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Wow, Looks Like The Busted GTA Trilogy Is Better On Mobile

Fans jumping into the newly released mobile ports of the Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition games are discovering something surprising: It seems to include improved visual settings that more closely match the look of the original PlayStation 2 games, as well as new bug fixes. That’s good news, but folks are now wondering if these improvements will make the leap to other platforms in the future.

You Should Play Grand Theft Auto III Before GTA VI | Total Recall

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In November, Rockstar Games and Netflix announced that the highly-criticized Definitive Editions of GTA III, Vice City, and San Andreas would be arriving on mobile devices in December. The games would be included in Netflix’s growing game library, letting anyone with a subscription access them on iOS or Android at no extra cost. The reaction was mostly a lot of shrugging from fans who feel like the Definitive Edition versions of these beloved PS2-era open-world games are still in bad shape two years after release on consoles and PC. So a lot of folks weren’t expecting much when the mobile ports launched earlier today, but surprise: These pocket-friendly editions might now be the best versions of the remastered GTA Trilogy currently available.

GTA Network

When Rockstar released the first trailer for these mobile ports a lot of people (myself included) noticed some visual differences. Were we just seeing things? Turns out, Nope! Rockstar has now confirmed that these phone versions include new options.

Over on the GTA Forums, fans have confirmed that they include new visual settings and options. The biggest game changer appears to be a new “Classic Lighting” option which makes the games look a lot better. Turning this option on in GTA: San Andreas seems to bring back the original game’s orange skies, which were missing in the previous versions on console and PC. It makes nighttime scenes darker, too.

Other visual improvements and tweaks include better-looking fog in San Andreas, the ability to scale resolution (letting the game perform better on weaker phones), and some minor tweaks to billboards, in-game props, and character models to fix issues that still persisted. Players are also reporting that gameplay bugs—like sprinting in GTA III not working properly, or garage doors making weird noises when opening and closing—have been fixed, too.

However, not everything in these new ports has been fixed or improved. Some issues involving broken textures or misspelled signs remain, and at least one large prop, a spinning soda can in San Andreas, seems to have been cut from the mobile port.

I hope the other GTA Trilogy ports get these features…

Still, even if these versions aren’t perfect, they seem much better than the current ones available on PlayStation, Xbox, Switch, and PC. The question now is: Will these improvements ever arrive on other platforms?

Kotaku has reached out to Rockstar to inquire.

It seems silly to not backport some or all of these changes to the other versions, but this is Rockstar, a company that still has yet to update the PC port of GTA Online to match the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S editions. This is a company that just announced a big new game, Grand Theft Auto VI, without confirming a PC port. And this is a company that has yet to bring Red Dead Redemption to PC after over a decade.

However, the company did add a 60fps option for the PS5 port of RDR, so maybe not all hope is lost. We should wait and see if Rockstar updates the current console versions to add these new features and fixes, but I’m not going to hold my breath.

Grant Theft Auto III, Vice City, and San Andreas Definitive Edition are out now on iOS and Android. You can play them for free if you’re a Netflix subscriber, but the games are also available separately for $20 each on the App Store and Google Play Store.

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