Grand Theft Auto is a massive franchise consisting of multiple games released over a period of several decades.
The IP’s high bar of quality and fun entries has led to a heated debate about the best entry in the series. GTA 5 takes the crown as the most successful commercial release, with over 185 million units sold, but fans have differing opinions about the best game.
While the Grand Theft Auto franchise has no shortage of excellent titles, many fans believe GTA San Andreas is the best game in the series to date.
Why it matters: GTA San Andreas excelled in nearly every aspect, delivering a well-rounded Grand Theft Auto experience.
GTA San Andreas tells a brilliant narrative about protagonist Carl Johnson. The game revolves around Carl Johnson after he returns to his hometown and finds himself in the middle of the gang war on Grove Street.
This setup turns into a bigger plot revolving around themes like trust, betrayal, and corruption as Carl Johnson learns more about the gang and their past activities while he was away.
GTA San Andreas also introduces players to iconic characters like Big Smoke, Ryder, and Officer Frank Tenpenny. Such personalities ensured this entry had one of the best casts of characters of any Grand Theft Auto entry to date.
Fans continue to reflect upon the game and its aspects fondly, with one fan even claiming that the only game to rival GTA San Andreas’ storytelling in the modern era is Cyberpunk 2077.
In terms of gameplay, the title featured satisfying driving mechanics and gunplay. It also introduced a more significant focus on RPG mechanics, allowing players to customize Carl Johnson to their liking.
The protagonist’s physique would change throughout the game depending on how often players ate or visited the gym. GTA San Andreas also featured three cities, ensuring diversity in the open world.
GTA: San Andreas pic.twitter.com/R1HE89VveH
— Pure PlayStation (ピュア プレイステーション) (@Pure_PS) September 17, 2023
Recently, The Games Award asked players to share their opinions about the best Grand Theft Auto game. Unsurprisingly, GTA San Andreas was a popular pick, highlighting the game’s relevance and staying power nearly two full decades later.
Unfortunately, this iconic entry has not received a lot of love from Rockstar Games or Take-Two recently. The game is playable as part of the GTA Trilogy Definitive Edition from 2021, but this version of the game is notorious for being a disaster.
Rockstar Games is also busy with GTA 6, with the latest entry expected to arrive by early 2025. However, GTA 6 has massive expectations, and Rockstar Games needs to deliver a stellar entry if it hopes to live up to entries like GTA San Andreas.
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Obaid is pursuing a Law degree, while working as a content writer. He has worked as a gaming writer for over a year because of his passion for the medium and reporting the latest updates in the industry. Having played hundreds of games, Obaid finds himself coming back to Elden Ring and Red Dead Redemption 2, with these games being among his favorites. He has also been mentioned on highly regarded websites, such as Wccftech, Metro UK, PS Lifestyle, GamePressure, VGC, and Gamespot.