- Eurogamer (10/10): "Those hoping for another gritty, complex narrative spine bound in the flesh of an openworld action-adventure may be disappointed by the rather more frivolous and silly antics of the Chinatown Wars cast, but even cynics should be converted by the huge, densely packed action playground we've been given instead."
- IGN (95/100): "Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars is tried-and-true GTA design. Rockstar Leeds took nearly every aspect of the console design and jammed it into a Nintendo DS cartridge, tweaking the presentation to fit the restrictions and limitations of the Nintendo hardware."
- 1UP (A-): "In bringing GTA to the DS, Rockstar Leeds makes an installment that's less about exploration and more about the actual, structured game that's underneath. On the surface, it's not so different: pull up to a location, get a new mission, and do the job (be it shooting down some rival gang members, following someone to a secret spot, or just racing cars for respect). And it helps that missions in GTA games have always been generally bite-size, so it translates well to Chinatown Wars -- pick the game up, clear a few missions, then come back to it later."
- GameSpy (4.5/5): "When we think of GTA, we think of blockbusters built to massive specifications. Chinatown Wars proves that much of the stuff that really draws us to these games can be realized without expending millions of dollars and man-hours."
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