The game that started it all off was unleashed in 1997. With an overhead view, the game did not feel real. But that did not stop the game becoming controversial. As you walked, ran or drove around the city looking for ringing phones (missions), hidden weapons, secret areas, you lived life out as a criminal in three cities.
By performing criminal activities (missions, murders, carjacking, and joyriding) you were awarded points. However it wasn't so easy. If you went a bit too far, the cops were aware and after you. Don't worry though, there were ways (car spray shops, power ups) you can get them off your back. Gain a certain number of points in a city and you'd be a crime lord with too many enemies. Time to move on!
There were three cities in GTA. You started in Liberty City, and moved onto San Andreas when things got too hot. Finally came Vice City.
This game is easy (and not too costly) to obtain:
GTA Mission Pack 1: London 1969
Following the success of the first game, players were eager for more! Rockstar came up with this. Grand Theft Auto, set in 1969 in London, United Kingdom. Though the style had not changed much the new environment made it enjoyable, and kept players happy until the next helping.
While Rockstar Games have not released this one for free (yet?), it can be obtained on freeloader.com, if you are a subscriber.
PC (Windows 95, 98, ME)
GTA London 1961 (1969 addon, PC-only)
GTA London 1961 was released for free, as an addon to London 1969, and can be downloaded here. I suspect it will not be compatible with the freeloader.com version of GTA: London.
GTA London 1961 takes it back a further 8 years, and provides a mini-game within London. Releasing it for free was good, as GTA London 1969 was considered small by people, looking at the fact that GTA spanned over three cities.