The graphics in the original were terrible, and GTA 2 does little to amend this deficiency. The game camera looks straight down on the action, making it difficult to judge relative heights. The grainy game objects don't help matters much, either. Plus, the game's missions mainly consist of fetching things for crime lords, with a few assassination missions thrown in every so often.

As in real life, there are consequences for your criminality. As your random acts of mayhem mount up, the police start hounding you, eventually calling in SWAT trucks, the FBI, and even the army if you continue down the path of destruction. Shaking these pursuers is easily the most fun part of the game, especially when a bunch of friends are packed in the room to witness your narrow escapes.

Grand Theft Auto III is fine-tuned to near perfection in every category. All the vehicles, from slick sports cars to lumbering dump trucks, handle exactly as you'd expect and smash apart realistically when abused. The three islands in the game are rendered in terrific detail considering their size, and are packed with traffic, pedestrians, and hidden jumps. The audio is equally amazing. Pedestrians talk, cops scream at you, and you can tune in nine different radio stations whenever you are in a car. It all adds up to a monumental achievement: the rare console game for adults that manages to get everything right .

GTA 3 came out in 2001