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Rockstar Games is one of the best video games developers in the world. After being founded in 1998 Rockstar has produced some of the biggest and best game series this art form has ever seen. It is, of course, most famous for the Grand Theft Auto series GTA : 6 Great Websites For The Grand Theft Auto Aficionado GTA : 6 Great Websites For The Grand Theft Auto Aficionado Can you remember 1997? Those of you who can might also recall the hysteria, outrage and above all critical acclaim festooned on one of the most iconic and original video games of the time -... Read More , which has evolved over its lifetime from the top-down 2D action of the original to the open-world epic that is GTA V.

However, Rockstar Games is more than just Grand Theft Auto, and its back catalog of titles deserves a closer look. What follows is a list of the best titles Rockstar Games has released so far. These games cover nine years and multiple gaming platforms, and each has that indefinable quality that marks a Rockstar Games title out from the competition.

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

Released: 2004
Platforms: PS2, Xbox, PC, Mac
Metacritic Rating: 95/100

Prior to GTA V, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was the GTA game with the highest level of critical acclaim. It’s easy to see why: San Andreas is a truly epic game with great graphics for its time, a likeable cast of characters, and a wide variety of missions to play through. Landing right at the end of the sixth generation of video game consoles, San Andreas showed Rockstar’s ability to squeeze the absolute best out of the systems for which it develops.

Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition Remix

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Released: 2005
Platforms: PS2, Xbox, PSP
Metacritic Rating: 87/100

One of the strongest elements of the GTA games is the driving, with the developers having nailed the physics associated with driving along busy streets. The Midnight Club series extracted the driving elements from the Grand Theft Auto games, and expanded them into full-blown titles. So you get to drive souped-up vehicles around street courses. Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition Remix is the pick of the series, and though it has been superseded by Burnout Paradise, it’s still worth seeking out.

The Warriors

Released: 2005
Platforms: PS2, Xbox, PSP
Metacritic Rating: 84/100

In 1979 Paramount Pictures released a movie titled The Warriors that has since become a cult classic. This Rockstar game is loosely based on that film, though with some added bells and whistles to make it a more compelling playing experience. You take on the roles of the titular Warriors, a street gang wrongly accused of killing a rival gang leader. Every other gang in the city is out to get you as you make the journey from one side of New York to the other.

Bully

Released: 2006
Platforms: PS2, Xbox 360, Wii, PC
Metacritic Rating: 87/100

Bullying isn’t big or clever 5 Websites That Help Parents & Children Deal With Bullying Or Cyberbullying 5 Websites That Help Parents & Children Deal With Bullying Or Cyberbullying For years bullying had been thought of as a necessary rite of passage to adulthood. If bullying is a devil’s trait, then we as concerned citizens and parents can play protectors. Educating ourselves about how... Read More , but it is a subject matter that makes for a very entertaining game. Bully, AKA Canis Canem Edit, is far from perfect, but what it does offer is a fresh perspective on the basic premise of GTA, with you taking on the role of a delinquent child rather than a career criminal. In another open-world epic, you have to attend school while also making time for extracurricular activities which include all the classic strategies of adolescent bullies.

Red Dead Redemption

Released: 2010
Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360
Metacritic Rating: 95/100

The Wild West now seems an obvious setting for an open-world sandbox game, but it took Rockstar to instill that change of opinion. Red Dead Redemption is, on the surface at least, Grand Theft Auto with horses, but spend any time playing the game, and you’ll realize it’s so much more than that. There is a great storyline, compelling characters, and a huge American vista to explore while you undertake missions both large and small. I personally cannot wait for a sequel.

L.A. Noire

Released: 2011
Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360, PC
Metacritic Rating: 89/100

L.A. Noire won’t be for everyone, even Rockstar fanboys. It’s slower and more subtle than their usual sandbox fare, with realism taking precedence over excitement. The game is set in post-war Los Angeles, and you play a policeman who then gets promoted to detective. The usual exploring, driving, and combat is all present, but you also examine crime scenes and interview suspects and witnesses. It’s during these moments that the innovative animation techniques are revealed in full.

Max Payne 3

Released: 2012
Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360, PC, Mac
Metacritic Rating: 87/100

Max Payne 3 proves Rockstar can do linear games as well as it can do open-world . Well, perhaps not quite as well, but still better than most other developers in the business. The Max Payne series is strong throughout, but the third title is the best of the trilogy. Primarily a run-and-gun, third-person shooter, great visuals and amazing cinematic stylings mean this game tops most others in the genre. Max Payne 3 isn’t perfect, but look past its minor issues, and an insanely fun game is lurking underneath.

Grand Theft Auto V

Released: 2013
Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360
Metacritic Rating: 98/100 (as of this writing)

And so we come to the big one, the most recent game on this list. The much-anticipated Grand Theft Auto V 4 Things About Grand Theft Auto V That Have Me Incredibly Excited [MUO Gaming] 4 Things About Grand Theft Auto V That Have Me Incredibly Excited [MUO Gaming] The epic reveal of all things Grand Theft Auto V is here. The folks at Game Informer have shown off a massive cover article that details lots of information about Rockstar's upcoming mega game. When... Read More , which received almost universally positive critical acclaim. This is the biggest GTA game released so far, with a structure and scale far in excess of any title in the series. With three main characters who you can switch between at will, story missions aplenty, and countless other things to see and do in the epic world, Grand Theft Auto V deserves its billing as one of the best games of all time.

Conclusions

This list represents the best titles Rockstar Games has produced so far. It’s an incomplete list, for sure, as not only is this legendary developer likely to produce many more classics in the future, you’ll likely have your own games to add to the mix. If you do, we want to hear from you.

Do you agree or disagree with the titles that made the cut? Are there any that you would remove from the list? Any that you would add in their place? Would you like to see sequels to any Rockstar titles? Please feel free to let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Image Credit: Felipe Spina

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