Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

aka: GTA: San Andreas, GTA:SA, Grand Theft Auto: Sin City
PlayStation 2 Specs [ all ]

Description official descriptions

The events of the game take place in the early 1990s. The player takes control of Carl Johnson (C.J.), who had moved to Liberty City in order to distance himself from his past as a member of a gang in his home city, San Andreas. But the past catches up with him in a way he had not imagined: he finds out that his mother was killed by a rival gang. He goes back to San Andreas to attend her funeral. Realizing how corrupted local police is, seeing how his relatives and friends need him, determined to avenge his mother's death, C. J. has no other choice but to revert to his old ways.

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is the fifth game in the GTA series. The basic premise remains the same: roam the "sandbox" environments, hijack cars, and complete missions to advance the story. The game's world is significantly larger than in its two immediate predecessors, encompassing three cities and a vast countryside between them, with smaller towns, mountains, rivers, and other places of interest. The interactivity with the environment is enhanced since the player character can now swim and dive, being able to access every corner of the game world.

The missions vary in structure and gameplay, including chases, races, longer and more intense third-person shooter sequences, as well as a wide variety of vehicles to navigate, which range from different new types of cars (such as lowriders), bicycles, motorcycles, to boats, helicopters, planes, trains, and exotic devices such as monster trucks and jetpacks. Some of the missions involve recruiting gang members and attacking turfs belonging to rival gangs.

As in the previous games, there are many activities to perform outside of the missions. Working as a taxi driver, taking part in races, delivering sick people to the hospital, etc., return from the preceding games in the series. San Andreas adds many new activities of its own, some of them with a role-playing flavor. C.J. can go to the gym and work out, increasing his stamina. From time to time he has to eat - though overeating will make him look fatter. He is also able to have romantic relationships with certain female characters, asking them out for dinner, giving them presents, etc.


  • ไพ ็›—่ฝฆๆ‰‹๏ผšๅœฃๅฎ‰ๅœฐๅˆ—ๆ–ฏ - Simplified Chinese spelling
  • ไฟ ็›œ็ต่ปŠๆ‰‹๏ผš่–ๅฎ‰ๅœฐๅˆ—ๆ–ฏ - Traditional Chinese spelling

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Credits (PlayStation 2 version)

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Art Director
Technical Directors
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Written by
Lead Character Art
Character Art
Countryside Art
Lead Animator
Lead Cutscene Animator
Lead Los Santos Art
Los Santos Art
[ full credits ]



Average score: 93% (based on 138 ratings)


Average score: 3.8 out of 5 (based on 399 ratings with 9 reviews)

The gaming mecca.

The Good
San Andreas has beautiful graphics, from the sun rising to every single rain drop falling it looks amazing. The vehicles are incredibly realistic with bumpers, doors, headlights and windows can all be broken. There is a lot of missions that will keep you hooked and plenty of side-missions. It has a soundtrack for everyone's taste and the True Grime billboard is hilarious.

The Bad
The incredible amount of glitches like falling through the floor, the unmarked pay n' spray and if you kill someone when they're on the floor they stand up and suddenly fall. The missions are a bit too long, hard and sometimes boring.

The Bottom Line
If you can afford one game, buy this. It's the greatest game ever made.

PlayStation 2 · by James Kitson (2) · 2005

Quintessence of free-form action

The Good
San Andreas is the logical next step in the growth of a series that continued to expand in size and variety. Suffice to say that this game absolutely dwarfs its already very impressive predecessor in size and content.

Like the previous games, San Andreas has a huge, open-ended world that you can explore to your heart's content. Unlike them, San Andreas has three large cities instead of one, and a lot of wilderness between them. The presence of countryside makes the open world seem more coherent and immersive, adding a sense of breadth and scope and re-defining the very concept: indeed, the playground here feels more like a real world than ever before in the series.

Everything in the world of San Andreas is detailed and created with love and attention. There are diverse neighborhoods bustling with activity, memorable landmarks and little atmospheric spots you'll be seeking out. One of the most fulfilling experiences for me was climbing up Mount Chilad, standing on the top, gazing at the beautiful world beneath, and then jumping down on a motorcycle.

The game's many story missions are an absolute triumph of inventive design - which is particularly remarkable considering the fact that the earlier games weren't exactly repetitive themselves. San Andreas has plenty of ridiculously fun missions ranging from simple races and chases to challenging, hardcore shooting levels and often hilarious arcade-like scripted events of all sorts. The amount of vehicles you can commandeer in this game is truly mind-boggling: from simple bicycles to war planes, from monster trucks to tractors, trains, and everything you can think of that has wheels or can fly. And don't forget fun equipment such as a jetpack on top of that.

The gameplay is generally more fleshed out and even more varied than in the two previous games. First of all, the interaction with the world was significantly expanded. You can finally swim. You can also dive and hunt for oysters. Another important addition is climbing. Don't see a way into the house? Climb over the fence. Climb onto the roof, maybe there is some weapon there. Or just go and jump on the roofs for fun.

Another interesting addition is the new RPG-like system. Run around a lot and your stamina will increase. Ride a bike and you'll gain better bike skill. It's a simple, effective mechanic, and it works quite well. People who disliked it may have not grasped the meaning of this system. Don't you think it was annoying to fail a mission in the previous GTAs, ending up in a hospital without your weapons? Most people just reloaded, to spare themselves the trouble of getting new weapons and going back to the starting point of the mission. In San Andreas, this feature finally has a meaning. You can fail a mission several times, but you can always gain something from it. You might gain muscle, maximum HP, weapon or driving skill, which are all saved. It's like leveling-up in an RPG - you can return and redo a hard mission, having more of an edge in it each time you try.

But there is a lot more. You can customize your protagonist's appearance, changing his clothes and haircut. You can also eat to gain health. If you eat too much, you'll become fat. You can exercise or simply run around to lose weight. But if you become too thin, you'll be exhausted. And no, you don't have to eat regularly to keep your character alive, as some people say. It is just attention to detail and design generosity.

As always, there are plenty of things to do outside of the main missions. You can be a taxi driver, get an ambulance and care for sick people, become a vigilante cop, break into people's houses, gain territory by starting gang wars, participate in races, and more. Some of those minigames return from the previous GTAs, some are exclusive to San Andreas. The best of those exclusive ones is probably the dating. You'll be able to have girlfriends in the game. You can take them to dinner, drive them around, give them presents, and build up your relationship. Finally, if you do everything right, the girl will invite you to "have coffee". As everyone knows, the official version of San Andreas was censored; the developers already programmed a whole explicit sexual minigame, but removed it from the final version. Luckily, you can download the "hot coffee mod" from many places. I don't quite see why game developers have to remove fairly meaningful sexual content from a game that focuses on killing other human beings - which, apparently, is quite alright to present in a digitized form.

The ability to download the mod is not the main reason why you should get the PC version. First, the graphics are much better than in the console version. Second, the controls are way more fitting. The console version has idiotic "auto-aiming" that makes shooting sequences a total mess. Every enemy takes several shots to kill, and more often than not you won't be able to target the enemy you want to kill first. In the PC version, it's very simple: just target with the mouse and practice headshots.

The game's story is long and deals with a wider variety of themes than just the rise to power among greedy gangsters. The presence of family and friends make the protagonist seem more humane, though some missions do everything they can to overturn that assumption. The more down-to-earth atmosphere allows introduction of more believable characters joining the ranks of totally grotesque figures that surpass the wacky madmen of the previous games. The main villain is appropriately repulsive, and there are interesting moments in the story when the issues of trust and betrayal are brought forth.

Much of the dialogue is marked by careless, profane humor that distinguished the series - but it is also quite well-written. Voice acting is top-notch as well. There are weird characters with totally crazy lines, and sometimes the whole thing almost feels surreal. The game's script goes absolutely over the top, making mean fun of everyone and everything. Of course, there are also very funny pop culture references, And some of the stuff they say on the radio is absolutely hilarious.

The Bad
There are some problems with the pacing. The game is very long, and the story is just "smeared" over dozens of missions, most of which don't advance it at all. Which brings me to the next flaw: all the so-called "story missions" of the game must be completed. All of them. If you miss one, you won't trigger another one, and so on. You can often choose the order in which you want to complete the missions, but that's it.

Problem is, many of those story missions have nothing to do with the story, and the inclusion of some of them into the canvas of the narrative feels forced. Much of the material here turns the main character into a schizophrenic with mutually contradicting values and more than a vague personality. For example, during one of the missions CJ rescues a girl he has never met before from a house he himself set on fire. On another mission he has to drown two people he barely knows. You can do those two missions in a row if you so wish. This kind of jarring ambiguity could have been avoided if the game let you choose the missions you actually want to do.

Obviously, GTA games can't afford being too squeamish because of their very concept, but San Andreas can cross the line between understandable gangster violence and pure murder. There is a mission that forces you to kill an innocent valet, even though knocking him unconscious would have been a more plausible solution. In another mission you must bury a somewhat hostile worker alive in cement. I find this kind of black humor unnecessary in a game where violence is already easily glorified.

Again, the ability to choose your own missions among those often gratuitously violent escapades, the right to skip any or all of them and just stick with the gangster wars for the mandatory story missions would be welcome. The plot suffers from that as well, being actually involving only in the beginning and in the end, with the largest chunk of the game dedicated to absolutely disjointed activities in a deranged theme park.

The Bottom Line
San Andreas is more than just its series taken to the most radical heights: it is a massive sandbox adorned with incredible gameplay variety, a giant that throws fun at us with royal magnanimity and from a seemingly inexhaustible source. It may not be the deepest and most thought-provoking experience, but it is one of the most purely entertaining games I have ever played.

Windows · by Unicorn Lynx (180491) · 2014


The Good
Immense scope and open-world gameplay Engaging storyline with memorable characters Impressive level of player freedom and exploration Diverse range of missions and activities Soundtrack that enhances the atmosphere

The Bad
Outdated graphics and visuals Clunky controls and mechanics compared to modern games Occasional technical glitches and bugs Controversial and mature themes may not appeal to all players Limited character customization options

The Bottom Line
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is an aged game that left a lasting impression on me as a kid. Its vastness and endless possibilities ignited my imagination and provided countless hours of fun. However, looking at it now, the game clearly shows its age, and my expectations have shifted. By today's standards, it falls short in various aspects. Nonetheless, playing San Andreas today still evokes a strong sense of nostalgia. While it may not live up to modern standards, it remains a cherished part of gaming history that takes me back to a time when its vast open world captivated my young mind.

Windows · by ramenrolled · 2023

[ View all 9 player reviews ]


Subject By Date
This... damn... Learning To Fly mission!! Unicorn Lynx (180491) May 17th, 2007


1001 Video Games

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Australian release

Sex and nudity in computer games is unacceptable in Australia. As if to prove this, the Attorney-General of that country launched an investigation into claims that users who owned GTA: San Andreas could unlock a hidden sex scene in the game using the "Hot Coffee" mod. On July 29, 2005, this investigation saw San Andreas lose its MA15+ rating, which means that the game can no longer be sold in the country.

However, a revised version of the game was submitted on September 12, 2005. This modified version had the offending content removed.

Big Foot

Thousands of Gamers, are Looking for a "Big Foot", and attempting to take pictures of it from the in-game camera. No one has yet confirmed its existence, but many photos gamers have taken resemble an rather big feature in the woods. Trees uprooted, and weird noises can be heard in the section of the map called "Back o Beyond". Also many alien and ghost sightings have been reported.


One of the missions early in the game (in Los Santos) ends with your gang jumping out of the car just before it goes right through a billboard and explodes on a highway. Before this happens, the billboard bears a standard commercial with the inscription: "Taste of things to come". However, after the car has passed through it, you'll see that the middle part of it has been destroyed. If you examine the billboard again, it will read: "Taste of... come". Try pronouncing the sentence without thinking of the spelling, and you'll realize it is another example of the game's "nasty" sense of humor.


The three cities in San Andreas and other areas in the game represent real locations in western America. Los Santos represents Los Angeles, with its high crime rate and street gangs, as well the "Vineland" sign hanging over the north of the city representing the Hollywood sign in Los Angeles. San Fierro represents San Francisco, and includes many striking similarities with San Francisco like the Golden Gate Bridge, the fort under the bridge, Fisherman's Wharf, Lombard Street, and the steep streets of San Francisco. Las Venturas represents Las Vegas, with its casinos and the "Las Venturas Strip".

Also, many other areas in the game represent areas in western America. The woodlands in San Andrea represent the great redwood forests found in California. In the desert area, the restricted area section is obviously Area 51, the dam is the Hoover Dam, the big satellite represents the SETI program, the Indian reservation pokes fun at Indian casinos, and the abandoned airfield is reminiscent of aircraft graveyards found throughout the southwest. All of these things can be found in the southwest of the America.

As well, the initials of San Andreas's cities are the same of those of the cities in real life. While Los Santos does not work for it, San Fierro has the same initials and first word as San Francisco, and Las Venturas has the same initials and first word as Las Vegas.

As well, when turned to the side, the map looks strikingly like the state of California next to the state of Nevada, with the river between being the state border.

The Watts Towers in East Los Santos should have been placed in Ganton because East Los Santos is based on East Los Angeles and Ganton more resembles the Watts district found in South Central Los Angeles, where the famous towers are located.


The gangs of San Andreas are based on real gangs in California and elsewhere. They are changed around by colors and names. * Orange Grove Street Families: Color is Green, located in Ganton. Based on Crips. Their color is Blue and located in Compton. * Temple Drive Ballas: Color is Purple and located in Greater Los Santos. Based on Bloods. Their color is Red and located in Compton. * Varrios Los Aztecas: Color is Turquoise and located in East Los Santos. Based on Los Surrenos XIII. Their color is Blue and lcoated in Southern California. * San Fierro Rifa: Color is Green and located in San Fierro. Based on Los Nortenos XIV. Color is Red and located in Northern California.

Golden Gate bridge

If you search in the surroundings of the "Golden Gate" bridge (going from the north and taking a path to the left), you will find a sign with interesting information about the bridge that connects Las Venturas and San Fierro. This sign shows us the "bridge facts" which are:* length - 150.7 m * height - 60.3m above sea level * 16000 polygons inc. LODs * 600m draw distance * 11 textures * Takes up a staggering 1.27mb of disc space.

Guinness World Records

As of 2008, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is listed by Guinness World Records as the game with the largest in-game soundtrack and the largest voice cast in a video game.

Hot coffee mod

During development, "girlfriend missions" were planned. You could not only stop for coffee at their house, but also have a "mini-game" with them. All you needed to do was tap the keys to build up the excitement. Rockstar disabled this before shipping, but the Dutch gamer Patrick Wildenborg hacked into the PC version and re-enabled it. The mod can be downloaded here.

Said mod, dubbed "Hot Coffee" mod, became the downfall of the PC version. It sparked a huge controversy where politicians from all corners, including Hilary Clinton, starting bashing onto the ESRB.

Rockstar at first blamed the hackers for inserting the minigame into the code, but GameSpot later confirmed that the code for the minigame was already in the PS2 version and could be unlocked using hacking tools like Action Replay Max.

Following an investigation, the ESRB re-rated the game from M to AO, Rockstar stopped manufacturing the game immediately and worked on a new version that allegedly removed all traces of the mini-game.

Following the new AO rating, after the Hot Coffee scandal, several retailers such as Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Target, Circuit City and even GameStop took the game off their shelves, as part of a policy not to sell Adult-Only software.


The Hunter is AH-64A Apache. The only flaw is the cockpit isn't as big and it holds only one person, instead of two.


  • In the mission titled Wrong Side of the Tracks there are some of the Hispanic gang standing by a billboard before they jump onto the train. The billboard has an advert which says True Grime - Street Cleaners the font is identical to the title of True Crime: Streets of L.A.
  • In the mission Madd Doggs Rhyms you have to sneak around Madd Doggs mansion. When you sneak past one of the gangsters who is playing a computer game he says "Tanner you suck". This is a poke to the main character in the Driver games.
  • In Zero's RC Shop there are action figures for Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and Manhunt on the shelves as well as other titles by Rockstar.
  • If you choose to steal oil from a gas station as the first mission for Catalina, you'll see, for a brief moment, the words "Max Pane - Bulletproof Windows" on the window, which is a reference to Max Payne series.
  • In Los Santos, head to the cemetery in Vinewood. Go into the crypt. Inside there is a couple of tombs, a TV set and some pizza boxes. This could be a reference to Spike's hideout in the TV series Buffy, The Vampire Slayer.

References to the game

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was parodied in an episode of "Die Redaktion" (The Editorial Team), a monthly comedy video produced by the German gaming magazine GameStar. It was published on the DVD of issue 10/2005.


Ryder is influenced by the late rapper and former N.W.A member Eazy-E, who also founded Ruthless Records. The character design looks just like the rapper's signature look: Jheri Curls, black sunglasses, and the famous "Compton" cap replaced with San Andreas. But he is voiced by MC Ehit of Compton's Most Wanted, who provided the track "Hood took me under" for Radio Los Santos.

Eazy-E died March 26, 1995 at 6:35 PM from AIDS. He made peace between Ice Cube and Dr. Dre right before his death. His prodigy, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, made a song in honor of their mentor. By order of the Mayor of Compton, Eazy-E day is celebrated every year in Compton.


San Andreas eclipsed the sales of every other game in the United Kingdom on its launch weekend and even beat the UK's biggest ever film box office opening weekend, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. It also received extensive mainstream media coverage, unlike any other game.

Tie-ins to the predecessors

  • The original Grand Theft Auto included three cities: Liberty City, Vice City, and San Andreas. Since the first two cities were remade for the PS2 (Grand Theft Auto III, Vice City), it made sense that the third city, San Andreas, would be the third game in the PS2 series. This, of course, held a huge role in the ongoing debate on whether the game would be titled "San Andreas" or "Sin City".
  • This game features numerous characters from the previous games built on the Grand Theft Auto III engine, including (but not limited to): Fido (main character from the first game), Salvatore Leone, Maria, Ken Rosenburg, Kent Paul, Maccer (from Lovefist), Catalina (who shoots Fido at the beginning of GTA3), and more.
  • In the mission "Farewell, My Love", Carl Johnson meets a man before entering a race. He does not say a word. This man is the "Silent Guy" or "Fido", the main character from GTA3.
  • The mission "Saint Mark's Bistro" has CJ travel to Liberty City to deal with the Forellis at the restaurant of the same name. The restaurant exterior is faithfully remodeled from Grand Theft Auto III.
  • A large neon sign of Avery Carrington can be found in downtown Las Venturas, a tribute to the real estate capitalist from GTA: Vice City. Being a real estate mogul, Carrington would have obviously wanted to get a piece of property in booming Las Venturas.

Wil Wheaton

Wil Wheaton got his role as Richard Burns after being interviewed by Lazlow Jones, the primary script writer for the Grand Theft Auto video game series. Wheaton admitted his abundant admiration for Jones' work on the games, and Jones eventually worked out the Richard Burns character specifically for Wheaton. He recorded the voice work in a Rockstar Games studio in about two hours.


  • 4Players
    • 2004 โ€“ Console Game of the Year
    • 2004 โ€“ Best Console Action Game of the Year
    • 2004 โ€“ Best Console Direction of the Year
    • 2004 โ€“ Best Console Voice-Acting of the Year
    • 2004 โ€“ Best Console Successor of the Year
    • 2005 โ€“ Best Licensed Soundtrack of the Year
  • Computer Games Magazine
    • March 2006 - #8 PC Game of the Year 2005
  • GameSpy
    • 2004 โ€“ #3 Game of the Year
    • 2004 โ€“ PS2 Game of the Year
    • 2004 โ€“ PS2 Game of the Year (Readers' Vote)
    • 2005 โ€“ #3 Xbox Game of the Year
    • 2005 โ€“ #4 PC Game of the Year
    • 2005 โ€“ PC Action-Adventure of the Year
    • 2005 โ€“ Dumbest Controversy of the Year (PC) (for โ€žHot Coffeeโ€œ)
    • 2005 โ€“ The Maxwell House Award for Hottest Coffee (Xbox)
  • GamePro (Germany) February 2004 - Best Console Game in 2004* February 2004 - Best Console Action Game in 2004

  • PC Powerplay (Germany)

    • Issue 04/2006 - #1 Action Game in 2005 (Readers' Vote)
    • Issue 02/2006 - #2 Best Game in 2005
    • Issue 02/2006 - #2 Action Game in 2005

Information also contributed by B14ck W01f, EboMike, Emepol, festershinetop, Matt Neuteboom, MegaMegaMan, Robb Sciere, tbuteler Tiago Jacques and Unicorn Lynx

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Baza.

Windows Phone added by Chris Jeremic. PlayStation 4 added by Flapco. Xbox One added by Kennyannydenny. PlayStation 3, iPad, Xbox, Windows, Android, Fire OS, Windows Apps, iPhone added by Sciere. Macintosh added by Kabushi. Xbox 360 added by Parf.

Additional contributors: rstevenson, Unicorn Lynx, Apogee IV, tarmo888, Sciere, Tiago Jacques, Thorpe, Big John WV, Paulus18950, SGruber, Patrick Bregger, Victor Vance, FatherJack.

Game added October 30th, 2004. Last modified September 18th, 2023.