How To Play The Best Version Of The GTA Trilogy

It’s safe to say that GTA: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition has been a disappointment, but its release has reminded many fans of the original classics. Now is a great time to revisit fond memories of the games included in the trilogy, but playing the original versions of GTA 3, Vice City, and San Andreas isn’t necessarily as simple as it sounds.

After GTA: The Trilogy was announced, Rockstar removed the original games from digital retailers. This decision prompted backlash even before the trilogy was released, with upset fans calling for the originals to be restored to digital stores. After GTA: The Trilogy widely received negative reviews, Rockstar announced that they will be returning the classic games to the Rockstar Launcher on PC, even going as far as to gift them for free to any PC players who purchased the trilogy. While this will soon make revisiting the original games easy for PC owners, console gamers have fewer options.


For those with consoles, having physical copies is the most reliable way to access the games as they were initially released. Thanks to the immense popularity of all three titles, there are still plenty of used physical copies available for purchase online. For those who have a PS2, PS3, original Xbox, or Xbox 360, owning the classic trilogy is only a few mouse clicks away. There are also the ten-year anniversary editions of all three games, which were released on mobile platforms and are only slightly different from the original releases.

Many GTA Ports Have Been Altered

There is a catch, however: GTA: Vice City and San Andreas soundtrack songs are now missing from the games on several platforms due to expired copyright licenses. While this doesn’t affect the original PS2 or Xbox releases, other ports haven’t fared as well. The Steam, PS3, Xbox 360, and mobile anniversary versions of both games are now lacking certain songs, and these aren’t the only changes. The PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of the games feature the same graphical tweaks as the mobile anniversary ports. Considering that these changes were mostly thought of as being improvements, this is an advantage that may balance out the missing songs for some players.

While there are fan-created PC mods that restore the missing songs to the games, the PS2 and Xbox physical releases are the best methods of playing the originals without any changes. Still, in the grand scheme of things, the alterations to the soundtrack are relatively small compared to The Definitive Edition‘s massive overhaul. Hopefully, Rockstar brings the original games back to consoles as well as PC, as all three GTA: The Trilogy games are influential releases that deserve to be preserved.

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