Three-of-a-Kind: The Best Updates Rockstar Dropped For GTA V

Rockstar Games have done a tremendous job of keeping their flagship title, Grand Theft Auto V, alive and kicking over a nine-year period.

GTA V got released in 2013, with the online mode following soon after, and few could have seen how popular it would become. suggest the game has generated more than $6bn and continues to do so. A recent update featured Dr Dre, again dragging players back to the platform. Some aspects of the game might be dated, but Rockstar is happy to release next-generation versions, remasters, and DLC to keep it alive while working on GTA VI.

The DLC is the reason GTA Online is still kicking and screaming today. Rather than spread their focus across other projects, Rockstar has gone all-in on GTA and ensured that something new hits consoles every year to keep gamers entertained. That might be new vehicles, missions and characters, as there’s always something fresh for returning players.

Which of those drops has added the most value? Which raised the stakes and kept GTA in the game despite its age and creaking mechanics? We’ve picked the best three from across the years.

The Diamond Casino and Resort

Since the release of GTA in 2013, one building seemed a bit empty and pointless; the Diamond Resort and Casino. Early visitors were greeted with an ‘opening soon’ sign, and finally, the doors were flung wide in 2019. That suggests a long-term strategy by Rockstar, and what a strategy it was. The addition of a casino was a masterstroke, and it still acts as a hub now.

New missions followed, but the first release got the most attention. It included a three-card poker game, which detail is one of the most popular card-table games spread in casinos throughout the world. It delivered a chance to win big bucks, which you could then use to buy a penthouse suite, different vehicles, and a high-roller life. The resort is still the hub of online action today, thanks in no small part to poker and the daily prize-wheel offering free vehicles to those successful with their spins.

After Hours

It seems as if much of GTA’s appeal lies in the nightlife add-ons, with After Hours putting you in control of a nightclub. The new missions were fun, but the addition of characters made this DLC exciting. An open world becomes a success if it feels inhabited, and when Gay Tony rocked up from a previous game, it brought San Andreas to life. Real-world DJs recorded sets for your nightclub, with the Black Madonna and Tale of Us playing sets for your visiting NPCs.

Of course, the nightclub was a front for all the nefarious business your character could indulge in, and it pulled together many other businesses you had, consolidating all of your crime in one place. That made the After Hours release very attractive. Also, vehicles don’t normally stand out when they finally hit the game, but the Ocelot Swinger in a custom paint job was just so Austin Powers you had to love it.

The Doomsday Heist

The Doomsday Heist DLC could have been a standalone title; such was the twisting storyline and depth added by the extra content. There were three main missions, but each required several set-up stages before being completed. The missions themselves had a steep difficulty curve and required more than one player, but they brought alive a game that was flagging in 2017.

The vehicles were also a huge bonus; the Imponte Deluxo was based on the DeLorean from Back to the Future but armed with heat-seeking rockets. The Ocelot Stromberg was a James Bond-inspired remake of the underwater Lotus Espirit from The Spy Who Loved Me, and both became common sights around San Andreas in the weeks and months afterwards. The full house of weaponized goodies was completed by the TM-02 Khanjali, a stealth tank based on the Polish light tank PL-01. It’s fair to say there were many more explosions around Los Santos after the Doomsday Heist dropped.