Rockstar Games is keeping quiet on many aspects of GTA 6, but we may already know what year the upcoming game is set in.

The Grand Theft Auto series is one that has spanned several decades, both in real life and in-game, with settings ranging from the early 1960s to the modern day.

When Is GTA 6 Set?

Although Rockstar Games hasn’t revealed the exact year that GTA 6 is set in, we expect the game to take place in 2025.

This is because all recent Grand Theft Auto games have been set in the same year that they were released in:

GameRelease DateIn-Game Year
GTA 5September 17, 20132013
GTA Chinatown WarsMarch 17, 20092009
GTA 4April 29, 20082008

At least in Rockstar’s ‘HD Universe,’ all main series releases have been set in the year of their real-world release.

The exception to the rule comes with Episodes from Liberty City, the two expansion packs released shortly after GTA 4.

GTA 4 Episodes from Liberty City

Despite both ‘The Lost and Damned’ and ‘The Ballad of Gay Tony’ launching in 2009, they were both set in 2008 like Grand Theft Auto 4’s base game.

What About Older Games?

When it comes to older Grand Theft Auto titles, the rule doesn’t tend to apply. In fact, the 2D and 3D universes often had games set in specific time periods that weren’t reflective of their release windows.

The most obvious example is the original GTA Vice City and Vice City Stories, which had a distinctively ’80s theme.

GameRelease DateIn-Game Year
GTA Vice City StoriesOctober 31, 20061984
GTA Liberty City StoriesOctober 24, 20051998
GTA San AndreasOctober 26, 20041992
GTA AdvanceOctober 26, 20042000
GTA Vice CityOctober 27, 20021986
GTA 3October 22, 20012001
GTA 2October 22, 19991999-2013 (Unclear)
GTA: London 1961June 1, 19991961
GTA: London 1969April 30, 19991969
Grand Theft AutoNovember 28, 19971997

GTA 6’s Modern Day Setting

We can already see examples of GTA 6’s modern-day setting in Trailer 1.

Modern vehicles, such as high-end cars, boats, and helicopters are shown, and multiple NPCs are seen using high-end smartphones.

gta 6 cars in vice city

In addition, the trailer features a series of social-media-style clips referencing recent viral events such as the arrest of the ‘Florida Joker’ back in 2017, or the double hammer-wielding lady in 2020.

Of course, it’s entirely possible that GTA 6 will be set somewhere between 2023 and 2026, despite the recent trend suggesting otherwise.

After all, a game the size of GTA 6 might have been initially set to release earlier than its current 2025 release date.

florida joker vs gta 6 counterpart
Real Florida Joker (Left) vs GTA 6 Counterpart (Right)

If this is the case, Rockstar may have given the game a 2024 setting, for example, to match its schedule at the time.

As soon as the developer announces when GTA 6 is officially set, we’ll update this article accordingly!

Managing Editor
With almost a decade of experience in video game journalism, Max is a well-versed writer from Manchester, United Kingdom. His expertise shines in his comprehensive coverage of GTA 6, providing fans with the latest news and developments regarding the highly-anticipated sequel.
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