Games don't come more popular than the Grand Theft Auto series — and Netflix has just snapped up three of them for its blossoming gaming service, just in time for the holidays, bringing them to iPhone.
Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy — The Definitive Edition, will be available to Netflix subscribers from December 14 on iOS and Android devices, via the Netflix mobile app, as well as through Apple App Store and Google Play listings.
The package pulls together the first three iconic 3D Grand Theft Auto games — GTA III, Vice City, and San Andreas — in new mobile ports of the remastered versions of the games that relaunched in November 2021.
Though the ports themselves were widely derided (I wasn't a big fan upon release), the core of those games remain stone-cold classics, creating the blueprint for all open-world games that followed in their wake.
Netflix has slowly been building up its games service as a no-extra-fee value add to its TV and movie streaming service. Though reports suggest few of its subscribers are taking it up on the offer of free games, household names like GTA will likely fuel a surge in interest — provided the ports are good, that is. With GTA's cinematic leanings, a Netflix partnership is a solid one.
Netflix takes on Apple Arcade
The Netflix gaming library is a small one, but an incredibly well-curated one. As well as the incoming GTA games, this year it's adding top-tier titles like Football Manager 2024, Hades, Kentucky Route Zero, Death's Door, Immortality, and more to its roster. It's a quality over quantity approach, and for no added cost over a regular Netflix subscription, superb value.
It positions itself head to head now with Apple's own Apple Arcade subscription service, putting a massive library of titles in the hands of iPhone, Mac, iPad, and Apple TV gamers. But Apple's approach seems to differ from Netflix's, instead focussing on what many would consider casual (albeit addictive) mobile games. Puzzlers, gem matchers, word games, and the like.
Apple's high-end gaming approach instead seems to be to court AAA developers to its mobile and Mac platforms in a holistic way, as it pushes the gaming appeal of its devices further. The recently released mobile port of Capcom's Resident Evil: Village impressed, and is to be followed up before the end of the year with Resident Evil 4 Remake, while Hideo Kojima's Death Stranding and Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed Mirage are set to land on iPhone 15 Pro next year.
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Gerald Lynch is the Editor-in-Chief of iMore, keeping careful watch over the site's editorial output and commercial campaigns, ensuring iMore delivers the in-depth, accurate and timely Apple content its readership deservedly expects. You'll never see him without his iPad Pro, and he loves gaming sessions with his buddies via Apple Arcade on his iPhone 14 Pro, but don't expect him to play with you at home unless your Apple TV is hooked up to a 4K HDR screen and a 7.1 surround system.
Living in London in the UK, Gerald was previously Editor of Gizmodo UK, and Executive Editor of TechRadar, and has covered international trade shows including Apple's WWDC, MWC, CES and IFA. If it has an acronym and an app, he's probably been there, on the front lines reporting on the latest tech innovations. Gerald is also a contributing tech pundit for BBC Radio and has written for various other publications, including T3 magazine, GamesRadar, Space.com, Real Homes, MacFormat, music bible DIY, Tech Digest, TopTenReviews, Mirror.co.uk, Brandish, Kotaku, Shiny Shiny and Lifehacker. Gerald is also the author of 'Get Technology: Upgrade Your Future', published by Aurum Press, and also holds a Guinness world record on Tetris. For real.