GTA Trilogy gameplay has leaked, and it looks even better than we hoped

Casino strip in GTA Trilogy
(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

Gameplay for Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition (or just the GTA Trilogy for the sake of merciful brevity) has leaked online just a day ahead of release.

Collated by VGC, segments of gameplay from all three games in the PS2-era trilogy (GTA 3, Vice City and San Andreas) showcase the updated titles in action, demonstrating new features like the radial menu for weapon selection, GTA 5-style movement controls, and updated aiming and shooting mechanics.

Due to launch on November 11, 2021, for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and Nintendo Switch (with GTA 3 and San Andreas coming to PlayStation Now and Xbox Game Pass respectively), we'd seen next to nothing from the GTA Trilogy in terms of raw gameplay, with the announcement trailer largely focusing on cutscenes and dramatic in-engine shots.

Collectively, there's over an hour of footage to peruse between the GTA 3 and GTA Vice City remasters. And while there's no closer look for GTA San Andreas as of yet, a quick gameplay snippet from the game's introductory mission did find its way to Reddit.

Each game's iconic licensed soundtracks have sadly taken a hit, however. Licensing issues from previous re-releases of the games meant that some tracks (including notable omissions from Michael Jackson) were removed from the original versions. VGC has put together a list of confirmed songs in the GTA Trilogy, showing that songs removed from prior re-releases persist in this new collection.

Opinion: The GTA Trilogy is looking superb

Last month's GTA Trilogy announcement trailer gave us a good idea as to what to expect from the collection in terms of visuals, and was followed up with many exciting gameplay tweaks and quality-of-life updates to bring each game up to speed.

And while we can't help but think character models look a little too much like plastic action figures, the GTA Trilogy remasters' visuals impress on almost every other level, and we're delighted to see that these don't appear to be rushed out the door to make a quick buck.

The new lighting is simply gorgeous, lending a level of detail and immersion to these iconic environments that we simply haven't seen before. Texture upgrades, for the most part, make each game look fantastic without betraying that original PS2 look. We're excited to just roam around each game's map, visiting recognizable areas to see how much they've changed.

We're positive that the wait between the GTA Trilogy and GTA 6 will still be astronomical, even after we've seen and done everything the trilogy remaster has to offer. Still, having updated versions of one of the greatest gaming trilogies of all time in a more accessible format is sure to do wonders for their preservation, allowing fans and newcomers both to enjoy them for years to come.

Rhys Wood
Hardware Editor

Rhys is TRG's Hardware Editor, and has been part of the TechRadar team for more than two years. Particularly passionate about high-quality third-party controllers and headsets, as well as the latest and greatest in fight sticks and VR, Rhys strives to provide easy-to-read, informative coverage on gaming hardware of all kinds. As for the games themselves, Rhys is especially keen on fighting and racing games, as well as soulslikes and RPGs.