There is no question that the Grand Theft Auto series was arguably the best thing going during the 00’s as it related to the third-party action-adventure genre of gaming. RockStar had released memorable 3D classics within the Grand Theft Auto series including GTA: III, GTA: Vice City and GTA: San Andreas which were all very successful on a commercial. GTA: San Andreas game from ‘04 became so popular that it managed to develop a cult following in countries like America. In fact, some would argue that the popularity of GTA: San Andreas overshadowed Grand Theft Auto IV from 2008. Grand Theft Auto IV is actually considered to be a masterpiece by many people for its darker atmosphere and serious tone in comparison to some the previous entries within the series. The storyline for Grand Theft Auto IV is set in Liberty City, America during the late 00’s; with the main character being a Eastern European war veteran named Niko Bellic. After traveling to America to escape the traumatizing memories of war during his teenage years he runs into more problems after reuniting with his cousin Roman. Niko finds out that Roman is buried in debt and quickly discover that the American Dream is an illusion. Both Niko & Roman eventually work for the mob in Liberty City because monetary gain was their priority which made them targets for law enforcement.
Along with trying to help Roman with his financial issues Niko was also looking for revenge on the man who betrayed him and murdered his friends back in the Eastern European War. The plot for Grand Theft Auto IV felt much darker than Vice City from ‘02 and was almost as tragic as the story from San Andreas minus the emphasis on gang warfare. The open world environment in Grand Theft Auto IV was also impressive along with the graphics and physics the game had to offer on the PlayStation 3 & Xbox 360. The cities within GTA: IV were based on places like Bronx, Queens, Manhattan and Brooklyn and the game did an excellent job on catching the zeitgeist of Liberty City which was based on New York City in America in 2008. Since its initial release back in ‘08 Grand Theft Auto IV had managed to reach over 25 million in sales across every platform it was released on including Microsoft Windows. The online multiplayer game mode was praised by many critics and gaming publications alike; especially since it allowed up to 32 players simultaneously. The online multiplayer game mode in GTA: IV allows street races and death matches along with a Free Mode where players could do whatever they wanted. The online multiplayer game mode in Grand Theft Auto IV was so popular that its servers remained active for over a decade before RockStar finally shut it down in 2020. Grand Theft Auto IV was probably the most profitable installment within its series next to GTA: V from 2013 and reportedly earned Rockstar of at least $2 billion in revenue since its release. While Grand Theft Auto IV does not get nearly as much love as the other installments in the series it was still one of the best action-adventure titles to come out of the 2000’s decade.