Grand Theft Auto Remastered trilogy could hit the App Store this year

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GTA III iPhone XS
It's about time!
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Rockstar Games is said to be working on a new Grand Theft Auto Remastered trilogy that could launch on iPhone and iPad before the end of the year. The set is expected to include all three PlayStation 2-era games from the hit series, including GTA III, Vice City, and San Andreas.

All three games are already available on iPhone and iPad, but despite some graphical improvements, they’re not true remasters. And with Grand Theft Auto III turning 20 this year, it’s about time it — and its successors — were revamped so that fans can enjoy them again on modern hardware.

Rockstar seems to feel the same way, according to a new report, which cites sources that claim a GTA Remastered trilogy is on its way.

Grand Theft Auto could be revived on iPhone and iPad

“According to these sources, Rockstar is actively developing remastered versions of Grand Theft Auto III, Grand Theft Auto Vice City, and Grand Theft Auto San Andreas,” reports Kotaku.

The titles are said to be in the final stages of development and will launch on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S and X, Nintendo Switch, Google Stadia, PC, and mobile devices. However, we may have to wait a little longer for the PC and mobile versions, with Rockstar reportedly prioritizing consoles.

Although the games are expected to stay true to the PS2 originals, they are being remastered in Unreal Engine using a mix of “new and old graphics.” One source, who claims to have seen the games in action, said they reminded them of heavily-modified versions of the originals.

Kotaku’s sources are considered to be reliable. They have previously leaked accurate information about GTA Online and Red Dead Online “weeks if not months in advance.”

What about newer GTA games?

While this is incredibly exciting news for any GTA fan, we’ve been wondering for quite some time now when newer GTA titles — like GTA IV and even GTA V — might appear on Apple devices.

GTA III first hit the App Store in December 2011, just over a decade after making its original debut. Vice City and San Andreas followed close to their own ten-year anniversaries. But it has now been 13 years since GTA IV first launched, and there’s been no sign of that on iPhone and iPad.

There’s no doubt that recent A-series chips would be powerful enough to handle games like GTA IV and even GTA V, and its earlier titles seemed to be popular on iOS. So, it’s unclear why Rockstar’s support for mobile devices has waned. Its last App Store release was Bully in 2016.

If indeed a GTA Remastered trilogy does land this year and proves an overwhelming success on mobile, perhaps that will encourage Rockstar to bring more titles to Apple devices later.