Grand Theft Auto is a series of games depicting the stark nature of criminal transgressions, ultimately teaching the player that crime doesn’t pay. Except in huge sums of money, fast cars and more whores than you can shake your STD-ridden stick at.
Altogether there have been nine Grand Theft Auto games, starting off with humble roots as a top down two-dimensional game, progressing to a third-dimensional platform game as technology has allowed it to. The games are based around driving, shooting, pimping, and generally partaking in activities that the Cracked staff would deem an enjoyable Saturday night. For the previous releases of the games, the violence has been particularly theatrical in its nature, and has resembled a Michael Bay movie both in its use of unnecessary explosions and in subtle nuances of character development.
However, for the most recent instalment of Grand Theft Auto, a far more mature path was taken (assuming that killing sprees which needed a SWAT team and the Army to resolve it are childish pastimes), an attempt was made at producing a compelling script and story, and largely it worked.
In order to perfectly encapsulate the experiences of an illegal immigrant working in the gritty and illicit underbelly of Liberty City, Rockstar incorporated a mobile phone into the game, so that your whiney crime friends could ring you every 6 or 7 minutes to pathetically implore you to go bowling with them.
Since its release, Grand Theft Auto has attracted many critics, complaining about many things, including general violence, discrimination against Haitians, the inclusion of sex-based mini games (although in this case the code remained in the game despite not being available without action replay or patches).
GTA IV prompted further complaints with the addition of drink driving in the game, and with the release of the expansion pack The Lost And The Damned, full frontal male nudity.
However, nobody is more outspoken about the evils of the Grand Theft Auto franchise than Jack Thompson:
Jack Thompson is a former attorney (quaintly referred to as an 'activist' by wikipedia), who really does not like Grand Theft Auto. He has cited GTA as the main cause of no less than 5 murders since the release of Grand Theft Auto III, often saying that the murderers were 'obsessed' with the game, although obviously the murderers are slightly less obsessed with it than himself.
In order to prove what a bad influence the game is on the youth of America, he has harassed the families of the murderers, families of the murdered, developers of the game, and even the families of the developers. And he even sent his 10-year-old child into a shop whilst recording him in an attempt to entrap the retailer. Presumably with the release of the next GTA game, his plan will be to exhume a murder victim with the intention of harassing them.
The Grand Theft Auto games have been generally quite well received, particularly since moving into the third dimension. Every game after GTAIII has been given a score of over 90 on metacritic.com, as illustrated here. With dead cops.