GTA: Ranking The Soundtracks

Remember the first time you mowed down a group of thugs to Mr. Mister's Broken Wings? Oh yes.

Grand Theft Auto is one of the most successful video game series of its generation, having achieved sales of over 150 million copies, but along the way it's become steeped in controversy and worldwide media coverage, becoming the bane of all those in favour of common decency. But underneath all the blood and bullets, all the carnage and explosions, there's something else; something that gets fans of the franchise even more excited - yeah, the games are going to be great...but what about the soundtrack?! Deep down in the heart of every GTA player is a soundtrack-lover just waiting to escape. If there's one thing you can't deny about Rockstar, is that they are the undisputed king of putting together an exquisite selection of songs for their games. They always take extra special care of the audio in every GTA, making sure the unique identity of each game is perfectly balanced by the music coming out of your chosen vehicle. The soundtrack, perhaps more than any other game series, is a secondary character to the city you're causing mayhem in - it's the backing vocals to your endless chorus of rampaging destruction. Vice City is dripping with beautiful 80's nostalgia, with tunes from many of the icons of the decade, and if it's the 90's styling of San Andreas and its tribute to the rise of mainstream rap music you love, then you're right at home. The GTA soundtracks absolutely follow the logic of having something for everyone - it's very rare a game series puts so much focus on making its soundtrack an integral part of the experience as much as GTA, and it's something Rockstar deserves to be commended for. So it's about time we got started, and ranked the soundtracks to the series. Set your helicopter ride into cinematic mode and crank up the radio.


Writer, game designer and ancient history buff living on the East Coast.