Recent game releases, like Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Call of Duty: Warzone, have served as an escape from the mundane humdrum of self-isolation for millions of people around the world. But if you want a break from trading turnips in Animal Crossing and squadding up with your friends in CoD, boot up your PC and head to the Epic Games Store right now to score this decade’s biggest game, one that you might as well call the game of the century so far.
Grand Theft Auto V is free on PC via the Epic Games Store until May 21 at approximately 11 a.m. Eastern. Anyone with an account (which is also free) will be able to redeem and keep a digital copy of Rockstar Games critically acclaimed entry in the developer's most popular franchise. Much like free monthly titles that come with Sony’s PlayStation Plus subscription service, GTA V will stay in your Epic Games library even after May 21. But only if you claim it first.
If you aren’t one of the 120 million players that have been wreaking havoc in this expansive, open-world crime adventure for the better part of the past decade, now is the perfect time to visit Los Santos.
Grand Theft Auto games put you in the shoes of a low-level criminal with free reign to wander about a city in the third-person where you complete various criminal activities and work your way up to becoming the boss yourself. Along the way, you build up a criminal empire by stealing cars and fighting whoever stands in your way — even the police.
Released in 2013, GTA V was a reimagining of GTA: San Andreas that set the standard of modern sandbox games. Rockstar created such an incredible intricate rendition of Los Angeles that I felt like I had already visited parts of the real-life city when I traveled there for the first time last year.
Not only was GTA V a remarkable technical achievement, but it introduced some of the most memorable characters in the series’ 23-year history. Gamers play as three main protagonists that embark on an absolutely buckwild crime opera that rivals any televised crime drama series to date. Once players finish the game’s roughly 32-hour main storyline, its lively GTA Online game mode keeps them coming back to Los Santos for more mayhem.
GTA Online had 33 million active players as of August 2019, and Rockstar’s parent company, Take-Two Interactive, announced in February that the multiplayer mode had its “best holiday quarter ever” in terms of audience size. Rockstar consistently rolls out updates and new missions to keep things fresh, and it even pays close attention to the online community so the developers can encourage player-run events.
To top it off, GTA Online for PC has one of the most active modding communities on the internet. The GTA V Modding subreddit has almost 19,000 members, and through this community, players have added Iron Man and dragons to the game and even submerged the entire map underwater. More recently, a group of developers completely overhauled GTA V’s graphics, making Los Santos more breathtaking than ever before.
GTA V checks all of the boxes for a generation-defining title. It’s got a world anyone can get lost in for hundreds of hours, characters that satirize nearly every part of 21st-century life, an engrossing story, and a dedicated online community that has called Los Santos home for seven years and counting.
If you have a gaming PC and haven't visited Los Santos before, what are you waiting for? GTA 6 is still years away, which leaves you plenty of time to explore one of the best open-world games ever. And it won't be free forever.