The first two games in each series were released in the late 90's, and while they had their fans, neither was a massive video game franchise just yet. It wasn't until the 3rd game in the series, the first main game in the 2000's (GTA3, Fallout 3) that the series really became a cultural phenomenon and really picked up in popularity. Both these games were also the first in the series to go 3D. Shortly after, a spin off game using many similar assets released (San Andreas, New Vegas) and expanded upon what their predecessors did. Both ended up being widely considered the best of their series.
Then the 4th game of the series came out, and on one hand was highly acclaimed, but also controversial with the core fanbase for changing mechanics (Changing Driving to be more clunky and realistic, removing fun things like Tanks and Miniguns, and taking an overall darker tone in GTA IV, and adding a voiced protagonist, adding a dialogue wheel, and not having as many branching quest options in Fallout 4) Each of these games also has a DLC that people consider better than the main game. (Ballad of Gay Tony/Far Harbor) Then the next game in the series came out (GTA5/Fallout 76) with a big focus on online, and that online component became controversial for various reasons.
The comparison isn't entirely perfect. Obviously the reception for 76 is far different than that of GTA 5, and GTA 1 and 2 aren't looked back on as fondly as Fallout 1 and 2, but it's interesting to see how similar the journey of these two very different franchises is.
EDIT: Because everybody is saying "the comparison isn't 100% accurate because you forgot Vice City, Tactics, didn't talk about development changes etc.", this post was never intended to be, "Hey the GTA series is an exact 1 to 1 perfect parallel to Fallout." I'm just making comparions about how certain games in each game's timeline are similar. I'm not trying to argue that they're exactly the same.
© Post "The Fallout series interestingly closely mirrors the GTA series" for game Fallout.
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