this point in the history of Grand Theft Auto that we reach the HD universe. It starts with Grand Theft Auto IV, includes the expansion packs Grand Theft Auto: The Lost and Damned and Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony, portable installment Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, and the game that’s currently burning up living rooms throughout the world, Grand Theft Auto V. The level of realism and detail in these games is so thorough that watching the gameplay can be a lot more entertaining than you might expect. Here’s a basic example from Grand Theft Auto IV:
And here’s an official gameplay video from Rockstar Games that was released onto the internet in advance of the release of Grand Theft Auto V:
WHAT IF I’M BORED WITH GTA GAMEPLAY VIDEOS?
I think if you’ve worked your way down to this point of this post, a better question would be “what if I’m NOT bored with GTA gameplay videos,” in which case I would reply “consider a career in video games.” But if you’re a mere mortal who still wants to watch some Grand Theft Auto content online, I’ve got some great news: There’s so much out there that you wouldn’t have time to watch it all even if you were a full time professional criminal. For the first, and the most pedestrian, example, consider the fact that practically every cutscene ever produced for the Grand Theft Auto franchise has been uploaded to the internet at some point. Even better, most of them have been compiled into handy videos on a game by game basis, meaning you can absorb all the cutscenes for a given game in one video. Here are a few examples:
And then there are the cutscenes that due to some glitch or technical issue have gone horribly wrong. Like the following sequence, that inadvertently turns a scene from Grand Theft Auto V into a zombie movie:
THAT GLITCH VIDEO WAS FUNNY, ARE THERE ANY OTHER GOOD GTA GLITCH AND BLOOPER VIDEOS?
Nope, that was the only one. Just joking – of course when you have a video game franchise as long and storied as Grand Theft Auto, you’re going to have an abundance of glitches and just plain weird events that happen within the gameplay. Here are some of the best ones:
And here’s one that doesn’t even involve a technical glitch, just a player being in the wrong place at the wrong time (or, maybe more accurately, the right place at the right time):
HOW ABOUT SOME MORE GTA VIDEOS THAT AREN’T TAKEN DIRECTLY FROM THE GAMES?
This is where the really good stuff starts to happen. The Grand Theft Auto series has had such a phenomenal impact on the culture at large that it’s been the inspiration for countless parodies and other homages. Let’s start with an absolute classic before moving on to somewhat more obscure fare. I’m talking, of course, about the great Grand Theft Auto sketch from Chappelle’s Show:
Now that you’ve watched that, and taken a moment of silence to mourn the loss of Chappelle’s Show, we can get to some more GTA videos. Here’s a pretty cool one, a Coke commercial from a few years back that was animated in the style of one of the Grand Theft Auto games. According to the fine people at Coca-Cola, it would only take a couple of bottles of Coke to make Liberty City a peaceful paradise instead of a violent wasteland. That might be great for Coke, but I don’t imagine it would do much to sell more video games:
And here’s a parody video of Grand Theft Auto IV that’s in glorious live-action:
Not all live-action GTA videos are necessarily spoofs, though. The Chappelle’s Show sketch and the video above might be trying to make you laugh, but the recent Grand Theft Auto fan film Grand Theft Auto: Rise captures the feel of the games in a way that’s both cinematic and true to the source material. It’s less than six and a half minutes long and definitely worth checking out, which you can do below:
Then there’s this awesome music video from band NO, which, lip-syncing aside, looks like it was actually “filmed” in the world of Grand Theft Auto V:
HAVE ANY CREATIVE PROJECTS BEEN PRODUCED WITHIN GTA V?
If that last music video had you wondering if it might actually be possible to “shoot” something (with a camera, not a gun) within the incredibly expansive world of Grand Theft Auto V, you’re not alone. There’s actually a whole subculture of artists who use the complex mechanics of the game to do things similar to what other photographers and artists do here in the real world. For example, take a look at this time-lapse video of various locales found inside Grand Theft Auto V – it’s actually quite beautiful:
Looks pretty cool, right? Another artist had an even more ambitious idea, involving the beautiful Los Santos skyline (and a few other GTA V locales):
As a matter of fact, yes, there is. As I’m sure you’ve gathered by now, there’s such a large number of videos involving Grand Theft Auto out there that the ones you see here are only a sampling. For one, I left out the whole world of GTA mods, in which savvy users can modify the game in pretty much any way you can imagine and put the results up on the internet. You can explore all that stuff on your own, but then again maybe you don’t have to, because I already found the best one:
It’s only a matter of time before some video game developer makes a game with a world as expansive as GTA but with the additional component of time travel. Or maybe that already has happened …
Now that you’ve watched more Grand Theft Auto videos than could have possibly been healthy, all that remains is to actually go out there and commit some crimes. Good luck!