Last week's GTA V: Expanded and Enhanced trailer might have gone down like a dog's dinner at the most recent PlayStation Showcase, but one of the really exciting bits of GTA news we're still waiting for is the Remastered Trilogy, which is reportedly set to include improved versions of GTA 3, GTA: Vice City and GTA: San Andreas.
It hasn't officially been announced yet, but it seems very likely it's the real deal, and we can't wait to get our hands on those classics when they eventually return to Xbox for the first time in many years. But personally, I'd also really like to see Rockstar dip into their archive and bring back some truly old-school GTA classics as well.
Of course, I'm talking about the series' origins in GTA 1, GTA: London 1969 and GTA 2. For the uninitiated, those games were released back in the late 90s, and took a totally different approach to the modern-day 3D Grand Theft Auto titles, adopting a top-down visual style and serving as the foundation for what the franchise would become. Anyone who was part of the gaming scene during that time period will almost certainly have played them at some point.
Amazingly, despite how historic those games truly are, we've never seen any rendition of them on an Xbox console in the past 20 years. GTA 2 did make its way to the Dreamcast (alongside the PS1) back in 2000, but by the time the Xbox came around in November 2001, the old top-down style was already being forgotten about in favour of GTA 3's revolutionary new 3D engine (even so, Grand Theft Auto 3 wouldn't arrive on Xbox until May of 2002).
And there are good reasons why I want to see those games on Xbox again. For one thing, I'm nostalgic for them. The early GTA days were tons of fun, and I have a particular fondness for GTA: London 1969, which remains the only entry in the series to have ever graced the country I live in, doing a fantastic (and hilarious) job of it. More importantly though, none of them have ever been treated to an HD touch-up, which seems crazy to me.
You can still play those games on PC and retro consoles today, but admittedly they feel dated. The controls in particular could really do with some modern tinkering, while improved visuals along with support for widescreen displays would really make a big difference. I'm not talking about a radical overhaul, just an update worthy of 2021's standards.
You could argue whether there's any point. I can understand the lack of interest in a top-down version of GTA in today's world, but then again, 2009's GTA: Chinatown Wars on the Nintendo DS (and later PSP, Android and iOS) is still considered one of the greatest games to ever have graced those platforms, and it too adopted a top-down perspective.
You know what? Why not remaster Chinatown Wars too while we're at it, and maybe even throw Digital Eclipse's Grand Theft Auto Advance in there. Let's have a retro GTA collection, complete with behind-the-scenes footage of the making of these games, the original trailers for them and maybe even the addition of online play where possible. It's a pipe dream, sure, but I would be knocking down the door to give Take-Two my money if it were ever to happen.
Being realistic, I can't see this happening anytime soon, and the fact that the GTA Trilogy is reportedly getting a remaster is more than I would have expected anyway. Then again, if the collection does sell well and Take-Two sees an opportunity to make more money, I highly recommend they dip even further into Rockstar's back catalogue.
Would you like to see some old-school GTA titles remastered for Xbox? Let us know in the comments below.
Chinatown Wars would have been perfect on XBLA back in the day. Alas, it was never meant to be...
GTA london. Getaway was the closest thing to a 3D GTA london, but now I want the real thing. With ray tracing
Oh yeah I remember playing GTA1 on my ps1 just wrecking havoc because I was too Young to umderstand any of it. Loved GTA 2 too Player it to death. Funny thing is that when rockstar announced gta 3 is in 3D ppl were mad that it won't be the same game so they even added extra camera with this classic view
I hear rustler scratches that "top down gta" itch
I remember renting the first game from my local Blockbuster for the PS1 after seeing it in a magazine. I really didn't have a clue to what I was doing but it was good fun. Would love to play them again now that I know what I am doing.
I played one on the playstation 1 can't remember which it was though as I was only about 8 lol all I remember is I could make my character burp and fart lol
I played GTA 2 before I played 1 and London 1969 but always found myself going back to London. Those games were a blast and I think that people who are fans of the GTA series are really missing out if they haven't played them. They're are a huge part of early gaming for me and I'd love to play them again on console. That said, I'm still more excited for the alleged GTA 3, VC and SA remasters than I would be for the original games.
I'd buy a Chinatown wars port in an instant. I really enjoyed the drug wars and the police system it had. It's kind of sad the only way to play on a big tv is via mobile apps or emulation. I played it alot on a Nexus player years ago.
@The_New_Butler the thing is back in '97 GTA and Carmaggedon were only games with mindless voilence where you could behave like a literal psychopat. Not everyone liked that, linking it with various social problems
I agree completely, especially with the idea of throwing in Advance and Chinatown Wars. I prefer the old style of GTA and I actually think GTA2 is the best GTA game of the whole series
Yes!!! I’ve been wanting to replay these for ages. Probably my fave GTAs.
Removed - inappropriate; user is banned
Just an addendum to this, there was a period of time possibly around when Vice City/San Andreas came out that Rockstar actually made the original 2D games available for free on PC. Similar to what Westwood did with Command & Conquer and Red Alert. You could just download them from their official websites.
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