GTA San Andreas is arguably the most popular game in the Grand Theft Auto series, even almost two decades after its release.
Admittedly, the game’s graphics weren’t that great, but back in 2004, even the ability to control characters and hear them talk was a big deal, and GTA San Andreas was definitely ahead of its time.
This article talks about 5 of the most important reasons why GTA San Andreas is the most raved-about game of all time.
Note: This article reflects the author’s views
5 reasons why GTA San Andreas is one of the most popular games in the series
#5 A touch of rebellion
Although few-and-far-between, there are moments in the game when the characters betray pre-established notions of notoriety and showcase exemplary feats of empathy and genuineness. For instance, CJ, though a madman at heart, would never let anyone hurt the people he loves.
Another way GTA San Andreas strayed from the tradition of regular crime-centered games is by allowing players to do things one wouldn’t expect from a criminal. For example, players could dress up as cops and beat up the bad guys. They could save strangers by commissioning an ambulance.
This diversity increases immersion by allowing players to connect with the characters at the center of the action on a personal level, not only giving the game a touch of rebellion, but also making it extremely memorable for fans.
Grand Theft Auto games are all about criminal gangs, but the likes of the one featured in GTA San Andreas have seldom been seen before in the series. Players could recruit members of the GSF to accompany them on quests, which made the entire cast look a lot more real and fleshed-out.
From the characters at the center of the story, to the antagonizing forces, to members of the Grove Street families, GTA San Andreas features a diverse assortment of characters, each more engaging than the other.
Carl Johnson, also known as CJ, plays a very important role in the popularity of the game. While he is neither as crazy as Trevor from GTA 5 nor as intelligent as Tommy from GTA Vice City, he has a solid personality and an emotionally moving backstory that makes him a lot more relatable to fans.
His actions are often shaped by what he’s been through, and despite the crazy circumstances of his life, he is a softie at heart, who would never hurt anyone without a reason (unless players make him).
#2 Difficult Missions
GTA San Andreas is known for its difficult missions and full-throttle adventures. While missions like Robbing Uncle Sam, Supply lines and more tested players’ patience on more occasions than one, there were some that, despite being incredibly hard, were insanely engaging.
And that’s what the overall experience of playing a game boils down to: whether the mission felt like a cakewalk or gave players a hard time. GTA San Andreas definitely boasts the latter.
#1 Open-world design
When playing GTA San Andreas, players aren’t restricted to a set course of events. The open-world design of the game allows players to engage in a number of side activities and fun quests.
When sick of the chaos of the streets, players can seek some respite in the simple pleasure of courting women, racing cars and going shopping. The number of things players can do in GTA San Andreas is countless.