GTA III was the fifth instalment of the Grand Theft Auto franchise and the first to feature 3D gameplay when it was released back in 2001 for PS2, Windows PC and Xbox.
It received critical acclaim at the time, particularly for its graphics, vast open world design, game characters and vehicle models.
Fast forward to 2013 and GTA V was released for PS3 and Xbox 360, becoming the 15th overall GTA title. It was then released in 2014 for PS4 and Xbox One, and Windows PC in 2015.
It’s fair to say, gaming changed a lot in the 12-year gap between these two games. GTA V took things to whole new levels for open-world action-adventure gaming, with a vast map to explore, an in-depth and more immersive story and stunning graphics.
Online gaming and racing has also become a major focus for GTA V. It’s no surprise the game was met with huge amounts of praise and was a smash hit across the world.
Forza Motorsport 3 and Forza Motorsport 6 were only released six years apart, but the changes – particularly in graphics – are huge.
FM3 was, naturally, the third game in the Forza Motorsport series and received high praise for its visuals, driving dynamics and range of cars and circuits.
Fast forward to FM6 and the game has kept its core features and strengths, but boosted them by quite a few notches. As Xbox exclusives, they’ve also established one of the biggest rivalries between racing games, against the PlayStation-only Gran Turismo franchise.
Speaking of the GT series, it’s also come a hell of a long way since the early games. Released quite a few years before FM3, the third main game in the Gran Turismo franchise hit the shelves in 2001 and was the first for PlayStation 2.
Because of this, it made huge strides forward in gameplay and graphics and was – as you’d expect from such an established franchise a monster hit across the globe.
But, as gaming technology has matured, so has GT. The sixth main instalment arrived in 2013 and made massive strides compared to previous games, especially when you go back to GT3.
It included more cars and tracks than ever before, with beautiful visuals and more customisation options. The handling in GT6 was also hugely praised, edging it in front of Forza in the head-to-head battle at the time.
If you want to see just how far gaming has come since the turn of the new millennium, here’s your chance. The answer? A hell of a long way. It’s crazy to look at F1 Championship Season 2000 for PS1 and F1 2016 for PS4 side-by-side.
Many will remember F1 Championship Season 2000 by EA Sports (“it’s in the game” etc) fondly. But a lot changes in 16 years and F1 2016 is completely different to its predecessor from 16 years ago, as you’d hope.
Codemasters has taken the F1 franchise to new highs, with brilliant handling, detailed graphics and an immersive career mode in the current title. It’s a huge improvement over its predecessors.
Mario has been a part of the video game community for quite some time. Double Dash from 2003 was the fourth instalment of the Mario Kart franchise and the third for home consoles.
Released on GameCube, the new graphics and gameplay received high praise and overall Double Dash was a huge success for the series.
2014’s Mario Kart 8 for WiiU retains Double Dash’s quirky charm, bright colours and fast-paced gameplay but takes it to a whole new level. Visually, it’s incredible and the creativity of the tracks is ridiculously good.
Graphics and handling are always crucial elements for racing games but it’s even more important for rally titles, because of the different surfaces and natural backdrops.
Colin McRae Rally was the first game in the rally series and was rated highly for its handling and visuals. It’s hard to see why that was the case now, but back in 1998 this was top-notch stuff.
Six games later in 2009, Colin McRae: Dirt 2 was released across a range of consoles – including PS3 and Xbox 360. It was the first game released after rally legend McRae’s tragic death.
Obviously 11 years is a long time in the gaming industry so Dirt 2 features huge improvements in graphics, handling and game modes too – where focus shifted away from the World Rally Championship.