If we close our eyes and think of the names of five companies responsible for great successes in video game development, it is almost certain that Rockstar will appear as one of them. Although we cannot say that they are responsible for many different titles and franchises, they do have a small bouquet of names that have managed to burst sales figures over the last 10 years.
Brief history of Rockstar
To talk about Rockstar we have to refer to the Houser brothers, Dan and Sam, who are the germ of the company that will begin to lead the way at the end of the 90s, when its best-known saga, Grand Theft Auto , reaches the market. with a very original approach but still very far from its real explosion, which will happen in 2001 with Grand Thef Auto III .
But let’s not go too fast. First we have to go back to 1998 when Take Two decides to buy BMG (which was one of the owners of the ERBE distributor in Spain until it sold its share to Anaya in 1997), its video game development area that had given some good titles in the transition from 16-bit to 32-bit consoles with PlayStation and Saturn leading the way. Pandemonium , Gex , and other Crystal Dynamics titles that didn’t end up in Take Two’s hands are from that time .
Americans, however, would set their eyes on a small studio called DMA Design, where Dan and Sam Houser worked. Two brothers who dreamed of being rock stars and who ended up in the music division of BMG, one of the most important record companies of the 1990s , before asking to be included in the area of interactive products. Something common in that decade that was the temptation (and the downfall) of many multinationals that were thought to be indestructible.
Precisely, that love for music and that desire will lead them to rename the development studio as Rockstar, and they will start working with Take Two on the expansion of a series of very specific franchises, which will take them, as we have told you, to the success of Grand Theft Auto III in 2001. That is the true turning point of the saga, which will be consolidated with Grand Theft Auto Vice City in 2002 and, above all, will definitely explode with Grand Theft Auto San Andreas in 2004.
From this point on, Rockstar begins to count some of its games as true successes , but if you think so, we are going to see the most important in each decade that clearly show the spirit of each time: about 90 where they had little space to get going with new products; about 2,000 full of games for the sake of a decade that saw the arrival of too many consoles (PS2, Dreamcast, Xbox, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PSP, Game Boy Advance, Wii, Nintendo DS…); and a more relaxed 2010, product of a general change of strategy in the sector that led the main developers to concentrate on a few franchises that maximized everything they could economically.
All Rockstar Games
So we are going to do a detailed review of the main Rockstar games according to each decade and, then, at the end of each one we will show you a complete list with all the names. In case any of you haven’t tried it and you don’t have it on the radar of those developed by the Americans (although the Houser brothers are British).
The arrival of DMA Design at Take Two and its conversion into Rockstar allowed him to bring with him his idea of creating an open world game , where we play the role of a criminal who must complete jobs and who has all the cars that circulate at his feet. the map. That first delivery came from the hand of BMG, but was soon adopted and promoted by the new company.
Grand Theft Auto (1997)
The game that gives its name to the most successful saga of the last 25 years and that curiously was not the work of Rockstar, but of DMA Design (which is the brand under which the Houser brothers developed the two initial titles). Although you see its graphics so far from that 3D image that we all have in mind, practically all the essential elements of the franchise are drawn there. Although its success was not crazy, it did give to launch additional content such as Grand Theft Auto London 1969 and Grand Theft Auto London 1961.
Grand Theft Auto II (1999)
The second installment only made us wait two years and significantly improved the formula of the original title. Not so much in the concept as when it came to polishing that huge city that we saw from an overhead perspective, as well as the assignments and missions available. DMA Design gave a twist and accentuated all the violence of some tasks , such as blowing up an entire building by planting a car bomb. The controversy began to join the fate of the Grand Theft Auto .
|Video game Grand Theft Auto||Launch 1997||PlayStation format , Microsoft Windows, Game Boy Color|
|Video game Grand Theft Auto: London, 1969||Launch 1999||Format Microsoft Windows, PlayStation|
|Video game Grand Theft Auto: London, 1961||Launch 1999||Microsoft Windows Format|
|Video game Grand Theft Auto 2||Launch 1999||Format Microsoft Windows, PlayStation, Dreamcast, Game Boy Color|
|Earthworm Jim 3D video game||Launch 1999||Nintendo 64 format|
|Video game Eve Knievel||Launch 1999||Game Boy Color format|
|Video Game Thrasher Presents Skate And Destroy||Launch 1999||PlayStation Format|
In the 2000s, Take Two’s plans for Rockstar were clear: they had to launch many franchises and try to keep them as long as possible over time with new chapters every few years. Hence, it is in these years when the fame of the North Americans begins to be forged around products with a very good finish, and that do not go to address the most adult gamers, with stories that are rarely suitable for minors. 18 years.
Midnight Club: Street Racing (2000)
Rockstar wanted to have its own speed franchise, more focused on the Need for Speed part than on Gran Turismo and during those years the truth is that it was about to get a foothold, but it didn’t work out. And that of these Midnight Club came a second part in 2003, a third in 2005 and a Los Angeles edition in 2008. But the thrust and success of the Electronic Arts saga, owner of the most thug subgenre, took the idea away from Rockstar to keep betting. Even so, do not think that these Midnight Club were bad.
Max Payne (2001)
What to say about one of the most celebrated Rockstar games developed by Remedy ( Alan Wake , Control , etc.) and that tells us the story of a policeman who seeks revenge after the murder of his family. A spiral of violence that will show us for the first time what bullet time is in a video game. Masterpiece.
Grand Theft Auto III (2001)
We have reached the moment in which Grand Theft Auto becomes one of the most successful sagas every time it sets foot in a store. With this third part we say goodbye to the zenithal perspective and we move through an absolutely 3D world. In addition, the cinematographic scenes arrive that explain the plot to us and its screenwriters (Dan Houser is one of the culprits) do not shy away from using harsh expressions and describing situations as sordid as not recommended for those under 18 years of age.
State of Emergency (2001)
While their GTAs were on the path to becoming blockbuster games, Rockstar is exploring other genres and this State of Emergenc is living proof of that . A title with a very arcade soul, wild like few others and where you have to dissolve crowds with everything you have on hand, always looking for the ringleader, whom we will make pay for his rebellion.
Grand Theft Auto Vice City (2002)
If the third installment is a classic… this Grand Theft Auto Vice City is almost better not to talk about. Rockstar begins to bombard us with variants of the original formula located in enclaves that are now icons in the history of video games. The same open world formula is repeated, with dozens of orders, a story that reminds us of the Miami Vice series and a success that has already sold millions of games for PC and consoles. If you haven’t enjoyed it, can you consider yourself a gamer ?
Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne (2003)
The success of the first installment led Rockstar to release a sequel that, although still very good, did not reach the levels of surprise of the first . Here, in addition, we witness the fall from grace of our protagonist. A great game.
In this 2003 Rockstar begins to exceed some red lines in that desire to offer products for over 18 years. In this Manhunt we will see that the main character’s motivation is to star in a snuff movie where the characters we must assassinate in the bloodiest way possible have faces and eyes, that is, it is assumed that they are real people. An overly harsh idea that amplified Rockstar’s image as a controversial company that “turned kids violent.”
Red Dead Revolver (2003)
However, if Manhunt is the Dark side, Red Dead Revolver is the first notch in that Wild West that Rockstar has left us with such fond memories in the last 19 years. A title that went quite unnoticed and that regained the glory it deserved years later, when the brutal (for good) Red Dead Redemption arrived in 2010 and many began to look where it came from.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (2004)
If Vice City achieved unparalleled success, what can we say about Grand Theft Auto San Andreas ? Well, that, that already the saga became completely untouchable, sold millions of units and began to permeate the collective imagination thanks to characters like Carl Johnson. Now yes, Rockstar was on the crest of the wave although it was still very far from its true blow of effect… and authority.
Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories (2005)
With the arrival of PSP , two Grand Theft Auto appeared that are authentic masterpieces and that with the tagline of Stories , came to get into the guts of the sensational Sony portable. It was the first time that we could carry a GTA in our pocket to enjoy it on the street. And boy did we do it!
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories (2006)
After the success of the GTA adventures in that kind of clone of New York (Liberty City), the adaptation of Vice City could not be missing . Same formula but so well done and so much fun that it blew the minds of all of us who had a wonderful PSP back in the day. What memories!
Bully: Scholarship Edition (2006)
Another game that raised blisters and led to some Spanish magazine of the time, such as Hobby Consoles, refusing to comment on it due to the alleged apology of bullying that it did , showing situations in which students were harassed and mistreated by other classmates. Even so, it is a game that left its mark and every time there are rumors of a new Rockstar title… a hypothetical second installment appears.
Manhunt 2 (2007)
If Manhunt wasn’t enough, Rockstar is playing with fire again with its sequel . Just as nasty and dark, luckily it was the last time the company tried its luck with this franchise. If you want to revisit them, remember that they are designed for gamers with a bomb-proof stomach.
Grand Theft Auto IV (2008)
We arrive at the consecration of the Grand Theft Auto , the first that we could define as of the modern era, developed for PS3 and Xbox 360 and it would not be the last. The action takes us to a Liberty City that shines thanks to the graphic power of those consoles and that will see two added contents in 2009, with its own releases for the first time in the franchise.
The first of them will be Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned , which adds a new plot line with a new protagonist . We say goodbye to Nico Bellic and go with Johnny Klebitz, a biker who is usually accompanied by bad tempers on his rides through Liberty City.
In 2009 also came Grand Theft Auto The Ballad of Gay Tony, which also forgets the protagonist Nico Bellic and focuses on the adventures and misadventures of Luis López, a middling thug who works as a security guard at a Liberty City nightclub. .
Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars (2009)
Rockstar decided at the end of that decade to somehow return to the top-down formula of the first two games in the saga, the ones they launched when they were still DMA Design, and the truth is that the result was a breath of fresh air because kept all the essence of the franchise by bringing it to portable devices. Not only PSP, but also Nintendo DS and mobiles.
|Austin Powers: Oh Behavior||2000||Game Boy Color|
|Austin Powers: Welcome to My Underground Lair!||2000||Game Boy Color|
|Wild Metal: Reclaim the Future||2000||dream cast|
|Midnight Club: Street Racing||2000||Playstation 2|
|Surfing H3O||2000||Playstation 2|
|Smuggler’s Run||2000||Playstation 2|
|Smuggler’s Run 2: Hostile Territory||2001||Playstation 2|
|Max Payne||2001||PlayStation 2, Xbox, Gameboy Advance|
|grand theft auto iii||2001||PlayStation 2, Xbox, Microsoft Windows|
|The Italian Job||2001||PlayStation, Microsoft Windows|
|State of Emergency||2002||PlayStation 2, Xbox, Microsoft Windows|
|Smuggler’s Run Warzones||2002||nintendo gamecube|
|Grand Theft Auto: Vice City||2002||PlayStation 2, Xbox, Microsoft Windows|
|Midnight Club II||2003||PlayStation 2, Xbox, Microsoft Windows|
|Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne||2003||PlayStation 2, Xbox, Microsoft Windows|
|manhunt||2003||PlayStation 2, Xbox, Microsoft Windows|
|red dead revolver||2004||PlayStation 2, Xbox|
|grand theft auto advance||2004||GameBoy Advance|
|Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas||2004||PlayStation 2, Xbox, Microsoft Windows|
|Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition||2005||PlayStation 2, Xbox, PlayStation Portable|
|The Warriors||2005||PlayStation 2, Xbox, PlayStation Portable|
|Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories||2005||PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 2|
|Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition Remix||2006||PlayStation 2, Xbox|
|Rockstar Games Presents Table Tennis||2006||xbox 360 wii|
|Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories||2006||PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 2|
|Bully: Scholarship Edition||2006||PlayStation 2, Xbox 360, Wii, Microsoft Windows|
|man hunt 2||2007||PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 2, Wii, Microsoft Windows ||
|grand theft auto iv||2008||PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows|
|Midnight Club: Los Angeles||2008||PlayStation 3, Xbox 360|
|Midnight Club: L.A. Remix||2008||playstation portable|
|Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned||2009||PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows|
|Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars||2009||Nintendo DS, PlayStation Portable, iPhone OS|
|Beaterator||2009||PlayStation Portable, iPhone OS|
|Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony||2009||PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows|
The decade that opens in the year 2010 is what Rockstar could call “less is more”. The list of franchises they are going to focus on is completely cleared and they decide to take care of a few in which they will put all their strength. Even the occasional new one arrives that will not see more sequels but will be recognized by the general public. Do you know who we are talking about?
Red Dead Redemption (2010)
In May 2013 Rockstar shows us that there is no other company capable of squeezing the sandbox concept like it and launches the portentous Red Dead Redemption . A raw and wild epic set in the Wild West that leaves players in awe. John Marston is its protagonist and it is the game that recovers the essence of that (forgotten) Red Dead Revolver from 2003.
Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare (2010)
A few months after the release of Red Dead Redemption came a crazy idea that worked separately from the original game, but plunged us into an undead nightmare in the West. Rockstar is in a sweet moment.
L.A. Noire (2011)
A year later Rockstar surprises us with a game where the narrative shines , the setting in the golden years of legendary Hollywood with a detective who investigates cases of old stars, and a certainly limited sandbox spirit (bet). The result is a title that he liked, with hatches in the interrogation system for suspects but with the unmistakable aroma of the Houser brothers oozing from all his pores.
Max Payne 3 (2012)
Max Payne Rockstarizes and acquires some of the elements that have made the company one of the best selling games : a more refined narrative, a completely redesigned gunplay and a protagonist who lives on the run in Brazil. It is there, precisely, where the adventures will begin in this third installment. We are not talking about a masterpiece as in the case of the first title, but it is a must if you want to know the plot arc of the inventor of bullet time.
Grand Theft Auto V (2013)
What do you want us to say about this game? It went on sale in September 2013 for PS3 and Xbox 360 (PS4 and Xbox One in 2014 and PC in 2015) and on paper it was not going to be the last in the Rockstar saga before 2020 or 2022, but its success has been So why develop a future Grand Theft Auto VI and kill the goose that lays the golden eggs? In May 2022, the company had recognized sales of 165 million units , and that the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S version had barely been in stores for two months. So do the math.
Michael, Franklin and Trevor offer three different narratives that intersect which makes the story of the game an element to enjoy. Although the really important thing came just a few weeks after its release, do you remember it?
Grand Theft Auto Online (2013)
Effectively. The key to the long-lasting success of GTA V is not to be found in its history, which you can easily finish in a couple of weeks, but rather in the online mode that they added. A huge open world that we could visit with friends , complete robberies, missions, search for treasures and, on top of that, buy goods inside with real money thanks to all kinds of content that is updated every few weeks.
A study published in 2021 claimed that GTA Online had been able to earn an average of more than $1,700 per minute for the entire year of 2020 . So take account of the millionaire that this supposes over the years, and without counting the sale of those 165 million games.
Red Dead Redemption 2 (2018)
But Rockstar had an ace up its sleeve for 2018. The sequel to Red Dead Redemption was chilling, brutal and well done , with the Wild West back in the spotlight and a new protagonist, Arthur Morgan. We are facing a monumental game, plot-wise solid and very fun that lets us do practically what we want. And that in its story mode, which, as in the case of GTA V , the company tried its luck again with an online alternative.
Red Dead Online (2018)
This is the last of the unpublished releases that Rockstar has put on the market, if we remove remasters, reissues and updates and follows in the footsteps of GTA Online where it opens its extensive map for players to share online adventures . It hasn’t matched the success of GTA, but we can say that it has given players every few weeks new content and things to do in the Wild West.
|Red Dead Redemption||2010||PlayStation 3, Xbox 360|
|Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare||2010||PlayStation 3, Xbox 360|
|L.A. Noire||2011||PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch|
|Max Payne 3||2012||PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows|
|Grand Theft Auto V||2013||PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows|
|Grand Theft Auto Online||2013||PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows|
|Grand Theft Auto V||2014||PlayStation 4, Xbox One|
|Grand Theft Auto V||2015||Microsoft Windows|
|Red Dead Redemption 2||2018||PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows|
|Red Dead Online||2018||PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows|
The success of GTA V and its GTA Online, and of Red Dead Redemption 2 and its multiplayer leg, has caused the rumors of new video games to be diluted . We don’t know if Rockstar will want to kill its two golden goose, but as of the publication date of this article we have nothing new to bring to our mouths, beyond a definitive edition and an update (mandatory). By the way, it will be in that year 2020 when Dan Houser leaves Rockstar…
Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition (2021)
This pack, which contains the remasters of Grand Theft Auto III , Grand Theft Auto Vice City and Grand Theft Auto San Andreas, the truth is that it received a lot of criticism at launch because it arrived quite broken for some consoles. Over the months they managed to close quite a few bugs but even so, they don’t seem like the ways that Americans are accustomed to. If you are very interested in reviving those classics, it is a collection that you must have. Although it is the umpteenth time that they sell you the same games with a different necklace.
Grand Theft Auto V (2022)
On March 22, 2022, Rockstar released the updated versions of GTA V and GTA Online for PS5 and Xbox Series X|S. Let’s hope that before the end of this new generation we will have a native franchise title that makes the most of its hardware since, as you know, both PS4 and Xbox One have remained the only ones that never had a GTA specially developed for them. a pity
|Video game Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition||Release 2021||Format PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and Series S, Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch|
|Video game Grand Theft Auto V||Release 2022||Format PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S|