Rockstar Games has revealed that the hotly anticipated Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy — Definitive Edition will be ready for modern platforms on Nov. 11. As remasters of Grand Theft Auto 3, Vice City and San Andreas — which first appeared on the PlayStation 2 — these seminal open-world games from the early 2000s will have improved visuals and revised control schemes that put them closer to par with modern action games.
The $60 collection is coming to PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC. The consoles will also get physical edition on Dec. 7.
Along with the reveal of the release date, we also got to see a new trailer that gave us our first look at the game’s updated visuals and control scheme, which will make heading back to these classic games all the more enticing. Over the last few weeks, details about this collection of Rockstar’s most popular games leaked online, so it’s a bit of a surprise that we’ll be able to get our hands on it much sooner than expected.
With the Definitive Edition, the developers added an assortment of quality-of-life improvements to the three games, focusing on ensuring that they’re true to the originals. While it’s exciting to see that GTA 3, Vice City and San Andreas have improved performance and visuals, along with an updated control scheme that takes cues from Grand Theft Auto V’s shooting system — the Definitive Edition isn’t a full remake, and it largely retains the look of the original.
The release of the Definitive Edition not only marks the first time that the PS2-era of GTA games are on modern consoles, but it’s also the first time that these games will be playable on a Nintendo console. The last time a Grand Theft Auto game launched on a Nintendo platform was 2009’s Chinatown Wars on the DS, which was more of a spin-off that experimented with the handheld’s dual-screen format. The Definitive Edition will be the debut of GTA 3, Vice City and San Andreas on a Nintendo console. To go along with this first, the Nintendo Switch version also has an exclusive option to use gyro-aiming with the Joy-con controllers, letting you aim and drive with the motion of the devices.
While the GTA franchise would go on to have astronomical success with more recent entries, the three games of this compilation stand as the most iconic and prolific games of the series, which also shaped an entire genre of games. The original Grand Theft Auto was released in 1997, but the series became a mainstream hit — and a lightning rod for controversy — with Grand Theft Auto 3 in 2001.
GTA 3 ultimately was a watershed moment for the games industry, equally pioneering and popularizing the structure of what we now call an open-world game. By letting players explore a large city with an unprecedented amount of freedom, letting them take on numerous activities and hijack tons of vehicles, it offered tons of hours of enjoyment in finding your own type of fun.
The announcement of the release date for GTA Trilogy also coincides with the 20th anniversary of Grand Theft Auto 3. Along with the announcement of the release date, Rockstar North’s head of development, Aaron Garbut, had some comments about the importance of GTA 3 and how its impact shaped the developer into what it is today.
“GTA 3 helped clarify our approach to making games, and it’s something that has stuck with us in every game we make,” Garbut said. “From GTA 3 through to GTA V, the Red Dead Redemption series and everything else: we are focused on building worlds — and on making these worlds as believable, detailed, interesting, varied and alive as possible. We want to make worlds that you feel like you are living in, that feel dynamic and filled with other characters. Where it’s not just a facade that comes alive around you and for you, but as real a place as we can manage, and one that is filled with stories, characters, events and fun, interesting things to do.”
Along with the release of the GTA Trilogy, Rockstar Games is also working on updating Grand Theft Auto 5 for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. As it approaches its 10th anniversary, GTA V remains Rockstar’s most popular game. The audience for the game, and its online mode, manages to grow every year, so even with rumors about Grand Theft Auto 6 still making the rounds, we’ll be seeing more of the Grand Theft Auto franchise for some time to come.