Eight years after the launch of GTA 5, Rockstar has finally confirmed that GTA 6 is in active development. It’s hardly a sizeable revelation — a follow-up to one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed games of all time was an inevitability — but it’s still huge news.
Unfortunately, we don’t expect to be playing GTA 6 any time soon: rumors have been swirling for months that the next entry in the hugely popular Grand Theft Auto series won’t launch until 2025. Having to wait another three years for the next entry in the legendary series would be hard to swallow, but to help pass the time we’ve begun formulating our wish list of exactly what we want to see from GTA 6.
After all, it’s been nearly eight years since GTA 5 launched on the PS3 and Xbox 360. While the game has held up remarkably well — it’s even being re-released for the PS5 and Xbox Series X this March — there are definitely several areas where the sequel can improve.
We might not get our hands on GTA 6 as soon as we’d like, but here are a few features we hope to see when that day does finally arrive, plus a few things we’d rather didn’t make the cut.
Want: Return to Vice City
GTA 6’s setting is the piece of information that many fans are most eager to learn. If some internet sleuthing is correct, the sixth mainline GTA will see the series return to Vice City.
Rockstar’s take on Miami was first featured in 2002’s GTA: Vice City and would make an ideal location for the next entry in the franchise. Considering both Liberty City (from GTA 3) and San Andreas (from GTA: San Andreas) have been given the HD makeover in the last two GTA games respectively, Vice City is surely next in line.
While the original Vice City game was set in the 1980s, we expect GTA 6 to get the modern-day treatment. That’s OK, though, as there’s still plenty that the development team at Rockstar could do with the setting in the present.
Actually, a Twitter user, who claims to be an insider, believes that GTA 6 will be titled GTA Vice. If true, Rockstar may choose to stylize the V and the I to indicate the roman numeral for the number six.
Want: More interior locations
If there’s one area that GTA 5 is a real letdown it’s the number of interior locations offered. There are very few buildings you can actually enter, and several of the few included are only accessible via a specific story mission.
Being able to visit a variety of interior locations allows you to feel like you’re playing in a lived-in city, whereas in GTA 5 you spend almost all of your time on the streets walking or driving past buildings that you can't actually interact with.
Even 2007’s GTA 4 had far more interior locations than GTA 5, so this is an area that GTA 6 could really improve upon.
Want: A single protagonist
GTA 5 took a bold step for the franchise and experimented with three playable protagonists in the single-player mode.
This did allow for some interesting storytelling moments, and Franklin, Michael and Trevor will always have a special place in our hearts, but we hope the series returns to a more traditional single-protagonist setup for GTA 6.
Red Dead Redemption 2 proved that when Rockstar really focuses on a single playable character they can craft more engaging stories that feel deeply personal. We want to see that approach replicated in GTA 6.
Plus, why not make the protagonist female this time? The franchise has never had a playable female character in single-player mode; it’s about time that changed.
Want: A better police system
The wanted system in GTA 5 is pretty frustrating. You can commit a crime on a busy city street or in the middle of the wilderness and within moments you’ll be surrounded by dozens of armed officers.
We’d like to see GTA 6 create a more realistic system. Perhaps if you commit a crime and there are no witnesses, the cops don’t show up at all. Whereas if you perform an illegal action while surrounded by people, the cops will appear much faster.
The game could also take a leaf out of Mafia 3’s book, where the police were slower to respond in more rundown areas of the map.
Want: Proper side missions
The Grand Theft Auto series has never really had traditional side missions. Most games in the series offer a range of enjoyable optional activities, from bowling with friends to illegal street races, but in GTA 6 we’d love to see some fully fleshed-out non-mandatory missions.
GTA 5 did improve things in this area with its “Strangers and Freaks” encounters, but many of these were just short vignettes or an excuse to shoehorn in tedious collectible hunts. In GTA 6 we want to see side missions with the same care, attention and laser-sharp writing as the main story stuff.
In fact, these side quests could even let you play as different characters, perhaps with optional missions that intertwine with the main narrative in the same way as GTA 4’s single-player DLC chapters did.
Want: Environmental destruction
A rumor that has recently been doing the rounds suggests that GTA 6 will have an “ever-changing” map that will be tweaked constantly by Rockstar, but we want to take things a step further.
Let us cause our own mayhem and destruction. Obviously, it’s unlikely that Rockstar could make the entire city fully destructible, but even having specific locations that can be destroyed would be a great addition.
Of all the wants on this list, this is probably the least realistic, but we can dream.
Want: Stronger vehicle customization
GTA 5 offers plenty of customization options, but most of them are pretty surface-level. Sure you can change the paint job of your favorite vehicle, but in GTA 6 we want Rockstar to really step things up.
Let us make highly customized vehicle skins as in Forza Horizon 5. The latest installment in Microsoft’s sandbox racing series allows players to design unique vehicle liveries that can be shared online. Players have replicated everything from Scooby Doo’s Mystery Machine van to the iconic Ecto-1 from Ghostbusters.
We want to see GTA 6 offer a similar level of vehicle customization depth. Don’t just let us choose between various shades of blue, let us make highly personalized vehicle skins that we can show off to our friends and rivals online.
Don't want: Science fiction elements
As GTA Online has grown in popularity, Rockstar has started to throw more wacky ideas at the wall.
While the Tron-inspired Deadline mode was pretty fun, the inclusion of a literal hoverbike in the form of the Oppressor Mk II was pretty immersion-breaking. GTA has always had an edge of silliness to it, but it’s still a series grounded in reality, most of the time.
The inclusion of science-fiction vehicles and weapons in GTA Online has got us worried that Rockstar might really jump the shark in GTA 6. We don’t need to be meeting a Martian or using a time machine in a GTA game.
Don't want: A combined single-player and online
GTA 5 keeps its single-player and online components very separate. When you launch the game you choose which mode to load up, and GTA Online is even being spun out into its own standalone due for release in March this year.
We really like this approach and hope it continues with GTA 6. While we enjoy cruising San Andreas with friends, sometimes we just want to enjoy a more structured story in single player.
GTA 6 needs to cater to both online and solo play. Mixing the two into a single persistent world sounds like a recipe for disaster. Hopefully for GTA 6, single-player and online are still treated like separate modes.
Don’t want: Setting outside of the US
A setting outside of the U.S. often appears on GTA wish lists, but we’re going against the grain here.
Put simply, Grand Theft Auto is America. Every single game in the series, bar a London-based expansion pack for the original GTA, has been set within the U.S., and for good reason: the series is a merciless satire of American culture and should remain that way.
Don’t just take it from us. Rockstar co-founder Dan Houser told The Guardian (opens in new tab) in a 2013 interview that GTA was intrinsically tied to the U.S. and that if Rockstar did ever make a crime-based open-world game set outside of America it probably wouldn’t be within the GTA series.