It seems that Rockstar Games is about to re-release the first two Grand Theft Auto games through the PlayStation Network. The ESRB has rated GTA and GTA 2 for the PS3, PS Vita, and PSP.
Grand Theft Auto, released in 1997, let players run amuck in fictional versions of New York City, Miami and San Francisco. The game established many crucial parts of the GTA formula, including open-ended gameplay, police chases, and cash rewards for criminal mayhem. The fictional cities in the game (Liberty City, Vice City and San Andreas) were featured in later GTA titles as well.
GTA 2, like its predecessor, was played from a top-down perspective. It took the series to a futuristic metropolis populated by several warring gangs. Performing missions for one gang made their enemies distrust or attack you. While this futuristic setting and faction system haven't been revisited since, GTA 2 did introduce crucial features that have become standard for the series. It featured a day and night cycle, side missions such as taxi driving and collecting hidden packages and a manual save system.
The ESRB (via NeoGAF) gave an "Mature" rating to the first GTA. GTA 2, interestingly, has only a "Teen" rating. That's not a common occurrence for a series that revels in sexual content and violence. The PSOne edition of GTA 2 was toned down a bit from the original PC version.
Rockstar has been steadily re-releasing old GTA games through PSN over the past year. GTA: San Andreas and Vice City were both released digitally in December and January, respectively.
This fall, Rockstar will release GTA 5 on current-gen consoles. Yesterday, they released a trio of trailers for the game.