The GTA Trilogy tries to be faithful to the original games, but there are several notable differences between them.
Some differences are quality-of-life improvements that genuinely make the GTA Trilogy feel better to play in the the present day. However, some of the other changes haven't been as good or well-received. One would think that a game released in 2021 would far outclass those from the early 2000s, but that's not necessarily been the case with the remastered trilogy.
Comparing the GTA Trilogy as of January 2022 to the original three games
It's easiest to look at the two collections of games separately and see what each offers over the other. In this case, the GTA Trilogy is better for having:
- Substantial quality-of-life improvements (without relying on mods)
- Better graphics in some areas (without relying on mods)
- A few touch-ups to problematic missions, such as "Demolition Man" having a longer time limit
- Can receive patches to become better
Here is what the original three games did better than the GTA Trilogy (as of January 2022):
- Far more stable, resulting in significantly fewer crashes
- Included the entire original soundtrack (without relying on mods)
- Included several cheats absent from the GTA Trilogy
- More mods (especially for GTA San Andreas)
- Stood head-and-shoulders above its competition at the time
The original GTA games were terrific for their time
Modern gamers who grew up with GTA 5 might not like the original PS2 games because those titles feel antiquated by today's standards. However, it's worth mentioning that they were legendary for their time and are largely responsible for revolutionizing many aspects of contemporary 3D open-world games.
It was a time long before patches became commonplace. Even now, these games are far more stable when running on PC as compared to the GTA Trilogy's poorly-optimized code. It can be overstated enough what a poor showing it is for a video game to suffer from numerous crashes and performance issues, not just on lower-end systems like the Nintendo Switch but even on top-of-the-line next-generation consoles and high-end PCs.
The original games didn't have those problems. And due to licensing issues, the GTA Trilogy doesn't have all of the same songs. Likewise, some cheat codes are missing in the GTA Trilogy due to the move to the Unreal engine:
"We actually had to remove a couple for technical reasons, certain things that didn't play well in the Unreal base."
The GTA Trilogy does some things right but doesn't adapt well to the modern era
Unsurprisingly, the GTA Trilogy was review-bombed for failing to live up to the gargantuan expectations set by its predecessors. For example, some characters like Denise Robinson and Ken Rosenberg don't quite look right. That said, it still does some things well.
Thanks to a few patches, it's in a much better state now than it was at launch. Its quality-of-life improvements, such as instantly restarting failed missions, make it feel far more accessible than its predecessors.
Several GTA Trilogy fans online also claim that they never suffered any game-breaking glitches, proving how one's love for (and patience with) the game will certainly vary depending on their own experiences.
Still, the game is faithful to the original games (perhaps too much so), and it does surpass the originals in several areas if one doesn't consider the latter's extensive modding scene.
Note: This article reflects the writer's personal views.
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