Today. September 17th, 2018. Five years since the release of Grand Theft Auto V. I remember the minute it was announced via Rockstar Games' Twitter and I remember every single day from then until this point. I created The GTA Base Twitter and well, announced a passion of mine to the world.. There really wasn't anything tangible news-wise to talk about yet. So, I just rambled on about how excited I was that a new GTA game was coming, even though I was still knee deep in GTA IV, as you know, Grand Theft Auto is the game that keeps giving, so finding new things and features years after release kept me playing and spraying. Eventually, Rockstar shared more on the game and that was enough to really get things popping. The rest is history.

After approximately 3 years of development, 2 years of waiting for the game to release after the announcement, and now - five years later - I take a look back at some of the most memorable and enjoyable moments playing (and waiting for) the game.

Grand Theft Auto V FIVE years on

Right off of the bat, as I first stepped on the gas and raced through the "sprawling sun-soaked metropolis" to my first mission, the evidence of sweat and tears that over 1000 Rockstars had poured into the game was instantly visible. Even though the game was running on the old-gen consoles, the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3 and right towards the very end of their lifespans, the game still looked otherworldly. A massive step above any other game that I have played.

On July 12, 2012 - Nine months after the #GTAV Announcement Tweet from Rockstar Games, the very first two screenshots of Grand Theft Auto V were shared.

More screens were shared the month after, all of which you can check out here for that nostalgic pinch.

Grand Theft Auto V Official Cover Art

Rockstar is one of the few if only that can generate such an enormous level of intensity and excitement just by doing things the way they do things. Revealing the cover art for their game in the style of a mural, hand painted in NYC. I mean, really? If that is not as cool as #$&! then I don't know what is. A four-piece progress slideshow is below where you can check the mural being put up.

gta v cover art progress 1gta v cover art progress 2gta v cover art progress 3

The Official Grand Theft Auto V Cover Art: Digital

Memorable Moments

It is hard to round my most memorable moments with GTAV down to five. From the day I started playing, to when Grand Theft Auto Online launched, right to when I still hop on in 2018 - there is always - something spectacular happening. From the good ol' GTA Base days on GTA Online playing with Rockstar Games - A housewarming party at a Rockstar crib and the notorious Official Rockstar hosted crew battles with other community fan sites.

1. Taking a dip in Vespucci Beach waters.

The beautiful turquoise waves slowly pushing in, causing jetskis to bobble and float in motion, was breathtaking to see at first and still is now but the first time I witnessed this, gave me such a great sense of assurance that I was somewhere that I wanted to be. That was until I decided to, shall we say five finger discount myself a Speedophile, ride the waves far out and go for a swim. I saw a red dot flash on my mini-map followed by what appeared to be a shark and it was at this moment I knew I had made a deeply wrong decision.

2. Switching Characters

A moment that truly left me cracking up and wondering WTF? While I switched from Franklin, who was involved in some smokey business, to Michael, who was stuck in a traffic jam, to Trevor, who I found in quite a state, with a bottle of booze in his hand, perched up against a rock, on the side of a mountain, wearing a green floral dress. The first words that he spoke were "If I find the deer that pissed on my I'm going to eat its own liver".

Now I wondered how he got there, whose dress he was wearing and whether or not it was actually a deer that pissed on him or if he was just sitting in a puddle of his own making? Regardless, that moment is not the worst of his, there are plenty more where they came from. Check out some of his most memorable entrances below.

3. The World

GTA5 PC 003 Vinewood

As I first mentioned in this article, the sheer detail of the game world was instantly evident and the feelings of awe did not stop. Every time I would fly over in a helicopter from the Grand Senora, over the Vinewood sign, and have that first glimpse of the city at night, the lights, the ambience, it never ever failed to amaze me. From playing it on the PS3 and then the Xbox One, all it did was get better. Getting involved in a police shoot-out and seeing another officer grab and drag his wounded-thanks-to-you colleague out of harm's way. I got jumped by a very large mammal when I was trying to traverse some mountain and it scared the crap out of me! Not to mention putting on scuba gear and exploring the vast underwater that many overlooked. Shipwrecks, some large and small, enormous plane wrecks, and even a UFO. There is always something to see somewhere. My all-time favourite past time of hunting hidden packages, which this time, were deeply expanded into a storyline of their own. Letter Scraps, UFO and Submarine Parts, ancient artefacts from the not so sane KIFFLOM cult, and so on.

Exploring the world and finding these were among some of my favourite times playing and as I collected each part, a new adventure laid ahead. Even seeing the same street that you drove down, flying over the same set of buildings and tearing across the same waters, it never got old. Truly a living and breathing world filled with animals, those human things, and sharks. Definitely sharks.

4. Easter Eggs

gtav easter egg alien

Something always present in GTA games, funny digs here and there or clues to something bigger in the game world - there are a lot of easter eggs in GTAV. I always liked randomly stumbling across easter eggs in the GTA universe. This one pictured is in North Yankton, part of the GTAV prologue - while badly driving, I ended up in a ditch, and much to my surprise I found this ugly thing underneath a frozen lake. I have no idea what it was doing there.

5. Grand Theft Auto Online

GTA V Artwork GTAOnline

Grand Theft Auto Online. Truly its own game in its own right. It absolutely completely changed how we saw online multiplayer games. When I first heard some of the things we would be able to do in the game, like have your own apartment, vehicles with licenses and trackers, bounties, over 500 missions at launch - it was game over for everything else for me. Jam-packed with content, and things to do with friends. It changed everything. Suddenly that train that passes through the map, just rolling through its route, became an activity for me and my friends.

"Let's see who can jump out of the helicopter and land on the train first" or "who can jump on the train with a 5* Wanted Level and survive the longest".

GTA5 NextGen 098 GTAOnline Characters

Everything really changed. I had a whole crew with a 30 player strong lobby, making up our own private lobby games, like Bounty hunter: One player would be the target, they would remove their blip from the radar, and have 3 minutes to drive off somewhere and when their blip appeared on the radar we would all chase that player down, but we could only use a select range of weapons against them so to keep it somewhat fair.

The GTA Base Crew would cruising, wrecking havoc on hostile crews or even just sitting in the car park of one of Los Santos Customs fine establishments and showing off our rides. It was fun non-stop and we always-always had something to do, be it online missions, the gigantic set of HEIST Jobs which really took time and effort to execute perfectly and bagged you a nice payout of GTA$.

GTAOnline 13007 Lowriders ChinoCustom

GTA Online launched 2 weeks after the game released worldwide and also had its very own Official Artwork. For me, when GTA Online was revealed to have its own artwork, I knew then that Rockstar Games were not playing around. I sense that it would be something that surpassed all expectations and imagination and it did just that. With millions of players still cruising and exploring, and new fun content updates being released frequently, I don't see it dying any time soon.

GTAOnline 14403 AfterHours FestivalBus

I would like to give the entire Rockstar Games crew a genuine massive virtual high five for the tremendous effort that they put into Grand Theft Auto V and Grand Theft Auto Online. From the marketing, social community events, fansite love and the continued updates that the game receives to this day, you are truly appreciated and you have helped to keep a groundbreaking game continue to break ground. You have brought people together from across the world and created a truly unique scene, sparked a community of budding game photographers, and last but not least, GTA Online enabled me to be the criminal I've always wanted to be. (<that's a joke btw).

I would like to also give a massive shout out to all of the former and current GTA Base Crew members! There was too many to mention all over the years but a big shout to notable high rankers and die heard members

gtabase crew members

Thanks for everything! GS4L 4 Life, x.

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