If you've even only had a passing interest on the Grand Theft Auto Series you'd know that there is something that is so fundamental underneath all the game-play and general madness and that is of course the Music. The vast array of genres on offer across the series became more and more staggering as it progressed, and they importantly paid great respect to all things heavy. So now in the build up to one of the most anticipated games of all time in Grand Theft Auto V, RoomThirteen is going to take a trip down memory lane.

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City

Now you'd think I would start on GTA III but this was a game which only really seen the developers explore the idea of a big music theme and with that it actually neglected to feature heavy music. Then Vice City came along and just blew everyone away with perhaps the greatest sound-track in gaming history, and this stretched right onto the 'spin off' title on PSP. If you've checked out Paul Chesworth's feature on the year 1980 (if not, you can read it Here), you'll know that this year and its subsequent decade proved to be massive in the world of Metal and Heavy Rock. The setting: V-Rock. The DJ: LAZLOW. Now I can't even begin to describe how awesome Lazlow was throughout the series, but particularly on this game, just educate yourself. V-Rock treated us to the likes of Quiet Riot - Cum Feel The Noize, Ozzy Osbourne - Bark At The Moon and Megadeth - Peace Sells as you rolled around Vice City, building an empire and causing general havoc. If you've not cruised around Vice Beach with Iron Maiden's 2 Minutes To Midnight you haven't lived.

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

Now THIS was my GTA. Most people have a closer heartfelt feeling towards Vice City, but no, San Andreas just bossed everything in every department, and this includes the music department. Enough of my emotional attachment though, 'Radio X' was the name of the game here for Metal and Heavy Music and it is just one absolute tune after another with each brilliantly introduced by the DJ, who this time round was Sage. It is difficult to hit the heights of Lazlow on the GTA series, but this character came damn close. Her sadistic, twisted and funny dialogue complimented the music on the station and really captured the feel of the early 1990s brilliantly. "If old people keep harassing me at family gatherings asking me about the music of today, and the rock of today, what I tell them is three words 'FAITH NO MORE'. And then I get drunk" - Need I say more?? Being that this was set in the early 1990s, gamers are treated to the likes of Alice In Chains, Soundgarden, Rage Against The Machine and Guns 'N Roses. For one of the best hours of your life set aside time for the video below.

Grand Theft Auto IV

On GTA IV things got mental. We still had the standard Metal/Rock station 'Liberty Rock Radio' this time the DJ at the helm was none other than the legendary IGGY POP. Including the expansion packs the music catalogue was just absolutely massive compared to previous games. You could now cruise around on missions listening to an array of artists from The Smashing Pumpkins to David Bowie to ZZ Top. But alongside this station, there was also 'Liberty City Hardcore' which housed the likes of Agnostic Front, Deicide and Cannibal Corpse. That's right you could drive full pelt to a mission listening to Cannibal Corpse. I don't know what it is but 'Liberty City Hardcore' always made me give reason for a police chase. Just absolutely nuts.

So with all that nostalgia, it is clear that when looking back at the GTA series the music had a huge impact. From a personal perspective, San Andreas actually introduced me to the likes of Helmet and L7. After hearing their tune on the radio on a computer game I was driven towards checking out their back catalogue. Now that sounds crazy, but it shows how 'real' the radio is on the games, because I cannot have been the only one. There have been hazy and unconfirmed reports that certain tracks have done very well in the charts again after a GTA release. Biggest example of this I can think of is Guns 'N Roses' Welcome To The Jungle which was used to spearhead the advertising campaign. Now if they didn't receive a little boost in record sales at the time I'd be amazed.

So there you have it, the GTA series has been, frankly, f**king glorious in the music department, who knows what GTA V will provide.....