Today in 2001, Rockstar Games released Grand Theft Auto III for the PlayStation 2. It shifted the series’ previous 2D top-down perspective to a fully 3D third-person perspective. GTA III‘s open world design also set a new industry standard, with many other critically and commercially successful franchises embracing the concept. Upon its release, GTA III garnered near-unanimous acclaim from critics and fans, despite significant controversy due to some of its adult-oriented themes. All subsequent games in the Grand Theft Auto series have also received similar praise and record-breaking sales, and (as of this writing) it is the 5th highest-selling video game franchise in the world, behind Mario, Pokémon, Call of Duty, and FIFA.