GTA San Andreas is a timeless classic, but even a masterpiece can have some glaring issues.
It should be mentioned that GTA San Andreas is a wonderful game. This article isn't meant to be nit-picky or to dissect every little thing about the game. Ultimately, the advantages of playing GTA San Andreas far outweigh the disadvantages. Having said that, it's still vital to note what GTA San Andreas's flaws are and why they are considered glaring issues.
Some glaring issues are obvious, such as the game's outdated graphics. Something like a game-breaking bug might not be on a player's radar, but it's still an essential problem to address in a game like GTA San Andreas.
Every game has its problems, but these five entries are the most noteworthy ones in GTA San Andreas.
What are the biggest problems with GTA San Andreas?
#5 - Frustrating missions
Although GTA San Andreas is a simple game at its core, some players strongly dislike some of the missions in the game. Whether it's one of Zero's many RC missions or Big Smoke failing to kill some Vagos on a train, GTA San Andreas's mission design is often criticized by some lesser-skilled players within the series. Some players find these missions easy, but their difficulty has spawned a layer of discussion on many forms of media.
Difficult missions can be fun, but it's not everybody's cup of tea. This issue isn't as relevant as the next few issues, but it's still something a lot of players have struggled with. Still, the RC controls are pretty terrible, even for veteran players who can complete it easily.
#4 - Island restrictions
Even with the excuse that C.R.A.S.H. is following CJ's every move, it doesn't make sense that island restrictions are a thing in GTA San Andreas.
By the same logic, Officer Tenpenny should know what CJ is doing in San Fierro and how he's acquiring more power. It initially made sense in Los Santos, but it fell apart when CJ was in San Fierro and was being punished for exploring Las Venturas.
It's an antiquated system that existed in games like GTA III and GTA Vice City, which lacked swimming, making it difficult for players to make it to another island.
However, GTA San Andreas allows players to swim easily, so they're punished with a four-star Wanted Level. It just seems arbitrary and outdated on top of the normal roadblocks one would find in prior GTA games.
#3 - Minor story problems
Sometimes, a game's story is changed out of necessity. Perhaps there is a conflict with a voice actor's schedule or a dispute regarding payments. Either way, the character they're portraying has to have their role changed in the game. Take Ryder, for instance. He starts off as an essential character in the game and ends up as a forgotten villain with no new dialogue.
It's understandable why Ryder had no new dialogue, but that doesn't mean that alternatives couldn't have been chosen over him being ignored as a villain. Outside of Ryder, there are some minor story problems that could be addressed in the game.
GTA San Andreas is infamous for lacking in backstory, so a lot of characters are only explored through the little interactions they have throughout the main game's storyline.
#2 - Gamebreaking bugs
A game-breaking bug can ruin a player's enjoyment of a game. Unfortunately, GTA San Andreas does have a few noteworthy ones that can negatively impact a player's gameplay experience.
What's more unfortunate is that these game-breaking bugs can permanently ruin a player's run. Considering most players aren't going to have the knowledge to edit their saved files, it can ruin an otherwise phenomenal game.
One of the most infamous examples of a game-breaking bug is in the mission "Madd Dogg." Here, Madd Dogg can jump off immediately, thus killing himself before the player can save him. This can happen even after the player uses the "Pedestrians riot" cheat code.
#1 - Graphics
Although graphics are easily fixable with mods, that doesn't change the fact that the base game of GTA San Andreas has outdated graphics.
Some old games can still look great today if they use stylized graphics. Take a game like Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Old Door. It was released around the same time as GTA San Andreas, except it still looks great to this day thanks to its approach toward art design.
While GTA San Andreas didn't need to copy its art style, it could have still used a more innovative approach towards its graphics. It looked mediocre for its time, so it's hardly excusable to say it looks good in the modern era. Even if graphics aren't the be-all and end-all for one's gameplay experience, it's still one of the most criticized aspects of GTA San Andreas to this day.
Note: This article reflects the writer’s personal views.