'Grand Theft Auto' & 'Grand Theft Auto 2'
When the original Grand Theft Auto first hit the PC in 1998, the game was already courting controversy: its brazenly amoral gameplay actually rewarded the player for wanton criminal conduct. But competing titles such as Carmageddon--a Death Race 2000-inspired car combat racer that awarded points for mowing down as many pedestrians as possible--were an easier lightning rod for critics. By comparison, GTA's cartoonish, top-down 2D point-of-view seemed like little more than an amped-up Hot Wheels. Grand Theft Auto 2 refined the gameplay of the original title the following year, but Rockstar wouldn't perfect the formula until taking the mayhem 3D in 2001 with Grand Theft Auto III. For gamers familiar with only such 21st-century GTA landscapes of Vice City and San Andreas, the company has subsequently released the original two games--reoptimized for current PCs and Windows versions--as free downloads. The price of a taste of GTA history? You'll need to sign up for Rockstar's mailing list before you can pull down the files.
Grand Theft Auto: Read review
Download complete Windows game (336MB) from Rockstar's Web site (registration required): Free download
Grand Theft Auto 2: Read review
Download complete Windows game (353MB) from Rockstar's Web site (registration required): Free download