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Generally favorable reviews- based on 1251 Ratings

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  1. Dec 17, 2011
    Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas has several flaws that are hard to overlook. The basic idea of the Grand Theft Auto Series is to complete task for different people that for the most part are illegal. You have to kill, steal, and commit other crimes to make more money all while avoiding the cops. Past games have been very successful but San Andreas is not. First off, the City of San Andreas is simply too big. Bigger is not always better. It takes ridiculous lengths to travel to some parts of the city, and there really is no actual reason to have such a big city. There is an actual highway system which is basically the developers saying "Our city is too big and boring to drive through, so we make this nice highway to speed up going through all the horrible travel times." Why not just make a smaller city that you actually enjoyed driving through? It may seem not like a big deal, but really it blows my mind that players have to sit there and hop on an express way to their next objective. Going on the same theme of the massive city, there is simply too many pointless things in this game. One feature is having to eat food or else you get thin and weak. This doesn't add anything to the game, just giving players an annoying task to go find food every so often. Also buying food actually take an absurd time, walking up and taking your order. Why have this? All this is doing is wasting my time when I want to be driving the express way for 10 minutes. Every skill has a level feature. The more you use something or do something, the higher your skill becomes. Yet again this adds no strategy or use to the game. A better feature would have been having to pick and choose which gun skills to increase, like pick the shotgun skill and you can do amazing damage up close, but are penalized for far range shots. You know, make the player actually have to decide something. Not just driving around and leveling up your driving skill randomly. Its like "oh thats cool I guess." One feature is the ability to swim, which actually is useful simply because you don't instantly die if you fall in water. Most others are gimmicky nothings. You can have a girlfriend and go on dates, which is completely retarded. Would you rather get into a high speed police chase, or go out with an npc to a hamburger joint? What is the point besides "Hey look at ANOTHER thing you can do besides play the actual game." There are bars where you can play a badly implemented pool game. You can literally ride a bicycle faster then most cars. You can buy houses, which is useful because you will need many places to save or else you are spending 7 minutes driving down Los Santos Freeway to save. You can go try and find all 100 graffiti points, or the 50 oysters in the ocean, or the 50 horseshoes hidden in the game. Isn't that great? Over 200 collectables that you are expected to find in a city that takes a good 20 minutes to drive from one end to another. Basically the developers way of saying "Here is something for you to look up online." Hiding 100 packages in GTA3 was feasible because you could spend 15 minutes and have checked a decent portion of the map off. If they literally expected players to find 200 small items in San Andreas then I truly don't know what to think. ANOTHER feature is the ability to fight rival gangs in turf battles, which is great because your turfs will be attacked and taken over when you're stuck on the freeway 10 minutes away. If you like Dance Dance Revolution type games, then don't worry because you can load up GTA:SA, drive to a certain location, then play the dancing mini game. Why? As the developers must have thought, why the hell not? More and more is better. With all this added nonsense, there IS a GTA game in there, but its hard to find. GTA: SA is not good. All the extra features are irrelevant, and the map size alone is enough to ruin the game. Don't buy this game even if it's on sale for 50% off at the dollar store. Expand
  2. May 10, 2014
    I am a huge fan of this franchise, the previous games were excellent, when some friends told me to play this game I was like like OK, I purchased it and the game started, the first mission was ironicaly great, the first missions are excellent, but suddenly and surprisingly, my expectations went from really high to down, the next missions are long, stressing and they have no sense, the cameos of the characters from the other games are dissapointing, indeed the whole game is a dissapointment, the only good thing that has the game are the gang wars, but repetitive, this is the worst game of the franchise, this game makes Chinatown Wars as a materpiece. Expand
  3. May 16, 2014
    Didn't age well, and frankly always was overrated. Yes, it had a massive map, it was important that one could do so many things, all of this is true, but the story of grown men doing graffiti, riding bicycles (when you are told to), getting haircuts (when you are told to), the rough graphics and the pop up, the lame story (unless you're really into 90s rap culture, I guess)...I never could get into it.
    It's a shame the story ruined what could have been a great game.
  4. Nov 3, 2014
    This game gets a lot of praise from people purely because of its open world. Its open world is why people like it. And now the point is...Grand Theft Auto San Andreas is a bad game. It can be fun sure, but the game is designed very badly. This game is unfocused, which is a very bad thing.
    Gta has a very large story, missions built around these stories that you must do to unlock more of
    the open world...thats the game. Running around, jacking cars and shooting hookers is not the game. Sure you can do it but thats because the game is designed poorly. If this game was just story and nothing else this game would not have gotten a 95, maybe a 70 at best. If you like this game you like the open world and breaking the game with cheats. Thats another thing, if a developer puts cheats in their game pretty much confirms that they know themselves that the game isnt satisfying enough and need to add more stuff to keep you interested.
    San Andreas is very much like Gta 5 and suffers from the same problem. The story is not its strong point, its the open world and they dont work together unfortunately because the world is so unfocused and far from the missions that players just dont care for the story and end up cheating, resulting in a rebellious mood towards the game which is one of the worst things to have.
    Just Cause 2 is the perfect example of how to make Story, missions, open world and fun all work together. Gta does not do that well and the results are a messy, unfocused game with a huge open world that tricks you into thinking its a good game.
    Overall? Vice City is the best Gta to date, focused, simple and can still be fun. San Andreas and gta 5 are same. They can be fun sure but its not a good game.

Universal acclaim - based on 80 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 79 out of 80
  2. Negative: 0 out of 80
  1. The amount of things to do in the cities of Los Santos, San Fierro, and Las Venturas is absolutely staggering... In my opinion there’s no excuse to not have a “save anywhere” feature included.
  2. 90
    San Andreas's chief advantage over "Vice City" is size. And for many players, that's good enough. But another group of fans will come to quietly understand that, at least for the time being, "Vice City" remains the high point of the GTA series.
  3. 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.