The original Zelda meets Goodfellas game, Grand Theft Auto III was released on this day in 2001, having been delayed for three weeks to change the liveries of the police vehicles and box cover art as a nod to contemporary mood following the terrorist attacks the month prior.
It was lauded as one of the greatest games ever made at the time, though it’s firmly one of those games from the early days of 3D graphics that aged terribly. Perhaps you played one of the remastered versions that dragged those angular yet formless blobs kicking and screaming into visual legibility.
Selling over fifteen million copies, it wasn’t the first open world game (or “sandbox” to use the parlance of the time), but its success certainly helped usher them into the place of prominence they enjoy today. And that’s despite the moral outrage that accompanied the gun-toting and prostitute-murdering gameplay. Truly the morality of the nation crumbled on this day nineteen years ago.
Take care of yourselves and try not to lose track your moral compasses, everyone!