6 bad video game remasters: GTA Trilogy isn't the only offender

Three people, standing, in a house
(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

The GTA Trilogy remaster has gone down like a lead balloon. What Grand Theft Auto fans had hoped would be a modernized nostalgia trip through GTA 3, GTA Vice City and San Andreas is instead an abhorrent excuse for a remaster, plagued with visual and performance issues. 

But this isn’t the first time fans have been seriously let down by a video game remaster. While we’ve seen many successful remasters manage to balance the line between modernizing a classic and staying true to its roots, we’ve equally seen plenty that have somehow made our fan-favorite games worse than before, whether that’s down to technical issues or by removing core parts of the original. We can now say that the GTA Trilogy safely falls into that latter category. 

The release of the GTA Trilogy has sparked a conversation among the TechRadar team about the worst remasters we’ve ever had the displeasure to get our hands-on. 

This isn’t an exhaustive list, and there are plenty more wrongdoers, but the games in our list were either poorly received by fans or were simply plagued with issues - and yes, GTA Trilogy is on the list.

1.  Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition 

GTA Trilogy GTA 3

(Image credit: Rockstar)

Where do we start with the GTA Trilogy remaster? While this remastered collection implements a new, suave art style, better lighting and more modernized graphics, it is plagued with issues. 

Just some of the issues include raindrops falling on visible grids, unstable frame rates, compressed audio and an almost non-existent draw-distance, this remaster is a mess. 

And those are just some of the issues. We’re hoping that Rockstar Games and remaster developer Grove Street will implement a patch to smooth out these issues, if it does so quickly then this definitive edition could still be saved.

2.  Crysis Remastered

Crysis Remastered

(Image credit: Crytek)

When you think of Crysis, you’ll likely think of one phrase: “Can it run Crysis?” That’s because, when the first-person shooter was originally released in 2007, it was renowned for its steep system requirements. 

If you could run Crysis, it was stunning, but that’s a major if. It was definitely ahead of its time, which is why Crysis Remastered was such a major letdown when it was released in 2020. 

While Crysis Remastered certainly made some visual and gameplay refinements, it was poorly optimized, with an inconsistent frame rate. But the cardinal sin was that it saw the Ascension chapter from the original game scrapped, as was multiplayer. What resulted was a remaster that certainly didn’t live up to the meme - and one we would rather forget about.

3.  Silent Hill HD Collection

Silent Hill HD Collection

(Image credit: Konami)

There are a handful of iconic elements of the Silent Hill franchise, but none are quite as memorable as the fog. Yet, for some reason, in the Silent Hill HD Collection, this important element was massively toned down. 

The atmospheric fog that was once thick became wispy and, frankly, a bit pathetic. But that wasn’t the only issue Silent Hill fans had with the HD collection. Voice actors were changed, audio was unbalanced and texture issues were exposed by the once dark and low fidelity game being upgraded to high definition. 

To put it simply, Silent Hill lost its ambiance and the technical issues were the final nail in the coffin for fans.

4.  Halo: The Master Chief Collection

Halo: The Master Chief Collection

(Image credit: Microsoft)

While we hold Halo: The Master Chief Collection in good regards now, this wasn’t the case when it first launched back in 2014. The collection was plagued with online issues that resulted in particularly lengthy matchmaking queues and players unable to join parties. 

The issue was so bad, Microsoft had to issue a statement, offering players some freebies as an apology. The Master Chief Collection, however, is an example of how a remaster with a rocky start can eventually find its footing again.

5. Warcraft 3 - Reforged

Warcraft III Reforged

(Image credit: Blizzard)

Warcraft 3 - Reforged was another remaster with a messy launch and even became the worst-rated game of all time on Metacritic - ouch! 

The Warcraft remaster was riddled with bugs and looked generally unpolished, while players complained about missing features from the remaster that were previously advertised, such as overhauled cutscenes. 

Eventually, these issues were ironed out, but it was too little too late. Unlike The Master Chief Collection, Warcraft never really recovered from this launch debacle.

6.  Devil May Cry HD Collection 

Devil May Cry HD Collection

(Image credit: Capcom)

The Devil May Cry HD Collection on PS4 is another remaster that was poorly received by fans. A port of the PS3 and Xbox 360 version, the PS4 version of this high-definition remaster - packing in the first three games in the series - didn’t change a whole lot from its predecessor.

Fans and critics alike lambasted the collection for offering nothing new: using the same assets and textures from before, not fixing any prior issues and introducing no new content. 

It was a barebone remaster and showed fans want more than a new lick of paint when it comes to a remaster.

Vic Hood
Associate Editor, TechRadar Gaming

Vic is TechRadar Gaming's Associate Editor. An award-winning games journalist, Vic brings experience from IGN, Eurogamer and more to the TechRadar table. You may have even heard her on the radio or speaking on a panel. Not only is Vic passionate about games, but she's also an avid mental health advocate who has appeared on both panels and podcasts to discuss mental health awareness. Make sure to follow her on Twitter for more.