Grand Theft Auto The Trilogy Definitive Edition Review

by Gamingstry
Grand Theft Auto Trilogy Definitive Edition

Release Date : 11 November 2021
Developers : Grove Street Games
Publisher : Rockstar Games
Platforms : PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC, Nintendo Switch

Grand Theft Auto Trilogy definitive edition has been quite discreet since its announcement. But it’s out now, and we had the chance to take a look at this collection which is much more than a simple port, but it’s not a remake for sure. We tell you everything we think about it in this review.

Ah, the PS2 episodes of Gran Theft Auto! Titles are probably part of the catalog of mythical games that are inseparable from Sony’s second home console (even if they were also released on Xbox and PC). And here they come back in improved versions on the current devices. We tested Grand Theft Auto The Trilogy Definitive Edition on PS5. So, is it still legendary or are these games getting old? Let’s find out right now!

Grand Theft Game

At the head of this trilogy, we have Grove Street Games studio, which are specialists in… the porting of Rockstar games. HD version of old episodes or mobile versions, if you have played them, you have already touched one of their games. So the case should be in pretty good hands. But this time, the challenge is a bit bigger, since we are not dealing with a simple porting…

For the moment, the compilation will only be available in a non-retail version (even though Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas will be available on Microsoft’s Game Pass…) and we’ll have to wait until December to get a disc in a box. The game will be released on all the latest devices, even the Nintendo Switch! For once, it’s on Nintendo’s console that the compilation will cost you the least ( 50$) since the bill climbs a bit more on Xbox and PS4/5, where you’ll have to pay 60$. After the downloading, you will have three different applications on your home screen, which weigh 5GB, 12GB, and 23GB for GTA III, Vice City, and San Andreas.

It’s in the old pots and pans…

The three games included in Grand Theft Auto The Trilogy Definitive Edition helped make video games what they are today. From a series that was a bit outdated but quite funny in top view, GTA III will make the saga go down in history with its transition to 3D; Vice City could have been called “Scarface, the video game”, and became a real social phenomenon thanks to its atmosphere and its scenario; San Adreas finished by proposing what is to this day the most complete episode of GTA in terms of customization, even before GTA IV and GTA V.

Today, they’re still pretty close, both in terms of atmosphere and gameplay, even if there is a bit of a problem on the latter point. In 2021, they remain quite insane, even if they have aged a bit in some areas…

Life, all that…

With this GTA The Trilogy Definitive Edition, we are indeed not dealing with a remake. Neither is it a simple update, but a real remastering: a bit like Mass Effect Legendary Edition, if all the content of the original game has been kept (animations, cinematics, and the overall construction of the game, settings, missions, and secrets), a big polishing work has been done on the graphics: all the 3D models have been improved – you may or may not like the cartoon look of the characters – the textures have been improved, and the lighting effects are shinier than ever.

Overall, when you compare your old PS2 version with a game from this compilation, it’s night and day. We feel that we are facing a “modern” product and the whole thing is looking pretty good even if it remains a little outdated! Please note that the graphic engine has changed: where the first versions of GTA PS2 used the Rockstar engine, this time, it is Unreal Engine 4 that is at the controls!

The same player, still playing

The games are almost identical, except for a few songs that have disappeared from the radio stations, probably because of copyright issues, but the new graphics engine means that these three episodes of the GTA Trilogy Definitive Edition still require significant resources, and even our latest generation machines won’t work miracles: two graphics modes are available, and in “Fidelity” mode, although you can have a 4K display and all that, the frames-per-second level isn’t the best.

The maximum fps is 30, and the frame rate drops are frequent, sometimes quite drastic, even on PS5, where we still benefit from loading times close to zero. The appearance of scenery elements in the distance – the field depth is greatly improved – and nearby is very frequent. In “Performance” mode, it’s better, since the display is quite stable and close to 60 fps, and the drops are much less numerous but still present. Just like the popping. But overall, despite these flaws on last-generation consoles, the whole thing is still quite nice and pleasant for the eyes.

And the controls?

This remaster of GTA Trilogy Definitive Edition also promised us an update of the controls. The sandbox open-world gameplay still works, and the driving of various vehicles is still quite fun, but the shooting is a bit better, but still a little outdated. No cover system has been integrated, only a “lock” that targets the enemies by itself, making the confrontations much simpler. But this is not enough to make the action gameplay more modern, which is still a bit old-fashioned.

Some user-friendly improvements have been included, such as a weapon and radio selection wheel, or an improved GPS, taken from the last episode, which allows you to place a landmark on the map yourself. Finally, you should know that Tony Vercetti still can’t swim, but new “Rockstar Social Club” features have been implemented despite the absence of a multiplayer mode on these versions, and new trophies accompany this trilogy: they take up the bulk of the lists from the PS360 HD re-releases, but with new challenges!


Grand Theft Auto Trilogy Definitive Edition has just been released on all the latest consoles, even the Switch! More than a simple port, without being a remake, we are facing a real revival. Although the content of the games, the secrets, the level design, the cinematics, and the gameplay are almost identical, the graphics have all been improved in terms of 3D models of the scenery and the characters. The textures are now more beautiful, and the lighting effects have been increased. The whole is very pleasant to look at and the comparison with the old versions is quite impressive! On the other hand, even with the PS5 version we tested, the games are not free of technical issues. In 4K mode, the frame rate is limited to 30 fps with big drops, and if the Performance mode allows 60 fps, it is not perfect either. In short, if you miss playing these three episodes of GTA and you have an extra 60$ on your account, this compilation remains the best alternative to play these games in 2021.

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