Universal acclaim - based on 80 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 79 out of 80
  2. Negative: 0 out of 80
  1. Shudderingly comprehensive, divinely paced and - despite the million of words already written in feverish anticipation - it has the ability to surprise at every turn. This is PS2's defining masterpiece – a sunspot of rare polished magic from experienced developers working at the peak of their powers. [PSM2]
  2. Play mechanics, the movie-epic plot, the sheer scope of the landscape and the missions—all combine to create the most near-perfect experience that I have ever had with a game.
  3. Without a doubt the greatest game every created on the Playstation 2 videogame system. It is the best hands-down. No other game can come even close to this one...The possibilities of Grand Theft Auto San Andreas are endless.
  4. A stunning achievement for both Rockstar and Sony. It shows just how powerful the PS2 system is when used right. This game has the potential to last months and months on end, especially for the 100% target.
  5. The story to San Andreas is by far the best of any GTA game to date. As you progress, you will experience turning points to this story that drive you to see the next cutscene, something that has never been done in a GTA game before.
  6. Only the graphical bugs, slow-down and other nit picks associated with the fact that the game is pushing the aging PS2 to its limits keeps this from being the first perfect entry into the series.
  7. Thanks to the sheer level of detail and the amount of gameplay you'll be able to engage in during C.J.'s adventures, San Andreas surpasses just about any game that’s come along in the PS2’s history.
  8. The game’s targeting system has been improved and is very reminiscent of the developer’s "Manhunt," which overall makes it more cohesive. The game allows you to get better with guns and you’ll have different phases, which will give you more control over your shooting abilities.
  9. While I can't say that GTA: San Andreas is another revolution in gaming like GTA3 was, it is an evolution that goes light years beyond what we saw with the last two titles in the series.
  10. With its strong story, well-written dialogue, terrific voice cast, impressive graphics, great in-game sound, and extremely entertaining and varied gameplay, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is a stupendous thrill ride that shouldn't be missed.
  11. When you take the scope of the entire game into considerations, San Andreas is a real technical feat.
  12. It is hard to find a game with the perfect blend of unique, action packed missions and interesting and enthralling non-mission events, but Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas pulls it off in convincing fashion.
  13. The amount of attributes that you can actually improve is staggering. CJ must learn how to drive, shoot, swim, workout, be healthy, sprint and participate in relationships.
  14. This could very well be remembered as the PlayStation 2's best game ever.
  15. As far as actual content goes, I don’t think there’s been a game in history with more, so you almost need to own this game just so you can see how packed a game can be.
  16. Calling this game huge is an understatement...All told, San Andreas is about four times the size of any previous GTA game.
  17. A weaker soundtrack and nagging problems with the interface take the game down just shy of getting a full 10, but this is the digital embodiment of a killer app.
  18. This is arguably the most important videogame this year - yes, even more important than "Halo 2" - not only because it's a superbly crafted videogame, but because it's also a bona fide sociological artifact, one that manages to effectively evoke a specific time and place in American history—in this case, a hot and hazy California during the nascent days of hip-hop culture.
  19. It is, in my opinion, the best single player experience available right now.
  20. 95
    There's so much to do in this game that it's outside of my range of imagination to be able to picture me reaching a 100% complete. Unfathomable.
  21. The second you start playing this game you realise that the latest Rockstar title is about a hundred times more complex than its predecessors. Not only is there a load of new weapons, cars and a huge new environment available, but the gaming experience itself has completely evolved.
  22. A masterful blend of storyline, exciting action, and freeform gameplay that will keep you hooked for hours on end.
  23. The minor control problems, reoccurring graphical bugs, and the generally similar core gameplay as before keep the game's score down a tad from what it could be, but the ridiculous amount of content and pure value available here is second to none. It doesn’t completely redefine the series.
  24. There is personality and atmosphere everywhere in this game and even small things such as the body language of pedestrians sets the scene in every neighbourhood you visit.
  25. This game has so many new innovations that it leaves its predecessors in the dust.
  26. 92
    Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is to the gaming world what "The Matrix" was to the film industry: it breaks so much ground and introduces so many significant things that it will no doubt have an impact on how games are made for a long time to come.
  27. No one should deny that San Andreas is a great storytelling game. It's just that, between gradually caring less and less about the main characters, and performing many game actions that are nearly identical to those of previous titles in the series, San Andreas could easily begin to wear a bit thin.
  28. 92
    Surprisingly easy to pick up, and startlingly difficult to master, San Andreas offers the most complete gaming package ever made on the current generation of consoles.
  29. 92
    My biggest beef with San Andreas is the implementation of the gang warfare system...It takes away a certain element that was found in the earlier games, that of the feeling that you were running an entire city.
  30. 91
    GTA may be looking its age and some of its more favoured structural ideas are beginning to feel a little dated, but Rockstar continue to revel in the mastery of presenting a consuming environment to the player and inviting them to do within it what they wish.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 1222 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 23 out of 422
  1. Nov 25, 2010
    This is one of my favourite games of all time, it really capture los angeles and the california area i reckon, the gameplay was awesome and the story surpasses any other game made during its time, 10/10 yes, grove street for life. Full Review »
  2. Bolo
    Dec 5, 2004
    This game is really fun... u can swim !
  3. JamesD.
    Jan 28, 2010
    If San Andreas has made one thing clear, it is that the GTA experience can be enormous. The locations, the characters, the variety, it all makes for a game which is so awe inspiring and entertaining that putting it down is extremely difficult. I can't believe the arrogance of some of these user critics and the NY times. What on earth are you guys saying, are you trying to diss a game to try and be different from the popular view? Did the New York Times not receive their bribe? Truth and honest says to me that this game is completely defined with one of the best games I have ever played Full Review »