Grand Theft Auto 5

Last updated date: August 9, 2019

DWYM Score
9.1

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Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in the category.

We looked at the top 1 Cool Games and dug through the reviews from 19 of the most popular review sites including Lifewire, Games Radar, Engadget, God Is A Geek, Push Square, Game Informer, Tech Spot, Game Rant, Game Revolution, Kotaku, CGM, Impulse Gamer, Game Axis, Gamepur, PS4 Home, Slant Magazine, Hardcore Gamer, Thunderbolt Games, Mandatory and more. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Cool Game you should buy.

Overall Take

In our analysis of 204 expert reviews, the Rockstar Grand Theft Auto 5 placed 8th when we looked at the top 9 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note September 9, 2019:
Checkout The Best Cool Game for a detailed review of all the top cool games.

Expert Summarized Score
9.5
19 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.6
12,730 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
It has arguably the best graphics in the one-year history of the PS4, offers a complete online experience through “Grand Theft Auto Online,” and illustrates how forward-thinking companies like Rockstar Games are going to drive this generation of video games by giving the player not just more than they asked for, but more than they even considered.
- Lifewire
May 24, 2018 | Full review
It all feels incredibly immersive, which, combined with the enhanced beauty of the open world, makes you feel like you’re living inside GTA 5 instead of simply playing it.
- Games Radar
November 28, 2014 | Full review
Grand Theft Auto 5 on PS4 and Xbox One is the definitive version for new or returning players, featuring a collection of all of its new and updated content, high-def graphics, fresh audio and first-person havoc.
- Engadget
August 9, 2019 | Full review
What is obvious is the graphical boost. What was undoubtedly one of the most beautiful games of last gen looks even better now, but the busier streets, more detailed textures and improved weather effects push the engine until the framerate suffers, stuttering at times during the faster chases.
- God Is A Geek
November 17, 2014 | Full review
The draw distance is superb, and at night, the city looks gorgeous as lights are reflected in each and every vehicle that passes by.
- Push Square
November 26, 2014 | Full review
Players now have the option to trek across Los Santos and Blaine County in first-person.
- Game Informer
November 21, 2014 | Full review
Gorgeous, intricately-detailed world
- Tech Spot
GTA 5 is a game of masterful quality in both design and execution but it doesn’t always have the depth to say anything profound.
- Game Rant
One of the densest, most entertaining worlds in video gaming
- Game Revolution
November 18, 2014 | Full review
You can adjust the control scheme to a few different presets, and while I never quite found one that matched up with what I expect from an FPS, most of the control oddities are minor.
- Kotaku
November 17, 2014 | Full review
The bits of next-gen icing that have been added are things like impressive lighting and water details, new wildlife, vegetation, a denser population of both people and traffic, and, of course, the expected long draw distances, reduction of pop-in, and better aliasing and textures.
- CGM
November 20, 2014 | Full review
As you would expect, GTA 5 on the PS4 is visually stunning, with a noticeable improvement over its PS3 predecessor. The sound is clearer, yet the biggest audio change comes in the form of over 100 new songs added to the radio stations for your musical pleasure.
- Impulse Gamer
December 1, 2014 | Full review
And what a perspective it is! Turning around to look at passengers talking, flipping the bird at other motorists, or glancing down at flight instruments all expose an unfamiliar side of the series.
- Game Axis
December 9, 2014 | Full review
The usage of DualShock 4 controller adds to the immersive experience: it'll flash red and blue when the cops are at you.
- Gamepur
January 9, 2015 | Full review
Arguably, the first thing most will notice is the fact that GTA V seems to have been given a bit of a facelift upgrade on one or more fronts.
- PS4 Home
November 19, 2014 | Full review
All this is still in service of a plot that takes the greatest of joy in throwing maximum shade at its audience for enjoying what the series has always done.
- Slant Magazine
November 19, 2014 | Full review
As amazing as the soundtrack was last-gen, Rockstar shockingly decided to add even more songs to it in this re-release. A whopping 150 additional new tracks have been spread across the radio stations.
- Hardcore Gamer
November 17, 2014 | Full review
From a more technical point of view, first-person is also mostly successful.
- Thunderbolt Games
November 19, 2014 | Full review
To my surprise, the boost in resolution is not universally advantageous.
- Mandatory
November 20, 2014 | Full review
What experts didn't like
Still the odd bit of pop-in Trevor
- Games Radar
November 28, 2014 | Full review
Story complaints aside, it's the world of San Andreas that is the main attraction, and it does not disappoint. For every narrative quibble, there are dozens of discoveries to be made, and many of the best moments will be the ones you create yourself.
- Engadget
August 9, 2019 | Full review
Framerate stutters occasionally.
- God Is A Geek
November 17, 2014 | Full review
In my time online, I experienced minimal lag or issues in the expanded firefights and races.
- Game Informer
November 21, 2014 | Full review
Players now have the option to trek across Los Santos and Blaine County in first-person.
- Tech Spot
Rockstar Games has offered an experience with a few flaws – but flaws that don’t break the core (and extremely enjoyable) gameplay.
- Game Rant
GTA Online job system still needs work
- Game Revolution
November 18, 2014 | Full review
At this point, I'd like to think that people are over being scandalized by violence in GTA games. We don't have to like it or anything, and the games' extreme violence is absolutely worthy of critique, but I do hope that we've moved past clutching our pearls and worrying about the children.
- Kotaku
November 17, 2014 | Full review
New content might not be significant enough
- Game Axis
December 9, 2014 | Full review
Drawbacks kick in at odd times, and a lot of it has to do with polygon counts, textures, or assets in the environment that simply haven’t been fully redone for the new edition of the game.
- Mandatory
November 20, 2014 | Full review

From The Manufacturer

Experience Rockstar Games' critically acclaimed open world game, Grand Theft Auto V. When a young street hustler, a retired bank robber and a terrifying psychopath find themselves entangled with some of the most frightening and deranged elements of the criminal underworld, the U.S. government and the entertainment industry, they must pull off a series of dangerous heists to survive in a ruthless city in which they can trust nobody, least of all each other. Explore the stunning world of Los Santos and Blaine County in the ultimate Grand Theft Auto V experience, featuring a range of technical upgrades and enhancements for new and returning players. In addition to increased draw distances and higher resolution, players can expect a range of additions and improvements including: New weapons, vehicles and activities. Additional wildlife. Denser traffic. New foliage system. Enhanced damage and weather effects, and much more. Grand Theft Auto V also comes with Grand Theft Auto Online, the dynamic and ever-evolving Grand Theft Auto universe with online play for up to 30 players, including all existing gameplay upgrades and content released since the launch of Grand Theft Auto Online. Rise through the ranks to become a CEO of a criminal empire by trading contraband or form a motorcycle club and rule the streets; pull off complex co-operative Heists or enter radical, adrenaline-fueled Stunt Races; compete in unique Adversary modes; or create your own content to play and share with the Grand Theft Auto Community. SPECIAL CONTENT FOR RETURNING PLAYERS Players returning from the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions get special access to a host of content on PS4 including rare versions of classic vehicles to collect from across the Grand Theft Auto series such as the Dukes, the Dodo Seaplane and a faster, more maneuverable Blimp; activities including wildlife photography and new shooting range challenges, new weapons and more. Special access content requires Rockstar Games Social Club account. Visit rockstargames.com/v/bonuscontent for details.

Overall Product Rankings

1. XBOX ONE Rocket League
Overall Score: 9.5
Expert Reviews: 9
2. PS4 Minecraft
Overall Score: 9.3
Expert Reviews: 9
3. PS4 Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
Overall Score: 9.2
Expert Reviews: 33
4. PS4 Marvel’s Spider-Man
Overall Score: 9.2
Expert Reviews: 34
5. PS4 Horizon Zero Dawn
Overall Score: 9.1
Expert Reviews: 12
6. PS4 The Last of Us
Overall Score: 9.1
Expert Reviews: 11
7. Red Dead Redemption 2
Overall Score: 9.1
Expert Reviews: 34
8. Grand Theft Auto 5
Overall Score: 9.1
Expert Reviews: 19
9. NBA 2K19
Overall Score: 8.1
Expert Reviews: 24

An Overview On Cool Games

Gamers are familiar with all the games on the market. But the same games can get old after a while. Whether you’re looking to ramp up your library or you’re a newer gamer, the good news is that there always seems to be something new on the horizon. In many cases, though, that simply means the latest revamp of an old favorite.

The first thing to look at when you’re shopping for new games is the type of console you have. While many games feature versions for each of the most popular console types, you will find some games that feature cross-platform play functionalities. This means that you can play other people, including your friends, who aren’t on the same gaming console you are. If this is important, look for a game that promises that.

When it comes down to it, you’ll choose a game that features the premise that most appeals to you. You may like role-playing games, where you inhabit a character and take on challenges. Then there are sporting games that have you competing with others to reach a particular goal. Games like “Minecraft” are more about creating things, which is a different type of challenge. Whatever type of game you prefer, you can easily find plenty to choose from, no matter which gaming console you own.

Graphics are also important, particularly if you plan to play on a larger screen. Some games put an emphasis on fancy, vivid graphics, while others stick to a more simplistic design. While many games on the market today will satisfy that craving, some are known for slick, detailed graphic design. This not only gives you pleasing visuals while you play, but it can also make you feel more immersed in the experience.

One small factor you may want to consider is the soundtrack that comes with the game you choose. With some games, you get an audio experience that adds to the fun, including a high-quality selection of music. In a game where you’re spending considerable time on a task, like swinging around a city on a spider web, an entertaining soundtrack can make a big difference.

DYWM Fun Fact

The new “Spider-Man” game dates back to 2016, when Marvel announced that Sony and Insomniac Games would be partnering for future “Spider-Man” games. The move signaled a change for Marvel, which had previously tied “Spider-Man” game releases to film releases. Insomniac’s version of the comic book hero was a huge success, having sold 13.2 million copies by July 2019. Sony later bought Insomniac, ending the gaming developer’s 25-year-plus run as an independent. The best news for “Spider-Man” fans out of all of this is that with Sony now owning Insomniac, sequels to the hit game are even more inevitable than they were before. However, it also pretty much guarantees that “Spider-Man” will remain exclusive to Sony PlayStation consoles.

The Cool Game Buying Guide

  • A game’s premise is a large part of what makes it fun. If you’re into sports games, XBOX ONE’s “Rocket League” may be worth checking out. With “Rocket League,” two teams race around arenas with the goal of getting an oversized ball into a goal. Get enough boosts and your car can practically leave the ground.
  • If you’ve been gaming for a while, you’re probably already familiar with “Minecraft.” PS4’s “Minecraft” continues the popular game by giving you more worlds than ever to explore. “Minecraft” has players breaking blocks, digging and building the world they want. It’s a far more sophisticated version of Legos.
  • Role-playing games are especially popular with gamers, and PS4’s “Assassin’s Creed Odyssey” is one of the best. When you play “Assasin’s Creed Odyssey,” you’re a sellsword in war-torn Greece, where Athens and Sparta are at war. One issue with this game is that you may feel it gets a little repetitive over time, especially if you spend a great deal of time each week playing. It has two different gameplay modes to help keep things interesting, and choice is one of the best things about “Assasin’s Creed Odyssey.” You’ll either choose guided or exploration mode from the start, and you’ll be assigned one of two characters, Alexios or Kassandra.
  • You’re probably already familiar with “Spider-Man,” whether through the games, movies or comic books. PS4’s “Marvel’s Spider-Man” brings an original plot with all-new adventures to keep things fresh. But one of the most enjoyable parts of this game is swinging around New York City. You’ll probably find that you’re spending more time swinging than playing, at least initially.
  • Today’s gamers put a lot of weight on how well-designed a game is. This is especially true if you’re trying to make the most of your big-screen TV. If graphics are your priority, PS4’s “Assassin’s Creed Odyssey” or PS4’s “Marvel’s Spider-Man” might be the best way to go.
  • PS4’s “Minecraft” continues its tradition of simple graphics. In newer versions, however, the traditional block format is used to create an atmosphere that includes fun forests, mountains and deserts.
  • If you prefer group gameplay, you’ll like the options with XBOX ONE’s “Rocket League.” You can play one-on-one or in teams of four.
  • PS4’s “Minecraft” includes an extra called a builder toy. This lets you customize your gameplay, including flying and turning off monster damage. This will be a welcome feature if you eventually tire of playing the same game over and over.
  • PS4’s “Marvel’s Spider-Man” is a prime example of how a strong soundtrack can enhance your gaming experience. While you’re enjoying the thrill of swinging around New York City, you’ll get one of the best soundtracks found in gaming.
  • Although the music in PS4’s “Assassin’s Creed Odyssey” stands out, the voice acting is what makes this game unique.
  • Whether you’re new to gaming or you just need a guide through your game, PS4’s “Minecraft” doesn’t disappoint. Simply launch the tutorial and it will help you get started. This is also great for those parents who want to acquaint themselves with the ins and outs of “Minecraft” before letting their children play.
  • PS4’s “Assassin’s Creed Odyssey” also provides ease of use. The controls, menus and interface all make for a great gaming experience.