Every Rockstar Games Title Ranked From Worst to Best (All GTA Games Ranked)

Rockstar is the behemoth of this video games industry when it comes to creating unique and engaging single-player experiences. We’ll be focusing on the games developed and published by Rockstar Games.

The list presents every single Rockstar Games ranked from worst to best, and it's updated to 2020. This is a personal opinion and the list may vary according to you (maybe, maybe not). So, here we go:

29. Surfing H30

One of the lowest-rated Rockstar Game on Metacritic, with an average score of 46/100, Surfing H3O is one of Rockstar’s worst games to date. Apart from surfing, decent visuals (back in 2000), the game offered almost next to nothing. You surf through waves and that’s pretty much it. There’s very little information present about this game over the internet for all obvious reasons. This game tried very hard to be a 'Tony hawk' but the end result was an awful mess.

H30 Rockstar

 

28. Welcome To My Underground Lair!

Back in 2000, Underground Liar was released for Gameboy Color. Hardly anyone knows about this game… because it was umm… a mess. Rockstar is known for unique games, both story and gameplay-wise, but this game was a forgettable affair and that’s why this game is never mentioned anywhere. The game allowed players to play a Pac-Man clone called "Mojo Maze" and… a Rock-Paper-Scissors game that was fun. Aside from a few mini-games and clunky controls, it was not the game people would've expected from Rockstar.  As they say, it was downright evil of Rockstar themselves. It was heavily uninspired and didn't have much replayability either. 

welcometomyundergroundliar

27. Evel Knievel

This game, just like Underground Liar Launched on Gameboy Color and god, was at the same level as Underground Liar. A game where you just need to press a button. Starting from a single tap to multiple taps, it keeps on going till the very end. The game lacked the fun factor. Games released by Rockstar on Gameboy Color mostly sucked. A rip-off of this game was present in the above title.

evelknievel

26. State of Emergency

State of Emergency was released on Xbox and PS2, lacked the Rockstar quality and the mission design was quite repetitive. Missions had the same formula of beating someone to death with an injured arm. You need to run from point A to point B, beat some baddies and this kept on repeating itself. After launch, Rockstar quickly moved to different directions to forget this repetitive mess. They knew it was a mistake. The game was panned for its quality when compared with the revolutionary GTA III.

stateofemergency

25. Smuggler's Run

Smuggler’s Run had a lot of fun elements. Race with AI, explore a 3D environment and perform several kinds of stunts like flips, dodging, etc. What was bad about this game was its tedious and repetitive nature. All the missions were almost the same and the AI was laughable. The game had various texture issues which created a lot of hindrances while playing the game.

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24. The first Grand Theft Auto

It’s been rightly said. “Instead of waiting to start big, start small so that you can grow big”.

This game changed everything, for the games industry and Rockstar Games, as well. The game was originally developed by DMA Design (which later became Rockstar North). This game paved the way to create more compelling experiences like this. According to DMA Design founder, Dave Jones:

Dave was fascinated by the idea of just giving players the tools and letting them do what they wanted. There were maybe seven programmers working on it. All the little effects, like being able to run pedestrians over, came from someone saying: “Hey, it would be cool if you could do this.” When we first got the driving part done, everyone huddled around to see it working. It was brilliant, just bombing around the city, but it was still bug-ridden and the demo was always crashing. The buildings weren’t right, though it did have a nice feel.

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23. Midnight Club

Rockstar worked on a racing game. Back then, they were trying different types of games, from skateboarding to racing and what not! Some paid off while others were a mess. Midnight Club was one of the very first racing video games by Rockstar. The game was lauded for its design and overall gameplay. This made Rockstar confident about this franchise and they made two sequels after the original release in 2000.

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22. Midnight Club – II

In 2003, Rockstar came back with a sequel to Midnight Club, called Midnight Club II. The game offered gameplay like illegal street racing combined with arcade and a hell of a lot of fun! You race across different places as you progress through the story. The maps provide a wide array of cars and unlockables including different moves among other gameplay benefits. The AI routes offered more range and freedom to the players to strategize on different routes to win.

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21. Smuggler’s Run 2

An improvement to its predecessor, Smuggler’s Run 2 offers more gameplay variety, including an online component apart from visual upgrades and much more. Even GTA Online has a smuggler's run mode in it. The sprawling landscapes and fluid controls were their achievements. The variety this game offered was a step up from its predecessor. 

smugglersrun2

20. GTA London 1969

Released way back in April 1999, it was an expansion to Grand Theft Auto. You deal with several missions ranging from contract killings accompanied with the freedom to drive anywhere thus giving players various choices to interact with the world. It was the same game but with a little bit of a makeover of London. That's all about it.

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19. Beaterator

Back in the days, Rockstar loved experimenting with a lot of stuff. So, Beaterator is a product of such an experiment. It lets you create pretty fun tunes and you can also create a soundtrack from scratch if you want. As expected from such a game, it was not meant for everyone, but for people who love creating music and for seasoned professionals as well. It was not expected that Rockstar will try something at that time, but this game is enjoyable if you are into these types of games. Here's a video from Rockstar's YouTube channel.

beaterator

18. Manhunt 2

Manhunt is a true classic. Offering a well-executed story with a bunch of stealth mechanics and gory kill cams. But Rockstar somehow forgot what made Manhunt truly stand out. It featured some intense stealth sequences, dumb AI, intense kills, and a story that pales in comparison to the first one. The alluring environment was accompanied by visuals and the overall representation of the gore. It was extremely gory and could be the worst game for someone who is faint-hearted.

manhunt 2

17. GTA 2

Grand Theft Auto II introduced a brand-new feature, i.e., maintaining your stats with rival gangs. The same feature that was implemented in GTA: SA (the only two games to implement this feature). This gave the overall gameplay even more depth. This game was a step up from the first GTA. It had a 2.5 D sandbox while its successor, GTA III took open-world games to a whole new level. Rest is history...

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16. GTA: Vice City Stories

A treat to the PSP fans. GTA: Vice City Stories was a technical achievement, letting players experience Rockstar’s best setting, Vice City. The story focuses on Vin Vance's journey and how it helps in setting up the story for Tommy Vercetti and other characters in GTA: Vice City. The story's description:

Vice City, 1984. Opportunity abounds in a city emerging from the swamps, its growth fueled by a violent power struggle in a lucrative drug trade. Construction is everywhere as a shining metropolis rises from foundations of crime and betrayal.

As a soldier, Vic Vance has always protected his dysfunctional family, his country, himself.

One bad decision later and that job is about to get much harder. Kicked out onto the streets between glamour and gluttony, Vic is faced with a stark choice...build an empire or be crushed.

gtavcstories

15. GTA: Liberty City Stories

GTA: LC Stories took players back to Liberty City, after GTA: III. You play as Toni Cipriani, who becomes Salvatore Leone’s right-hand man and you take down rival gangs, some triads in this 8-11 hours of story. Plus offering a lot of freedom when it comes to the open world. Apart from the story mode, there was a multiplayer component attached to it, offering modes like Deathmatches, etc. that’s a cool addition to a game like this.

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14. MC: Los Angeles

MC: Los Angeles offered a unique driving experience. Featuring a full day-night cycle, enhanced visuals, and is the best title in the Midnight Club series. An insane amount of detail has been put in the game’s portrayal of Los Angeles. It’s even more fun when played online. Apart from some minor issues, Midnight Club: Los Angeles stands out as one of the better racing games during that timeline.

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13. Red Dead Revolver

This game was originally being developed by Capcom sometime in 2002. When Rockstar was in talks to purchase Angel Studios (now, Rockstar San Diego), they saw this ‘western game’, they were ‘wowed’ when they played the game. After the acquisition of Angel Studios, Rockstar tweaked the whole game that meets their standards. This game laid the foundation stone for the Red Dead series. Red Dead Redemption in 2010 and Red Dead Redemption in 2018. The game’s core mechanics and the dead-eye feature was lauded by everyone. Haven’t Rockstar looked over the studio, we would’ve never got the masterpieces, RDR and RDR2.  

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12. The Warriors

Dan Houser, the ex Co-founder of Rockstar Games liked The Warriors a lot. The Warriors is an adoring re-creation of New York City in the late 1970s: the tortured metropolis of graffiti, blackouts, and the Son of Sam. Both the film and the game focus on a multiracial street gang that has been falsely accused of murder and must fight its way home from the Bronx to Coney Island (though most of the game's story takes place before the climactic cross-city flight). Fans of previous Rockstar games may be shocked to discover that in the Warriors, the player never fires a gun or drives a car. The combat is deep and engaging. Hope it gets a remake one day :)

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11. Manhunt

Manhunt introduced players to what Rockstar can do. A game in the stealth that is way too violent but interesting at the same time. The game has varied gameplay mechanics that depend on what the player wishes to play as. The AI was not just random but very carefully programmed to make the environment feel more real and dangerous. This game stirred a lot of controversy for its gory scenes and a lot of violence in some places. The mission design is challenging and very innovative as the difficulty seems to increase every mission.

manhunt

10. GTA III

A genre in gaming that many companies fail to mimic (even today), that is, open world. It all started with GTA: III. Since then, Rockstar still proves why they’re the undisputed rulers when it comes to creating an open world with meticulous attention to detail. The fictional depiction of New York was highly appreciated. The absolute chaos and variety of ways to complete a mission (games were not heavily scripted back then) were amazing.

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9. GTA Vice City

One of the best GTA ever made is undoubtedly Grand Theft Auto Vice City. A perfect blend of narrative and fun gameplay. GTA VC offered a compelling story about Tommy Vercetti’s journey in the 1980s. It only took 9 months to develop this game and was a huge step up from GTA III. The nostalgia for this game is overwhelming! Could GTA 6 be set in Vice City? What do you think?

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8. Bully

Canis Canem Edit or Bully is one of the most special games ever made. No one expected Rockstar to try something funnier, apart from the Grand Theft Auto Series. The adventure of Jimmy Hopkins in Bullworth is still worth your time. The humorous story and interesting side activities make this game more fun. The complaints of this game being controversial are laughable. This game makes its way as one of the most underrated games of all time. Rockstar almost made a sequel but canceled it for some reasons. It is one of these series people have been clamoring for. Believe me or not, this game has one of the best soundtracks in a Rockstar title. It is recently reported by DualShockers that Bully 2 has been internally canceled for the third time, to allow developers to focus on Red Dead 2 and GTA VI(among other titles, maybe?)

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7. GTA San Andreas

Ah shit, here we go again… GTA San Andreas remains one of the best GTAs I’ve ever played. Apart from the brilliant storyline and brilliant voiceovers, the other thing that makes this game so damn special is San Andreas itself. The world was chock-full of detail and unique side activities to take part in. The game was way ahead of its time. Various easter eggs scattered throughout the world added more immersion. The frustration of getting wasted by drowning was not the case here. Carl can swim and do pretty much everything like going to the gym, play mini-games, and much more besides. There’s no way that anyone can hate this game. It’s a classic.

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6. L.A. Noire

With L.A. Noire, Rockstar Games and Team Bondi created a truly remarkable game. From the realistic facial animations, top-notch voice acting, and an incredible story. Every action plays a vital role. It's more about understanding the scenario rather than start shooting the 'bad' guys. The gameplay mechanics are a blast. It is immersive, mature, and deeply engaging. A game of rare quality; which makes you think very carefully and look for the intricate details to solve a case. The overall narrative is convincing and many of us are wondering whether Rockstar will ever make a sequel or not. This game is truly a cinematic journey one should experience.

lanoire 

5. Max Payne 3

After Remedy developed the first two titles in the series, Rockstar took the rights to develop which eventually became Max Payne 3. The first game was developed and published by Rockstar Studios. This game is criminally underrated. It had a lot of potentials but was overshadowed by the behemoth, GTA V, which was released a year later. The stylistic and engrossing narrative made it an interesting game. The dark narrative blended with some of the most memorable dialogues makes this game truly special. Sadly, Rockstar won’t continue this series further due to disappointing sales.

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4. Red Dead Redemption

Beautiful and well-written. Red Dead Redemption stands as one of the best Rockstar Games of all time. The first time John enters Mexico and far away plays as we ride towards Mexico during the sunset is still one of my favorite moments in a video game. As missions passed by, we got connected to every single character in the game. It is a roller-coaster journey of emotions, betrayal, and redemption. Plus, with Undead Nightmare, Rockstar gave us one of the best DLCs ever. It’s sad to see Rockstar never gave us a Sadie Adler or Charles Smith DLC for RDR2.

red dead redemption

3. GTA V

This game needs no introduction. This game is in everyone’s (mostly) playlist. The fact that the game is still topping Steam charts shows that GTA VI won’t be arriving till 2024-2025 at the earliest. (Can’t forget to mention Rockstar’s focus on the online component - GTA: Online. I’ve enjoyed playing GTA Online - it's fun, no doubt - but if you want GTA VI, stop buying shark cards!)

The single-player component of this game is amazing. The story of three people who thrive to survive in Los Santos and how the events unravel makes their journey more engaging. The humorous storyline and a huge open world, filled with tons of activities and side quests to take part in, is fascinating. We can imagine how realistic will GTA 5 feel when it launches on current-gen consoles later next year!

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2. GTA IV

The first game to use the Rockstar Advanced Game Engine (RAGE) to the core was GTA: IV. Something is truly special about this game. While some prefer GTA V over GTA IV, GTA IV was truly special in story development, characterization, physics, and the open-world. Niko Bellic’s tale from the beginning piqued my interest. GTA V has an amazing single-player campaign but GTA IV had a better character arc and the ending gives you decide which ending will be better for Niko. The physics, sometimes quite frustrating but made the game feel more realistic. Plus, the side characters enhance an already amazing story to a greater extent. Not to forget some of the best single-player expansions, in the form of GTA: EPLC. It was a bonus for all the players.

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1. Red Dead Redemption II

One of the best games ever made, Red Dead Redemption II is Rockstar’s best open world to date. Offering players a more varied and detailed map that you can spend countless hours in. You can saunter in this beautiful world for hours, getting distracted by the amount of side content to take part in. Not to forget its masterpiece of a story. The story of Arthur Morgan and the Vander Linde Gang during the late 19th century is a perfect representation of the wild west era. This 40-60 hour of campaign makes us fall in love with its well-executed story and connect with every emotion in the game. This is the perfect example of a ‘lived-in open world’. Other games have tried to mimic the same formula as RDR2 but have failed to accomplish this feat. Arthur Morgan is possibly the best protagonist in a video game to date. He's brilliantly written and executed and everyone connects with him. He seems too strong from the outside but from the inside, he has a heart of gold. Apart from the story and a beautiful world, the music is top-notch. Unshaken and That's the way it is are some of the most memorable songs in a game.  

The attention to detail in this game is unmatched, even today. For example, a wolf crying over the dead body of another wolf. Horses coating themselves in the dust to prevent flies from biting them. There’s so much to discover, even after two years after launch. This shows us the level of dedication for which Rockstar is known for. 

rdr2 copy

This wraps up the complete list of every title that Rockstar Games developed. What's your favorite Rockstar game? What do you think about the rank of each game? Do let us know on our Social Media accounts; Twitter - Instagram - Facebook! We will be happy to have a look at your opinion!

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