Grand Theft Auto 3 Has Been Re-Rated R18+

Grand Theft Auto 3 Has Been Re-Rated R18+

Here’s a nice surprise to end the week on. For some reason, the most recent game to get rated by the Classification Board is … Grand Theft Auto 3.

Rockstar’s classic title, which is still my favourite since the series went 3D, is the latest game to get rated by the Classification Board this week. It’s not really known how or why GTA 3 is resurfacing out of nowhere, but the Classification Board listing notes that the version is the modified build that Take-Two submitted after the national censors banned GTA 3 on review.

Image: Classification Board

What’s definitely known, however, is that Rockstar intended for GTA 3 to be re-rated. The R18+ classification didn’t exist back in 2002 when the game was banned and re-rated MA15+. I’ve reached out to Rockstar Australia and the Classification Board for comment, but neither had responded by the time of publication.

Either way, that Rockstar PC launcher is certainly looking like it’ll have some content. Now if someone could make sure GTA 1 and 2 are perfectly playable through the launcher without being a pain in the arse on modern systems, that’d make me truly happy.


      • What about San Andreas? Still to date the only game in the series to have three separate cities in the same seamless map. I’d love to visit Las Venturas again (officially, not in a fan mod).

          • For me, 4 suffered because of the checkpoints. Putting them AFTER events meant far too much faffing about getting back to the meat of the game just to try again. It wore me down to the point I never bothered finishing it.

            It was a shame, because it ruined what was a reasonable story and, aside from those small issues, an excellent game. There are far worse out there, but those small things let 4 down for me. And ultimately made it meh, as you say. Like ZJ, 5 and SA were the ones I enjoyed the most.

  • How many times does it need to be stated that MODIFIED simply means that it is not the first time the game has been submitted for classification?

    GTA3 has been available uncensored in AU for years. “Sexual activity related to incentives or rewards” means that it is uncensored as the original censored release did not have this (picking up hookers).

    GTAV/IV also have much moee graphic hooker scenes than those in the older games, yet are uncut. Get your facts straight: if it was the censored version then it would not have been rated R, period. Sexual activity related to rewards IS allowed under the R rating unlike the old MA rating. Look at the guidelines: only drugs are not allowed to be related to rewards under R18+. Which is laughably stupid but besides the point. By now I’d expect Kotaku to know this information as it has been reporting on this stuff for almost 2 decades.

    • How many times does it need to be stated that MODIFIED simply means that it is not the first time the game has been submitted for classification?

      That doesn’t appear to be true. Valve submitted Left 4 Dead 2 for reclassification in 2014, five years after its first classification and release, for which the board changed the rating from MA15+ to R18+. The version field states ‘original’ despite not being the first time the game has been submitted. Perhaps the field refers to whether the application (or its content) has been modified, but it clearly doesn’t refer to whether the game has been submitted for classification before.

      • I should have clarified: Modified refers to when a specific build of a game has been submitted more once and if that build has been changed in some way (not censorship wise, just if there is any change). Some times devs submit updated builds of games if theres something new that needs to be rated.

        Example: GTA VC was pre-censored and only rated once, so the ACB referred to it as “original”.

        Say there’s a GOTY edition with new content and an updated build, it would be classified as “original” because its a totally new build in the eyes of the ACB.

        L4D2 uncensored is a different build to the MA version, so its “original”.

        Either way, modified does in no way indicates if the version of a game is a censored or uncensored version. I know this because I’ve been following the antics of the ACB since 2001 and have seen plenty examples of stupid decision making. Remember when it was called the OFLC? Ha those were the days. Before digital when half of us were still on dialup and had to physically import.

    • Also, GTA3 has not been legally available uncensored in Australia until this reclassification. The “sexual activity” consumer advice only appeared for the first time in the 2019 classification, all classifications prior (17 years) only advised high level animated violence and were assessed on the censored version of the game.

        • Yeah, from what I can tell it was about a month between the PS2 release date and the RC ruling. Oddly it didn’t have any classification for that period that I can find. I’m curious which cover you got (there were four different ones, worldwide) and whether it had any classification on it at all (eg. ESRB).

  • Glad to see others rate gta3 as their favourite. Vice city and san andreas are good in their own right, but they also mark the beginning of the franchise focusing on story and cinematics. GTA3 on the other hand feels like the original two games but brought into a 3D world, where just being fun was more important than serious story telling. While gta games after this felt like the natural progression from 3, they also have almost nothing in common with the original two top down games that actually created the GTA series. In fact I’m sure a lot of the newer gta fans would consider gta3 to be “the first” game in the series, and it wouldn’t surprise me if a significant amount didn’t even know the first two games were top down 2D “arcade / indie style” in genre. In some ways it’s amazing to see how far the series has progressed, from embracing retro graphics in gta1 (and being praised for this – focusing on fun rather than fancy) to becoming one of the most expensive, expansive and graphically impressive games ever made in gta5. But at the same time it’s kinda sad to see its origins be shunned.

Log in to comment on this story!