This game was the precursor to what we love about GTA to this day. It's a shame hardly anyone remembers it.

User Rating: 9.1 | Grand Theft Auto 2 PC
Alright, let me start by saying that Grand Theft Auto games are normally best played from a 3-D perspective. However, GTA2 is indeed the exception to the rule. Set in an all-too-real near future, GTA2 has all the stuff you love about the series, including some that never returned(but desperately need to). The game mechanics are fairly simple: jack cars, shoot people, earn respect for doing missions and killing rival gang members. But here's where it gets interesting: the respect you earn can go to any of the three gangs populating the level you're in. So, for example, if you kill some Zaibatsu in the first level, you will gain respect from the Yakuza. So you are, in essence, a mercenary. Sounds sweet, right? Well it is. As for weaponry, this game delivers. From the standard pistol, to the always fun rocket launcher, and even a lightning gun(which is basically a tazer on steroids), the weapons are nothing short of terrific. Why, even the rocket launcher has a unique after-effect in this version: when a ped, gang member, cop, or even you get hit by a rocket, the effect is that character gets sent flying into the air, so high that they can land on top of a building!

Unique to the PC version of GTA2 is, of course, enhanced graphics. You can choose for the game to be set at noon or dusk, each having it's own specific lighting and shadow effects. Though, in my opinion, dusk fits the game better. In addition, the objects have a finer polish than their PSone counterparts.

Another advantage that the PC version has is faster load-times. Less than 10 seconds, last time I checked.

One thing I can't forget to mention is the random line of Elvis impersonators, when if run over by a vehicle in quick succession, treat you to a great(if not the greatest) reference to pop-culture in a video game: ELVIS HAS LEFT THE BUILDING! And anyone who has played these games since the original know of this as a continuation of the tradition "GOURANGA!" One is left to wonder where this easter egg was lost by the folks at Rockstar.

All in all, GTA2 is a nostalgia trip that anyone with an interest in the Grand Theft Auto series, and a PC that was at least medium-grade since 1998 should definitely get before it disappears off the face of the Earth.

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