Almost 10 years after its release, Grand Theft Auto 5 is still one of the most popular games on the market. Its massive open world, freedom of choice, and chaotic action keep fans coming back. But one other thing that the Grand Theft Auto series is greatly appreciated for is their choice of music on the soundtrack.
Since Grand Theft Auto 3, Rockstar has put in a lot of effort into getting licensed songs to use for a huge selection of radio stations. Grand Theft Auto 5 continued this by adding sixteen unique radio stations with over 400 songs to choose from. Throughout the game’s long life cycle, Rockstar has continued to update the music by adding multiple songs and even entirely new radio stations for players to listen to as they explore the city of Los Santos. These stations are some of the best.
Updated on September 23rd, 2022, by Patrick Armstrong: GTA is known for a lot of things: scope, complexity, fantastic crimes, and one of the most devoted roleplay communities in all gaming. Whether one is playing alone, online with strangers, or as part of a dedicated RP group, one thing is constant: the top-tier music available on the game’s various radio stations. Few games outside the music genre give as much time and attention to getting the music right, whether one is into country, hip hop, or talk radio. In GTA5, playing the next stickup has never been easier on the ears.
13 Radio Mirror Park
Though some people don’t care for the synthesizer and the musical genre it inspired, fans of synth pop will find a lot to enjoy about Radio Mirror Park. GTA V’s synth pop station features an extensive playlist including Twin Shadow, Miami Horror, The Chain Gang of 1974, KAUF, and Cut Copy among many others.
The chill vibes of most of these tracks may not be the perfect match for a life of crime and violence, but since the game has much more to it than shootouts and heists, it’s nice to have something to tune into in the game’s more laidback moments.
12 Vinewood Boulevard Radio
Where does indie rock fit in the GTA vibe? It isn’t as logical a fit as rap, and given the deserts and mountains of San Andreas, even country might make more sense. Regardless, there’s nothing to stop players from living their indie rock crime life dreams thanks to Vinewood Boulevard Radio.
The station could benefit from more variety and a longer track list, but the bands and songs that are included here make the station worth a listen. Featured artists include Wavves, Ceremony, Bleached, The Soft Pack, and the Men.
11 East Los FM
GTA V’s regional Mexican station features a fantastic and varied playlist including the likes of Mexican Institute of Sound, La Sonora Dinamita, Fandango, and Fiebre de Jack. There are few radio stations that feel like they fit the city better than East Los FM.
Whether one is carjacking, racing, holding up gas stations, running errands, roleplaying, taking down a boss, or just cruising around enjoying the game’s scenery, East Los FM is one of the best radio stations to vibe to. It’s unfortunate that the track list isn’t longer, but that’s the only real knock against this station.
10 Rebel Radio: Country
One of the smaller radio stations in the game, Rebel Radio has only 17 songs but is well worth a listen. Rebel Radio is a country station hosted by fictional character Jesco White, one of the few radio hosts who actually makes a physical appearance in the game.
With songs from country legends such as Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, and Waylon Jennings, Rebel Radio excels at creating that country feel. Blaine county (the area outside the city of Los Santos) is filled with rural communities, deserts, and long highways. Not having a country station to fit this atmosphere would have been a huge miss.
9 WCTR: Public Talk Radio
WCTR is one of two available talk radio stations in the game. Only available in the city of Los Santos, WCTR offers three different talk shows for players to listen to.
Comedian JB Smoove hosts Chakra Attack as spiritual guru Ray De Angelo Harris. Michele Makes and popular GTA character Lazlow host Chattersphere where they argue about pop culture or take phone calls. Finally, Fernado Martinez who fans remember from previous GTA entries hosts The Fernado Show. All three of these shows offer hilarious banter and satire of American culture that the Grand Theft Auto series is so famous for.
8 Channel X: Punk Rock
Keith Morris, a punk rock veteran and lead singer of the bands Off!, Black Flag, and Circle Jerks, hosts Channel X. It’s the only station in the game dedicated to hardcore punk and headbanging classics, with most of its songs being from LA based bands of the 70s and 80s.
The GTA franchise has always fit that punk rock aesthetic by pushing the boundaries of what society considers appropriate content. The station also gives in-game motorcycle gangs like The Lost MC something to listen to as they wreak havoc all around San Andreas.
7 Non-Stop-Pop FM: R&B and Pop
Famous actress/model Cara Delevingne hosts Non-Stop-Pop, a station dedicated to dance-friendly modern pop. Delevingne plays an exaggerated version of herself, who is great at fitting into the culture of Los Santos.
The station really feels like something one might hear playing in downtown Hollywood, with catchy songs from talented artists like Lady Gaga, Rihanna, and Britney Spears. Los Santos just wouldn’t feel right without a station dedicated to pop.
6 Los Santos Rock Radio: Classic Rock
Classic rock dominates radio stations around the country. It only makes sense for Los Santos to have one dedicated to the genre, with the iconic rock artist Kenny Loggins hosting. Kenny Loggins’ own song “Danger Zone,” as well as other hits like “What a Fool Believes” by The Doobie Brothers, are featured on the station.
Other classic artists like Elton John, Queen, and Pat Benatar have songs in rotation as well. For those looking for something familiar to sing along with, Los Santos Rock Radio is where it’s at.
5 The Lowdown 91.1: Soul
Legendary actress Pam Grier plays radio host Mama G for The Lowdown 91.1. With a focus on classic soul music, The Lowdown brings a funky sound and feeling that’s much needed in the game. Iconic songs like “O-O-H Child” by The Five Stairsteps and “California Soul” by Marlena Shaw are just a few that are played regularly.
Rockstar also managed to include a few references to Pam Grier’s most famous film, Jackie Brown, by featuring multiple songs from the film’s soundtrack on this station.
4 West Coast Classics: Old School Hip Hop
West Coast Classics is a station that absolutely needs to be in Grand Theft Auto, as west coast hip hop culture is a huge inspiration for a lot of the game’s story elements. Gangs that characters like Franklin and Lamar frequently come in contact with are clearly inspired by real-life ones that have been a part of Los Angeles for decades.
DJ Pooh is a perfect fit to host the station, with his extensive history in west coast music and entertainment. Cruising down Grove Street with artists like Ice Cube and Tupac blasting out of a lowrider is classic GTA.
3 FlyLo FM: Electronic and IDM
Experimental producer Flying Lotus managed to get his own radio station in Grand Theft Auto 5. Flying Lotus hosts the station himself, along with some surprise guest appearances from celebrities like Hannibal Burress. FlyLo FM is special because it features multiple songs created or released exclusively for Grand Theft Auto 5.
New songs from popular artists like Flying Lotus himself. as well as Tyler, The Creator, are part of why this station gets so much praise. Musical artists showing their love for the franchise by doing things like this is why the radio stations in GTA are unparalleled.
2 Blonded Los Santos 97.8 FM: R&B, Soul, Psychedelic Rock and Hip Hop
Based on the real life radio show Blonded RADIO, Blonded Los Santos is a collaborative project by Frank Ocean, who hosts the show himself along with a few others. With songs chosen specifically by Frank, Blonded offers the most expansive variety of genres that any station in the game has. Exclusive songs from Frank himself as well as hits by Travis Scott, Curtis Mayfield, Marvin Gaye, and Jay-Z are played.
This station was one of the few that were added later in the game’s lifecycle. It really managed to bring new life into the game by offering songs that were made after Grand Theft Auto 5’s 2013 release, and helps it feel more up-to-date.
1 Radio Los Santos: Rap and Hip Hop
With how long Grand Theft Auto 5 has been adored by fans, Radio Los Santos is now considered a truly iconic radio station for the series. Hosted by real-life radio star Big Boy, the station captures the feeling of GTA and its land of San Andreas better than any other. Artists like Kendrick Lamar, Danny Brown, Gucci Mane, and Freddie Gibbs all make appearances. Some artists such as A$AP Rocky also released exclusive music made for the game.
Named for the city itself, this station dominates the airwaves downtown. Back in 2013 when GTA Online was released and to this very day, it’s hard to find one player that isn’t booming Radio Los Santos out of their car’s speakers.
Grand Theft Auto 5 is available now on PC, PS3, PS4, PS5, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.