No game has a better claim to being the best game in the 3D universe than GTA San Andreas.
The 3D universe compromises games including GTA 3 and up to Vice City Stories. It was a cornerstone of the PS2 era back in the day, with many gamers growing up nostalgic of several GTA games then.
As far as success goes, GTA San Andreas was the king. Likewise, it rules the roost in the modern day in terms of public perception.
Many other GTA games of this time are seen as clunky or outdated, but GTA San Andreas continues to live on as one of the most fondly remembered GTA games of all time.
Five reasons why GTA San Andreas stands as the best game in the 3D universe
#5 – The most side activities
GTA San Andreas doesn’t stop when the main storyline is finished. In other GTA games of the 3D era, there are often a few activities to distract the player and keep them playing. However, none of them are quite as robust as GTA San Andreas in this regard.
It has the most amount of collectibles to collect. There are also various activities in the few visitable casinos in GTA San Andreas to mess around with.
Likewise, there is an abundance of vehicle missions and other optional side missions compared to the other GTA titles.
#4 – Customization
It’s no exaggeration to say that GTA San Andreas has more customization than every other GTA game from the 3D universe combined. The sheer amount of customization options found in this game is outstanding, which also partially connects with the previous point in terms of what a player can do with it.
GTA San Andreas introduced several amazing customization features that would only end up being reduced in some of the later titles of the series.
Even a game like GTA 4 from the HD universe pales in comparison to GTA San Andreas in this category.
#3 – Gameplay features
The quantity of what can be done in GTA San Andreas is impressive, but that would mean nothing if it was all terrible and bland. Instead, the vast majority of GTA San Andreas’s content is masterfully made, which helps elevate it from the rest of the pack.
New features such as swimming and diving make the gameplay feel far more fluid compared to its predecessors when it comes to traversing large bodies of water. Likewise, cleaner combat and the ability to aim more freely in the PS2 version made GTA San Andreas the best when it came to controls.
#2 – Fleshed out characters
GTA San Andreas’ characters are among some of the best written in the series. CJ works wonderfully well as a protagonist, with Big Smoke and Officer Tenpenny working superbly as antagonists.
Other GTA games in the 3D universe often have one of those categories leaving a lot to be undesired (GTA 3 and its protagonist; Liberty City Stories and its antagonists).
Of course, GTA San Andreas’s supporting cast is also highly memorable. There’s a wide variety of character archetypes and some familiar faces that help make the game feel more alive.
#1 – Massive map
GTA San Andreas’s map is by far the largest in the entire 3D universe whilst Liberty City and Vice City were puny by comparison. Just comparing Los Santos and its nearby countryside to the aforementioned cities helps prove that point.
This massive map helps add to the grand feeling that encompasses GTA San Andreas. A lot of the map might be the countryside, but even then, the region is well-designed to entertain players for a while.
It also helps that Los Santos, San Fierro, and Las Venturas are all distinct from one another.
Note: This article reflects the writer’s personal views.