Ranking The Best Grand Theft Auto Games

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1. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

To me, there is not a better Grand Theft Auto experience than what you are presented with in San Andreas. You have almost everything at your disposal; gang wars that let you take more and more territory for Grove Street, an excellent voice acting cast (that includes the likes of Samuel L. Jackson, Peter Fonda, James Woods, etc.), expanded and brand new flying system (including, for the first time in GTA, flyable jets and helicopters), and a fully customizable protagonist in CJ. Plus, the map in San Andreas managed to feel like the biggest map in the series by filling each of its cities with playable content instead of one huge city and an expansive wildlife (like in GTA V).

What I liked most about Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was how well it captured an authentic feel. Hanging out with Smoke, Ryder and Officer Tenpenny gave players an authentic look into the west coast urban gangster lifestyle, one that may not have been properly tapped into in gaming at that time.

The RPG elements were also a huge addition to the Grand Theft Auto series. It made sense that your character needed to improve his stats to become better at driving, fighting and gunplay. Plus, the ability to dual wield automatic weapons provided a fun new way to create carnage throughout the game, especially in huge shootouts.

Finally, San Andreas was the pinnacle of fun. It didn’t take itself too seriously and let the player do outlandish things within certain acceptability of reality. Flying around in a jetpack made both travel and police altercations so much more enjoyable. The unpredictability of protecting your turf and expanding your own network gave gang shootouts purpose and reason beyond simply killing other people you don’t like that happen to shoot back.

For its time (and it still holds up today), Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas perfectly captured what a GTA game should try to be; an honest look into a fictionalized setting with countless hours of exploration, fun and inspired gameplay.