Reviewed on PlayStation 3 – Also Available for Xbox 360

Editor’s Note: Since the release of the game, I have been approached by numerous concerned parents about Grand Theft Auto V (GTA5). To address their concerns, I assigned one of my writers to play and review the game, allowing parents to make informed decisions.

Overall Review:

Grand Theft Auto V (GTA5) is the latest entry in the critically acclaimed and commercially successful series. This open-world action game unfolds in the fictional city of Los Santos, inspired by Los Angeles, situated in the equally fictitious state of San Andreas. It narrates the intertwined lives of the three protagonists as they engage in various missions, often with a criminal objective like executing a bank heist, to progress through the story.

The game truly comes alive outside mission constraints, granting players the liberty to explore Los Santos and interact with its environment in myriad ways. Much of this interaction involves committing crimes, escalating the player’s notoriety to a 5-star rating. Higher ratings attract increasing law enforcement efforts to curb the player’s criminal spree, typically culminating in intense shootouts.

Family Gaming Assessment:

The title “Grand Theft Auto” is indicative of mature content, further underscored by its M17+ rating for reasons including “Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Mature Humor, Nudity, Strong Language, Strong Sexual Content, Use of Drugs and Alcohol.”

The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) provides detailed explanations for GTA 5’s rating, highlighting graphic content such as mandatory torture for information extraction or interactions with prostitutes. These descriptions should serve as a clear warning for concerned parties.

Beyond mature themes, GTA 5 employs satire filled with disdain for contemporary American culture, visible in its advertisements, TV shows, and character dialogues. While adults might appreciate the satirical elements, they will likely be lost on younger audiences.

Playability Assessment

Players navigate the game as one of three protagonists, undertaking missions that advance the overarching narrative. Mission complexity often necessitates switching control among protagonists, a process that can be manual or dictated by the game. Upon death, players respawn outside a medical facility, incurring a financial penalty.

The game demands reading and comprehension skills, manageable for its target demographic. Though it lacks dialogue boxes, subtitles are accessible via the settings. Other features include an expansive map, mission briefings, player statistics, and game settings.

A minimap provides GPS-like navigation, while the bottom-right corner displays useful information such as character names and vehicle types.

Online multiplayer was unavailable at the time of this review, but Rockstar announced its introduction on October 1st, 2013. This mode allows players to interact within Los Santos, collaborating or competing to accrue points for their team or “crew.”


GTA 5 is destined for acclaim in numerous year-end lists, offering mature-themed entertainment suited for discerning gamers rather than impressionable children and teenagers yet to solidify their values. It is advisable for families, particularly those with young children, to exercise discretion regarding the game’s suitability.

Using GTA 5 as a conversation starter with your children can be more constructive than outright banning it. Discussing the reasons behind its inappropriateness helps convey the impacts of drug and alcohol misuse and gun violence. Trustworthy teens can be allowed access, highlighting the importance of trust in your judgment.

Engaging in dialogue is not merely about gaming; it’s about connecting with your family, which holds true significance.

Updates for Next-Generation Consoles and the Future with GTA 6:

Grand Theft Auto V has received significant updates for next-generation consoles, including enhanced graphics, faster loading times, and improved gameplay mechanics. These enhancements offer a refreshed gaming experience on platforms such as the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S, ensuring that GTA V remains a staple in the gaming community.

Anticipation is building for the next installment, Grand Theft Auto 6, which promises to set a new standard for open-world gaming. While details are sparse, the gaming community eagerly awaits official announcements, ready to embark on new adventures that GTA 6 will undoubtedly offer.

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