GTA Online Review

With a launch so devastatingly crippled by server issues, it’s fair to say GTA 5’s first forays into the MMO mire were about as painless as John McClane’s glassy stroll through the Nakatomi Plaza. A credit, then, that despite a start that makes David Moyes look like Pep Guardiola, Rockstar’s world is so enduring, so engaging, that GTA Online is nonetheless a triumph.

To enjoy this, though, you need to understand it. GTA Online is a game that pulls players in multiple directions. Do you stick in free-roam, with 15 other players across Los Santos and Blaine County? Or dive into one of the mission circles hovering on the ground at every turn? What about the phone calls offering other missions? And the lobbies? And liquor store heists?

It takes time to settling into a rhythm. Fun in GTA Online is at its strongest in free roam, but to really take advantage of it you’ll need to rank up, which is best done in missions. There are races and deathmatches to batter your way through, but the best structured-play comes from cooperative challenges that you access via the contacts in your phone.

Tackling a drug heist or a gangland shootout with three real-world friends is almost unanimously fantastic; the game allowing you the scope to try out multiple strategies and approaches to every shootout or dashing escape. As you progress, you’ll unlock ever-more complicated and bountiful criminal activities, and those who do rank up will also have more toys to play with in free-roam mode, with better vehicles, activities and weapons available to the experienced Los Santan.

The true beauty of GTA Online is its endlessness. There are bigger worlds, but none as dense and rich with possibility and hilarity. This is a game that will give and give, and that makes its technical hardships mere distant blips on its radar.

Version tested: Xbox 360. Multiplayer played for 33 hours.

9 / 10

  • Endless hilarity
  • Rammed with modes and options
  • Technical issues
  • Those who hate griefers should avoid

Click above for enlarged Grand Theft Auto Online Screenshots


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User Comments

kittykatswell's Avatar


I agree with everything this article has to say about it in brief detail, but let me dwell some bad pointers on this game. 1st There isn't enough activities being done without having to go to a single lobby. It isn't being hosted in the open world. 2nd Enabling passive mode isn't truly ''passive mode'' for immature players will run you over thus causes an impact that can kill you and same with explosives such as tanks, rockets etc. 3rd As you rank and request to play high playing jobs or offer allot of RP points... It's a gamble. So you would have to play allot now that GTA online has been patched. ( Older methods of ranking such as Races will not work anymore ) 4th After rank 120 ( last unlock Mini gun ) The rest of the rank is pretty much just for show... Rockstar needs to add more additional items to unlock thus playing and ranking continuously to keep the game from losing it's fire. These 4 pointers I believe would improve the game.
Posted 05:11 on 12 February 2014
RazorGecko's Avatar


Guys should I wait for the PC release or get GTA now?
Posted 12:45 on 28 October 2013
Lalaland's Avatar


:D My choice actually predates both that and the teletubbies it was chosen because of the 8 character username limit on the original PC Zone forums, I do love that tune though!
Posted 23:23 on 25 October 2013
sharky's Avatar


"Those who hate griefers should avoid"
just read this and i have to disagree. i hate griefers with a passion and had a ball hunting them down and finding creative methods to deplete their precious scrilla.
Posted 15:46 on 25 October 2013
FantasyMeister's Avatar


According to the Social Club my online playtime is 5D 11H 46M. I'm not sure what the world record is for grinning ear to ear but my mouth hurts. And I'm only level 95 so I've still got a bunch of toys to unlock for my sandbox, so things can only get better.

Technically I've been lucky, I was stuck between levels 44 and 45 for a bit where it wouldn't save progress, but other than that all has worked pretty much as intended, and where it hasn't I've been having so much fun I've been able to overlook any obstacles.

Had I suffered a character wipe and had to start over would I do it? Probably, leveling up stealth by whacking guards at the golf club at night was kinda fun, long runs on the beach, a few drownings, loadsa golf, those are all parts of my journey that I actually miss now as I no longer have to pursue them.
Posted 15:21 on 25 October 2013
sharky's Avatar


i agree that it's awesome fun and i have logged many an hour hosting missions with friends but you cannot just write off the problems as technical hardships jon. i have been lucky to have a good, active crew but have also lost a lot of time with the connection problems constantly separating me and my friends,and lost a few hundred grand in mods and purchases going missing or not saving.
the other main problems are based on poor decision making at camp rockstar, like nerfing mission payouts and the bad sport system.
Posted 15:07 on 25 October 2013
essex1212's Avatar

essex1212@ Lalaland

Sorry had to!

YouTube Video
Posted 14:49 on 25 October 2013
Lalaland's Avatar


I agree that GTA Online is most fun in free roam but I remain completely baffled by Rockstars insistence on adding persistence and ranks to what should just be a giant sandbox. I just want to login with my mates and run around doing daft stuff but everything is set against my doing that, from locking you to the worst cars and guns via the rank system to the repeated server issues.

The lobby system is almost egregious in it's uselessness and if you simply try and join a friends instance it forces a world load every time it fails to match you to your friends adding even more wasted time and frustration. Maybe this will be something I'll try when the inevitable next-gen or PC version launches but the obtuse design and awful server issues (I lost progress post the 1.04 patch) make this a 'pass' for me.
Posted 14:33 on 25 October 2013

Game Stats

Grand Theft Auto Online
Out of 10
Grand Theft Auto Online - No boxshot available.
  • Endless hilarity
  • Rammed with modes and options
  • Technical issues
  • Those who hate griefers should avoid
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 01/10/2013
Platforms: Xbox 360 , PS4 , Xbox One , PS3 , PC
Developer: Rockstar
Publisher: Rockstar
Genre: Action
Rating: TBC
Site Rank: 693 104
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