GTA VI is likely on the horizon as Rockstar finishes up RDR 2, and I pass 500 hours in GTA Online, which got me thinking about the series in general. I'm going to keep this to the main series and not the spin-off type games. I'm including the early games just because if I don't someone will say I didn't include them. For me it has to be GTA SA. While I've certainly, absolutely put the most time into V/O, SA still feels to me like the most complete and engaging experience. The character of Carl is, I think the best protagonist Rockstar has made. More three-dimensional than his predecessors ( @ robot Claude) and more believable/relatable than either Nikko or the GTA V trio. The progression is just right, rising from the street to the top in a way that never felt satisfying in IV & didn't quite exist in V. The role playing elements were also much deeper than the other games (online excluded) as the character of Carl was more physically malleable than any others. SA was extremely ambitious....to a fault. Most of the map felt underdeveloped but it didn't stop the experience from feeling grand. San Fierro was probably the least well-conceived urban location of any of the GTA series...it simply does not feel like San Francisco. But that doesn't really matter when there were so many other places to visit. By far SA had the best storyline and the best characters, with special mention going to Frank Tenpenny, Truth, & Cesar. GTA IV felt sterile, gloomy, and closed-in in comparison. I will say that the Ballad of Gay Tony update made the game far more enjoyable for me. GTA V somehow doesn't quite capture the parts about LA that made SA so great. In SA you are always pining for the Vinewood hills from the urban ghetto, both through narrative & gameplay. In V, you pretty much have it all from the start (The game is about Michael, Trevor & Franklin are just framing lenses really). V is also missing a huge component of LA in it's storytelling: The hispanic & asian culture. The low-rider update introduced some of this, but V is still missing it. Also, SA had a hovercraft. Even after all of the updates, GTA Online still doesn't have that.