The 11 Greatest 'Grand Theft Auto' Radio Stations

The best bangers to play while cruising Libery City and San Andreas.

Image via Rockstar

Grand Theft Auto is an outstanding video game series ticking all the boxes of a modern day classic: Endless gameplay, great narrative and top quality licensed music. If its one thing we look forward to in GTA game—aside from the relentless appeal of mayhem and violence—it’s the music stations.

Ever since the very first game back in 1997, the radio stations have been a pivotal part of the franchise and with good reason. It gives us a sense that we’re in a real life city, and it provides a welcome relief from the constant destruction that we contribute to it. Whoever is in charge of Rockstar Games’ music department deserves a reserved spot in heaven because as the games got better so has the choice in tracks. Where else would you feel comfortable running over a city full of NPC’s and doing a virtual drive-by to the sounds of Spandau Ballet? Exactly.

So in recognition of the excellent music here are eleven of the best radio stations from the Grand Theft Auto series.

The Classics

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From:  GTA IV​

Hosted by the legendary DJ Premier this station is dedicated for hip-hop heads who just can’t let got of the 90s, and why not? It’s clearly the golden age after all. Primo’s set is full of pure boom-bap classics such as ‘Live at the Barbecue’ and ‘Just to Get a Rep’. With so many classic joints you’ll be compelled to pull over just to switch to the station, even if you have a five-star wanted rating. While the other hip-hop station has a more modern touch, Classic really reaches into the gut of Liberty City bringing out that New York essence it’s so clearly inspired by.

The Fever 105

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From: GTA: Vice City

Capturing the zeitgeist of Miami hedonism in the 1980s, with its playlist of soul, funk & R&B, Fever 105 is hands down the best radio station in the game. Speeding down the strips of downtown Vice City on a motorbike in the evening, as ‘Summer Madness’ by Kool & Gang plays in the background is on another level of spine tingling. The rap station on Vice City wasn’t the actually best, so this ended up being a better alternative and for those with a keen ear, as it was jam packed with throwback samples to your favourite tunes. With tracks from the likes of Rick James, Mtume and Teena Marie it’s hard not to love it.

Flash FM

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From: GTA Vice City

If you were playing GTA: Vice City in the presence of your parents (and they weren’t complaining about the violence), it was more than likely that they demanded you switch it to Flash FM. And you’d be obliged to, as it’s hard to argue when iconic 80’s tracks such as Buggles' ‘Video Killed The Radio Star’ rings around as you run over innocent NPCs. For those of you who played the original version on the PlayStation 2 it proved to be a pivotal moment; you step into your first car after leaving your lawyer’s office, it switches to Flash FM and the first song you hear is ‘Billie Jean’ by Michael Jackson. It was our first true indication that the GTA series would be more than just a game. It would become an art form.

Radio Los Santos

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​From: GTA San Andreas

GTA San Andreas did so many things perfectly, and one those was capturing the rise of the West Coast sound and lifestyle in the 90s. Radio Los Santos was the lynchpin in representing the sound of the Westside and just to prove how serious they were about getting the right music they acquired the services of legendary radio DJ Julio G. If you we’re looking for the ultimate G-Funk playlist then look no further than this, with classic throwbacks from NWA to Cypress Hill, Too $hort to The D.O.C, Radio Los Santos has you covered. Never has spending that hard-earned video game dollars on $5000 hydraulics, just so you can low ride to ‘Ain’t Nothin’ But A G Thang’ felt so worth it.  


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From: GTA III​

This is closet you’ll get to a live pirate radio set within a video game. While most of the GTA radio stations had a certain structure/set playlist, the MSX host MC Codebreaker went rogue, spitting off-the-dome bars over a mix of drum ‘n’ bass and jungle beats, it had a certain unpolished charm to it. Just like GTA III’s entry into the world of 3D, it was raw and brash—perhaps one of the reasons why it’s stuck in our minds so often. It’s also a testament to Rockstar Games’ British roots and the influence that the DnB and jungle era had on their lives. Despite all their games (bar GTA London) being set in fictional adaption of American cities, MSX is a very British orientated station.

FlyLo FM

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From: GTA V

As the latest entry into the series, Rockstar Games’ music library clearly stepped up it’s game. Getting the super-talented—yet super-left-field—producer Flying Lotus was an inspired move. His sound represented a changing attitude to the West Coast sound and it perfectly encapsulated the rhythm of modern day Los Angeles. Just like GTA V you can’t put a label or a definitive genre on FlyLo FM, the best way to describe it is as progressive and experimental. You only have to look at the playlist to see who’s featured, it’s literally a who’s-who of Alternative LA soul, hip-hop and electro.

RamJam FM

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From: GTA: Episodes From Liberty City

Look, anything featuring the one-and-only David Rodigan must be good. His inclusion in the GTA series is further proof that Rockstar Games have their finger on the pulse of the music scene. To be fair, who would you want other than Rodigan spinning the best dancehall, dub and reggae tunes whilst you cruise through the streets of Liberty City? The sound system master weaves a unique set list comprised of classic dubs from the likes of Barrington Levy, Desomnd Dekker and Toots and Maytals and mixes it with current artists such as Major Lazer. Definitely one of the stations you need to be listening to when you’re slightly baked.

Non-Stop Pop FM

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From: GTA V

Before you start judging us hear us out okay. GTA V is set in a modern day version of LA, it’s image driven, the characters are obsessed with money, it’s quite tacky. In that sense Non-Stop Pop FM is the perfect soundtrack to modern day life for the upper echelon of Los Santos with its bubblegum-pop playlist and Brit-model-turned-actress Cara Delevingne as the host. Think about the tracks as well: Britney Spears ‘Gimme More’, Mis-Teeq ‘Scandalous’, Pet Shop Boys ‘West End Girls’ and Fergie ‘Glamorous’, it’s the sum of what LA’s elite is all about—to some degree. Also don’t act like your face didn’t light up when All Saint’s ‘Pure Shores’ came up.


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From: Grant Theft Auto

The original top-down GTA had nothing like the volume of in-game music of the later instalments, nor the licensed real-world song. But that didn’t stop the game from still sounding dope. The standout was the hip-hop station N-CT FM, which despite running only a handful of minutes in total, still managed to feature a trio of original bangers recorded by Rockstars in-house musicians. The key track was called ‘Gangsta Friday’, and was also the game’s theme track on the title screen. Variously credit to several fiction artists called Slumpussy and Da Shootaz, it had brilliantly over-the-top NWA aping lyrics, an incredibly catchy “Let’s go for a joyride” hook, and an infinitely cool “NYPD/ LAPD/ DON’T FUCK WITH ME!” call-and-response outro.

Bush Sounds / Monster Sounds

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From: GTA: London, 1969 

The London 1969 expansion pack for the first GTA is little more than a curio now (it was DLC before consoles were online, so it came on an actual disc!), but it did add one quintessential element to the series: it was the first GTA to include licensed music tracks. This was most notable on the Bush Sounds and Monster Sounds Stations (which we’re lumping together as they have combined runtime of about ten minutes), which banged out some classic late 60s reggae. The short playlist included tracks from Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry’s house band The Upsetter and The Harry J Allstars iconic ‘The Liquidator’, presented by DJ straight out of a Guy Richie movie.

Radio X

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From: GTA: San Andreas

San Andreas might have styled itself around early 90s G-funk and Boyz N The Hood, but the beauty of the GTA radio stations is they give colour to all sorts of music that was around at the game’s time period. Radio X captured the post-Nirvana alternative rock scene of the era with a mix bands like new wave (Depeche Mode), riot grrl (L7), grunge (Soundgarden), hair metal (Guns N’ Roses) and early Britpop (The Stone Roses), all topped off with links from the painfully non-conformist, sarcastic DJ Sage. 

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