The short answer is – not really. While Rockstar‘s open-world masterpiece Grand Theft Auto V has very occasionally been offered for free on some platforms for limited periods, you‘ll be hard pressed to find it available completely free of cost right now.
But should you pony up the money to buy it? With GTA V nearing its 10th anniversary, is this iconic gaming juggernaut from 2013 still worth playing and paying for in 2022? Keep reading this 2300+ word guide to learn everything you need about scoring GTA V at the lowest price!
So What‘s the Big Deal About GTA V Anyway?
Let‘s start by talking about why GTA V is considered such a special game that it still costs a premium price even a decade after its original release.
GTA V was created by Rockstar Games, a studio that has built a reputation for making edgy, taboo-breaking open world games for mature audiences. The chaotic freedom GTA offers has always distinguished it from competitors like Saint‘s Row or Watch Dogs.
Developing such an incredibly detailed world with hundreds of activities to do takes a LOT of money. GTA V is estimated to have cost over $250 million to make, involving a team of over 1000 people working for years.
To put that insane budget into perspective, it‘s more than what many Hollywood blockbuster movies cost! When you spend a quarter billion dollars creating something, you need to keep making sales for a long time to recover costs.
And recover costs it has – GTA V is the most financially successful media title ever, earning over $6 billion since launch! Much of this revenue continues to come from active players in 2022, not just initial sales in 2013.
After nearly 10 years, GTA V still sees over 150,000 concurrent players across platforms daily. Think about it – how many other games from 2013 still have triple digit player numbers in online matchmaking?
In total, GTA V has sold over 160 million copies worldwide across 3 generations of consoles and PC. And over half those sales were the newer next-gen editions for PS4/Xbox One and PC – meaning millions happily paid full price AGAIN to replay GTA V!
Simply put, no other game comes close to matching GTA V‘s ridiculous 85/100 Metacritic score combined with absolutely bonkers financial success. It‘s truly an anomaly that appeals to both critics and the mass market.
Not convinced yet? Let‘s cover a few key aspects of what makes GTA V so special…
It Offers an Unparalleled Open World Sandbox
The urban sprawl of Los Santos and surrounding countryside remains one of gaming‘s greatest open worlds. Its absolutely packed with dense detail that encourages wandering around and goofing off.
Few games offer such a massive sandbox with so many dynamic interactions and activities. You can play tennis, golf, soar in planes, wage all out war on the streets, trade stocks, go skydiving…and so much more.
Games like Red Dead Redemption 2 may match GTA V‘s scope, but they force you to play at a slower, more deliberate pace. GTA gives you the exhilarating freedom to go bonkers if you want.
And the open world is gorgeously brought to life with superb art, animation and sound design. This is a living, breathing city that feels vibrantly realistic to spend time in.
It Blends Storytelling and Satire
The narrative weaves between laugh-out-loud humor mocking American culture and poignant crime drama with complex characters. Michael, Franklin, and Trevor are some of gaming‘s most memorable protagonists.
Few writers can switch so effortlessly between absurd sight gags to social commentary like Rockstar‘s. The storyline takes you on a true emotional rollercoaster ride.
And the voice acting performances, particularly from Ned Luke as Michael and Steven Ogg as Trevor, are simply outstanding. Their delivery often makes mundane dialogue sparkle with personality and wit.
It Offers Endless Replay Value
Between the dozens of dynamic side missions and activities, finding all the collectibles, playing the stock market, and simply causing chaos – a single playthrough only scratches the surface of what this game has to offer.
Once you beat the story, you can jump into the ever expanding Online mode. Or start again in Story Mode as a new protagonist with your "New Game Plus" bonuses and progress intact.
Mods on PC allow enhancing the experience with fan-made tweaks and additions. And dedicated roleplaying servers create new ways to enjoy this world with other players.
GTA V is truly one of those rare games you can play indefinitely without getting bored. There‘s always something new to experience on every visit to Los Santos and Blaine County.
What Other Gamers Say
Now you‘ve heard me gush about GTA V and explain why both critics and everyday gamers seem to universally love it. But don‘t just take my word for it – here‘s what other players highlight as the best aspects:
"I picked it up on a sale years after release, and was still blown away by the amount of quality content packed in. Dollar for dollar it‘s one of the best values in gaming for sheer playtime you get."
"No other open world comes close to feeling so alive. The environment is almost like another character, full of emergent moments you‘ll recall as unique stories."
"I keep coming back to start new characters and make different choices in the story. The missions and gameplay hold up extremely well years later."
"It feels like the pinnacle of a formula Rockstar gradually perfected across many of their past games. Familiar in the best possible way yet still fresh."
"The mods and roleplaying servers on PC add so much replay value. I‘ve put hundreds of hours into the modded multiplayer!"
The love for GTA V is pretty universal, even accounting for the controversial aspects. And that widespread appeal explains why it‘s still bought at $30 – $60 to this day. But…
Is There a Way to Get GTA V for Cheap or Even Free?
I‘ve waxed poetic about why GTA V deserves to command a premium price tag in 2022. But not all gamers have the ability or willingness to pay full retail. You want GTA V at its lowest possible cost, right?
Well here‘s the good news – while permanently free copies are elusive, there ARE quite a few ways to grab GTA V for cheap if you keep a lookout for deals and have some patience. Let‘s go over your options…
Watch for Permanent Price Drops
The base cost has slowly declined over the years across platforms. On PC it dropped from $60 to $40. On consoles it went from $60 to as low as $20.
Occasionally permanent pricing gets slashed even lower temporarily during promotions. For example, Microsoft put Xbox digital copies on sale for only $15 back in 2020.
Snag Limited Time Discounts
Around major sale events like Black Friday, big digital stores like Steam, Epic Games Store, and Fanatical often run promotions dropping GTA V to half price or lower.
Rockstar‘s own Launcher also frequently discounts the game. The lowest historic discount has been 67% off – slashing the PC price to $20!
Buy a Physical Copy
Used physical copies at major retailers like GameStop can be found in the $25 – $30 range, sometimes including any DLC.
Buying second hand saves a ton versus digital. And you can later trade it back in towards another game after you‘re done playing GTA V.
Find an Online CD Key Deal
Many authorized key resellers obtain game codes in bulk during sales to offer at a discount. But be VERY careful to avoid shady gray market key sites!
Legit sellers like Green Man Gaming regularly put GTA V keys on sale for under $20.
Wait for a Future Free Promotional Offer
As mentioned up top, GTA V has periodically been given away for free temporarily by certain platforms. This is rare, but could happen again.
For example, both Epic Games Store and PlayStation Plus previously offered GTA V as a free download for one week. So keep an eye out!
Ask For it as a Gift
If you have family members looking to get you a gaming-related gift for your birthday or upcoming holiday, let them know you‘d love a free copy of GTA V!
Technically not free, but pretty close if you‘re getting it as a no-strings-attached present.
Final Thoughts – Is GTA V Worth Buying in 2022?
Hopefully the tips above help you acquire GTA V without breaking the bank. But is it even still worth playing in 2022, or is this now-dated game best left in the past?
I believe the answer is a resounding YES – GTA V absolutely holds up in 2022 and remains a must-play title. The sheer amount of quality content and freedom is staggering. And the satirical storyline and characters remain incredibly entertaining.
Ultimately, $60 was already a fair price for the hundreds of hours of gameplay and fun GTA V can offer. So if you have a chance to grab it for $20 or under – do it without hesitation!
Just temper your expectations going in – some aspects like shooting and driving feel a bit dated compared to newer games. And you may want to install mods on PC to enhance textures.
But the core experience unequivocally stands the test of time. There‘s no question GTA V deserves its reputation as one of the greatest and most influential video games ever created.
Have you played GTA V yourself? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments! And for more in-depth gaming guides and commentary, remember to subscribe to the channel!