Download the Original 'Grand Theft Auto' for Free

Play the game that made street cred and crime bosses fun

Grand Theft Auto Screenshot
Grand Theft Auto Screenshot. © Rockstart Games

Rockstar Games released the original "Grand Theft Auto" and "Grand Theft Auto 2" as registered free downloads several years ago. Since then, the game has been taken down from the Rockstar Classics page and both "Grand Theft Auto" and "Grand Theft Auto 2" are no longer available from Rockstar Games websites. 

However, third-party websites still host the games and offer them as free downloads to users of Windows computers. These sites include:

The game may require an emulator such as DOS Box to run on your Windows computer. 

Original 'Grand Theft Auto' (1997)

The original "Grand Theft Auto" game was released in 1997 by a small studio named DMA Design, which would later become Rockstar Games. The development company and the Grand Theft Auto series of games expanded rapidly in the years that followed with the release of more than a dozen Grand Theft Auto titles across various platforms along with other award-winning and best-selling games such as "Max Payne" and "L.A. Noire." When it was released, the original "Grand Theft Auto" was a groundbreaking game depicting urban crime in a nonlinear sandbox-style game world.

The game is set in the fictional cities of Liberty City, Vice City, and San Andreas, which are based on the U.S. cities of New York, Miami, and Los Angeles, respectively. Players are free to explore the environments to their liking and are not tied to a linear storyline. The game contains an overarching mission-based storyline that can be completed at the player's preferred pace. The game provides eight characters to choose, but the choice of character has no impact on the game.

While its graphics may seem dated by today's standards, the game is still fun to play and provides a nostalgic look back to see where the Grand Theft Auto series got its start and how far graphics have come since then.

Grand Theft Auto Series

The Grand Theft Auto series of video games is one of the most popular and controversial video game series of all time. Fourteen titles including expansions and DLCs have been released for the series with the latest coming in 2013 with "Grand Theft Auto V." The biggest change that the series has seen visually came with the release of "Grand Theft Auto III," when the gameplay changed from a top-down style shooter format to a 3D third-person shooter format.

The look and feel of the series have remained somewhat the same since then with upgrades to the game engine and graphics over time. The series has also managed to maintain its huge popularity and commercial success with each release being one of the top-selling games, if not the top-selling game, for the year of its release.

Although rumors have swirled regarding the next title, a release date for "Grand Theft Auto 6" has yet to be announced.

Note: The Rockstar website offers four free game demos of the original "Grand Theft Auto" with various graphics capabilities including 8 bit, 24 bit, and 3D FX graphics.