Most games in the Grand Theft Auto series do something better than the other titles, with GTA San Andreas arguably being the best game in the franchise. This article will primarily focus on some aspects of this title that no other game in the series can really compete in (or, at the very least, there isn't much competition in).
These aren't the only things worth mentioning, as some noticeable features like the RPG elements were excluded from this list. After all, there is no shortage of stuff that makes gamers prefer GTA San Andreas over its prequels and sequels.
Five things that GTA San Andreas excels in compared to rest of the series
Good collectibles tend to be rare in the Grand Theft Auto series. Some games have terrible ones (like Grand Theft Auto 4), while others execute them well but don't have much to collect (like Grand Theft Auto Vice City).
Collectibles in San Andreas include:
- Tags (Los Santos)
- Snapshots (San Fierro)
- Horseshoes (Las Venturas)
- Oysters (All over San Andreas's bodies of water)
- Unique Stunt Jumps
Each gives different rewards, incentivizing players to explore every nook and cranny in this game.
4) Cheat codes
Modern Grand Theft Auto titles don't have nearly as many cheat codes as GTA San Andreas. In terms of sheer quantity and quality, there isn't a Grand Theft Auto game that can match this title's excellence.
It has several of the usual codes, like spawning specific vehicles or giving the player certain weapon sets. However, it also has some wacky codes like allowing cars to fly and punches instantly killing everybody.
Grand Theft Auto Vice City would be the closest game in terms of overall codes, but that title lacks classics like Spawn Jetpack or Spawn Hydra.
3) Making every island feel worth visiting
Most Grand Theft Auto games don't make each island feel as unique-looking or rewarding to explore as GTA San Andreas does. Often, those islands are just a different setting to do new missions in so as to make the game feel less repetitive.
Grand Theft Auto 3 would be an example of that, as Portland, Staunton Island, and Shoreside Vale don't have many unique features and can feel too similar in certain parts.
A great game like Grand Theft Auto 5 doesn't even have multiple islands, so GTA San Andreas doesn't have much competition in this regard. The three main islands in this title have three main cities:
- Los Santos
- San Fierro
- Las Venturas
All three locations are a joy to explore, each with its unique collectibles, pedestrians, and overall atmosphere.
2) Importance of gangs
GTA San Andreas allows users to recruit various GSF pedestrians to accompany them wherever they go. The number of members CJ could recruit depends on his respect, which incentivized gamers to do more missions and activities like Gang Warfare.
Other titles in the series have minimal uses for the player's gangs (often lacking any way to recruit additional members to accompany them). Considering how monumental gangs are to the series, it can be a little strange that one title (GTA San Andreas) utilizes it significantly better than others in the series.
Real ones should remember how great a character CJ was in GTA San Andreas. He's a protagonist who undergoes serious character development while being far more likable than the average protagonist in the series.
He goes from a petty criminal who ran away from his family when the going got tough to a loyal and well-established criminal at the top of his game.
It's easy to root for him due to those traits, so it's no surprise that he's many gamers' favorite protagonist in the series. The overall story and the character mesh well with CJ, whereas some other titles in the series often have protagonists who don't add much to the game that features them.
Note: This article reflects the writer's personal views.