GTA 5 is a fantastic game, but it is missing some nice features from GTA San Andreas.
Both games are the sacred cows of the GTA community. They offer a unique and exhilarating gameplay experience from top to bottom and are different enough that players can enjoy one more than the other. However, it would have been something if GTA 5 had some of the beloved features that made GTA San Andreas so great.
This shortlist isn't meant to dunk on either game; rather, it focuses on some neat features present in GTA San Andreas and absent in GTA 5. If it's missing in GTA 5, perhaps fans can also hope for some of these features to return in GTA 6 or a future GTA title.
GTA is a series full of great features, so some players are bound to be intrigued by the ones missing from GTA 5 yet were present in GTA San Andreas.
Five GTA San Andreas features absent in GTA 5
#5 - Fat & muscles
One of the most defining aspects of GTA San Andreas was its robust customization options. Players could change their hairstyles, personal clothing apparel, adjust facial hair, and that's not even all of it. Players could eat a lot of food in-game to make CJ fat or work out a lot to make him muscular.
These traits impacted CJ's love life, as certain girlfriends would appreciate specific body shapes more than others. Beyond that, CJ's fat and muscle ratio also determined his ability to climb, run, and punch. Predictably, skinny CJ would be the fastest, and fat CJ would be the slowest.
Likewise, fat CJ wouldn't be able to climb to higher quarters like he could with a different body shape. There are also unique quotes, and none of them is in GTA 5 as their main protagonists always have the same body shape.
#4 - Burglar side-mission
GTA 5 is all about heists and stealing a ton of valuables from another person or business. This philosophy even extends to GTA Online, which has even more robust heists than GTA San Andreas. However, small-time robberies, like the Burglar side-mission, are strangely absent in GTA 5.
In GTA San Andreas, players could start the Bulgar side-mission by entering black Boxville vehicles between 20:00 and 6:00. Predictably, players would be able to break into people's homes and steal valuable items (not unlike some heists, but on a smaller scale).
Sadly, GTA 5 doesn't have a genuine replacement to the GTA San Andreas Burglar side-mission, as it was arguably the most fun side-mission in the game.
#3 - Gang wars
While there are gangs in GTA 5, their presence is largely diminished in favor of more grandiose crimes. Although some players didn't like gang wars in GTA San Andreas, it was still a unique system that was replayable. It also incentivized players to explore more of Los Santos, like collectibles did.
Ignoring the territory glitch, players could battle the Ballas and the Vagos throughout most of Los Santos.
Even if gangs are a minor focus in GTA 5, there are still some notable ones, like The Lost MC. Trevor Philips' story could've been more interesting if he had to physically capture territory in Blaine County as CJ did in GTA San Andreas.
Either way, it's fun to get an army of opponents swarming the player from time to time.
#2 - Local multiplayer
Local multiplayer is a dying breed within modern games. Unfortunately, GTA 5 does not have any offline multiplayer, meaning that friends have to resort to mods or use GTA Online to "hang out" in-game.
Compare that to the PS2 and Xbox versions of GTA San Andreas, where players could do offline local multiplayer by heading to select locations.
Afterward, they could do whatever they wanted. Gamers weren't limited to just the starting locations; the only limitation is that both had to be on-screen (so no player is stuck in Las Venturas while another is exploring San Fierro).
Sure, not all versions of GTA San Andreas had it, but the ones that did bring some great memories along. GTA 5 has so many activities that it can get lonesome doing them alone when players are offline.
#1 - Minor minigames
Unsurprisingly, GTA San Andreas has some unique minigames that never returned in GTA 5. Not counting the arcade games (as GTA Online has its own unique games), GTA San Andreas players could play basketball, do dancing minigames, or enter hydraulic car competitions.
The latter two features were slightly reminiscent of Guitar Hero, with no real replacement existing in GTA 5 for these two minigames.
GTA 5 does have golf and tennis, so the player can still participate in sports. Unfortunately, they cannot play basketball, but it is what it is. The game has more minigames as a whole, but the specific ones unique to GTA San Andreas were fun and would be a welcome addition to a future GTA game.
Note: This article reflects the writer's personal views.