Today, after some leaks and rumors, Rockstar Games released Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - Definitive Edition on Steam. The good news: It’s on sale, meaning you can grab all three classic games for cheap. The bad news: It’s the same infamously messy remaster that hasn’t received a substantial update since nearly a year ago. As you might expect, folks ain’t too happy about the situation.
Let’s rewind a bit to November 2021. A few months after we first reported that Rockstar was planning to remaster Grand Theft Auto III, Vice City, and San Andreas, the games launched across PlayStation, Xbox, Switch, and PC via Rockstar’s own store. And while they could look nice—especially in some of the urban areas at night—they were bug-riddled disasters filled with all sorts of odd visual glitches and mistakes. The community tried to fix some of this, but many modders decided not to help after Rockstar spent the past few months before launch going after PC mods and fan ports of old GTA games.
Rockstar ultimately had to apologize to the community because the remasters were so awful. Eventually, Rockstar and Grove Street Games did fix some of the problems players had cataloged online. But the last major update for the game was in February 2022. Since then, the remastered trilogy has remained in a fairly rough state. So it doesn’t seem like the best time to release it on a new platform and yet, here we are.
Released earlier today, the remastered GTA Trilogy is now out on Steam. You might be thinking that, after such a long wait between the initial release on PC via the Rockstar Launcher and today’s Steam launch, Rockstar has put out a new, big patch to further improve the collection. But while that’s a sensible thought to have, that’s not actually the case. Instead, these are the same broken and buggy games that haven’t received any kind of update at all since the tiny performance update in October 2022 that didn’t fix anything.
To be fair, GTA: The Trilogy - Definitive Edition is currently on sale on Steam as part of a larger Rockstar Games deal, so you’re only paying $30 for three games. But it still seems pretty audacious to ask people to buy something that has been so consistently reported as broken, buggy, and bad for the last two years and not even offer any kind of small patch to improve things at all.
Kotaku has reached out to Rockstar about any future updates to the remastered GTA trilogy.
Naturally, players aren’t happy about this. On Twitter, in response to Rockstar’s tweet announcing the Steam ports, you can find a lot of angry and confused players, unsure why this took so long, why it is still broken, and why Rockstar thinks this is okay. There aren’t many reviews up for any of the classic GTA games in the collection, but early reviews are filled with people complaining about bugs or that the games don’t run well at all on the Steam Deck.
While some hold out hope that Rockstar will still swoop in, patch these games up and fix all the visual bugs and other problems, that seems more unlikely after today. Instead, it seems this is as good as things are going to get. Not to mention that Rockstar has plans to release these games on the Epic Store later this month, too. It does seem as if the time to fix GTA III, Vice City, and San Andreas has run out and Rockstar is ready to move on. What a shame.