GTA III Anniversary review

GTA is a worldwide-known brand. Almost everyone has heard about it and most people that consider themselves gamers played at least one game in the series. GTA III is the first 3D game in the series and the one that defined the gameplay mechanics of every other GTA title. 10 years after its original release on the PS2, Rockstar decided to bring this legendary title to our iOS and Android devices. Is it still as great on our mobile phones and tablets as it once was on our old PS2?

Rockstar claims that this anniversary edition of GTA III is a complete PS2 port with updated visuals. Now, although the textures do seem a little more detailed than the ones in the PS2 version, the high resolutions of today’s devices make make the pop-up much more noticeable than in the original. Sure, it’s never as bad as the pop-up in Gangstar series can be, but it’s still there. However, GTA III is definitely the best looking sandbox game on mobile phones, so just make sure that your device is powerful enough to handle it. The sound aspect of the game is as good as I remember it to be. All of the radio stations are still here, with lot of various music genres and funny radio shows to choose from. The quality of voice acting and sound effects also didn’t suffer in the process of porting the game and the only thing that’s really missing is an option to play your own songs while driving around in Liberty City. You can still do it, but it requires messing around with the game files. Still, GTA III is a game that has one of the best soundtracks on the mobile platfrom(s), if not the best.

  The gameplay is very addictive, just as you would expect from a GTA game. Roaming and wreaking havoc around the city is still incredibly fun and there’s a lot of content for you to play through. The controls are not bad, but the screen is cluttered with buttons (unless if you’re playing on a tablet) and although that’s due to the obvious limitations of touchscreens, things can get a bit annoying from time to time. You can customize the controls, but the options are too limited to make much of a difference. The auto-aiming system is also not the best one there is, so it’s possible that you’ll end up dead because of the clunky controls. Even though controls are far from perfect, you’ll get used to them, so just be patient for a first few hours. On the other hand, the controls on Xperia Play are much better and are almost as good as the console versions. Still, the Xperia Play has frame rate problems due to its aging hardware.

Even though GTA III has its problems, one thing is certain: this is definitely the best sandbox game for smartphones there is. Interesting storyline with a lot of memorable characters, fun gameplay, a lot of various content and a fantastic soundtrack will make you get over the not-so-perfect controls and some pop-up problems. A real GTA game (not counting the Chinatown Wars) finally came to our smartphones and tablets and showed us once more why Rockstar is the undisputed king of the sandbox genre. What more can you ask for 5 dollars?

Graphics – 7/10 – more detailed textures, but worse pop-up in comparison to the other versions

Sound – 9.5/10 - fantastic soundtrack and voice acting, good sound effects

Gameplay – 9/10 – as addictive as any GTA title there is

Duration – 10/10 - there’s always something to do in Liberty City


Score – 9/10 – the best sandbox game you can play on the go

***/sandbox action adventure

The game score is not an average of other rated elements (since not all of them are equally important), just the reviewer’s overall opinion of the game.
Number of ‘ * ‘ represents hardware requirements:
* – almost any device can run this
* * – you’ll need at least a mid- range device (not necessarily multi-core, but with at least 512 MB of RAM)
*** – only for high-end devices (multi-core processor is a must)