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Parent reviews for Grand Theft Auto V

Common Sense says

Crime, violence, sex, drugs, and alcohol = not for kids.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 562 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 541 reviews
Parent Written byBigdaddy101 September 20, 2013

Great game and not as bad as people say!

Well this game has a bad reputation but it really doesn't deserve it! You can learn a lot of things from this game such as about stocks and bonds, managing money and also sports as the is a big golf and tennis minigame! Bad places can easily be avoided and the violence is no worse that what is seen on the news and the language isn't as bad as what can be heard in school! It is a really fun game and a mature child should be just fine playing it as long as they are not a psycho and will know that it is a game and shops never be repeated!

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Parent of a 14 and 16 year old Written bykevinjohnson123 September 19, 2013

GTA 5 Review

As per usual, only half of the true story is told by these review websites, much like common sense media. To be honest, as long as your child is over thirteen and knows their right from wrong then there's no real reason to stop them from getting this game. My son had been asking me for the game's in the GTA series for quite a while, allot of his friends have had this game since they were as young as 10 and he didn't understand why I wouldn't let him have it. But after looking at the game and seeing him play it at one of his friends house, I decided to let him have it. Firstly the mini game in the strip club isn't always on, and there's no mission which makes them go there, so you should be able to trust them enough not to go there. The majority of the swearing is in the cut scenes, which you should be able to trust your child to skip if you want them to, and the same goes for the nudity (although it isn't shown very often, once once or twice throughout the game). Since the missions which are told in the cut scenes are repeated in the menu, skipping these cut scenes shouldn't interfere with their play through of the game. So in whole, as long as your child is mature enough to skip the cut scenes and know that the game isn't real life, then I don't think you should have any concerns about giving it to anyone over thirteen, since the language isn't any different (and probably less frequent) than what they would hear at school.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Language
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult Written byBeardlyman April 23, 2014

Take it From Someone Who Actually Played the Game

I'm going to start with saying that the game was very well made; a masterpiece if you will. However, that is not what this review is about. Most of you reading this are here to see if this is ok for your child. The straight and honest answer is absolutely not. Unlike most who have made a review, I have taken the time to play this game. Now I don't mean I played it for an hour or two hours, or even five hours. I have played the game in full and have experienced all of its content. Some reviewers before me say that Common Sense is only telling half truths and that they are overreacting. If you took the time to play the game, you would realize they are not. I'm going to debunk some of reviews before me. Nothing personal, just the honest truth. A lot of parents on here say that they trust their child to stay away from the optional sexual content the game provides. Good for them. Trust is a good thing. However, we've all been teenagers and did you ever do something that you parents told you not to do? Think about it. We've all done it. A lot of reviewers say that all the sexual content is avoidable. That is NOT TRUE. Some of the content is avoidable, like the strip clubs which offers topless dancers or the fact that you can pick up prostitutes on the street and have intercourse with them in you car (it does show the scene without an option to skip). However, the story does have sex scenes that bare all. One mission in particular, you are working as freelance paparazzi taking pictures of celebrities. Next thing you know you're actively taking pictures of an outdoor sex scene (again without the option to skip). Some say that it has an educational value in the form of a stock market. There is in fact an in game stock market but let me elaborate. The stock market is in place for you to abuse it by killing the oppositions customers and employees to raise your stock price in turn making a "killing" on the stock market. Oh and I can't forget about this. Some time into the story, you play as Trevor and to continue on you have to actively take part in torture. You pull some teeth, break some kneecaps, and apply a bit of electricity. This is unavoidable and must be done to continue on through the game. Now I've only grazed the surface here and take the time to read some of the kids reviews; they did give a higher age rating than the parents on here after all. Just so you know, I'm 22 and don't have any children but I hope this review will help you parents out there make the right decision. You don't have to be a parent to have some common sense.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult Written byHonest_Chase September 28, 2013

Mature,Not for kids, but a great game Overall.

Grand Theft Auto 5 in my opinion is one of the best/most controversial game this year. This game not only has Very Strong language but also contains a good bit of sexual elements to it:including strip clubs(which are completely optional to go into),a snippet of male genitalia(which is shown in a completely non-sexual way),a cut scene in which one of the three main characters is having sex with another guys girlfriend(but no nudity is shown in this scene,but there is a very clearly portrayed thrusting motion).The violence in this game is the equivalent to your Call of Duty shooter(little blood spurts when you shoot someone,but never really any gore),but there is however a torture cut-scene which is impossible to skip, In this one sequence, players are directed to use various instruments and means (e.g., pipe wrench, tooth removal, electrocution,water boarding) to extract information from a character; the sequence is intense and prolonged, and it involves some player interaction. and this may be very uncomfortable to some gamer's(I'm a very avid gamer and I was deeply mortified after I saw this).The language is equal to any other M game on the market currently, the game contains uses of the words:f--k, c--t, s--t, and the "N" word. Back to me personal review, Now I'm very disappointed to see so many parents who let younger kids play games like these,and I also don't like when parents rate these games and they have not played them, and also when provide a lack of details.This is a really mature game and It's a blast, but it comes down to knowing if your older teen can handle it,I definitely don't recommend this game to be played in large quantities of time but little snippets here and there. but it all comes down to your teen, this game was definitely intended for a "Mature" audience,hence the "M" rating.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Parent Written bySteamPipe September 23, 2013

Grand Theft Auto V - Suitable for Sane Children

I think Grand Theft Auto V is an excellent game. To parents wondering what other games it is similar to, other than GTA IV, Just Cause 2 is very similar. In both games, yes, it is possible kill civilians, but GTA V gives the players NO incentive whatsoever, and in fact rewards you for helping civilians - for example, random crimes can occur around the stunning city of Los Santos, and if you stumble upon one of these, (and successfully stop it), the player's reputation is boosted. In essence, the 'bad bits' of Just Cause 2 are there - e.g the violence, but to any sane child in high school, they will be fine with it - much worse can be seen in films that are rated 12 or 15, and minority of bad language in the game is much tamer than anything typically heard in a high school. As I mentioned before, the violence is unrewarded, and the true fun in the game comes from discovering and exploring the amazing city, climbing mountains, riding bikes, parachuting, buying shares in the stock market, flying planes and so much more. In the upcoming GTA Online players can play together in an online version of Los Santos, exploring the city together and playing the built-in games like tennis or golf, competing to beat the other. You can invite others to your own apartment, and then grab an expensive car from your garage and do anything!

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Language
Adult Written bychristian2011 September 21, 2013

Incredibly versatile open-world game filled with violence, sex, drugs and discrimination - for adults only.

Without a doubt, GTA 5 is the best one yet, with new options such as switching between characters, new extracurricular activities like customizing your own vehicle and weaponry, real estate (buying cheap to extravagant locations), communicating with friends by internet or facebook while playing, scuba diving, racing, hunting, bounty hunting, yoga, and much more. The story was quite exciting and exhilarating - you can even switch between characters between several missions, and each character has their own distinct personality, sense of humor, and hilarious family/friend dysfunctions. GTA 5 is not a game for kids and teens alike, because of the constant themes and choices of extreme violence, where you can choose to harm or murder criminals and innocent civilians alike with different types of weapons and explosives. There's one intense scene where you choose different instruments to sadistically torture a man. Language is constant and very strong (countless uses of the words f--k, mother-----r, s--t, goddamn, a--hole, c--t, bitch, c--ksucker, d--k) with very mature crude humor and explicit sexual references. Sexual content is very graphic and strong in this game - more explicit in nature than the previous grand theft auto games. Strip clubs are also available in this game where the player chooses to gave lap dances with highly provocative women (one is a transsexual) and their breasts and buttocks graphically visible. They are themes of rape, incest, prostitution, pedophilia, and sexual sadism in this game also. Drugs play a major role and counterpart in this game, where characters smoke, drink, use drugs, and take out meth labs, where even a main characters own children have implied drug/ alcohol addiction. Some scenes make a character get in a major hallucination (high) state where they can't perceive reality and kill fictitious creatures like aliens and monsters. Fantastic game with endless possibilities, but for adults due to the "free country" theme where you choose to perform good or bad options - major "do anything" discrimination. Violence (5/5) Language (5/5) Sex (5/5) Drugs (5/5) Intense Scenes (4/5)

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Parent of a 12 and 13 year old Written byStrictMum48 October 27, 2013

Lovely and beautiful game! So long as you trust your child

Grand Theft Auto V is an amazing and abstract game, full of beautiful scenery and things to do. My child is 12 and has been wanting this game for quite a while now. Ever since the trailer came out in fact. After a while we went through it and watched gameplay, trailers and everything. I am usually a very strict mother and would say no to an R rated game but this is an exception. Sure, it has some swearing but you can choose to skip it as it is mainly in cutscenes. The violence isn't bad at all and you can hardly see blood and there is no guts or bones etc. like in other video games which are rated MA or M. The thing that I was skeptical about was strip clubs. After watching "Youtubers" play it I was waiting for a strip club scene or nudity scene to pop up but to my surprise I discovered that it is an optional activity and has nothing to do with the main storyline or side quests, so in my opinion so long as you trust your child or have a guardian watching you play it it is completely fine. Another issue was drugs which I found were optional as well. There are no missions that force you into drugs or anything else. I remember my niece playing worse games than this when he was 9 (Mortal Kombat, Duke Nukem etc). Also it is rated M in America and most other countries and has one bad 'torture scene' that is skippable. In conclusion I think it is fine for anyone 12 and up if you trust them. - Kathy Burwood

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Parent of a 13 year old Written byKarenRobinson127 September 18, 2013

Ok if kid will not be scarred

I think that this game has many violent and awful things, but if your child knows the difference between the game and the real world, they should be fine. My 13 year old son was allowed to get this game because he demonstrated his knowledge that this game is not to be repeated in any way.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Language
Consumerism
Adult Written byOneinthehand September 22, 2013

Ok for any kid 14 and up

As a parent I know what you are thinking. The same old stereotype that GTA is a game that is completely obscene and horrible. However, this is not the case. The language and violence keeps this game from being for everyone but apart from these there are very few concerns. The sex and drug references and usage is MUCH less than I expected and most parts containing these have an option to be skipped. All In all I believe that GTA has somewhat of an unfair stereotype that it is a terrible game for kids. But I believe that apart from it being violent and the language being bad this game is fine for anyone ages 13 and up
Parent of a 14 year old Written byPatricia Lokin September 24, 2013

Not As Bad As Everyone Says

I am a mother with a 14 year old boy that has just started his freshman year here in Montana. He says that all of his new friends were getting the game and I knew that the game had a bad reputation. I basically told him that I had to look into it. Eventually I came up with a plan, I was going to let him get the game with his own money and then I would see how bad it really was. Here are a few things parents should know about the game: yes it does have sexual content, although I had found out that you do not HAVE TO go near any of it during the game. All of that can be done on the side, so it can be blocked; not physically but honestly, kids of my son's age (13-15) are not going to be amused by the "ladies" in the game to the point that if you tell them that they can get the game but they have to stay away from those places, they will obey. Quite honestly, the best part of the game is the visuals and the "freeness" in the perspective of a teenage boy, and I can't blame them the game is beautiful. Also, if you really care that much about the swearing you are going to have to be a bit flexible, but if you are not so psycho, then it should not be a problem. To wrap things up, I believe that if your kid honestly knows the true difference between right and wrong and the loyalty of their parents, this game should not be that big of a problem

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Language
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Parent of a 14 year old Written byJohnSlantor September 18, 2013

Ok for teenagers

I think this is a violent and language-filled that is too violent for young kids. However, if your kid can handle the violence and language, he should be ok. The sex and drugs in this game are not as prominent as I thought they would be, and can be easily handled by a 13 or 14 year old. If you are thinking about buying this game for anyone under 13 though, it will be too violent.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Language
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult Written byBattleVet75 October 5, 2013

The most graphic GTA ever made.

This game is very well made, with truly over-the-top dialogue and situations that are fun and hilarious to watch and play through. The constant banter between the three main characters makes it even better. This also has the most edgy content than the other GTAs. There is some drug use as a couple of the missions make you smoke weed and slaughter hallucinogenic aliens and clowns( example of over-the-top situations). There is a lot of graphic violence as you can mow down and kill pedestrians all you want. You will see lots of blood splatter and pools of blood from dead bodies, as well as bloody bullet holes. There is a mission that shows enemies falling into meat grinders, as well as a character getting sucked into a plane's jet engine, with blood and flesh flying everywhere. There is also a fairly graphic torture mission. There is a lot of sex, with two missions showing characters having sex( no nudity, but thrusting is visible). You can visit strip clubs and have private dances with bare breasts being shown, and you can pick up and have sex with prostitutes( very rare to see a prostitute). The language includes probably the most recorded uses of F--k and the N-word ever used in a game, as well as c--t, S--t, damn,etc. I believe that a reasonable age for this game is a solid 17 and up, as these are things that most 17 year olds have seen in movies already.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Parent of a 9 year old Written byHappyHappyHappymom October 1, 2013

Its just given a bad name

Not for little kids but OK for13 and up!

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Violence & scariness
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult Written byJamesey September 29, 2013

Good game

Despite this game series is usually one to go on the list of over violent shooters Grand theft auto 5 is less so bringing in a more friendly approach to the genre. When my 12 year old son asked me for it I was doubtful but after watching him play it for a while now I can only describe it as being harmless and unless your child reacts badly to violence I think that anyone 12 and up is completely fine for the game.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Parent of a 6 and 11 year old Written byHeather Hills November 16, 2013

PERFECT FOR TWEENS!!

I think it's a great game, but nevertheless very violent. But, if your kid is mature, it should be fine, if you trust him not to go to the "bad"places... The opportunities of fun and discovery are endless, and your son will keep on playing till the end. If your son doesn't do the missions, then he can just visit the city and there is no need to fight. The police AI is very good, so harming anyone will assure you a one way ticket to jail. I f you hurt someone, an ambulance will try and rescue him. This is why the game is so good, and perfect for TWEENS.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Language
Parent of a 14 year old Written bymattsta99 October 20, 2013

Grand Theft Auto 5 Review

By the time kids are in junior high, they already have seen bad content. So they are already used to seeing some suggestive themes and hearing rough language. And besides, you can turn down the volume.

This title contains:

Language
Parent Written byVic 2.0 December 12, 2013

One big, beautiful disappointment.

I'll separate my review into two sections, one for parents and one for gamers. Parents. Don't listen to any lies; do your research after you read this! This is literally the worst game in the mainstream to date in terms of the inappropriate and disturbing content. I need only use two examples to drive this point home. First, on top of having strip clubs in which you can actually see the stripper's breasts up close and grope them, hiring a prostitute and having sex with her (which is a feature in every GTA game since GTA 3) now starts a very explicit voiceover in which the woman uses words and sexual dialogue I'm quite sure I can't post on this site. Just think about the most graphic dialogue you can, and know that it's in this game! The second example is a sort of mini-game in which you torture an innocent person in many brutal ways. For example, you can yank his teeth out while he cries. Oh yeah, and this is a mandatory mission as part of the main storyline, so you can't avoid it no matter how bad you want to. You see, GTA has officially crossed the line into disturbingly psychotic. Not only would I not let my kid play or see this, I wouldn't want any adult that I love seeing or playing it either. Now, to the gamers: This game actually sucks. I can grant that it has great graphics and of course a huge map. But then, so does REAL LIFE. And the game is about as boring as real life, come to think of it. Traveling from one part of the map to another is always a hassle if not a bore, the protagonists are pathetic and despicable, it has practically no story/plot, it doesn't even have the emergency vehicle missions (police, firefighter, and ambulance). To put it simply, the game is way over-hyped. And apparently, they can't get GTA 5 online working correctly either, so yeah there's pretty much no reason to buy this game. Just Cause 2 is a lot more fun and it's cleaner. Get that instead.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult Written bySmartReviews115 October 13, 2013

Amazing Game- Some Mature Themes

This game is not what all the controversies are built up to be. I bought this game for my 13 and 16 year old sons, with some doubt at first after seeing some video reviews like the ign review on YouTube. After watching my sons play for a little while, I have concluded that it isn't as bad as said, even I picked up the game and started playing it even though I am very against owning and using firearms.

This title contains:

Consumerism
Parent of a 13 year old Written byJonathan's Dad February 16, 2014

Know your child.

Hello users of Common Sense Media, My son Jonathan recently turned 13. He has asked me for this game many times since it's release in September of 2013. Knowing the Grand Theft Auto series to be notorious for explicit content, I denied it without further consideration. My son continued on for awhile, but came around to asking me for the game again. I decided to look on Common Sense Media for parental and child reviews on the title. Still unconvinced that the game was suitable for my son, I denied his request. Keep in mind that I had let my son play Assassin's Creed and Call of Duty in the past. Some of my son's friends of the same age had gotten the game. Jonathan is mature for his age, more mature than most of his peers. However, because I trust the parents of his friends that they had made a logical decision in letting their children get the game, I decided to take a risk. I told Jonathan that if he made excellent grades for the nine week blocking period, than I would allow him to purchase the game with his own money. He exceeded my expectations of "excellent grades" that month. As I had promised, I allowed Jonathan to buy Grand Theft Auto V. My son is one of those boys who will play on his Xbox for hours straight unless we stop him. So we immediately put a limit on his play times. He could play for 30 minutes on weekdays, and 2.5 hours on weekends, once his chores are done. Also, if we ask him to do something while playing the game, he must pause and do the task immediately. If he fails to do the task the first time we ask, exceeds the daily maximum play time, or plays before he gets his chores done, than we can take the game away for as long as we want, usually a week or so. After watching him okay the game for awhile, I made the following observations on the most controversial issues in the game. Violence. Throughout the game, you will kill many people with a variety of melee weapons, firearms, and explosives. This can't quite be avoided. But the deaths are rather unrealistic, as the body's fly backwards as rag dolls and disappear after a few seconds. Most of the people killed are "bad guys". I make sure my son doesn't kill too many people, so that he will not be desensitized to violence. Also, blood splatters from killed characters, staining their clothes and the environment. This was an issue that concerned me, as the gore was necessary only to achieve maximum realism. I think violence is still an issue for me. For the parents reading, it would be wise to go onto the game's menu, and look at the game statistics. On that screen, it will show how many police officers, gangsters, and innocent bystanders killed. It is also advised that you have a serious discussion of the reasons that killing people is a bad thing to do, even in a simulation Language Most of the language comes from the story's many cutscenes, which can be skipped with the simple press of a button. Other language can be heard while other players are in your vehicle during missions, or while driving around the fictional city of Los Santos. You can turn off the subtitles in the settings screen, and have your child play with the TV volume off. Drugs and Alcohol There are several opportunities to smoke marijuana during the story. The simple solution is to ignore those opportunities. They are not necessary to the completion of the game. Also, players can get drunk at bars, with simulating dizziness and a wonky camera as the player stumbles. He can also drive this way. As long as you trust your child to not do this, it should be okay. There is also a statistic stating the amount of beer consumed. Sex Another large issue. Besides many sex-related cutscenes (can be skipped), there are several strip clubs and many prostitutes throughout the city of Los Santos. The only solution to this is trust your child to ignore them and not visit the clubs. If this is not enough, there is another statistic showing the number of times a strip club has been visited, and how many times a prostitute has seduced the player. If you see your child has done this, you should punish accordingly. I have no regrets in buying my son this game. He keeps up the good grades, and follows all of my terms. He is super happy and has tons of fun with the game. Even to my surprise, he shows more respect to me and my wife than he did. You can read Jonathan's review in the kid section as well. Thanks, Martin

This title contains:

Ease of Play
Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Language
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Parent of a 14 and 16 year old Written byTrevorandalice3432 September 24, 2013

Okay if your a teen.

I think this game has a positive message because Micheal has alot of money but his family hates him. My boy appreciates all the family time we spend together after this. This shows kids why money isn't everything. There are some bad things but it can be easily avoided. I'm a very strict parent. My kids are not aloud to play all m games. But i don't mind this one. My boys perfectly fine after this game

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Language
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

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