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Grand Theft Auto Series - The 3D Universe!
By samanth Posted in Blog, Gaming, PC on June 1, 2021 0 Comments 7 min read
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All of Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto games are secretly connected! Rockstar started this series by releasing Grand Theft Auto 1 on October 21, 1997, and the events of the game take place that same year. Then came Grand Theft Auto 2, which was released 2 years after in 1999. Rockstar never confirmed when the events took place in the game universe. Then came Grand Theft Auto 3, in 2001. The FIRST ever 3D Game in Grand Theft Auto. It was known for its bugs and glitches. But it was what started it all!


Grand Theft Auto 3 events take place in 2001. We play as Claude Speed, a deadly person trained in combat. Liberty City, a fully explorable city with pretty decent graphics. The Story is interesting, and the missions are creative and well-created. We meet Toni Cipriani, who is the main protagonist of GTA: Liberty City Stories. Pretty interesting right? GTA: Liberty City Stories is set in 1998 which is two years before GTA 3 occurs. This means that Toni Cipriani is still alive after the events of GTA Liberty City Stories.

Then came, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, one of my favorite games to date. Come on, I still remembering playing this game when I was 10 years old. GTO: VC takes place before both GTA 3 and GTA Liberty City Stories. It was set in 1982, when Tommy Vercetti, the main protagonist of the game, comes back from jail after killing 10 Serial Killers who attacked him. Obviously, badass Tommy killed them all.

In the first cutscene of GTA: VC, we make a drug deal with Victor Vance, who is the main character of GTA: Vice City Stories! GTA: VCS was set before GTA: VC. In the drug deal, the SWAT team secretly catches us. We can see that Victor Vance is still alive and gained a lot of weight too. 😂 We can also see Lance Vance driving the helicopter and it is he who betrays Tommy Vercetti in the last mission. Victor Vance and Lance Vance are actually brothers. (It’s a bit like a soap opera, I know…)


After that came Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas which is, in my opinion, the best game in the series. GTA: San Andreas takes place after GTA: Vice City, So we don’t know if Tommy Vercetti is still alive or not. We receive a very good reference to Tommy from Rockstar Games which proves that Tommy Vercetti is still alive and ruling the City! In GTA: San Andreas trailer, we can hear Ken Rosenberg (Lawyer, or Tommy Vercetii’s friend) calling Tommy Vercetti from a payphone, and we can hear Tommy Vercetti’s ‘So-called’ Manage. She says that Tommy is not taking any calls, but he keeps asking her. This means that, if Tommy has a manager in 1992, which is after GTA: Vice City, he is still alive and good, and is 45 years old.


We receive some more references for Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and we meet some of the characters from GTA: Vice City, and GTA: 3,  in the mission “Farewell, my love.” In this mission, we see Claude Speed, the main protagonist of GTA 3. Remember that GTA 3 takes place in 2001, and GTA: San Andreas takes place in 1992! This means that GTA: San Andreas is set before GTA 3.

Catalina, ex-Girlfriend of Carl Johnson, the main protagonist of GTA: San Andreas, breaks up with him and starts a relationship with Claude. In the mission, we get challenged to a race with Claude. And obviously, Carl wins. At the end of this mission, we can hear Catalina say that she is moving to Liberty City with Claude. This means that Claude and Catalina are moving to Liberty City, and then from there, we start GTA 3, 8 years after GTA: San Andreas!

Catalina betrays Claude in the first cutscene. They both were doing a bank robbery and Catalina shoots Claude, because she was a greedy person! She wanted all the money for her self, which makes Claude surrender to the cops and go to jail, However in the first mission of GTA 3, we escape the cops with a person called 8Ball with with a bomb. His arms are damaged and we never get to know why, but after playing GTA: Advance, we do.

In GTA: Advance, we meet 8Ball, the person who helps us escape in GTA: 3. His arms are damaged because he messed up his hands while in his bomb shop. A bomb went off accidentally. Woops.


In the mission, Intensive Care. We meet Ken Rosenberg, the Lawyer from GTA: Vice City who we talked about earlier. We see that he loves his weed and can’t contact Tommy Vercetti. We never get to know why Tommy is avoiding him, but let’s get back to the mission. While Carl Johnson kills and defends Rosie from Terrorists, we can hear Rosenberg say “This is so exciting Tommy! Just like old times!”, Carl replies with “Who the fuck is Tommy?” 

Here, Ken Rosenberg is referring to his old times with Tommy taking over Vice City. We also meet another character from GTA: Vice City, Kent Paul.  Kent Paul is one of the main characters from GTA: Vice City who claims to be a criminal mastermind who used to run Vice City in the old days.

He is later also mentioned in GTA: 5, which takes place way after all the three games, in 2013. More about that later. After these three games, we finish off the “ 3D ” Universe and start the “ HD ” Universe. More about the HD Universe in the next article.


The 3D Universe, also known as the trilogy, ends after GTA: San Andreas. Many believe that a new universe is started in Grand Theft Auto, where the events of the Trilogy never take place. The new games are called HD because of their new graphics and game style. If you want to read more about what happens in the HD Universe, the article is coming very soon! So let’s finish with a list of games that are in the 3D and HD Universe.



  • Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.
  • Grand Theft Auto Advance.
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.
  • Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories.
  • Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories.
  • Grand Theft Auto: III


  • Prologue (Grand Theft Auto V) (2004)
  • Grand Theft Auto IV (2008)
  • Grand Theft Auto: The Lost and Damned (2008)
  • Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony (2008)
  • Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars (2009)
  • Grand Theft Auto Online (2013) 
  • Grand Theft Auto V (2013)


Note: The above images are not made by me!

Hope you guys enjoyed this article! Thank you for reading!

                                                                            – Samanth


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