Grand Theft Auto 3 iOS review

Grand Theft Auto 3 iOS reviewOkay, two reasons for reviewing Grand Theft Auto 3. Firstly, for “posterity” – always a great excuse when reviewing something that first popped up on smartphones 11 months ago. Ahem.

Also, more importantly, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City is coming to Android and iOS on December 6 – that’s one week today. Sah-weet.

So, Grand Theft Auto 3; as I was saying, it’s been available for Android and iOS for almost a year, and its release marked the 10-year anniversary. Yes, Grand Theft Auto 3 is now an incredible 11 years old.

Has anyone not played Grand Theft Auto 3? I’m sure you all know the deal, with the mafia and the triads and the cartel and the yakuza and what have you.

What you really want to know is: how does Grand Theft Auto 3 play on smartphones and tablets?

Well, I’ve been playing the heck out of Grand Theft Auto 3 on the iPad in particular, and the good news is that it plays surprisingly well.

Needless to say, Grand Theft Auto 3’s touchscreen controls were never going to be ideal. With the current generation of consoles, we’re all used to having dual analogue sticks, four shoulder triggers and multiple buttons, all within easy reach.

Grand Theft Auto 3 iOS review

Grand Theft Auto 3 opts for a virtual analogue stick on the left, with an array of context-dependant (for walking or driving) buttons on the right. For the most part, they work quite well. I know a lot was made of the driving controls, but I can’t say I found them particularly bothersome.

One thing I would recommend is hitting up the Options menu and spacing out the buttons. The last thing you want to do is jump into a car as you’re trying to shoot someone in the face.

As for the game, all 73 Grand Theft Auto 3 missions are present, and there are actually a handful of small changes, most notably the ability to retry missions.

Back in the day, when we were 11 years younger and far less wise, we started missions at A and drove to B to take care of business. All good so far.

However, getting “wasted” caused you to respawn at C (the hospital), in which case you had to drive all the way back to A to restart the mission in order to drive back to B again. Phew. I’m exhausted just typing that.

Now it’s simply a case of hitting Retry. Excellent.

And that’s Grand Theft Auto 3 in a nutshell. As a game, it remains absolutely fantastic. Touchscreen controls admittedly aren’t ideal, but Rockstar has made the best of what’s on offer.


  • It’s Grand Theft Auto 3
  • 73 missions
  • Retry


  • Touchscreen controls aren’t ideal

Summary: If you can get past the touchscreen controls (and they really aren’t that bad), it’s well worth revisiting Grand Theft Auto 3 on your smartphone. It’s still great 11 years on.

Developer: Rockstar Games

Price: £2.99 @ App Store, £3.11 @ Google Play

Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Requires iOS 4.3 or later.

Grand Theft Auto 3 iOS review

Read more about: Apple iPad 4Apple iPhone 5iOSApple iPad 2Apple iPad 3Apple iPad miniApple iPhone 3GSApple iPhone 4Apple iPhone 4S

Add a comment

matt101101 / MOD  Nov. 29, 2012 at 17:03

If you've got an Android device and a PS3 controller, you can irradicate the touch-screen controls issue, making the game a solid 6/5.

lcurdie / MOD  Nov. 29, 2012 at 17:38

matt101101 / MOD  Nov. 29, 2012 at 17:58

Pondlife  Nov. 29, 2012 at 21:07

Pity it's harder to get xbox one going

matt101101 / MOD  Nov. 29, 2012 at 21:58

Pity it's harder to get xbox one going
A wireless Xbox controller is almost impossible to get running on an Android device, isn't it? Since Microsoft took the fantastic decision to use a proprietory wireless system for the connection to the console.

Stelph  Nov. 30, 2012 at 11:12

Not if you use the USB adapter I had thought? Obv not ideal but it works


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