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Grand Theft Auto: 5 Best Radio Stations of All Time

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“Would you like a giraffe? Have one delivered! Just log on to petsovernight.com, and we’ll send you a giraffe overnight.” That was it. That was all it took to suddenly have me grappled by the ear lobe as I tuned in to Grand Theft Auto 3‘s hilarious radio shows. From there, only barrels of laughter left the pit of my stomach as I channelled the inner radio presenter within, complete with all the off-the-cuff remarks and shoddy one-liners that the in-game hosts executed to perfection.

Grand Theft Auto has never exactly been shy when it comes to expressing risque subjects on air. Buying a giraffe, of course, is actually pretty tame compared to the rest of the world that weaves between the celebrated frequencies. And you know what? We love it. Every talk show, every playlist, and every wacky commercial — it all adds towards the overall appeal, and we’re all for it. But let’s break it down, from the best station to the ideal score. Here is what, in our opinion, ranks the highest on the radio station front.

 

5. Radio Los Santos (Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas)

From K-Rose and K-DST, San Andreas didn’t exactly fall short when it came to producing diverse tracks and quality DJ’s for its exclusive soundboard. However, we can’t ignore the fact that the airwaves were predominantly influenced by a certain West Coast sound. And, to be fair, all of that was encapsulated perfectly in Radio Los Santos, the go-to frequency for both the Grove Street Families and the city of Los Santos itself.

Rockstar certainly hit the nail on the head with this one, that’s for sure. Thanks to their ingenious approach to talent acquisition, radio legend DJ Julio G went on to head the airwaves and dominate the monopoly with some of the best and most in artists of the early nineties. From Cypress Hill to Dr Dre, Snoop Dogg to NWA, Radio Los Santos captured the theme of the game iconically, with its roster of rap legends paving the way to later instalments in the series.

 

4. Fever 105 (Grand Theft Auto: Vice City)

Partly the reason why we adore Vice City is because of its deep eighties sound. Combined with a vibrant setting and a bunch of cult classic movie references, Vice City springs to life as this awe-inspiring world that pours neon and nightlife from its seams. Knowing that, and how big the sound is in such a music-heavy game, picking just one of the stations it uses to funnel its sound isn’t exactly the easiest thing in the world.

But let’s talk big frequencies — ones that rake in the lion’s share of the listeners. Of all the stations in Vice City, Fever 105 probably had the most assorted sound of them all, with a great deal of throwback disco and R&B anthems that laid the foundations for music back in the eighties. Together, with a range of added Soul tracks and an incredibly vigorous DJ, Fever 105 made up for one heck of a platform.

 

3. Radio Mirror Park (Grand Theft Auto 5)

Almost as if Rockstar struggled to find a place to stash all its notes and scales, Radio Mirror Park basically acted as a lofty chest with all the quality sounds that accompanied the actual game. So, rather than having a bunch of random tracks with no association to the campaign, Radio Mirror Park instead collected songs from missions, cinematics and trailers — and effectively shovelled them all into one frequency.

But it didn’t stop there. It evolved, sort of like a giant snowball with endless freckles of frost and foliage. With a heap of additional genres that ranged from synth-pop to chillwave, dream pop to dance-punk, the collection of anthems forged one mighty unit and, as a result, became a staple on the beloved airwaves that kept Los Santos hooked from dusk ’til dawn.

 

2. Liberty Rock Radio (Grand Theft Auto 4)

After coursing the neon highway from Vice City all the way through to San Andreas and then back to Liberty City again, one could quite easily see how the series plunged into a much darker neighbourhood. Bright colours were out, as were the fluorescent regions of the open world. In, and completely out of the blue, were monochrome suburbs and dingy downtown districts. But while Liberty City took on a much darker tone than its elder siblings, its radio stations, on the other hand, remained pretty much the same.

Grand Theft Auto 4 invited a lot of top-tier talent to its radio faction, including some of the most celebrated voices from the outside world. And yet, even with the lofty ensemble of radio giants — combined, they still failed to put so much as a dent in the iconic Liberty Rock Radio’s radical reputation. Thrown in with a basket packed to the brim with rebellious anthems and solid hosting, the metal station became one of the most popular channels in all of Liberty City, as well as Grand Theft Auto 4 as a whole.

 

1. WCTR (Grand Theft Auto)

There’s nothing quite like talk radio. Granted, it can be a little repetitive and mundane depending on the host and/or guest, but when it comes to Grand Theft Auto — nothing is off limits on air. A fine example of this is WCTR, one of the longest standing and most loved radio shows in the series.

Combining ludicrous interviews with mass murderers and wannabe rappers with a selection of outlandish shows that bring the likes of gardening in the nude to life — WCTR compacts well over 24 hours of quality content into its core, all ready for you to tune in to without having to lift a finger. It’s strange, it’s entertaining — and it’s basically everything a real-life talk show should aim to become. Period.

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Jord is an aspiring journalist and self-published author, as well as a lover of all things gaming and media.