Netflix's gaming service is adding Grand Theft Auto — but there's a catch

grand theft auto
(Image credit: Rockstar)

Netflix has been making a big push into gaming the past few years, and last month rumors popped up that Grand Theft Auto could come to the platform. It turns out those rumors were true, but unfortunately Netflix is adding the Grand Theft Auto games you’re least likely to want to play.

Netflix has announced that December 14 will see Grand Theft Auto The Trilogy come to its gaming catalog. That includes the remastered versions of Grand Theft Auto III, Vice City and San Andreas. Specifically this is the “Definitive Version” of the games that was released in 2021 to universal disdain, and we at Tom’s Guide called it the “worst launch since Cyberpunk 2077”.

All three games launched with serious issues ranging from buggy gameplay to graphical issues. Social media was awash with users openly criticizing the game, and pointing out just how poor the “remastered” graphics actually were. To the point where they actually look worse than the original releases, despite the fact they were released in the early ‘00s.

The Nintendo Switch version was singled out for being particularly poor. The frame rate was known to dip below 20fps in places, and the dock’s dynamic resolution scaling made everything look like a blurry mess. It was so bad that GTA developers Rockstar had to issue a public apology, with a promise that the games’ various issues would be fixed.

Those problems have indeed been fixed, but like red wine on a white carpet the stain on the Definitive Edition’s reputation isn’t going to disappear anytime soon.

We can only assume that Netflix will have access to the best versions of all three games, so the release shouldn’t be the absolute disaster we experience back in 2021. Still, it is something to bear in mind if you are actively playing Netflix games or are interested in a new way to play classic Grand Theft Auto games.

Still with the impending announcement of Grand Theft Auto 6, and now a brand new way to play older games, it sounds like it could potentially be a very good time to be a GTA fan. Let’s just hope things don't go so spectacularly wrong again.

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Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.