Lamar fro m GTA V

How GTA V Became So Successful

Decoding the Phenomenon: Grand Theft Auto V’s Everlasting Success

Grand Theft Auto V’s enduring success stems from a combination of factors, including its expansive world, captivating storyline, ongoing updates, and its ability to resonate culturally. Its impact on gaming culture and its ability to evolve with time have cemented its place as a timeless title, attracting millions of players even years after its initial release.

For the first time in GTA, you could see and feel the city come alive in semi-realism. Other versions have been ahead of their class graphically and in gameplay but GTA V showed us the best-rendered models we had seen at the time and the entire city was alive with cars and pedestrians spread throughout the map.

Fun Fact I love to put the GTA V soundtrack on and drive the freeways in my city. This gives me that old feeling of playing the game and rolling through some scenic routes and that’s part of the attraction to GTA V and what made it so compelling and relatable. While waiting for GTA VI I’ll keep cruising with the soundtrack on pondering just how insane the next GTA will be.

GTA V Soundtrack the thrill

Here is my GTA V gameplay review for those interested. This current article covers why the game became a hit.

Unprecedented Scale and Immersive Gameplay

GTA V introduced a sprawling open-world environment, Los Santos, teeming with life and activities. The vast map, combined with the game’s narrative depth and diverse gameplay options, provided an unparalleled experience.

The map combined elements of real-world California, giving it a mixture of warm sandy deserts, mountain ranges, sunny beaches and a hive of activity in its Cityscapes. You could do a bit of everything in one gameplay and I think that’s the appeal of being able to go where you want when you want.

Cultural Impact and Social Engagement

GTA V transcended the gaming realm, becoming a cultural phenomenon. Its social commentary, satirical take on contemporary society, and memorable characters resonated beyond the gaming community, fostering discussions and engagement.

It’s fun to walk through neighbourhoods and just listen to the NPC chatter. Even if you interact with NPCs and greet them or taunt them the chatter is entertaining. You would see gang graffiti in set areas, you would see sets of NPCs in different areas letting you know the demographic of that area that you were in.

The radio stations also took me on a journey through the catalogue of tunes, I would drive around just to listen to the different radio stations, and when a good song came on Id stayed in the car and kept driving. The team developing this game knows their business so well.

There was a new DLC playable called The Contract that starred Dr Dre and DJ Pooh. This put your player in front of the good Dr to help him with a problem he was having. I love this type of real-world mash-up with the GTA world that doesn’t usually do real-world brands and celebrities and opts for its own brash piss-take of the popular brands. It was a nice touch and really opened up some good dialogue for the mode.

GTA V Online The Contract

Nostalgia and Enduring Fan Base

For many players, GTA V holds nostalgic value, serving as a timeless classic in gaming history. Its dedicated fan base, fueled by nostalgia and the game’s ongoing updates, ensures a continuous player base even a decade after its launch.

GTA V Scenic views Michael

The Los Santos Setting

I am a big fan of the Los Santos setting and Ive found myself torn between spending time in the city vs out in Sandy Shores desert.

The Gameplay

The GTA V Story was convincing

Playable characters in GTAV

Multi-Faceted Storyline and Characters

The game’s narrative featured a gripping storyline interwoven among three protagonists, each with their distinct personalities and motivations. Exploring the lives of Michael, Franklin, and Trevor added depth, keeping players engaged and invested in their arcs.

The 3 Protagonists had their strengths and weaknesses that gave you a bit of everything.

  • Michaels’s luxurious lifestyle and house let you feel rich
  • Franklin’s suburban home and street car let you feel a little hood
  • Trevor’s lifestyle choice and attitude let you feel what its like to be a functioning crackhead

Giving you each character’s car, dress style, radio station settings and weapon loadout you felt as if they were different enough to be a new feel every time you switched players. Rockstar even went as far as creating 10+ transition scenes for each player so when you switched it felt like the character had been playing on and living their life while you were using another character.

This created a little bit of thought-provoking gameplay, it makes you linger on what the hell was that guy doing before this. Highlights for me were

  • Michael wakes up in his undies with his guy screaming
  • Trevor wakes up in a pile of his own vomit
  • Trevor gives a man tied to a pol a hand grenade and walks away
  • Trevor is in the middle of a police chase where he’s running away
  • Franklin coming out of the smoke shop blazed as

You got to taste everything on the menu in this game playing these 3 characters. The story did each relationship justice I feel.

The Supporting Cast

Lamar as Franklin’s best man is hilarious from the get-go. A wise-cracking gangsta with an ambition to get rich or die trying. Lamar brings some spark to the game with his scenes and has a knack for getting you into all sorts of trouble. This is a bit of a welcome mechanic given the nature of the game.

Lamar fro m GTA V

Others feel like they fit in and play their part well enough to immerse you in the world. For example, Michaels’s kids had their own spaces, if you go into Tracy’s room you see it’s fully themed for her and would be completely natural for her to live in. Just like it would be in the real world.

Special Note: The realism of the characters’ rooms and houses is a solid 5-star for the developers. Trevor’s house has nudie posters in every room, cockroaches and bugs in some areas and the left over food in his house in Sandy shores would be fitting of a person “like” that. I think the team did an outstanding job on detail.

Gangs in GTA V

In every GTA game, there are rival gangs and this leads to a lot of adventure to be had. The gangs in GTA V follow on from GTA San Andreas with the Ballerz and Groove street gangs but add a lot of other notable gangs to be wary of. Every location has its own unique set of gangs and criminal organisations.

I really liked that they could bring The Lost of GTA IV into GTA V. Having Trevor hell-bent on taking out the nearest Lost member is also fun, having the ability to go rogue from missions and take out Lost members is enjoyable every time the opportunity presents itself.

I found it very easy to want to go back to Grove Street and start blasting fools because I felt loyalty to CJ to do it.

Grove Stret GTA

Technical Advancements and Adaptability

The game’s technical prowess, particularly its graphical fidelity and attention to detail, has allowed it to remain visually appealing even years after its release. Its adaptability across multiple gaming platforms contributed to its prolonged success.

Revolutionary Online Multiplayer: GTA Online

GTA Online revolutionized multiplayer gaming, offering a dynamic and expansive online world where players could collaborate, compete, and create content. The introduction of heists, races, and various missions created an ever-evolving online experience.

I spend hours in the online mode playing, racing, battling and questing with my character to get a better status. I’ve customised myself twice in the online mode. My first attempt was whack. Now I’m happy with my character to match my play style.

The Criminal Enterprises Expansion

This new mode hooks you in and is the perfect segway vehicle for Rockstar to get micro transactions from players, you need weapons and vehicles for jobs and you have to purchase land to open these crime businesses. This leads to shark cards or virtual currency purchases (Micro transactions).

The gameplay is a lot of fun and there’s a lot of fine-tuning and optimisations that you can deploy to make it even more engaging. Some businesses need you to drive long distances usually to cities and if you are in the desert its a bit much doing 6 or so drives every gameplay. There are lots of helpful guides out there that help you pick the best business and be informed from the start, I think the YouTube channel of TCG is very helpful, he provides weekly updates and guides for making the most of the online mode and especially criminal enterprises mode.

GTA Online criminal enterprises mode

Continuous Evolution through Updates and Mods

Rockstar Games’ commitment to updates and expansions prolonged the game’s relevance. Regular content updates, online multiplayer expansions, and the support of modding communities contributed to its ongoing popularity and adaptability.

Ive played some absolutely hilarious mods with role-playing features turned don and it’s wild the stories that can be created and the hours you could spend immersed in this story and in this game world. I tell people all the time that for the best example of a Metaverse you just need to go dive into a modded GTA V server and play a couple hours to feel what it would be like with basic Metaverse features. This game is the start of what the blockchain Metaverse will look like mark my words.

Banner for GTA Vs relase

How Grand Theft Auto V Became Such A Success

Breaking down the game mechanics and loops that fostered player connection to the characters, world, and overall gameplay experience in GTA V involves exploring various elements that contributed to this immersive connection:

Character Switching Mechanic


GTA V’s innovative feature allowing players to switch between three protagonists seamlessly during missions and free roam provided a multifaceted perspective. Each character had unique skills, personalities, and backgrounds, offering diverse gameplay experiences.

Loop Connection:

Players could engage with different characters’ stories simultaneously, fostering attachment to their distinct arcs. This mechanic expanded the depth of character development and enabled varied gameplay styles, creating a more immersive world.

Car racing in GTA V

Dynamic World Interaction and Activities


The open-world design offered a plethora of activities beyond missions. From sports like golf and tennis to adrenaline-pumping activities like base jumping and skydiving, players could immerse themselves in the diverse virtual environment.

Loop Connection:

By engaging in these activities, players felt a deeper connection to the game world. Exploring the intricacies of Los Santos and its surroundings made the world feel alive and offered a break from intense missions, enhancing the overall gaming experience.

Narrative Choices and Consequences


The storyline incorporated branching narratives and choices, offering players the agency to influence the outcomes of certain missions or interactions. This mechanic added a layer of depth and replayability to the game.

Loop Connection:

Players felt invested in the game’s events as their decisions impacted the narrative flow. The sense of agency in shaping the story strengthened the emotional connection to the characters and the game world, making each playthrough feel unique.

GTA Online’s Multiplayer Dynamics


The multiplayer component, GTA Online, allowed players to interact, collaborate, and compete in an expansive online world. Various activities, from heists to races and custom-created content, encouraged social engagement.

Loop Connection:

By immersing themselves in GTA Online’s multiplayer dynamics, players formed communities, built friendships, and engaged in shared experiences within the game. This social aspect strengthened their bond with the game, creating a sense of belonging and camaraderie.

Attention to Detail and Realism


GTA V’s attention to detail in its environment, NPCs’ behavior, and realistic elements contributed to the game’s immersive nature. The world felt alive, reacting to player actions and creating a believable setting.

Loop Connection:

The level of detail immersed players deeper into the game world. Interacting with the surroundings and observing the NPCs’ activities added realism, making the gaming experience more immersive and engaging.

My Big Conclusion

Grand Theft Auto V’s intricate game mechanics, from character switching to dynamic world interactions, narrative choices, multiplayer dynamics, and attention to detail, collectively contributed to fostering a strong connection between players, characters, and the game world. These elements worked in harmony, creating an immersive gaming experience that kept players engaged and connected for years after its release.

They had me hooked the moment the first trailer came on and Michael broke down his story. The first gameplay for me lasted 4 hours. I loved this game, and with GTA VI coming in 2025 I expect the level of EVERYTHING to be dialled up to a 10. It takes a cast of people to make a game of this size and this appealing. These game studios have the power to impact us culturally and take headspace with their developments and I take my hat off to RockStar for this franchise its evolution will never be matched.

Get your copy of GTA V here.




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