One staple of the Grand Theft Auto franchise has always been the amount of detail they put into their games, not just in graphics, but their characters, stories and environments as well. Sure, you can have a great game, rich in vibrant textures and graphical engineering, but if you only execute those details on the surface, core designs, it will still be flat and lacking depth. When it comes to depth of details and attention to the little things that most games wouldn't even think about much less try to recreate, nobody can hold a torch to Rockstar.
For some reason, I think the mighty developer felt challenged after the release of San Andreas however. Maybe they felt like people just thought they were pushing out individual experiences with each game they made, and relying on the mayhem and sandbox gameplay to carry their titles each time. I can only assume they wanted to come out and let the world know that their games were not one-and-done experiences, and when they developed each game, they had every intention on expanding the world as much as possible.
They also wanted to prove that their games were not strictly home console experiences, and they could make a game that felt like a Grand Theft Auto game into a portable gaming experience. Not because they had to, or felt like they needed to, but simply because they could.
I present to you, Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories.
Originally developed for the PSP, it was eventually ported to the PS2 and then brought to the PS3 via the PSN. In other words, it has been around the block and seen its fair share of platforms. But that's really besides the point. The cool thing about thing about this game, which I didn't know going in since I had never played it before, was that it is actually a prequel to GTA III. Of course, it takes place in Liberty City again, which was a significantly smaller map than San Andreas, but perfect for the handheld console experience they were trying to create.
True to Rockstar form, however, no details were overlooked, no matter how small or insignificant they may seem. There is a bride in the game that is still under construction that is up and operational in GTA III. There are other little changes in the city that would be overlooked completely had you not played both games. But in playing both, you realize how much care went in to making the two games flow into one another. Like motorcycles being in the game now, as it is explained that by the time the events of GTA III happened, motorcycles had been banned in the city by a city ordnance.
Just one little detail that makes a world of difference when combined with all of the other little details.