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I agree. And it's beautiful to boot. And it has the best core mechanics and overall physics of any GTA to date. Wide variety of guns, gun mods, clothes, hairstyles, tattoos, cars, car mods, etc as well. Lots to do in story mode, lots of tools to help your imagination run wild in online, even if you're going solo.
And online has even more customization to help you really get immersed and attached to your character, especially in terms of buying various houses or apartments or garages, starting up your own company to build on your criminal dealings to establish greater independence and get out from the thumbs of folk like Martin Medrazo. As well as buying storage warehouses to house the legal and illegal cargo you smuggle, upgrading the vehicles you use to smuggle, buying a chop shop to aid you in quickly stealing, modifying, and then selling various cars, buying an airfield or hangar to aid in your cargo smuggling via the skies, buying a decommissioned military bunker and hiring a team of scientists and machinists to research and develop new and exciting weapons to use and sell in bulk, buying a doomsday bunker to ride out the apocalypse should you and your crew fail to prevent it.
And then there's starting up your own biker gang, buying an abandoned building and turning it into a clubhouse HQ, and then buying more property and using the TOR network to aid you in starting up a cannabis farm, meth lab, cocaine lockup wherein your illegal immigrant employees will cut your product accordingly, documents forgery place, and counterfeit money plant, then using them to ensure the majority of weed, meth, coke, and fake documents people purchase comes from you, while you also flood the streets with phony cash to help tilt the economy in your favor and save some bucks while your at it. All the while fighting off other crime syndicates or corporations or gangs to establish regional dominance and also taking up contracts to lend your skills and resources to those who pay the right price.
And the cherry on top is your personal office inside your penthouse suite or mansion wherein you and a trusted few will plan and execute bank robberies, prison breaks, coordinate a massive theft of illegal drugs from gangs, which you will then attempt to sell yourselves, and also plan out how you're gonna undertake a clandestine raid on a laboratory as a favor to your friends in the CIA who are undoubtedly benefitting from your criminal activities in more ways than one, because not helping them means those CIA buddies will bring the full force of the American military-industrial-intelligence complex down upon your entire syndicate.
But even if you don't do or don't have the resources for such over the top high risk high reward criminality, you can still live in a dingy LA apartment Or desert suburban house and scratch out a living with your hustles. Stealing cars and repoing cars for the shady car dealer, making drug exchanges with dangerous cats on behalf of the big homies, doing various assassination jobs for a number of clients, or even undertaking a spree of stick-up jobs at various convenience stores. Hell, maybe you're not even a real criminal. You just dig street racing.
Also, you can drink alcohol and smoke weed in the game, so you can be drunk/high in real life AND in the game! MAXIMUM IMMERSION!
Basically the point I'm making with this tirade is that people don't seem to realize that to fully enjoy GTA Online, they gotta open up their imaginations. The tools are all there. Ain't no harm in some fun role-playing, you know? Story mode just happens to take it to the next level but also in a different direction, as there are soooo many more fine details, subtle things that make you feel immersed in the lives of Mike or Frank or Trev, but just without any of the full-on total personalization of who you are and look/act like, what your backstory is, what your motivation is, and what you ultimately choose to do with your time that Online offers, as all of those things are largely already established for you in story mode, which suits it fine.
It's like a really great example of two kinds of role-playing. You have an established character who you take control of, and play through a slice of this persons life while making the choices *that character you're playing as* would make. On the other side of the coin you have a total blank slate, a block of clay for you to mold however you chose, plopped in a great big open sandbox with a staggering variety of personal choices and you navigate this sandbox while making whatever choices you seem fit. Be it the choices a character you've thought up would make, or the choices that you personally would make. And Rockstar once again nails it.
I'm pretty excited to see what GTA VI's online will bring. There's so much to build upon, it could be truly revolutionary.
/over sized rambling drug induced rant on how much i fuckin love GTA V, probably my favorite installment of the series (which i say as a guy who's beaten GTA III, Vice City, San Andreas, Liberty City Stories, Vice City Stories, IV, and V and has done pretty much everything there is to do in Online).