I don't think there'll ever be a developer quite like Rockstar. Certainly other companies have created works as good or even better than what Rockstar has produced, but when you hear every modern developer talk about inspirations, Rockstar's GTA V is always on the list. Even Bethesda were dumbfounded by some of the things they managed to accomplish with this game.
However, when we take a look at the whole life's work of Rockstar games, which of their projects is the best? Obviously this is quite a subjective question - every player has their own personal favourite. But if Rockstar were to make GTA 6 with the mindset of improving on one of their games specifically, which one would that be? What game does GTA 6 have to beat on its release date?
GTA 6 & the Rockstar Game its Up Against On Release Date
Now, I have to say that I haven't played every Rockstar game they've ever developed. I've yet to engage with Manhunt 2, The Warriors and the first two GTA games. Therefore, if someone thinks that GTA 6 still has to beat one of these games, I won't be able to comment. However, everything since then I've played to a ridiculous degree and out of everything Rockstar has ever developed, these are the three titles that GTA 6 is up against; Max Payne 3, Red Dead Redemption & GTA: Vice City.
These three represent Rockstar's greatest attributes. Max Payne 3 has some of the most enjoyable gunplay I've experienced in a game in a long time. The game is exceptionally well written and the way in which gameplay blends with cinematics is beautiful. After that we come to Red Dead Redemption. Rockstar took everything they knew about open world games and created something I never thought I'd experience in a video game.
Red Dead Redemption represents everything I love about this developer. The game has tremendous characters, a gorgeous open world, great combat, an engaging story and some of the most consistent game design in the industry. Everything Rockstar did with Red Dead felt perfect, all the way up until its groundbreaking conclusion. It's such a well crafted world that even GTA V can't live up to its level of quality in my eyes.
Vice City - the King of GTA
But then we have Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. I don't know whether it's just nostalgic joy that makes me feel so connected to this game or whether Rockstar were genuinely just so far ahead of their time with Vice City. As a kid, I'd never played a game as much as I did Vice City. From its colour pallet to its characters, this game has it all. Great voice acting, unbelievable music, an unparalleled sense of time and place, memorable locations, and ridiculously enjoyable gameplay.
Vice City is still the game to beat in the GTA franchise for me, and if Rockstar can manage to combine their accomplishments with Red Dead and Vice City on the release date of GTA 6 - I'll be in heaven. But what about you guys? What game does Rockstar still have to beat in your eyes? Let us know in the comments!