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Does Grand Theft Auto III Withstand The Test Of Time?

Okay, first of all, the news that's getting a ton of attention this weekend is old. We knew the ESRB had rated Grand Theft Auto III and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City for the PlayStation 3 back in January.

Anyway, assuming that those PS2 classics are coming to the PSN in downloadable format, the question is simple: Do those titles withstand the test of time, or do they really show their age? Well, considering that I can't seem to go a month without fooling around in Vice City (sorry, I just love the setting), I think I've got some recent insights into the issue. I did play GTAIII recently as well, and there is some difference between the two games in question but...not too much.

One of the things we may notice immediately is that the control isn't fantastic. It almost seems sluggish, clunky, and unreliable when compared to the more fluid, responsive control mechanics of today. That being said, driving is always a breeze; there isn't anything realistic about it but up until GTAIV, there wasn't a single solitary element in the franchise that was even remotely authentic. And yeah, that was part of the fun. So in some ways, the sheer over-the-top fun factor should endure. The only problem is that given the dated look of the visuals (and it's plain as day) and the relatively clunky controls, younger players might just turn up their noses.

And that leads me to wonder whether or not all these PS2 and PS1 classics are almost entirely for those who played them way back when and want to take a trip down memory lane. GTAIII and Vice City were groundbreaking in their day and I could still play both without a problem, but the 20-year-old who probably thinks GTAIV is dated...? Unlikely.

Related Game(s): Grand Theft Auto III, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City

Tags: rockstar, grand theft auto iii, gtaiii, grand theft auto vice city, gta vice city

6/24/2012 9:00:51 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (32 posts)

CaptRon
Sunday, June 24, 2012 @ 9:51:42 PM
Reply

Kids aren't supposed to be playin them anyway, 17+

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Sunday, June 24, 2012 @ 10:30:48 PM

...wasn't talking about kids.

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AcHiLLiA
Monday, June 25, 2012 @ 8:56:29 AM

tough, they already are.

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bebestorm
Sunday, June 24, 2012 @ 10:20:23 PM
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I believe many would try it because when you get into a series late you want to see how everything started.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, June 24, 2012 @ 10:23:49 PM

It's not like they are particularly connected though.

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bebestorm
Sunday, June 24, 2012 @ 10:59:44 PM

Of course not but they have similarities. When I discovered Final Fantasy 8 after finishing it I wanted to know all about FF and played past games same with Tomb Raider,MGS etc

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, June 24, 2012 @ 11:08:31 PM

I see what you mean, general interest in the series.

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TheCanadianGuy
Sunday, June 24, 2012 @ 10:21:53 PM
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well i don't know what the younger generation of gamers will think of it but for me GTA III VC and SA will forever Withstand the test of time. there really the only PS2 games i still play regularly.

and as far as i'm concerned all 3 of them are just as fun to play as anything out there today. (GTA III is my all time favorite btw xD)

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WorldEndsWithMe
Sunday, June 24, 2012 @ 10:26:06 PM
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No way no how, I've gone back and played both and this is one case where you can't go home again. Those games look and play terribly by today's standards. I'll say this though, none of them had a melee system as bad as GTAIV.

And bring back the "perfect driving" code and car jumping codes for gosh sakes.

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Superdynamite
Sunday, June 24, 2012 @ 10:53:27 PM
Reply

GTAIII 9.8
Vice City 7.2
San Andreas 10.0
GTAIV 9.5

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LimitedVertigo
Sunday, June 24, 2012 @ 11:20:07 PM

LOL....you rate IV higher than Vice City? I'd love for you to explain that.

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Geobaldi
Sunday, June 24, 2012 @ 11:47:21 PM

I don't understand that rating system either. For me I'd rather play Vice City over all the others in the series.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Sunday, June 24, 2012 @ 11:53:30 PM

Uh...Vice City was better than GTAIII in every conceivable way from an objective and mechanical standpoint.

Those must be awfully subjective ratings.

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ZenChichiri
Monday, June 25, 2012 @ 12:11:11 AM

I agree that GTA3 was my favourite of the PS2 GTAs, but like Ben said, it is because of my own personal bias. I prefer the New York setting of the game, and also the various gangs that you encounter. The Mafia, Yakuza, Triads, and Diablos were all quite interesting, and they were so insanely exaggerated that it made the game charming and fun.

I also gotta say, I like the radio shows in GTA3 the best too. Chatterbox was absolutely hilarious, and I was a big electro junky then so I would often put on Rise FM. Vice City had some really funny commercials too though ("You're married now! To America!" "I'll cry when I'm done killing!"), but I still dig GTA3 a bit more.

Last edited by ZenChichiri on 6/25/2012 12:11:39 AM

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Sir Shak
Monday, June 25, 2012 @ 1:20:51 AM

What happened? Were you rooting for Lance Vance Dance?

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, June 25, 2012 @ 1:30:45 AM

Vice City's flat tires kind of ruined the game for me.

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AcHiLLiA
Monday, June 25, 2012 @ 9:00:15 AM

I loved the Cheetah in Vice City, best handling and fast.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Monday, June 25, 2012 @ 9:52:27 AM

World: Admittedly, it was far too easy to get your tires shot out but come on! Driving on flats was frustratingly awesome fun. ;)

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, June 25, 2012 @ 10:58:21 AM

I have to admit I mostly played the GTA games for the wild police chases after crafty murder sprees. The tire thing hurt that a lot so my friends and I stuck to GTAIII and San Andreas more.

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LimitedVertigo
Sunday, June 24, 2012 @ 11:19:31 PM
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Outdated to me, for sure. GTAIII was amazing for its time but the sequels have greatly expanded upon it and since it's a sandbox game I treat it differently than say FFVI.

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ZenChichiri
Monday, June 25, 2012 @ 12:05:55 AM
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I gotta say, there is charm oozing out of the PS2 iterations of the GTA franchise. The thing about GTA4 is that it took itself way too seriously. GTA was all about crazy fun, zany characters, and the ability to unrealistically do whatever you wanted in the city. This is what made GTA so damn fun for me, and because of this they will always be timeless, even with clunkier controls than what we're used to today.

I for one welcome an HD uplift and a rerelease of these games. For some reason these days I'm getting more excited for rereleases than I am for some of the major releases coming up. Right now I'm having a tonne of fun with the Devil May Cry HD collection.

Last edited by ZenChichiri on 6/25/2012 12:06:19 AM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, June 25, 2012 @ 1:32:13 AM

Saint's Row is the salvation for old GTA fans.

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ZenChichiri
Monday, June 25, 2012 @ 1:46:25 AM

Yah I've had my eye on Saint's Row 3 for that same reason. I think I'll pick it up soon when I see a good deal on it!

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Beamboom
Monday, June 25, 2012 @ 3:50:14 AM

Saints Row is crazy fun. But above all, it's the best coop game in existence. And I really mean that.
If you got a buddy to play with, do the campaigns in those games (SR2+3) exclusively with him/her. You'll never have laughed as hard in any game before. Just the things you two will be able to come up with alone is worth the admission fee of owning those games.

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Beamboom
Monday, June 25, 2012 @ 12:54:11 AM
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Seeing how other older games that I have no relation with appear outdated and mostly uninteresting to me it should be safe to assume those who has never played GTA before would think the same about those games...

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, June 25, 2012 @ 1:37:28 AM
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I want Dark Cloud HD collection, and Suikoden III-IV-V HD collection, and Grandia II and III HD collection. And wicked stuff like that.

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Vivi_Gamer
Monday, June 25, 2012 @ 2:39:51 AM
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Really? I have to be honest I still find the PS2 titles to be the pinnacle of the series. GTA IV got boring once I reached the next Island and fond nothing new. GTA III, Vice City & San Andreas have tons of replay value.

I think what gives Vice City & San Andreas the edge over GTA III is that they're set in specific time periods which gives the player more to connect with. GTA III just felt modern at the time, so now it feels dated, where as the other games set in the past you can sort of over look it.

I still find all 3 games fun to play though. Sure it may seem a little unrealistic in comparison to GTA IV. But they're far more fun to play. Of course as I played them upon release I will have fond memories, playing GTA III for the first time was an experience. It's sandbox world was far beyond anything else at the time. I have spend countless hours just driving around and admiring the environment.

I have noticed modern players seem to be complaining about the controls of the PS2 age. With the MGS HD Collection. Many reviewers noted the 'dated' controls for MGS2 & 3... I simply do not see this. I think MGS2 is possibly one of the most accessible games I have with controls, there is so much to do and it's easy to pull off. Sure it does not have the 'essential' over the shoulder view which has been in every third person game since. But it doesn't need it in my eye.

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dmiitrie
Monday, June 25, 2012 @ 3:55:56 AM
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I tried to go back and play Vice City about a year ago, and despite having loved it and sinking countless hours into it, it only took a single session to make me give it up. I didn't care about the visuals being dated, I expected that, but the controls were so counter-intuitive for me that even the simplest things took me a try or to to get right (stuff like running from one spot to another). Finally the frustration got to me and I quit the game before too many precious memories were ruined.

However, I also noticed that, to me at least, the entire GTA franchise hasn't aged well. Unlike most people, I greatly enjoyed the more serious and gritty nature of GTA4. The over-the-topness that so many people like just doesn't appeal to me like it did when I was 19, so I was very glad that it had been abandoned. But the gameplay still felt very dated and that caused me to quit on GTA4 as well.

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___________
Monday, June 25, 2012 @ 5:03:07 AM
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F*CK YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
sorry, but there is NO 2 games out there that need to come to the PSN than those 2!
yea they show their age, quite considerably actually ive been playing VC off steam the past week, and GTAIII on my phone.
but just because they show their age, does not mean they should not be brought to the store!
i would MUCH rather see a HD collection, which really should not be that hard considering R* has already touched up GTAIII for phones, and said that if there was enough demand they would consider a HD remake for 3, VC, and san andreas.
all i can say is people better get screaming because there is no franchise out there that deserves a HD remake than GTA!

shame no one has tried to port san andreas over to some modern engine like they have done with crash and duke nukem 3D.
so many classics these days ported over to new engines to look like they just came out!
wish someone would do that with 3, vice city and san andreas.
exactly like the ps2 versions in every single way, just looking like GTAV!
now THATS gaming heaven!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

its pretty sad that its remakes that get the most excitement these days, no?
just goes to show how far the industry has fallen!

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Nerull
Monday, June 25, 2012 @ 11:32:02 AM
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"You're born naked, and you die naked die naked, so I'm going to live naked."
Seriously though, I got started with GTA 2.

Loved it so much that I bought GTA1, but it was ridiculously hard and not as fun, never mind the expansion in radio stations #2 had going for it.

I still have the theme songs from both, short change is still awesome.

Last edited by Nerull on 6/25/2012 11:37:46 AM

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jugheadjones
Tuesday, June 26, 2012 @ 11:48:12 AM
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Oh, absolutely. I still break out GTA III on a monthly basis and mess with it for a few hours. I still have a blast with it. A good game is always a good game - always. I even bought a Nintendo 64 to hook up to my HDTV, just to play the original Quake and Goldeneye. I love to spend time with my old friends. I have my Pong console hooked up to an old B&W tv with an aerial antenae, just for a nostalgic feel.

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PAKINIPS
Tuesday, June 26, 2012 @ 4:00:02 PM
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I'm a 20 year old and vice city was my favourite childhood game.
I still play it although i have problems with the controls. If they could redo it on a newer engine that would be amazing!
Fly cheat and tank with the turret facing backwards was the ultimate way to travel

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