Grand Theft Auto III Receives New Rating--Switch Release Imminent?

A new rating for this classic fuels speculation.

The Australian Classification Board issued a brand new rating for Grand Theft Auto III. To no one’s surprise–considering the content of GTA III–it received a “restricted” rating–18+ only. However, what is surprising is the need for a fresh rating at all. GTA III has been available on the PS4 for years, so what’s the point? The new rating must mean there’s a new release of the game forthcoming, and perhaps–perhaps–it will be on the Switch. Even an Xbox One release would be nice.

Unfortunately, while a Switch release is an exciting possibility, it isn’t a foregone conclusion. GTA III has a long and rocky history in Australia. Soon after the game released in 2001, the land-down-under banned it due to its mature content. It was edited and re-released in a “less mature,” 15+ form. It is certainly possible that the fresh rating just means Australia will receive the original, uncut version of the game–editions that already exist elsewhere. This would be good news for Australians, but not-so-good news for those of us who just want to play the game from the comfort of our Switches.

It’s fun to speculate, though, and thinking about the mayhem of GTA III on a Switch makes me very happy. GTA III blends deep mission-based content with open-world fun, and I’d love to experience it all while lounging in bed (where most of my Switch-gaming takes place).

Prior to GTA III‘s release in 2001, Grand Theft Auto was cool, but the franchise was not yet a monolith of the video game industry. GTA III was a beautiful and ambitious game-changer, both for Grand Theft Auto and for video games more generally. It would be nice to be able to commemorate the game’s legacy on as many platforms as possible.

We’ll keep you informed as we hear more about it. For now, GTA III is available on the PlayStation Store for just $8.99. I can’t recommend it enough.


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