Grand Theft Auto is one of the most popular video game franchises in gaming history. Their newest installment has surpassed the two billion dollar mark, and is still growing to this day. Three years after the title was released, it saw one of its biggest months in December of 2016, and it is still fresh in the mind of many gamers. I don’t know about you, but I’m still playing. I just got my coke business fully upgraded and my meth business is up-and-coming. The game keeps bringing us back with new updates and the hunger to get the best and fastest cars in the game. It’s an unattainable goal, just like it is in the real world, but millions of players just like me are logging on every night trying to get a piece of the pie; whether it’s running drugs, robbing banks or stealing cars.
Since this game is so popular, fans have created entire subplots that they think the developers may have intended. Some of these theories explain the crazy logic that the series has, and some are just wild theories that, if true, may change the way we play the game entirely. When a game is as popular as GTA, there are going to be some nut-bag fans clad in tinfoil suits being as woke as Ron is on his radio show. Some of these are more realistic that others, but all are worth checking out if you’re a fan of the Grand Theft Auto franchise.
15. We’re Always Driving Slow
The cops in GTA are notoriously brutal. Seriously, I’ve seen an NPC (non-player character) accidentally bump a police car, only to be chased and gunned down by police with no remorse. Why is it, then, that police don’t seem to care that you’re burning by everybody on the highway? One Reddit user put this theory into perspective for us, when they noted that every hour in GTA is a minute in real time. A day Grand Theft Auto passes in 48 minutes real-world time, and this means that speed is drastically reduced when you consider how long it takes you to get from point A to point B. The user states that we’re actually driving really slow, which is why cops never seem to take notice. While this theory is an interesting take on the subject, it doesn’t account for the fact that red lights don’t seem to mean much in the game either. Perhaps police see street lights as more of a suggestion than a rigid law in the GTA world.
14. We’re In A Movie
One of the more tame theories asserts that GTA is so fun and interesting because we are all playing our way through a Hollywood movie. This explains why there are so many awesome cars driving around and weapons found on rooftops and alleyways. The characters in the games are only characters in a film, which is why all of the interesting things seem to happen to them. The creators of the Grand Theft Auto franchise are notable movie-buffs, with references to movies everywhere you look. It would make sense if they decided to have their game take place in a Hollywood movie setting. Of course, these instances can also be explained by the fact that we’re playing a video game with a good plot, but it’s much more fun to look deeper into what the developers intended.
13. Physical Forms Of Money
One Reddit theory was created just as Grand Theft Auto V was coming out, and still serves as an apt analysis of the game about money. GTA V was marketed as all about getting the most money. Especially in GTA Online, players are scrambling to get the most cash in order to get the best cars and nicest apartments. The GTA story characters, as this theory suggests, are actually physical representations of different kinds of money. Trevor is gold, Michael is silver, and Franklin is cash. All three characters have corresponding colors when they activate their special, and Franklin’s name makes reference to Benjamin Franklin, the man on the $100 bill. The theory also covers the fact that Franklin is brought up in the Grove Street area, a gang with green as its color. The theory goes a bit deeper, but it’s an interesting thought when considering a game that is 100% based on generating the most money.
12. 1933 Business Plot
This theory is probably not exactly what the developers intended with the GTA games, but it’s interesting enough to mention on this list of fan theories. A bit of backstory is needed for those who aren’t familiar with this 1933 conspiracy theory: basically there were assertions made by some individuals that a committee of influential industry leaders and bankers was formed, with the ultimate goal of overthrowing the US president Franklin D. Roosevelt. The theory as it relates to GTA, is that the game series is set in a dystopian future where the Business Plot succeeded, thus driving capitalism to its ideological extreme. In this world, people will do absolutely anything to get ahead, including kill and steal as we see the protagonists in GTA do. This theory reminds me of the Fallout lore (where the cold war turned hot), and is interesting to consider as a rationale for the psychotic behavior shown by the characters in the Grand Theft Auto games.
11. John Marston’s Lineage
John Marston is the main character in the Rockstar game Red Dead Redemption. The theory concerning Grand Theft Auto is that all three characters in Grand Theft Auto V are descendants of the legendary cowboy John Marston. This theory focuses on John Marston’s special ability, deadeye. When using deadeye, John Marston slows time and picks off enemies before they have a chance to react. All of the characters in GTA V have similar abilities to this, as Franklin can slow time while driving, Michael can slow time and combat, and Trevor can go into rage mode where he does more damage and takes none. Sure, Trevor is a bit of a stretch but maybe his is the inbred, psychopathic version of this ability.
10. GTA Online Prequel
Ever wonder why your GTA Online character is never mentioned during the story-mode in GTA V? No? Oh okay…
The fact that none of the story-mode supporting cast like Lamar and Lester ever mention their silent buddy from GTA V Online is easily explainable. Most people played the base game before Online even came out, and it wouldn’t make sense to include a character from another dimension. As we all know, however, Reddit likes to take things a bit deeper. Fan theories arose surrounding GTA V Online, the most prevalent of which has your GTA Online character existing before the events of the GTA V story, and subsequently dying. People like Lamar and Lester never mention our characters because they died months earlier. It was only a business transaction after all, as I can’t even count how many times I’ve hung up on Lester while playing GTA Online.
9. Niko Bellic is Alive or Dead or Something
There are a million theories surrounding the fate of GTA IV’s main character, Niko Bellic. Grand Theft Auto IV and V are set around the same time period, and there are multiple references to Niko and Liberty City in the latter game. At first, people speculated that Niko was dead, as Lester states that he “went quiet” and Packie said that he’s “probably dead too” when discussing his old crew in Liberty City. Then, when the game moved to the next generation consoles, players were able to get a look at Niko’s Lifeinvader page, with a recent birthday update, showing that he is plausibly still alive. It’s anybody’s guess as to what really happened to Niko, but the actor who played him is reportedly no longer on good terms with Rockstar after he felt he was underpaid for his role. Some say that the wanted poster found in Blaine County could be a hint that he will make a return, or that it is a message to the public that Rockstar wants a new actor to reprise the role.
8. Cops Are Racist
This theory was sparked when a YouTube video of GTA V was uploaded, that showed Franklin walking up to a couple of police officers and getting promptly gunned-down. Franklin, if you aren’t aware, is the only black character in the story mode of GTA V. This video shows him walking up to police and telling them he hopes they keep him safe. The police respond by pistol whipping and then shooting Franklin, as he puts his hands up and then tries to run away.
The theory of police being racist makes sense for two reasons. First, GTA V is an extremely realistic game. Your wet shoes make noise, your car can be heard cooling down after a drive, even your cloths retain water when you get out of the ocean. The second reason this makes sense is that GTA loves controversy. Part of the reason their games do so well is that people freak out whenever one is released. Think of the children!!! So, with those facts in mind, is it completely out of the question that the developers added code to make police racially profile Franklin? With all of the police violence in the news, this kind of social commentary is exactly something the GTA developers would add to the game, and it’s worth considering next time you walk up to police as Franklin.
7. Classic, OG and New School
There is a popular and accepted school of thought that the three main characters in GTA represent more than the different kinds of way people play the game. Some say that these three characters represent the evolution of the GTA franchise itself. Trevor represents the old GTA, which was mainly focused on killing, stealing cars and causing general mayhem. The original Grand Theft Auto games, believe it or not, were even more focused on violence than the modern ones. Franklin represents the characters in GTA III, Vice City and San Andreas. He’s a self-made man, just like the characters in all three of these games. He started from the bottom and climbed to become one of the biggest players in town. Michael’s character is what the new GTA games have become. The GTA IV and V games are more plot-driven than the previous titles. Michael loves classic cinema, and is just trying to make a buck like Niko from GTA IV and all of the characters in GTA V.
6. GTA Experiment
One GTA fan theory that, admittedly, seems a bit far fetched, is that Rockstar created GTA V as a kind of testing ground for their next big game. They are collecting all of our data on how we play the game, what we choose at the end of the story, how many people we run over with our cars, etc. The idea behind this would be that Rockstar is keeping all of this data to create the best game that they could possible come up with the next time around. This would, presumable, be Grand Theft Auto VI, but it may even be the new Red Dead Redemption game that is set to release later this year. While I have to believe this is at least partially the case, Grand Theft Auto V is such a fantastic online experience that I trust them to make the next one fantastic with or without this information.
5. Heart Monitors
As stated above, the cops in GTA are relentless. They will chase you down to the ends of the earth, and seem to have a pinpoint accuracy as to where the offending party is at all times. Have you ever been hiding on a rooftop, unseen, only to have a police officer climb a ladder and start shooting at you? This GTA theory explains why.
The theory asserts that the government and/or the insurance companies have GPS tracking devices and heart monitors inside everyone in the GTA world. This is why, when you walk up to a stranger and knock them into next week with a punch, the police know exactly where you are and what you’ve done. The police have an uncanny ability to track players, which is another reason this theory makes sense. In such a bizarre and dystopian world, it would make sense that the powers-that-be are tracking our every move.
4. The Island Mindset
One of the more realistic theories surrounding the Grand Theft Auto universe is the rationale for putting all of the maps on islands by themselves. If you haven’t noticed, all of the GTA games take place on islands, completely surrounded by water. This can be explained by siting game design, as the developers didn’t want to include invisible walls so they went with vast oceans instead, but there’s probably more here than meets the eye. If you’ve never played a Grand Theft Auto Game then you may think they are just mindless violence and crime, but there is actually much more to them. All of the games serve as a piece of social commentary or parody on the real world, and some theorize that these islands are part of their message. Theorists say that Rockstar placed the GTA games on islands to signify American’s ignorance to the outside world. We all live in our little bubbles, and don’t think about what’s going on outside of our protected area. It’s an interesting thought, and given the fact that GTA likes to comment on the state of America and the world, it makes sense that this would be (at least) part of the reason the GTA games all take place on islands.
3. The GTA Illuminati
When Rockstar was creating the world for GTA V, it seems as though they took a look at some of the bizarre fan theories floating around the internet. GTA V includes a multitude of conspiracy-riddled content, including Ron’s radio show, ghosts and even alien spaceships. The craziest of all appears in the hut at the top of Mount Chiliad. Painted on the wall is what seems like a map of the mountain, the top of which contains an image that reflects the all-seeing eye of the Illuminati. As I said, there are ghosts and aliens in this world, with alien ships appearing in the sky and alien wrecks found in the ocean, but none of this seems to have any correlation to the image on Mount Chiliad. The most likely explanation, and one that theorists have come to accept, is that this map is just a troll by the developers of the game. They know all of the crazy theories floating around out there, and wanted to spark the discussion of a deeper one. Who knows, though? Maybe it all does mean something and it’s going over everyone’s head.
2. One Universe
This GTA fan theory is based around the idea that all of the Rockstar games take place under the same sky. The theory asserts that the world we see in the Grand Theft Auto series is the real world, with all of the subsequent Rockstar titles serving as entertainment for the characters in the GTA world. It makes a bit of sense when you think about it: LA Noire would be a cop drama, Max Payne would be a blockbuster film, Red Dead Redemption is a novel and Table Tennis would be the hottest sport on TV. This theory was sparked by a novel found on Franklin’s bookshelf in Grand Theft Auto V. The book can be found in Franklin’s second house in the Vinewood Hills, and the visible binding says “Red Dead by J. Marston.” The rest of the theory is built on this foundation, but it wouldn’t surprise me if we found similar Easter eggs in future GTA titles.
1. The Rockstar Timeline
Similar to the above theory regarding the Rockstar universe, this theory has all of the Rockstar games taking place in the same world. Unlike the previous theory, however, this one has all of the games taking place on a timeline, rather than all of them taking place for the entertainment of our GTA characters. This theory also includes the novel on Franklin’s bookshelf entitled “Red Dead,” but contains additional evidence and lore. The evidence comes in the mentioning of the Bullworth Academy on the radio in Grand Theft Auto IV. Bullworth Academy was the fictional boarding school that was the setting of the Rockstar title Bully. This theory expands further on the Red Dead theme, as it states that John Marston’s son, Jack Marston, finds his redemption by escaping the Wild West and writing a novel about the life of his father, calling it Red Dead.