BySimon Rune Knudsen, writer at
A tryhard person enthusiastic about dad rock and weird beers.
Simon Rune Knudsen

Grand Theft Auto 5 is popular. It's so popular, it's like the Taylor Swift or Rihanna of video games. The game was a hit when it came out almost four years ago, breaking sales records, and it continues to be popular to this day through the escapades of GTA Online and the everlasting sandbox fun of Los Santos.

On February 7, Take-Two Interactive, the publisher behind Rockstar Games, announced that has shipped more than 75 million copies to retailers around the world since its launch. And that is an absurdly large number that no other initially console-based game has ever come close to. In fact, if we look at the list of the best-selling video games ever, we see that The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is the next competitive title with a measly 30 million sold copies. Bethesda, please.

Is The Sun-bleached Sky Of San Andreas The Limit?

The last reported sales number on GTA 5, which we heard about in November, told us the game had sold 70 million copies. That means that the near-four-year-old game has managed to sell more than five million copies in the last quarter. Which is just ridiculous. That Import/Export update must've been really good.

Rockstar sure has a way of injecting longevity into their games. Something other developers, that also meddle in the business of open world games, might learn a thing or two from *COUGH* Hello Games *COUGH*.

Rockstar's 3 Next Bestselling Games

GTA 5 might be Take-Two and Rockstar's best selling game yet, but many of their previous titles have actually been big hits as well, just not in the unreal way that GTA 5 is.

Here are the 3 most popular Rockstar games (excluding GTA 5) that went on to be bestsellers.

'Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas'

Groundbreaking in gameplay and fashion style alike. [Credit: Rockstar Games]
Groundbreaking in gameplay and fashion style alike. [Credit: Rockstar Games]
  • Year: 2004.
  • Platforms: Originally PS2, Xbox and PC. Later the game was ported to PS3, Xbox 360, OS X, iOS and Android systems in various versions.
  • Copies sold: The latest officially reported number came out in 2011, estimating that 27.5 million copies of GTA: San Andreas had been sold across all platforms.

San Andreas is a classic and the next biggest selling game in the GTA franchise. It revolutionized the genre with its huge open world, upgradable skills and entertaining plot. Set in the early '90s in the San Andreas State it follows Carl "CJ" Johnson, as he returns to Los Santos after a five year absence.

'Grand Theft Auto 4'

Niko Bellic never gave a single fuck. [Credit: Rockstar Games]
Niko Bellic never gave a single fuck. [Credit: Rockstar Games]
  • Year: 2008.
  • Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360 and PC.
  • Copies sold: In July 2013, Rockstar Games reported that GTA 4 had shipped 25 million copies worldwide.

The first GTA game in the PS3/Xbox 360 console generation, GTA 4 pushed the borders of what the series could be. Featuring a stunning and immersive Liberty City, that left the old version from GTA 3 in the dust, it revolves around the charismatic and blunt Niko Bellic. An Eastern European who comes to the US to chase the American Dream. And boy does he realize himself.

'Grand Theft Auto: Vice City'

Perfect suit. Pefect car. [Credit: Rockstar Games]
Perfect suit. Pefect car. [Credit: Rockstar Games]
  • Year: 2002.
  • Platforms: PS2, Xbox and PC. Ported to mobile platforms in 2012
  • Copies sold: 17.5 million as of 2008, which was the last time we got an official number.

Known for its fiendishly great soundtrack, Vice City improved on everything GTA 3 introduced. The Miami-like setting connected perfectly with the drug-revolving plotline and the late '80s vibe made the game a lot less gloomy than the predecessor. The protagonist Tommy, who was voiced by Ray Liotta, was a helluva (bad) guy, and even though he had more than a thing or two in common with Scarface's Tony Montana, the fact that he liked Nena's 99 Luftballons made him seem real nice.

More Than A 150 Million Copies Sold Overall

[Credit: Rockstar Games]
[Credit: Rockstar Games]

The Grand Theft Auto franchise is one of the most successful and best selling video game franchises of all time. With the games from this series alone, Rockstar has sold what must be close to 150 million copies through the years; a number that steadily rises, as GTA 5's popularity refuses to dwindle.

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But even excluding the GTA franchise, Rockstar has created some very popular games over the years. Red Dead Redemption, which will soon have a sequel, comes to mind. That game alone has sold 15 million copies on PS3 and Xbox 360. But also games like the slow-burning L.A. Noire, the brutal shooter series Max Payne and the Midnight Club street racers gathered widespread acclaim and sold millions of copies.

Which really proves that Rockstar Games isn't just a one-trick GTA pony. No, it's a provocative studio that knows exactly how far they can take things and still get away with it. And, judging by these sales numbers, that's really, really appealing to a lot of people.

What's your favorite Rockstar game?


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