There’s no denying that the Grand Theft Auto series is a phenomenon. Across all of the games in the franchise, GTA has sold well in excess of 350 million units, with the vast majority of that number coming from sales of the astonishingly successful Grand Theft Auto V. Whether you love or loathe these games – and there are plenty who can’t stand them – you have to admit that Grand Theft Auto has earned its place in the pantheon of pop culture giants.
While rumours about Grand Theft Auto VI persist (even though most of them are proven to be false), many are wondering what’s next for this venerable franchise and its developer, Rockstar. We don’t know what the next major flagship game in the series is going to look like yet (or even if there will be one at all), but we do know this: the Grand Theft Auto Trilogy remaster is real, and it’s coming soon. Here’s everything you need to know about this upcoming trio of remasters.
The full name
Rockstar is officially referring to these remasters as Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition. It’s a bit of a mouthful, but the reason is simple. Originally, Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy was available via Steam and other platforms as a three-in-one pack comprising Grand Theft Auto III, Vice City, and San Andreas. Since the new game will be a full remaster of those titles, it makes sense to retain the Trilogy naming, but to add a “Definitive Edition” to the end.
What they are
We’re a little less sure of exactly what form Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition will actually take. Dataminers have discovered some details about the games, though, which seem a little too comprehensive not to be legit. If the leaks are to be believed, then the new GTA Trilogy will run on the Unreal Engine. Originally, all three games were built on Criterion Software’s RenderWare engine, so the fact that they’re running on Unreal suggests they’re probably going to be something closer to full remakes than simple remasters with a new coat of paint.
If we had to guess, we’d say they’ll be full remakes of the original PS2-era Grand Theft Auto trilogy, which means you’d be getting full reimaginings of Grand Theft Auto III, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. These three games are still some of the most critically acclaimed open-world sandboxes out there, and many have argued that none of the subsequent GTA games managed to capture the same magic (ourselves reluctantly included). With that in mind, remasters of GTA games from halcyon days gone by should go some way towards whetting that nostalgic appetite.
What they’re not
As you might expect from the name, Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition is not a new game. None of the titles contained within this set are fresh experiences, although they may feel that way thanks to the new graphics tech. If you’ve already played GTA III and its sequels to death, then you may find some of the narrative and gameplay content within these remasters just a little stale (although we’re sure Rockstar will bring plenty of new ideas and features to the table).
These remasters are also not reworks or reimaginings of any of the post-fifth-gen Grand Theft Auto games. You’re not getting a remastered version of Grand Theft Auto IV and its two expansion packs here, nor are you getting any new content for Grand Theft Auto V. The trailer makes it abundantly clear that Rockstar is intending to remaster the original 3D trilogy, too, so unfortunately, this also isn’t a remastered version of the true original GTA trilogy (that’s Grand Theft Auto, GTA 2, and GTA: London).
What they’re available on
Rockstar has only said that the remastered GTA trilogy will be coming to “current generation consoles”. It’s a fairly safe bet we’ll be seeing a release for the PS5 and the Xbox Series X|S, and we know that the games are also going to be hitting the PS4 and the Xbox One, so don’t worry if you haven’t made it to next-gen yet. We do know the trilogy has been confirmed for the Nintendo Switch, too, so if you’re a fan of handheld gaming, you’re covered.
Either way, unfortunately, the impending release of the Grand Theft Auto trilogy remasters means that you will no longer be able to get the games in their original form. This week, Rockstar is removing them from sale in preparation for its new remasters hitting the stores, which means we might be able to figure out when the release date is (more on which in a moment). If you have the games already, of course, they won’t be taken away from you, but many will lament the lack of preservation on display here.
The Grand Theft Auto trilogy remaster release date
Finally, we get to the big question: when is the Grand Theft Auto trilogy remaster release date? Happily, that info was leaked recently by a Polish retailer. It looks like we’ll be getting a physical release for the game this December, at least on last-gen platforms. However, if that source is legit, then it means the games will be pushed back (in physical form, at least) on current-gen machines, meaning we won’t get to play the Grand Theft Auto trilogy remasters on PS5 and Xbox Series X|S until 2022.
If the December release date is real, then there can’t be too much longer to wait now until we get some more news about this. Are you excited? What kind of remakes or remasters do you want to see from Rockstar for these games? Let us know!