We don't need to tell you to buy Grand Theft Auto V, because if you own a console, you're already going to buy it. Why? Because game developers Rockstar are the best games developers on the planet, turning out fantastic, in-depth, genre-defining games when they're good and ready.

Because they don't listen to anyone and they don't let journos know what’s going on in their twisted minds. Because they created the entire genre in which Grand Theft Auto resides, they've never been bettered, and they could just piss in a cup and it'd still receive global media acclaim.

Grand Theft Auto III was the dawning of a new era in videogames that saw the open-world fuckaround becoming a reality, and so much of what we play now is based on the groundwork that Rockstar have laid down and continue to improve upon.

Some of it is obvious – like Saints Row or Just Cause – but even gigantic series like Far Cry, Borderlands and Assassin's Creed owe so much to these guys. They made the once-implausible concept of driving around in cars to reach mission objectives in an open world a reality, which is now as much a part of the best videogames as the shoulder buttons on your controller.

Rockstar have always strived to innovate, since the first steps into the three dimensions of Liberty City in 2001. They've ignored campaigners and detractors, and around a billion dollars worth of lawsuits, and, like some great Soviet war machine, rolled over everything in their path as they continue to improve and refine what we imagine, and want, games to be.

Now, 16 years after they released the first game, they're back with GTA V, and if leaked maps are anything to go by it's going to be absolutely massive and every other game is going to have to seriously step up to compete.

Whether you're a massive fan of the franchise, a serious gamer or just an occasional player, GTA V is about to change everything, for the better.
Check out the video below to see just how far Grand Theft Auto has come in the last 16 years...

Words: Grant Howitt, follow him on Twitter here.

- Words: Grant Howitt