In the US we have a concept of "The Great American X." The idea of a work that is of the highest quality and that defines America and The American Dream in a way that transcends the medium and becomes a force for social reflection. Generally people say there is only one Great American X for any one medium. The Great American Play, for example, is often argued to be The Death of a Salesman due to its exceptionally high quality of writing and the way it perfectly encapsulates the idea of success in America. The Great Gatsby is often offered as The Great American Novel, again due to the amazing quality of the writing, and the way it defines class distinctions and the drive to overcome them in America. The Great American Movie is more arguable with some citing Citizen Kane as the obvious example. Personally I'd root for Paul Thomas Anderson's There Will Be Blood or his recent The Master as the best examples though others would definitely disagree.
Back in 2008 Rockstar took a stab at making The Great American Game with Grand Theft Auto 4. That game came closer than any had before, but the sometimes hokey script and the violence perpetrated by the lead character really shot down its attempt pretty solidly. The studio tried again in 2010 with Red Dead Redemption and came even closer. Some might even argue that they succeeded. Personally I find that the game's poorly structured story again denies it a chance at being called The Great American Game. It is a shame, because Rockstar came within inches of delivering the equivalent of Citizen Kane or The Great Gatsby in gaming. And then they just royally screwed it up with a story that loses its focus due in part to the number of pointless side quests that ruin the pacing and the immediacy of the story. And then it seals the coffin with a poorly conceived ending that could have been done just so much better with a few minor changes.
Now Rockstar returns with GTA5. Personally I see little to make me think that this time Rockstar will succeed in telling the story it has tried to tell several times over now. But I guess I'll hold out hope that Rockstar will maybe show enough restraint and intelligence to deliver the first truly Great American Game. If not, I guess I'll just keep hoping that some developer somewhere can make such a game happen.
What say you guys? Do you think Rockstar will be the company to make The Great American Game, or do you think we still have a ways to go before we hit that point?
EDIT: It has come to my attention that Rockstar North is in fact not an American company. So I guess I will change my question to be, if Rockstar can't make the great American game, who do you think will? Or is it something so far away that we couldn't even guess?