25 essential video games every gamer should know

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18. Grand Theft Auto 3

Grand Theft Auto 3 was released on PlayStation 2 back in 2001 and it quickly became a classic due to the open world design. While the game was criticised for its strong mature themes, including drugs, sex, and promoting violence, it still is considered by many as a critically significant game title of the era. The game had a story campaign and players could also choose to complete various side quests, or just cause mayhem in the world.

The game was open world and allowed players to do almost anything. The realism at the time was impressive and paired with the real-world weapons represented in-game, Grand Theft Auto 3 is often an example used when claiming violent video games create violent teens. Players can pull NPCs out of cars and steal the vehicle, run over pedestrians on the sidewalk, beat people to death, and more. There are even cheat codes that can be used where players can spawn vehicles or weapons, have infinite ammo, or a variety of other powerups.

It was an excellent party game among teens of the time, as people would switch off seeing how much chaos they could create before either getting killed or caught by the police. The franchise has had several games released since, building on the mechanics of Grand Theft Auto 3.