Grand Theft Auto San Andreas was developed and released by Rockstar in 2004 for the Playstation 2 and Xbox gaming systems. However due to the sheer popularity of this game, Grand Theft Auto San Andreas has been remastered for several different platforms. Set in San Andreas, inspired by the state of California, Grand Theft Auto San Andreas follows the story of CJ, returning to San Andreas after the death of his mother, and slowly becoming a key player in the criminal underworld. Rockstar decided to incorporate events from real life in Los Angeles into the game, events such as police scandals, riots, drug use and territory disputes between rival gangs. This move had is fans and detractors, but nevertheless it made for a game that was a harkening look at what went on in the golden state, and the game was a smash hit for Rockstar, selling over two million copies of the game in less than a week.
Gameplay wise, Grand Theft Auto San Andreas is to thank for being the first game in the series to incorporate many staples in the franchise today. Aspects such as customizing your character’s clothes and vehicles, activities and minigames apart from the campaign, and even gambling were first introduced in San Andreas, and have been featured in every interaction since. The map for the game wasn’t fully open at the beginning. The player had to play the story in order to unlock new areas of the map to explore . A first for the series, CJ was the first playable protagonist that was able to swim and climb walls. Small changes like this to the formula was what Grand Theft Auto needed in order to still be fun for players, and as a result, the franchise is still successful to this day.
Another first for the series, Grand Theft Auto San Andreas allowed players to specialize in what they wanted CJ to be good at, whether it was driving or fighting, San Andreas introduced RPG like elements to allow players the freedom to play in whatever style they wanted. There was no DLC to the game, but it has since been ported to nearly every console imaginable, and is scheduled to get a remake with remastered graphics sometime in the near future.