I don't know if you've heard but Rockstar announced that a "Definitive Edition" of the classic GTA trilogy was coming and I got really excited for that because I love the original GTA trilogy. They are very special games to me, for many reasons.
I also don't know if you've heard that they completely screwed it up. They have some good qualities to them, but a lot of it just reeks of a game that was rushed out, which is very sad and depressing because these games deserve better treatment.
The half-assed-ness of this version, in combination with Rockstar/Take Two going out of their way to sue modders, which are maybe the most passionate fans of these games, really leaves a bad taste in my mouth of Rockstar. I really don't know what to do with them in the future. I hope I can feel confident enough in them to immediately get GTA 6 and RDR 3 whenever those happen, but as it is right now, Rockstar has sunken really far.
It is true that these versions weren't developed by Rockstar themselves, rather they were outsourced to Grove Street Games (which previously also made the Mobile trilogy ports a couple of years ago). But even so, it is ultimately Rockstars decision to do that. If they wanna entrust their biggest trilogy of games to a developer which has previously created not perfect results, that is completely on Rockstar. GSG probably did what they could in what (probably very little) time they had. It was Rockstars decision for that to happen.
So, what do I think of the games themselves?
Well, I haven't played much GTA 3, but from what I've heard it's not good.
I did play San Andreas up to Badlands, but once I got there I immediately noticed a lot of things were wrong so I stopped.
Then I went to Vice City as my final resort, and I am sort of happy I did. I think maybe VC has gotten the best treatment out of the three. It's definitively not perfect, but I overall kind of like what is here. For one thing, I find it incredibly pretty. I know it also its graphical issues and questionable character models, but some moments look just amazing. It is the exact kind of lighting and colors that I like - it is my kind of art direction. It goes so well with the 80s theme.
Apart from the nice visuals, I can't say many other nice things. The game just lacks polish and it feels like a waste of an opportunity and it is just incredibly disappointing. I 100%ed the game and got the platinum trophy for it and I could think was "well, it looks nice but this could've been so much better".
Just on top of my mind, here are some issues I can think of for Vice City (a lot of them are in common with the other games too though):
As you noticed I said 1.0 there, and that is because they have actually released a patch that fixed some things, but far from all of them.
Then there are some other nitpicks I have:
Obviously there are a ton of general issues too like the game running bad on consoles and especially Switch, but there are bigger fish to fry here. You can check out these videos for more stuff if you are interested:
Can Rockstar fix this? Sure, they'll still have a huge asterisk next to them for some time, but if they want to I think they could redeem themselves - if they actually want to - really seems like they don't care anymore though.
Here's a list of things I would like see them do:
I wish I could sit here and write that these are the perfect remakes for my favorite trilogy and they got the treatment they deserved, but instead all I can really say is that VC looks nice but everything else is generally terrible and incredibly disappointing. I hope they will fix it, but with the way Rockstar has been lately I really don't see it happening. They'll probably do some minimum effort patches to fix the most serious issues and that'll be it. Maybe, maaaaaaybe, I can see them relisting the original versions for all platforms but even that seems doubtful.
I'll play 3 DE and SA DE eventually, probably when a few more patches have come out.