The best, most memorable hijinks and moments from GTA 3, Vice City and San Andreas.GTA Remaster: FIRST thing that GAMERS wants to do in GTA Remaster Games Click To Tweet
GTA 3 was mind blowing in 2001. It was a whole city at a time when 3D games had only just started to break out of rooms and hallways—it’s only three years removed from the original Half-Life—and unlike most games, it wasn’t sci-fi, fantasy, or kids’ stuff. It was rude. There were swears. You could run people over indiscriminately, but unlike Postal, which was purely about upsetting the media with pointless violence, it took place in a world people lived in, one that seemed to function without you.
Does GTA 3 hold up today? Probably not as well as Vice City or San Andreas, and how well they hold up is itself a question, but we’re curious to see how they feel in the remastered GTA Trilogy collection releasing later this year. Here are the moments we’re most looking forward to reliving:
Flying the Dodo in GTA 3
This isn’t as much my memory as my older brother’s, but wow, GTA 3’s first plane sure seemed like a chore to fly. Aptly named the Dodo, it was a short-winged propeller plane that was never designed to stay in the air for more than a few seconds. I wasn’t allowed to play GTA 3 when it came out (on account of being five), but I watched my older brother play a lot, and one afternoon he became obsessed with mastering the Dodo.
For hours I watched him try to jump the Dodo over a river, jamming buttons to nudge the nose into the air and tumbling into the water every time. That was basically what I thought Grand Theft Auto was for the next few years—a frustrating flight sim in which all the planes suck. Of course, the internet eventually learned how to fly the Dodo indefinitely, and even soar it high enough in the air that you can see all of the Liberty City buildings that have no tops. —Morgan Park
Making cars fly
Cheat codes were still pretty common when GTA 3 released, and it set a great baseline standard for how much nonsense players should be able to get up to in open world games. The GTA Vice City cheats and GTA San Andreas cheats that followed kept the tradition alive—Rockstar is one of the few developers that never abandoned it—and I think I’ve spent more time messing around with cheats in GTA games than actually doing the missions. Speed up the game clock and turn on flying cars for the true GTA hard mode. —Tyler Wilde
Shout-out also to the extensive pedestrian AI cheats that let you arm every civilian, set them to riot mode, and turn the entire island into a messy survival playground. An absurdly fun way to mess around in GTA’s sandbox, it’s a shame that Rockstar’s GTA 5 cheats are so tame by comparison. —Phil Savage
Climbing into a Rhino tank
Sure, GTA games are known for their satirical writing, referential mission scenarios and expansive world building, but sometimes you just want to ignore all that and cause havoc in a sandbox city filled with things to shoot. And that’s the joy of the Rhino tank. It’s a near-indestructible beast of violence and fury—letting you roll over cars and fight off whole SWAT teams with ease. Plus you can fire it backwards to gain a speed boost, which is very silly. There’s a handful of showcase missions with the Rhino at the centre, but the real fun is just stealing one from a military base and wreaking havoc in your own time. —Phil Savage