Grand Theft Auto V review

Rockstar proves that crime really does pay with this record-breaking sequel

Okay, so Rockstar's latest isn't exactly enlightened in its depiction of women. And, yes, it contains a rather troubling torture scene. But these are ultimately small concerns when placed in the context of what is surely the most outstanding, exhilarating and multilayered open-world game ever.

The Los Santos (Rockstar's analogue of Los Angeles) of GTA V is so breathtakingly immense, so full of possibilities and diversions that it's almost impossible to know where to start when discussing the game. Suffice to say that the story once again puts you on the wrong side of the law – only this time you get three protagonists to play, with the ability to switch between them adding new avenues of play during missions. This last element really comes into its own during the multi-stage heists, which prove to be the high point of the game.

Not only is GTA V a towering achievement in gameplay terms, it also marks the franchise's pinnacle in AV terms. While there have been more graphically sophisticated titles in this console generation, none of them have attempted to do anything on a similar scale to what Rockstar has achieved here. Top-notch audio has always been one of the hallmarks of the series and GTA V excels again in this regard thanks to its faultless voice-acting and brilliantly varied music.

Grand Theft Auto V, Rockstar, Xbox 360/PS3, £50 Approx