Grand Theft Auto V is like some kind of alchemy. The driving portion of the game is not as sharp or nuanced as the latest Need for Speed from Criterion. The gunfighting isn’t as crisp or thrilling as nearly any FPS you’d care to mention. There are games that are better at recreating the mechanics of pulling off heists. Yet somehow Rockstar has taken all of these ingots of lead and spun them into gaming gold. GTA V is the most expansive, intricate, detailed, absorbing, open-world sandbox I’ve ever experienced. That it made me nauseous (a distinction held by only two games in my nearly thirty years of gaming, the other being Spearhead) and yet I kept coming back to it again and again bespeaks of its addictiveness.