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GTA 4 is 15 years old this week and it’s still the best Grand Theft Auto – Reader’s Feature

GTA 4 is 15 years old this week and it’s still the best Grand Theft Auto – Reader’s Feature
Grand Theft Auto 4 – has it really been that long? (pic: Rockstar Games)

A reader celebrates the 15th anniversary of GTA 4 and insists that it’s a better game than GTA 5 or any of its predecessors.

I know, I know, it makes you feel old, doesn’t it? But Grand Theft Auto 4 is now exactly 15 years old, and I really don’t feel it gets the credit it deserves. The PlayStation 2 era games have had multiple remasters and while they may be bad at least they’ve kept those titles in the public eye, but it’s almost as if Rockstar doesn’t want to acknowledge GTA 4 exists.

There’s hardly ever been any references to GTA 4 in GTA 5 and I really don’t know why. Niko Bellic is a much better character than anyone in GTA 5. Just compare his believable, relatively realistic portrayal to the cartoon character that is Trevor. GTA 4 is just a better written game all around, as far as I’m concerned, with much more biting satire, which by the time of GTA 5 had kind of got a bit state and obvious.

The whole Eastern European coming to not-New York City thing worked perfectly and was a lot more interesting than GTA 5, which didn’t really have an overarching story and ended really weakly, unlike GTA 5 which was great all the way through.

I found most of all the characters (which actually included a few women for once) in GTA 5 to be much more interesting and the city itself more enjoyable to explore, since it was very close to the real New York and seemed to get the layout and vibe of the city just right.

The car handling as also a lot better. I know not everyone agrees but I found it very bland and unexciting in GTA 5 but in GTA 4 it’s more realistic and feels much more like a proper racing game but in an open world game. Everything about GTA 4 was more realistic, from the physics on down, and to me GTA 5 really felt like a backwards step by comparison.

There are problems though. The lack of checkpoints is really frustrating and it was even when it was first released, so I don’t really know what Rockstar were thinking there. The gunplay and fighting is also definitely better in GTA 5, I won’t pretend otherwise. I still wouldn’t say it was great there though, so it’s not as if the difference is that big of a deal.

GTA 4 also had really good DLC, whereas GTA 5 has none. It could even be considered the best part of the game, with some different characters to shake things up and a real attempt to tell a different kind of story, and have different styles of gameplay, in each.

The most frustrating thing for me is that while I’d love to say that the game deserves a remaster I’m not actually sure I want Rockstar to do one. They’re taking so long with GTA 6 that I don’t want them to get distracted, and seeing what a bad job they did with GTA 3 and the others it’s likely to be even worse if they’re doing a rush job or concentrating more on something else.

At least the game runs well on Xbox Series X though, and I believe it was upgraded for PC a few years ago, so I strongly advise playing it there. It’s 60fps with backwards compatibility on Xbox and that feels great. I don’t think there’s anyway to play it on PlayStation 5 though.

Rather than a remaster, what would’ve been fine is some sort of announcement or acknowledgement this month… maybe some new content for GTA Online. But as far as I can see they haven’t done anything. Perhaps they don’t even realise. Oh well, maybe they’ll do something for the 20th instead…

By reader Denzig

The reader’s feature does not necessary represent the views of GameCentral or Metro.

You can submit your own 500 to 600-word reader feature at any time, which if used will be published in the next appropriate weekend slot. Just contact us at [email protected] or use our Submit Stuff page and you won’t need to send an email.

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