Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Image
Metascore
93

Universal acclaim - based on 58 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 85 Ratings

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  • Summary: Five years ago Carl Johnson escaped from the pressures of life in Los Santos, San Andreas... a city tearing itself apart with gang trouble, drugs and corruption. Where filmstars and millionaires do their best to avoid the dealers and gangbangers. Now, it's the early 90s. Carl's got to go home. His mother has been murdered, his family has fallen apart and his childhood friends are all heading towards disaster. On his return to the neighborhood, a couple of corrupt cops frame him for homicide. CJ is forced on a journey that takes him across the entire state of San Andreas, to save his family and to take control of the streets. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 58 out of 58
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 58
  3. Negative: 0 out of 58
  1. What does make it great is that it actually delivers on nearly everything it promises while still being fun to just pick up and play.
  2. But unlike the PS2 and PC versions, the Xbox port comes with that rarest of GTA treasures - a replay feature.
  3. Not only is it bigger and better, but it looks and feels so good on the Xbox so if you haven't already bought this game this is the definitive version to own.
  4. 92
    Not everything is so perfect with San Andreas though. First and foremost, the graphics aren't really Xbox quality.
  5. Of course there are improvements, the draw distance and lighting models have received subtle enhancements, more importantly the frame-rate maintains a smoother pace throughout.
  6. 90
    It can't quite capture the flavor of the previous two. While nothing could be done with the Xbox version to remedy that, the attempts to add new features to the port like instant replay and custom radio stations fall completely flat.
  7. There's a ton of mission variety, but whatever your pleasure, you're going to be doing a lot of driving to specified points on the map and entering a lot of red circles to initiate a lot of scripted events. [Aug 2005, p.48]

See all 58 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 27
  2. Negative: 0 out of 27
  1. Aug 29, 2011
    10
    What is there to say? This game is a beast.
    Even today, the amount of content it offers rivals many full fledged releases- and much of it
    rates highly- perhaps not in finesse, but definitely in the fun factor. If you don't like the shooting, you'll probably like the driving, if you don't like the main missions: be a taxi driver, race motorbikes, put out fires, play dress-up...
    If you can't find something fun to do in GTA:SA, something's wrong. And not with the game.
    Fine, some of the controls are less than intuitive, some of the missions are pretty tedious, and Carl takes some getting used to. But it will be a long time before you can't just pick up this game, jack something fast, and feel like you're really going somewhere. And this transcends demographics- from hard-core gamers, to lazy stoners, this game has plenty of appeal.
    Impressive.
    Collapse
  2. Jun 29, 2013
    10
    The best game of all time.
    It has everything.
    Very memorable and very fun, i would rather play it than most current games. There's so much
    to do and the radio stations are amazing. Much better than GTA 4 Expand
  3. Apr 16, 2013
    10
    THE BEST GRAND THEFT AUTO GAME AND OPEN-WORLD GAME EVER EVEN WITH THE OUTDATED GRAPHICS A huge world THREE CITIES,TOWNS AND EVEN A TON OF COUNTRYSIDE IT'S ALSO FUNNY I got the XBOX Originals version and I think it's the best version way better than the PS2 version Get it on Xbox Live If You Have A 360 It's The Best Xbox Original. Expand
  4. Mar 23, 2011
    10
    Learn to fly Carl, learn to fly... Grove Street for life... The sunset as you drive that beat up old VW over the hill, the smell of burning weed filling your senses as you cruise to Freebird... Something special was injected into every copy of this game... Expand
  5. Jul 11, 2013
    9
    Holy I love this game I cant wait for the new one coming out and taking place in san andreas Omg.......This game is a masterpiece the cops are so fun to screw with as well. This is one of those hard games to come by these days when ever you can command gang members or your crew like socom it makes a great game. Expand
  6. Jun 12, 2011
    8
    Another Nostalgic Review by Me. The Joy. Ok, so I first got this game at Christmas 2005, and almost spunked my prepubescent pants. I was 12, and this game is an 18; I know right, what were my parents thinking? Now I murder taxi drivers in my free time, and shout the word **** at the end of every sentence in every day speech. ****. Satire aside, GTA SA was the second GTA game that I had ever played; the first being GTA 3. The game is set in a fictional trio of cities (all of which I forgot) in which gang activity is rife. You take on the role of literary genius and ex gang member CJ, who gets thrown back into the world of gang violence the second he visits home for a funeral. The story see's CJ progress through some outrages missions and tasks as he rises from petty criminal to rich mass murder, and along the way, meeting a colourful cast of characters traditional to the GTA series. I must say, I liked CJ as a character, as he seemed like the only character who realised that everything in this gameworld is batshi* crazy. In addition to that, he isn't a monotonous hard nut that you would find in most action games today. Aside from the story, there are plenty of missions to do just for a giggle or two. One set of missions, which was my personally favourite see's you recreate Ocean's 11 in a much more brutish manner. Joy. These all add to the massive 25 hours of gameplay. Another gameplay element that make the game such mindless fun, is the vehicle handling (and what you can do with it, a little creativity, and some satchel charges). However, there are a few issues I take with the game; namely the control assignment. In a game where the difficulty curve gets quite steep in later missions, it helps to have a robust combat system that works. The auto aiming works perfectly well in this type of game, where there is just too much going on to have the ability to differentiate from a gangster and an assortment of explosions, fires and corpses et cetera; but why the fork would you assign the aiming button to that which is traditionally the button to shoot, and why would you then assign the button to shoot to a button on the d-pad, when the thumb that is used for this task, is needed elsewhere; Namely the right analogue stick, to navigate the camera, to make moving through the chaos easier. You don't even get the option to change the controls. Regardless, I finished the game and it's ending was very good. One of my favourite sandbox games of all time and definitely worth buying, even in it's old age. Expand
  7. Jan 31, 2014
    8
    Pros: 1. Lots of gameplay features in just one disc 2. Very good radio stations 3. A long and wet storyline 4. One of the biggest maps in open world
    5. Lots of fun "odd jobs"

    Cons:

    1. Graphics are not standardized for 2005 (-1)
    2. Game gets boring when you finish the game (-1)
    Expand

See all 27 User Reviews