Grand Theft Auto Online (2016-present)
"And people say I'm a disgrace to society?"— Franklin Clinton, 2013
While the game itself is good, the online part of the game is an entirely different story, despite getting positive reviews throughout 2013-2015, it has come under increasing criticism since 2016 because of bad decisions by Rockstar Games.
Why It Sucks Now
NOTE: Most of these issues were caused by executive meddling with Take-Two Interactive.
- The mode is infested with microtransactions known as "Shark Cards", despite being a full-priced, big-budget AAA game.
- Speaking of Shark Cards, they are overpriced and not worth it, example:
- The Red Shark Card costs $3, is one of the cheapest of them, it grants just $100,000; most of the weapons including attachments are very expensive. The Special Carbine costs $14,750 and all of its upgrades costs $119,850, meaning all of this cost $134,600 just for one weapon, making this Shark Card completely useless.
- The Tiger Shark Card costs $5, it grants $200,000, similar to the Red Shark Card, nearly everything in this game is overpriced.
- The Bull Shark Card costs $10, it grants $500,000, that would be the same price of a single Turismo R.
- The Great White Shark Card costs $20, it grants $1,250,000.
- The Whale Shark Card costs $50, it grants $3,500,000, While is the second most valuable Shark Card in the game, if you buy two of them, it grants only $7,000,000, and even worse, it costs $100 to buy two of them.
- The Megalodon Shark Card costs $100, is the most expensive Shark Card of the game, it grants $8,000,000; this Shark Card is an infamous cash-grab due the overpriced content in the game, to add insult to injury, you can only buy a Oppressor and a Oppressor Mk II or a Oppressor Mk II with a Deluxo plus a Bull Shark Card and a Tiger Shark Card, that would cost $112, while GTA Online was intended to be played only on a full-priced $60 game.
- Speaking of Shark Cards, they are overpriced and not worth it, example:
- It ruined any possible chances of single-player DLC, as Rockstar only cares about this mode and added no new single-player content for years.
- This was even more insulting because content from this mode was being added to single-player until the Lowriders update.
- To add insult to injury, Rockstar had promised single-player content in the Heists announcement, despite the fact that there isn't any new content.
- Because of this, most of the cars returning from GTA IV are completely Online exclusive.
- The enemy AI is really difficult and broken compared to the base single-player game, as they are insanely overpowered, have laser vision accuracy, and can kill you in one shot.
- A Reddit video clip showed the enemy's AI, they can kill you miles away in less than 2 seconds.
- Unlike Story Mode, where the player can be busted by cops and only start to shoot to kill at a two-star wanted level, cops immediately start shooting to kill at a one-star wanted level in Online, since the Busting mechanic is actually absent. Also, nearly half of all cops in the game that spawn in cars wield pump-action shotguns.
- Many weapons and vehicles copy Saints Row, even though futuristic elements have no place in the GTA universe, and past games made this work much better to boot. Even the official Saints Row Twitter account noticed this!
- The Doomsday Heist update in particular was very guilty of forcing futuristic elements in.
- Speaking of the vehicles, some of them are extremely overpowered and abused by tryhards and griefers, most notably the Hydra/P-996 LAZER, the Oppressor and its infamous Mk II version.
- The pop-in messages can be annoying at times, as the characters constantly calling you for no reason.
- Extremely long and boring loading times with constant disconnection issues, due to the terrible netcode and the servers are peer-to-peer rather than dedicated servers.
- Many missions can be broken, such as the Diamond Casino Heist. Regardless of the approach you take, after you exit from the building, there is a chance that the game will soft-lock with an infinite loading screen, preventing you from progressing.
- Being a CEO, VIP or MC President, while profitable, is a pain on public servers. Players are rewarded for destroying or hijacking shipments. This is not helped by the large number of tryhards in the community.
- New players will constantly get phone calls and notifications begging them to buy properties or service vehicles even if they lack the money to afford.
- There are tons of generic Missions like Racing (excluding some variations of it) and Deathmatch, that almost nobody plays due to low payouts.
- The AI-controlled armed aircraft are obvious examples of artificial difficulty; they can fire their aircraft machineguns or miniguns in any direction without having to point their guns at you, which can be annoying if an AI Savage uses its explosive minigun and can hit even if a player is directly behind it. This is not possible with player-controllable Savages.
- If you start selling products (regardless if you're a CEO, VIP or MC President) on Public Lobbies, there will be a high risk that your Cargo or Product will be destroyed by toxic cargo griefers, that mostly are often flying on an Oppressor MK II (unless if you have a friend to be a VIP and work with you in selling the Cargo). And if they destroy your Cargo or Product successfully, they will only get $2,000 and that's it.
- Most of the playerbase are grinders, griefers, tryhards, and hackers. They will destroy everything and bully new players constantly in their sight, even if you haven't done anything to antagonize them.
- The game is a huge grindfest. Many missions give very little money, even with the multiplied rewards that change every week. To unlock overpowered vehicles such as the Oppressor MK II for instance, you have to buy the Bunker or Nightclub, Mobile Operations Center or Terrorbyte, and purchase the Vehicle Workbench (both of which can set you back millions of dollars) and do research, which can take up to five hours just to complete one project. And to make matter worse, you can't even choose what to research, because it is based around RNG (Random Number Generator)!
- Properties and various vehicles are insanely overpriced. Every property (such as Hangars, Facilities, Night Clubs, etc) and vehicles, such as the Oppressors, Deluxo, Scramjet and Avenger added in each new update can cost up to millions of dollars in-game, forcing you to buy Shark Cards.
- There's also the idea that the player has to pay bills like utilities. And while it doesn't cost a bizzare amount of money, it's still nonsensical. You have to pay bills in a video game about robbery and car theft.
- The Diamond Casino & Resort update was a complete disaster, as it added a literal gambling system that you could spend chips on, with the ability to get more chips with real money. This led to the update being blocked in more than 50 countries and is held as one of the worst offenders of predatory monetization tactics by AAA companies, alongside with the other atrocity that done this, the atrocity said being NBA 2K20 and 2K21.
- Many things available in the Story Mode like the ability to buy stock from BAWSAQ are unavailable offline.
- Some of the new updates don't fit in or outright contradict the continuity of the series and they even ruined the HD Universe's canon. The Gunrunning update is slated to take place in 2017 (at the time of the update's release), despite the fact that the online component was supposed to take place before the events of the single-player mode, which is set in 2013.
- Especially including post-2013 songs on the radio for certain updates (like iFruit Radio), even though they shouldn't exist yet.
- Despite being the mode set in present day with each update, the game still feels like it's set in 2013 due to Rockstar being too lazy to change the map.
- In the Diamond Casino & Resort update, Trevor and Michael are revealed to be still alive, rendering both both Option A and B's endings in the Story Mode completely pointless. This is proven by Tao Cheng's line at the end of the third casino mission where the player drops Tao Cheng on the Pacific Bluffs Country Club, the place where Franklin kills Wei Cheng in the shootout.
- Businesses like Gunrunning and Motorcycle Clubs only generate products if you are in Freeroam. Playing a minigame or having the game switched off prevents generating products, which is made worse by Freeroaming being mandatory for it.
- Rockstar discontinued content updates for the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of GTA Online less than two years after launch.
- This was due to technical limitations of these consoles, as Rockstar had admitted the game was pushing the aging hardware to their limits and was running out of available system memory on both consoles to handle additional DLC updates. These versions are still playable and receive periodic bug fixes; however, with the PS3 and Xbox 360 online userbases dwindling and the launches of the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S in November 2020, this may not hold true for much longer.
- Coincidentally, the end of content updates for the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions was also the end of official content updates for single-player, since all subsequent content updates would be Online exclusive.
- The "Criminal Enterprise Starter Pack" DLC is a complete joke. You only get three weapons (Marksman Rifle, Compact Rifle, Compact Grenade Launcher, all of which are impractical), ten vehicles that aren't even armored, or have weapons (with the only one being the Dune FAV, which is generally unpopular and useless), properties that have little upgrades, and a measly $1,000,000.
- This whole problem and its messes are later carried over to the company's next Multiplayer mode of Red Dead Online from Red Dead Redemption 2, for an example like where even their "Beta" (Early access) version looks ugly unfinished and even more disastrous.
- Rockstar is working on yet another version of GTA V for the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S, slated to be released in the second half of 2021, with content updates for the PS4 and Xbox One versions of GTA Online eventually coming to a close. This also makes no sense, because they are also in early development of VI.
- Many people got their accounts reset due to the Property Trade-In Abuse, and while there were people who got their account reset fairly, there were also people who got reset for no absolute reason at all. This was very poorly received by the playerbase.
- Modders, with their number one purpose on online being to ruin everyone else's game. They're responsible for getting lots of fair players accounts banned or reset through various exploits. They're everywhere on the PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of online and are now slowly starting to pop up in the PS4 and Xbox One versions.
- Rockstar is not concerned about this issue, unless it affects the in-game economy and their ability to make real world money from Shark cards.
- The core gameplay and Missions can be fun at times.
- Rockstar occasionally gives out free money for players that log into the game, or give offers that can be helpful.
- For example, they made an offer where linking your Amazon account that has an active Prime Gaming membership with your Social Club account will give you a million GTA$. What's even better though is that by just playing the game every month, you'll also gain another million GTA$, which can be helpful in the future if you save enough.
- As already mentioned, you can be a CEO, VIP or MC President to help cut back on grinding. If you have enough friends, that works too.
- Many of the characters from Grand Theft Auto IV appear here, such as "Gay" Tony Prince and Brucie Kibbutz. Claude and Niko can also be parent characters if you have the premium version of V. Certain characters from V's story mode are also present, such as Jimmy De Santa and Lazlow.
- The Arcade games are awesome; some are from the previously mentioned Degenetron from Vice City.
- You can mod the PC version of GTA V to allow spawning cars and weapons from GTA Online.
- The DLC updates are free.
- Finally, after 7 years, Rockstar made an update known as The Cayo Perico Heist, where players can now leave the main map and explore a new island and do an all new Heist. Best of all, the ability to play the Heist Solo is available - If you could get all the necessary preps done and proceed the heist well, it only takes a few hours to rack up several million. Without being plagued by trolls.