By the end of this week, every mainline Grand Theft Auto game still worth a playthrough will be available on PlayStation 5 and PS4 — except for one. The badly named Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - Definitive Edition remasters III, Vice City, and San Andreas for Sony's systems, meaning they join Grand Theft Auto V with native versions as part of their lineups. But there's something missing here: Grand Theft Auto IV. Niko Bellic is still stuck on PS3 — you cannot even stream the game through PS Now — and that needs to be rectified.
The Eastern European's pursuit of the American Dream was the first game in the series I properly played for myself, and as the last mainline GTA title since the franchise went 3D now without a PS5 or PS4 port, I don't want Rockstar to forget about it. Please don't let GTA 4 rot on PS3, Rockstar. I want to go bowling with Roman again.
It all starts with the theme song. This masterpiece of a tune captures the frighteningly sombre and foreboding vibes of the story unlike anything else does. I remember having it on repeat when the game first launched way back in April 2008 and I'm doing the very same thing as I write this piece. It's scarily good; to be honest I'd take this on PS5 alone and call it a day. God, give me a PS5 theme with this playing in the background.
Anyway, the open world experience itself: some love it and others not so much. Roman does indeed call you a little too much, but with so many more other activities to partake in, it's easy to ignore the story for a few hours and enjoy some dumb fun. Take a stroll along the coast and explore the theme park, go to the cabaret, drink yourself silly at the bar, or head to the strip club when the sun goes down. Sure, modern titles may do these optional activities a little better, but there's nothing quite like the serious tone of Liberty City. And if that mood becomes too much, hunt down one of the unmarked quests for some of the funnier side missions.
If GTA 4 were to come back on PS5 and PS4, it should probably be bundled with The Lost and Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony expansions. I never had the chance to play the latter DLC, so there's some brand new content for me to experience should Rockstar ever decide to remaster the entire offering. And since this is Rockstar we're talking about, a re-release like this would probably come with a premium charge. I'll pay it, reluctantly.
I suppose the PS3 original is in the same sort of situation as Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, in that they are both undisputed classics still stranded on original hardware. And that hardware just so happens to be the awkward Cell architecture of Sony's third home system. But smaller studios have successfully managed to port their PS3 games to modern hardware, and Rockstar is a behemoth in the industry. If anyone can do it, it's one of the world's biggest developers.
So, as the studio re-releases its PS2 classics and potentially sets its sights next on a remake of Red Dead Redemption, I hope Rockstar doesn't forget about the other PS3 game it released. Complete the package and remaster GTA 4 for PS5 and PS4 too. The game doesn't deserve to be left behind and eventually forgotten about. I'll have Roman give Sam Houser a call if my plea isn't met.
Do you too want Rockstar to give GTA 4 a remaster? Place your vote in our poll and expand on your thoughts in the comments below.