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What was the more influential game in 2001? Halo: Combat Evolved or Grand Theft Auto III?

Jul 24, 2016
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First it's of no doubt that during 2001 Halo and GTA 3 were the biggest defining, earth shaking games in the industry at the time, and basically set the foundation for many games during that generation onward. No one came even close, although Black and White did have the overblown hype to make people think otherwise back in the day, but looking back it was these two games by miles.

With that said, between Halo: Combat Evolved, and Grand Theft Auto III which was more influential for that time period?

GTAIII
is known as what really kicked off the PS2 and had caused many games to copy its formula or even themes (see Jak II). it was a massive experience and you really had to be there to see just how much it reached around the industry during its relevance. However, GTAIII's sequels GTA Vice City, and San Andreas, would ultimately, while they do owe the GTAIII the original, would end up overshadowing GTA 3 around 2004 as those would be the dominant games in the series people would go back to or buy and that would continue years into the future.

The living world concept was always a goal for many developers and while PC had already tinkered with this in titles before it was basically a no show on consoles, which were often to weak for any developer to bring the "dream" to fruition. However GTA managed to shock everybody! While not perfect (not even close) it was leaps and bounds ahead of anything on consoles at the time of its release. A major showcase for the PS2 as well.

However, GTAIII while not having the longevity as its sequels, was still a hot button game for 2001 and would shape the generation of xbox/ps2 with its popularity and mechanics. One weak spot is that computers already had games with similar styles of gameplay going back years, and while still selling well on PC, the influence wasn't as far reached but it still was a major force to be dealt with. It brought in a whole new demographic to consoles as well, and it benefitted all gaming systems including PC because GTAIII eventually in some form, released on all available home gaming platforms that weren't dead...Except the GameCube.


Halo was also a massive game in 2001, it took the the best of PC FPS games and streamlined it, while adding its own innovations that would become standard. The popularity of the first game would lead into the release of the second game and the rise of online console gaming. Halo broke records and was a media frenzy that was never seen before with the closest comparison being, well, GTA 3.

Despite being an Xbox console focused release, the reach of Halo was massive, the standard set by it were copied on other consoles and on PC, it really picked up the conversation on the internet creating media interest in video game competitions on a large scale, and many companies across the industry were releasing there own "Halo killers" in order to dethrone this new juggernaut.

While the Sequels would sell more the core innovations of the first Halo were not overshadowed, instead they were complimented by online innovation (for consoles) later. The accessibility to a broader demographic and increasing media interest in video games would continue as the series grew. Nearly all other franchises at the time couldn't touch the influence and reach Halo provided despite selling 6 million units primarily on one console, which while great for a console release, would be considered small in the grand scheme of things, yet Halo still took everyones attention despite not having the audience of something like, well, GTA 3. Even if you didn't have access to a way to play Halo, people knew what Halo was, and merchandise and coverage was accelerating on a massive scale.
 

ethomaz

is mad because DF didn't do a video on a video of a video of a video on PS5
Mar 19, 2013
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I don’t think it is a easy question.

I believe overall GTA 3 was more influential because it affected everybody (hardcore and casuals)... some coworkers that never played games talked about GTA 3 at time... the got even spotlight in national TV news here in Brasil (they rarely talks about games).

Halo was the most influential for hardcore first person shooters.

I think they have different reach.
 
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Nitty_Grimes

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Difficult decision for me. I guess Halo made me buy the OG box whereas already had PS2. So Halo then.
 

JackMcGunns

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For Xbox ecosystem: Halo CE hands down
As a whole for the generation: GTA III

The importance of Halo for Xbox is priceless because it was exclusive. GTA III was timed exclusive (I believe 6 months) but at the end of the day it was a multiplatform game that defined the series and sandbox games.
 
Jul 24, 2016
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I don’t think it is a easy question.

I believe overall GTA 3 was more influential because it affected everybody (hardcore and casuals)... some coworkers that never played games talked about GTA 3 at time...
This happened with Halo as well, maybe not in Brazil tho. But in the US and some other places anyway.

Edit: Actually seems Brazil had tournaments so maybe partially.
 
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Yoboman

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Sep 17, 2005
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GTA3 sold more and created a new genre in doing it. It was so influential it became a mainstream book burner on what is wrong with the youth of society like the Beatles, Harry Potter or the Simpsons
 
Oct 26, 2018
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Halo put consoles on the map for having a good dedicated shooter for once when all good shooters usually have PC roots. It also still resonates with the Xbox brand.

GTA games are the marquee game for open world games with high production values, content and consistent quality........ and taking forever to come out. :)
 

Warnen

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Prob GTA 3, Ubisoft would be nowhere without it (maybe it wasn’t such a good thing :messenger_tears_of_joy: )
 

NeoIkaruGAF

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GTA3 almost single-handedly steered the course of gaming as a whole and it was a pivotal title in overthrowing Japan off the throne of console gaming. Its influence reaches far further than Halo’s. Halo was a good headstart for XBox and a decisive title for MS to get a foothold in the market, but GTA3 was huge. GTA3 was the 6th gen’s Ocarina of Time - a groundbreaking game that changed the way people make and see games.

I hated GTA3 with a passion, but that’s another matter. The game was the second coming of Christ for two, maybe three generations of gamers.
 

Carna

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i never found GTA to be fun as an actual game, Halo has the best weapon variety in a fps game
 
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Halo impacted the adoption of a genre on consoles because it found the right controls and basically trained customers.

It opened the gates for fps, which may have happened...or not if the controls never were standardized. FPS could be like RTS on consoles if not for Halo.

It increased the time table and adoption of online with Halo 2...which i think counts for Halo 1 setting the stage. It exported the viewpoint to other genres which would certainly have defaulted to 3rd person otherswise. 3rd person games adopted the controller layout too.

No one could really replicate what made GTA special at the time. GTA V is still unto itself 2 generations later. Open worlds existed to the point where they would get there. Ocarina of time was pretty wide open.

It took developers finding their own way forward, like Ubisoft style open world. That style seems more replicatable (Ghost of Tsushima) than GTA which led to Saints Row, Red Faction Guerilla, and Just Cause...somewhat niche compared to the Genres that took from Halo (CoD).
 
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Kokoloko85

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Both.

Halo took 1st person shooters on consoles to a whole new level of popularity. Plus it took online to a new level.

GTA because = GTA
 
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MrSarcastic

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Halo was more like something ahead of its time I feel like. Today is the norm right?. (I am talking about the online component of course) so I would say Halo was the beacon for the future. GTA III was the realization of the vision of what they were trying to accomplish with that IP. Because the flood of open-world games as we know it today was thanks to the Ubisoft model.

The funny thing is that aspect that made Halo special is not special or unique anymore (as a feature). So, Halo didn't innovate enough to be on the bleeding edge of that kind of experience.
 
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ChuckeRearmed

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Tough choice. But immediate influence I think GTA had bigger appeal worldwide as it was on PS2. Xbox on the hand had appeal only in USA.

But both of the games defined the future of gaming basically and changed the way the games would play.
 
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Azelover

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It's not my favorite, but GTA3 for sure. It was way more influential than Halo.
 

Dream-Knife

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I like Halo much more (especially today), but GTA 3 was huge. It kicked off the whole open world thing which we hadn't seen before.

Halo is a really good FPS with a fantastic story, but ultimately it just improved upon existing FPS while adding larger environments and more vehicles.
 
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Balducci30

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Probably both equally. Halo changed how FPS games were played on console, it’s basically the template for every FPS control scheme afterwards - GTA introduced the type of open world we get today
 
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skit_data

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I had already played Unreal, Half-Life, AvP and several other FPS when Halo came to PC. I had never played anything like GTA 3 before GTA 3 came along.
 
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Iced Arcade

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Oct 3, 2013
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Canada eh
I don’t think it is a easy question.

I believe overall GTA 3 was more influential because it affected everybody (hardcore and casuals)... some coworkers that never played games talked about GTA 3 at time... the got even spotlight in national TV news here in Brasil (they rarely talks about games).

Halo was the most influential for hardcore first person shooters.

I think they have different reach.
Tommy here hit it pretty spot on.

All in all the are definitely 2 of the most influential games.
 

Woody337

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Halo will never be as big as it was then. Every GTA that comes out breaks records in sales and hype. Thats your answer
 

Ovek

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Halo introduced several things to modern FPS games but GTA 3 essentially birthed an entire genre of games, you can’t get more influential than that really.
 
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killatopak

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If Halo has influenced FPS, I think RE4 should also be in the conversation.

I mean it kinda is the grandfather of TPS cover shooter with Gears being the father.
 

K1Expwy

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Halo was highly influential in a lot of categories, but FPS was ultimately a 1990s innovation on both PC and console. Sandbox/open world was a 2000s innovation with GTA3 as the flagship
 

Krappadizzle

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They both influenced and changed the industry. GTA3 was the sales juggernaut that every publisher chased and showed WHY owg's would be so popular going forward. Halo created THE standard for how fps games should feel and work. Can't really pick a winner tbh.

I call it a tie. It's apples and oranges. They both set the standards for their genres.
If Halo has influenced FPS, I think RE4 should also be in the conversation.

I mean it kinda is the grandfather of TPS cover shooter with Gears being the father.
Winback the forgotten racist Great Grandfather that nobody likes having around.
 
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godhandiscen

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If it wasn’t for Halo we wouldn’t have Xbox Live or Gamepass. The significance of Halo transcends its influence from a game design perspective.

GTA is perhaps more culturally significant atm, but I can see a completely different environment in which we don’t have Xbox as a choice had Halo not succeeded.
 
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eastcoastkody

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obviously GTA III.

FPS games already existed for a long time by then...and were popular already.

Open world Sandbox games weren't really a thing yet. there was maybe Shenmue and Daggerfall as far as what i played...that had that kinda freedom and things to do in the world
 

Unknown?

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obviously GTA III.

FPS games already existed for a long time by then...and were popular already.

Open world Sandbox games weren't really a thing yet. there was maybe Shenmue and Daggerfall as far as what i played...that had that kinda freedom and things to do in the world
There was also Driver 2. It was severely limited by hardware though but GTA3 was a natural evolution of that.
 
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