Evolution of Grand Theft Auto Maps (2001-2023)

Evolution Of Grand Theft Auto Maps
Evolution Of Grand Theft Auto Maps

One great gameplay element that every Grand Theft Auto game in the franchise had was a huge map filled with tons of fun and responsive gameplay elements. Do you guys remember playing your first Grand Theft Auto game?

The Maps in GTA games are always filled with an immense amount of opportunities for players to interact and engage with that won’t let players get bored even after they’ve completed the game’s main storyline.

Areas and activities like bowling allies, restaurants, Street Food Trucks, strip clubs, Clothing Stores, and weapons stores; GTA games have it all. There’s no doubt that in the process of developing a breathing world, Rockstar Games took the open-world genre in video games to a completely new level.

Today we’ll dive deep into all the 3D Grand Theft Auto games and check out how the maps have evolved through all these years and what elements we can expect from the map of the upcoming Grand Theft Auto installment titled GTA VI. Sit back, relax, and let’s take a look at the map of all the games in this legendary franchise.

1. Grand Theft Auto III (Liberty City Map)

Grand Theft Auto 3
Map of Liberty City
Release DateOctober 22, 2001
Map Size8.12 Square KiloMeters
PlatformsPS2, GameCube, Mobile, PC, PS3, PS4, PS5, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox SeriesX/S

The Map of Liberty City in GTA III was legendary for its time and is based on real-life New York City and you’ll come across different famous locations such as Times Square, named Bedford Point in this game.

There are three islands in the which are named Portland, Staunton Island, and Shoreside Vale and if you’ve played GTA III then you must be aware that players in this game are given control of a mute unnamed character.

Our protagonist starts off his journey in Portland where he can take jobs from different side characters in the game and even perform side missions such as Taxi driver, Ambulance Driver, and steal a police car to perform Vigilante missions.

Other than that players will find ammunition stores in this game where they can purchase their favorite weapons such as pistols, RPGs, Sniper Rifle, etc., but do not try to shoot the owner of the shop as they’re pretty well armed and will kill you right on the spot. Rockstar Games have added over 4 Ammunition stores in Liberty City, so players will have no shortage of places to buy guns and ammunition from.

Stunt jumps are another significant element added to the large open-world map of GTA III which lets players have fun and earn a little bit of cash on the side with each successful attempt. Over 20 Stunt Jump spots are spread across the map.

19 Armors and 36 Health kits can be found around Liberty City which players can use to replenish their strength in the game whenever they find themselves in a tough spot.

3 Safehouses will be given to players as they progress further into the game and each island in the game will consist of one Safehouse where players can store their progress.

There are numerous beautiful sight-seeing locations scattered across GTA III’s map like the Callahan Bridge, Downtown, Chinatown, etc. where players can have a great time by either driving their vehicle or simply walking through the areas.

Players can also take a metro ride to different locations on the map and I feel like it was a great addition to the game.

Overall the map in GTA III was basic and impressive for its time, and players enjoyed the open-world 3D environment. This was it for Grand Theft Auto 3 and now let us move on to the next map.

2. Grand Theft Auto Vice City Map

Grand Theft Auto Vice City
Grand Theft Auto Vice City
Release DateOctober 29, 2002
Map Size9.11 Square Kilometers
PlatformsPS2, GameCube, Mobile, PC, PS3, PS4, PS5, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox SeriesX/S

Next up is Vice City; this map surely brings back many Childhood memories. The Ocean View Hotel, Malibu Club, and Prawn Island are a few of the places that will forever hold a special place in the hearts of every GTA Vice City Player.

Real-life Miami City inspires the map of the City in Florida. Thanks to Rockstar Games’ significant development, this game did a great job capturing the right summer Miami vibe.

Vice City had similar elements in the map as compared to GTA 3 and the developers really didn’t do much but instead, they improved upon what was already good in the previous entry.

Hardware stores have been added in this game as compared to the previous one where players can purchase tools such as screwdrivers, machetes, etc., and cause some lethal melee chaos in the streets of Vice City.

4 Ammunition Stores have been added to the game along with 21 armor and 25 health spread across Vice City.

Players can now change their outfits by simply walking into the outfit blip which is displayed and spread across the map of Vice City in a few locations.

There are numerous accessible interiors on the map where players can spend a good amount of time. More Side missions such as Pizza Delivery, Store Robbery, etc. have been added.

Flying Helicopters across the map indeed feels awesome in this game as it consists of monumental buildings. Overall GTA VC didn’t take a massive step in terms of maps but little did the fans know that the next game was about to take the maps in GTA games to another level.

3. Grand Theft Auto San Andreas Map

GTA San Andreas Map
GTA San Andreas Map
Release DateOctober 26, 2004
Map Size38.2 Square Kilometers
PlatformsPS2, GameCube, Mobile, PC, PS3, PS4, PS5, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox SeriesX/S

Who doesn’t enjoy roaming around the map of the legendary GTA San Andreas? The map is really huge and is filled with different cities such as Los Santos (inspired by Los Angeles), San Fierro (inspired by San Francisco), and Las Venturas (inspired by Las Vegas).

One thing that I love about the map of GTA San Andreas is that it is filled with tons of diners, restaurants, and diners where players can take their girlfriends out on a date in the game.

Eating at a diner or anywhere around the map will increase the health of our protagonist (Carl Johnson). Numerous barber shops can be found around different cities across the map where players can go and get a fresh haircut as well.

Several Bridges have been added that connect the main city with the other parts of the game’s map. 3 Airports can be found across the map where players can travel as passengers in an airplane or wish to steal it and fly it themselves.

Players can visit Bars across the vast map and even hit the dance floor alone or with their in-game girlfriends.

Betting, Casinos, Driving Schools, Grocery Stores, etc. are the elements that make this game stand out, and considering the time when it was released, it seems like it was a big deal back then.

4. Grand Theft Auto IV Map

Release DateApril 29, 2008
Map Size16.14 Square Kilometers
PlatformsPC, PS3, PS4, PS5, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S

Grand Theft Auto IV takes us back to Liberty City but features a different and much more detailed map which is filled with tons of fun elements that we’re missing from GTA III, which was set in the same city.

There are lots of things to do on the map of this game. The developers wanted to give this GTA game a very realistic feel, so even though the map isn’t as large in this game as it was in the previous games in the series, it is still jam-packed with awesome gameplay elements that made the in-game world feels so much alive.

Neighborhoods will be filled with different kinds of people going on with their daily routines. The developers had captured the essence of the city so well that the environment in the game surely felt like New York City itself.

Hot Dog stands can be found located at numerous places across Liberty City and over 3 Diners, 5 Restaurants, and 2 Bowling alleys can be found located at various points across the entire map of GTA IV.

Car Washes is another fun element added to the game where players can clean their dirty cars.

Going out and having a great day with your friends in GTA IV feels great as players can perform many fun activities scattered around the game’s huge map, such as playing pool, bowling, playing darts, etc.

Players can even purchase different clothes and outfits from 4 different dedicated clothes stores located across the map get a cab mark the location to the nearest clothing store and purchase your favorite outfits or clothing items once you’re in the store.

5. Grand Theft Auto V (Los Santos Map)

Grand Theft Auto V
Grand Theft Auto V
Release DateSeptember 17, 2013
Map Size75.82 Square Kilometers
PlatformsPC, PS3, PS4, PS5, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S

Los Santos was reintroduced to GTA fans in GTA V and honestly, this has to be my favorite map in the entire Grand Theft Auto franchise as you’ll find NPCs at almost every corner of the map.

It almost looks like all the elements from the map of GTA IV and added even points of interest and activities that made the game even more fun.

Grand Theft Auto V also features the largest map ever in the Grand Theft Auto franchise so far. Players will find numerous cars parked outside every gas station, ammunition, grocery store, etc.

Nightclubs, Clothing Stores, Warehouses, Random Events, and much more are available on the map of this game.

If you start to feel bored after completing the storyline or playing online mode for a long time, you can go and have fun at the cinema, play pool, and buy new threads for your character, as all of that can be found in this game.

One thing that disappointed all the GTA fans about this game was that the game removed all the diners, restaurants, and street food vendors and none of them can be found on the map. We hope that Rockstar Games decides to add all of them back in their upcoming GTA entry.

6. Grand Theft Auto VI (Miami?)

Release Date2024 or 2025 (Speculated)
Map SizeTwice the size of GTA 5’s Map

The next installment in the GTA franchise is known as GTA VI and after watching the reveal trailer for the game, the upcoming installment will be set in a rendition of real-life Florida and will have Vice City as one of the prominent places that players can visit and engage in various entertaining activities.

Although the developers did not reveal the entire size of the map in the reveal trailer, rumors have been spreading across the internet that GTA 6’s map will be twice that of GTA 5 and will feature tons of fun activities to do.

We hope that Rockstar Games will add many more fun elements to the game do check out more information regarding the GTA 6 Release Date.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which Game in the GTA franchise has the biggest map?

GTA 5 has the biggest map in the Grand Theft Auto franchise which is 75.82 Square Kilometers.

Which 3D GTA game has the smallest map?

GTA III has the smallest map amongst all the 3D GTA games, and the map size is 9.11 Square Kilometers.

Which city is the map of GTA IV based on?

The map of GTA IV is based on real-life New York City and many locations on the map resemble NYC.


Alright, so we hope that by now you all have a better understanding of all the maps in GTA games and if you still have any doubts regarding the maps or the above information then do let us know in the comments below and our team will get to you.

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