We’re breaking format this week to celebrate the fact that Grand Theft Auto V has sold over 90 million copies since its debut in 2013, with 15 million of those being sold in the past year alone.
The game, which has both borrowed from and contributed to pop culture, has pushed the envelope throughout its legendary run thanks to heaping helpings of ultraviolence, warped humor, oddball online interactions and some of the best damn gameplay you'll find in any video game, ever.
Here are some of our favorite moments and milestones from GTAV's epic first five years.
The Switch to First-Person
GTAV is the first in the series to introduce the ability to hot swap between first and third person, and the change functionally makes it feel like an entirely new game. Exploring the wide world of Los Santos in a first-person brings home the mayhem in a way that's more in-your-face, literally, than any other GTA game.
Legalization began taking hold of America in the midst of GTAV's reign, so its no wonder that the sticky icky has made its way into the game. You can find pot-centric references all over Los Santos but, most importantly, you can make sure that your personal apartment is equipped to get your ganj on.
Sex with a Prostitute
Gone are the days of a roadside rumble with a lady of the night. Now that rumble is as in your face as everything else in GTAV. (Maybe just don't shoot her when you're done.)
A testament to Rockstar's attention to detail, GTAV is littered with peyote pickups, if you know where to look for them. Peyote in the game will deliver a true out of body experience unlike anything you've seen in the series before. We'll leave it up to you to figure out which spirit animal truly speaks to you.
Your First Lap Dance
Strip clubs have been a staple of the GTA universe for as long as we can remember, but no game in the series has had as much of a strip club presence or more things to do in a strip club than GTAV. Behold, the girl on girl lap dance you've been waiting for.
The Drunk Stumble
Plenty of games have nailed the drunk stumble, when a character imbibes more than their share and goes three sheets. GTAV does it exceptionally well, rendering your character damn near useless after just a few gulps of whisky. If you think stumbling drunk was hard in the game, don't even think about getting behind the wheel unless you're ready to spend a few grand in the shop to put things right in your garage again.
The mother of all end-game content, GTAV's asymmetric heists task you and your team with playing their part in epic, multi-stage heists for big rewards. Few games require this level of organization or coordination but success in the heists are damn near as rewarding as pulling off a proper bank robbery in real life.
Tuned in Radio
A signature of every GTA game is the tunes that provide the soundtrack to your crime sprees. GTAV's radio is a marvelous thing, touching on almost every genre, hosted by familiar, hilarious DJs and perpetually changing to avoid the staleness you'd normally find in video games (including older games in the GTA series.) Curated perfectly by the audiophiles at Rockstar, GTAV might actually be the best chance entire generations have to sidestep the mumble rap garbage on the actual radio today.
The Chilliad Mystery
Even before GTAV was unleashed upon the world, the entire internet seemed to hone in on the mystery of a shack perched at the highest point in the game. When gamers were finally allowed to explore, they found a curious mural inside that shack, promising rewards like aliens, UFOs and jetpacks. Fast-forward four years and the enigmatic scavenger hunt throughout the world of Los Santos remains to be solved.
Rockstar themselves have been uncharacteristically coy when the subject of Chilliad's mystery comes up but, when we asked them about it their only answer was, "it takes a lot of effort to put something in a game like GTAV, it would be hard to believe [the mural] was there for nothing." One day we assume the mystery will be solved. One day.