Why Los Santos holds meaning to GTA San Andreas players

Where it all began in GTA San Andreas (Image via Rockstar Games)
Where it all began in GTA San Andreas (Image via Rockstar Games)

GTA San Andreas players have fond memories of Los Santos, the official hometown of Carl Johnson.

Born and raised on the southside, CJ had to scratch and claw his way out of run-down neighborhoods. Many early GTA San Andreas players also grew up here. Los Santos was a home away from home. Once players stepped foot into this open-ended world, they didn't want to leave.

Los Santos is a very special area in the GTA series. Much like Liberty City in GTA 4, Rockstar Games decided to bring it back for GTA 5. Indubitably, GTA San Andreas makes it a memorable experience.

Why GTA San Andreas players love Los Santos


Los Santos is a cultural melting pot of the rich and poor. Ironically known as the City of Saints, several high-profile crimes take place here. It's one of the most dangerous areas in GTA San Andreas.

For players looking to inject excitement into their veins, they wouldn't have it any other way.

Ganton is where it all begins


For those who play GTA San Andreas, this is the first stop in their adventure. Ganton is the home of Grove Street Families (GSF), a well-respected gang. However, their power is declining rapidly and it's up to GTA San Andreas players to make sure they stay on top.

The famous cul-de-sac serves as the stronghold for the player. Despite the high crime rates, it's one of the safest areas. It's one of the very few places that isn't overrun by rival gangs.

When CJ arrives, he knows there is a lot of work to do. GSF has one foot in the grave, but he intends to keep them alive.

GTA San Andreas players will never forget the strong cast of supporting characters, which include Big Smoke, Sweet, and Ryder. Whether it's meme-worthy missions or action-packed gunfights, Los Santos leaves an impression on the player base. This is only a small glimpse of what the game offers.

Turf Wars make the player feel more powerful


GTA San Andreas introduces Gang Warfare, a territorial struggle for power between various gangs. There are three important themes in the criminal underworld - power, money, and respect. Unlike other games in the series, GTA San Andreas allows players to control the entire city.

If there was a GTA dictionary, this would be the definition of power: a green-coded map of GSF-controlled Los Santos. Players can wipe out the Ballas and Vagos gangs, and significantly reduce their population. By doing so, GSF members can be seen everywhere in Los Santos.

While it does take a while, the results are worth it. Los Santos is highly regarded by the players for this reason - taking control of it is immensely satisfying.

Sporting activities are a good way to pass the time


Interactive sports first showed up in GTA San Andreas. Players can hit the basketball courts and shoot three-pointers. When they make their shot, they better hope it hits nothing but the net.

Players will also remember the BMX bike, which is another first for the series. CJ first used it in his introductory mission. There is a skating area in Glen Park where they can try out various trick moves.

Of course, players can also stop by the Los Santos Forum, which is right across the street from Ganton. Here is where they can take part in the 8-Track, a 12-lap race. The $10,000 reward for first place is a great incentive.

Rockstar Games faithfully recreates 90's Los Angeles


Los Santos is undeniably inspired by Los Angeles. The development team did their homework when recreating the foggy atmosphere of 90's. Los Santos radio stations have used popular songs from that time period (such as West Coast rappers 2Pac and MC Eiht).

Most of the locations within the game are based on their real-life counterparts. For example, the high-rent district of Mulholland is clearly based on Hollywood. California-based players will certainly recognize the landmarks.

GTA San Andreas may be heavily influenced by its story and setting, but Rockstar Games definitely did their research. One of the most well-known features in the game is the riots, no doubt inspired by Rodney King in the early 90's.

It delivers the final act as one of the most tense moments in the GTA series.

There is so much to do in Los Santos


GTA San Andreas isn't just about crack dealers and escorts. Sometimes a player can sit back and relax. Los Santos has everything from million-dollar mansions to hiking trails and star-gazing observatories.

Whether a player wants to start a gang war or go out on a date, Los Santos gives them plenty of activities. This is one of the biggest strengths of GTA San Andreas - players have so much to do with so little time.

Note: This article reflects the writer's personal views.

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Edited by Sijo Samuel Paul