The 8 Best Rockstar Games Of All Time

Dave Parrack 27-09-2013

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, 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

The 8 Best Rockstar Games Of All Time san andreas screenshot

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

The 8 Best Rockstar Games Of All Time midnight club screenshot


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 Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition Remix is the pick of the series, and though it has been superseded by Burnout Paradise, it’s still worth seeking out.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

The 8 Best Rockstar Games Of All Time warriors screenshot

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.


The 8 Best Rockstar Games Of All Time bully screenshot

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

Bullying isn’t big or clever 5 Websites That Help Parents and 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

The 8 Best Rockstar Games Of All Time red dead screenshot

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

The 8 Best Rockstar Games Of All Time la noire screenshot


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

The 8 Best Rockstar Games Of All Time max payne screenshot

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

The 8 Best Rockstar Games Of All Time gta 5 screenshot

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] 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.


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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  1. Jace
    February 24, 2016 at 5:09 pm

    I love GTA V, it's scale, the things you can do, the scenery, it's fantastic. I just wish I didn't feel like the controls were so sluggish when on foot. It's hard to ever like a deathmatch mode isn't just a frantic hide and seek match with auto aim. Your guy is too sluggisht to get out of his own way and if you get caught up on the ground you fall head over heels. It's a fun game, but the on foot controls are so aggravating it's hard for me to get back into after a bried hiatus.

  2. nanczar
    November 16, 2015 at 1:26 am

    San Andreas
    Undead Nightmare
    My faves

    Was truly disappointed with GTA5
    Who am I to judge?

  3. juanme555
    March 24, 2014 at 12:48 am

    max payne 3 was HORRIBLE

    • Anonymous
      October 6, 2015 at 4:29 pm

      It was Pretty accepting.

  4. Kevin
    February 15, 2014 at 7:54 pm

    GTA V was one of Rockstar's biggest screwups. While the game is pretty good, its launch and online were a disgrace. Having played all the GTAs it's certainly not the worst but far from the best. Shouldn't be on this list. Agree withthe rest, just replace V with either Vice City or III.

  5. hopkins
    November 16, 2013 at 3:02 am

    I think the best is bully and san andreas. They are quite similar games.

    • Anonymous
      October 6, 2015 at 4:29 pm

      Can you Explain.

  6. Syaker
    October 24, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    NO1 is GTA 5
    NO2 is GTA SA

  7. Ain?rs B
    October 1, 2013 at 7:08 am

    Max Payne 3 is best of series?! :@

    All the World anger goes to this articles writer!

    Max Payne 3 killed all what previous series games was.

    • Dave P
      October 3, 2013 at 8:17 pm

      All of the world's anger? No wonder I was feeling a little hated and paranoid last night.

  8. Ashwin D
    September 29, 2013 at 2:40 am

    I m still playing San Andreas ! Makes me feel nostalgic .

    • Dave P
      October 3, 2013 at 8:16 pm

      It's aged surprisingly well, though playing GTA V shows just how much the series has moved on in the succeeding years.

  9. Vaibhav Jain
    September 28, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    I've completed every GTA game including all episodes on ps2 with the exception of GTA 1,2 and 5..Having said this, I can surely say that GTA San Andreas is the best GTA game ever made due to its engaging storyline and graphics at the time of making..It is a game which has wide world and you could do literally anything from flying planes, driving trains etc.

    Bully and Warriors are also great games which would feature in my top 10 list of all-time games...

    • Dave P
      October 1, 2013 at 12:09 am

      So that's 3 Rockstar games in your top 10 of all time? Impressive :)

  10. Homar R
    September 28, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    I believe that one game is missing...


    • Dave P
      October 1, 2013 at 12:09 am

      I did think about putting it in but it couldn't dislodge the 8 that did make the cut, for me at least. A memorable game, for sure, but Rockstar has grown since then.

    • ar87ace
      October 6, 2013 at 7:50 pm

      me too...

      Wild Metal Country!!! lol

  11. Suvadeep P
    September 28, 2013 at 10:03 am

    My favourite is the GTA series. I have played San Andreas, GTA 4 and GTA-Episode of Liberty City. I still play GTA 4 and GTA EOLC. Its really nice. Graphics are excellent. Game is highly interesting and not at all boring. thinking about GTA 5. But there are some reviews which says the game is boring as the 3 characters fights among each other. So will wait for sometime to get more reports and then buy. Anyways GTA will always remain in my favourite list.

    • Dave P
      October 1, 2013 at 12:07 am

      I'm currently playing through GTA V and I'm certainly not disappointed. The interplay between the three main characters is a highlight of the game for me. The dialogue leaves a little to be desired though.

  12. Rachmat Ketut Jelantik
    September 28, 2013 at 7:54 am

    It's hard to answer which is the best. All of them have a give unforgettable experience . All games from Rockstar give me freedom to play, give me a chance to do everything I want that will never done in the real world. But my favorite is GTA - San Andreas. It's old game, I know! but this game never make me bore and I like it because it's not only the first game that make me said "WOW" and the mission, weapons, places, etc. including the gang, it's really bring me like I was inside this game. The best moment is when I call 5 friends of my gang, travelling together using a car, and have a war with other gang. And also when I have a long, long trip to the other city with my favorite motor cycle (PCJ). :)

    • Dave P
      October 1, 2013 at 12:06 am

      San Andreas was an awesome game, and still is, actually. I have to say my particular favorite has to be Red Dead Redemption. I have always loved Westerns and that let me star in one. Genius.

  13. Matt Hale
    September 28, 2013 at 6:57 am

    San Andreas will always hold a special place in my heart. As much as I adore GTA V, it can't replace the feeling I got when I drove a flying car through a simulated Las Vegas. Good times.

    • Daniel J
      September 28, 2013 at 7:08 am

      count me in :)

    • Dave P
      October 1, 2013 at 12:05 am

      GTA V has a similar feel to San Andreas for me, which is a good thing. As long as you don't want to drive a flying car through the real Las Vegas.