Grand Theft Auto III is a 2001 open world action-adventure computer and video game developed by DMA Design (now Rockstar North), and published by Rockstar Games. It is the first 3D title in the Grand Theft Auto series. It was released in October 2001 for the PlayStation 2, May 2002 for Microsoft Windows, in November 2003 for the Xbox and in November 2010 for Mac OS X. It was made available on Steam on January 4, 2008 and on the Mac App Store on August 18, 2011. The game was released for iOS and Android mobile devices on December 15, 2011. The game was released for the PlayStation 3 on September 25, 2012. The game is preceded by Grand Theft Auto 2 and succeeded by Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.
GTA III is set in modern Liberty City, a fictional metropolitan city based on New York City. The game follows the story of a criminal named Claude who was betrayed by his girlfriend in a bank heist and is required to work his way up the crime ladder of the city before confronting her. GTA lll is composed of elements from driving games and third-person shooters.
The game's concept and gameplay, coupled with the use of a 3D game engine for the first time in the series, contributed to Grand Theft Auto III's positive reception upon its release; it became 2001's top-selling video game and is cited as a landmark in video games for its far-reaching influence within the industry. GTA III's success was a significant factor in the series' subsequent popularity; as of 2008, five GTA prequels set before events in GTA III have been released, particularly Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories which revisits GTA III's setting just three years prior. GTA III's violent and sexual content has also been the source of public concern and controversy. According to Metacritic, GTA III and Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 both hold an average critic score of 97 out of 100, making them the highest-rated PlayStation 2 games of all time.
Grand Theft Auto III takes place in Liberty City, a city on the East Coast of America, which is loosely based on New York City, but also incorporates elements of other American cities. Altogether, the city and surrounding areas take up about three square miles. GTA III's Liberty City has also been used for Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories, Grand Theft Auto Advance and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (only for one mission in San Andreas), and is one of four renditions of "Liberty Cities" featured throughout the series; the other three are present in Grand Theft Auto (GTA1), Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, and Grand Theft Auto IV (GTA IV). GTA III is set around the autumn of 2001, when the game was first released; this was indicated by the Liberty Tree website, which included plot points that connect to events in the beginning of the game in its last existing monthly entry, dated October 18, 2001. The player progresses from the east (Portland) to the west (Shoreside Vale) during the game.