Saints Row: The Third Remastered on Xbox One review – One of the best remasters this generation

Saints Row is back and better than ever!

Saints Row The Third
(Image: © Deep Silver)

Saints Row The Third

Source: Deep Silver (Image credit: Source: Deep Silver)

Saints Row: The Third first launched in 2011 and received stellar reviews on last-generation consoles. It's an over-the-top third-person action game where you have to rebuild your gangster brand on the streets of Steelport. This mostly involves taking on various missions to steal weapons or gunning down rival gangs.

Saints Row: The Third Remastered is an upgraded version of this game, and may be one of the best remasters to hit Xbox One this console generation. Not only does it upgrade textures, facial animations, and more, but it also overhauls the lighting and dramatically improves performance. If you're a fan of the series – or love hilarious, campy experiences – then you should pick up this title on Xbox One X.

Saints Row: The Third Remastered gameplay and story

Saints Row: The Third Remastered starts off with a heist gone terribly wrong. You lose your standing and have to rebuild it from scratch. However, there are a number of nefarious gangs – and even the military – that don't want you to do that. While the story is hilarious and truly bizarre, it's a blast to play through because you're granted access to incredible weapons that make you feel like an unstoppable force. Towards the end, you even gain access to an advanced fighter jet you can fly around the city in. Nothing is off limits in Saints Row: The Third.

The goal in Saints Row: The Third Remastered is to take on various missions that increase your reputation, while you buy property to slowly own the entire city. It's a simple yet addictive gameplay loop that keeps you coming back for more because the action is just so great. Since the game is already built on an incredibly solid foundation laid out by the original, there's a high degree of polish in the remaster.

The plot is just there to provide an excuse to go around shooting or running over enemies. It doesn't serve much of a purpose beyond that. Once you create your character – through a highly-detailed customization menu that's similar to games like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – you're thrown into this crazy world.

Saints Row: The Third Remastered performance and visuals

Saints Row The Third

Source: Deep Silver (Image credit: Source: Deep Silver)

Saints Row: The Third was a good-looking game on Xbox 360, but it was plagued with not-so-great performance on the device. The frame rate mostly stuck to 30 frames per second (FPS), but when you were swarmed with a multitude of enemies or trigged massive explosions, it would drop significantly.

In order to alleviate this issue, the developer appears to have optimized the game for 60 FPS on Xbox One X. Keep in mind that Microsoft's latest machine is the only console to hit 60 FPS as competing devices only manage to go up to around 45 FPS. If you engage the frame rate lock, rendering is capped to 30 FPS and there aren't any performance issues whatsoever. However, unlocking the frame rate is actually the preferred way to play in my opinion.

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PlatformsXbox One, PC, PlayStation 4
Xbox Game PassNo

From my testing, the game appears to remain at 60 FPS until there are a lot of explosions happening. Even then, the drops appear to be around 45 to 50 FPS every few seconds. The infamous tank scene is probably the biggest culprit and I'm hoping that the team releases a patch to further optimize performance. If you were worried about uneven performance by uncapping the frame rate, you can put those concerns to rest.

Since Saints Row: The Third is an open-world game, the trade-off is that it runs at 1440p on the Xbox One X. Luckily, image sharpening settings can be found in the display menu so if you crank them all the way up, the picture looks almost 4K. While I would've liked to see further optimization to push the visuals to native 4K and a locked 60 FPS no matter what, Saints Row: The Third Remastered is phenomenal in the technical department nonetheless.

Saints Row: The Third Remastered final thoughts

Saints Row The Third

Source: Deep Silver (Image credit: Source: Deep Silver)

Saints Row: The Third Remastered is one of the best remasters to hit Xbox One in recent years because it feels like a remake. It's on the level of Gears of War: Ultimate Edition in my opinion. The boost to the frame rate is the biggest advancement because it tightens gameplay, particularly shooting, and gives players more control over their experience. Many gamers prefer 60 FPS – even with the occasional dip – than having to play a game locked at 30 FPS.

While Saints Row: The Third Remastered won't win any awards for its story or writing, you'll be laughing until the credits roll. There are so many bombastic moments that have to be experienced. For example, jumping off a skyscraper, opening a parachute, landing in a pool, and then taking out armed rivals in a penthouse is just part of one mission! Moments like these make Saints Row: The Third Remastered worth it. A remaster of this level is the right way to reignite interest in a series.

Saints Row: The Third Remastered includes all three expansion and almost three dozen additional add-ons that grant you new weapons and more. The price has also been set at $40 so it represents great value. While longtime fans may be disappointed by the cost, it's a boon for newcomers because you get to experience one of the most thrilling action AAA games for the price of a AA title.



The game was reviewed on an Xbox One X with a code provided by the publisher.

Asher Madan

Asher Madan handles gaming news for Windows Central. Before joining Windows Central in 2017, Asher worked for a number of different gaming outlets. He has a background in medical science and is passionate about all forms of entertainment, cooking, and antiquing.