“All you had to do was follow the d*mn train CJ”

2004’s Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is one of most popular games in the series. What exactly makes this game so popular?


When playing GTA games, many players tend to slide the story to the side. This is not because the story is bad…but because committing crimes in this fictional world is so fun (DISCLAIMER: not in real life, of course). Sure, it’s fun to drive around and interact with the cool characters – but why do that when you can instead use a jetpack and blow up anything that falls under your gaze.

Being able to run around and commit pure and utter mayhem is enjoyable in a unique way (which is why there’s an entire genre of game based around this whole idea). Aside from committing an inhuman number of felonies and then hiding in your house to make the authorities forget about you, there is the story. The story of San Andreas is very good, and has been memed ad nauseum. It’s very likely that you’ve seen a meme from San Andreas…and if you haven’t, now you have:

The story is a perfect mix of goofiness and actually good storytelling to leave the player engaged. Just blowing people up and the story isn’t all there is to the game, however.

This is not because
the story is bad…but
because committing
crimes in this
fictional world is so fun

In San Andreas (unlike many of the other GTA games) you can completely customize the main protagonist (CJ). And I don’t mean simply changing his hair styles or outfits…I mean changing the weight of the character and his muscularity. You can literally make him extremely overweight (anyone who’s played Red Dead Online will be used to seeing such “hefty” characters) or more jacked than a bodybuilder abusing steroids. CJ is far more modular than characters appearing in later games in the GTA series (such as the fifth game). In GTA 5 your character can get tattoos and the like, but the characters appearances can’t change too drastically. I personally like this level of customization more than many other games, where you design them at the start of the game and only minor changes to them.

However, this does not mean that the game is perfect.


Having been developed in early 2000’s, San Andreas is obviously going to have some “jank” to it from a modern player’s perspective. Some of the controls in the game don’t feel great by today’s standards, and if you play on the mobile version, well…good luck. Sometimes the controls can be more of a challenge than the actual game itself.

For the uninitiated the mission called “The Wrong Side of the Tracks” features C.J. (the game’s protagonist) following a train on a dirt bike and eliminating four enemies before reaching a bridge. Many players complain about the difficulty of this particular mission, especially at the cost of having to listen to “All you had to do was follow the d*mn train CJ” time and time again at the restart of the mission. Good for a laugh… bad for players.

All in all San Andreas is fun, and that quite honestly is the most important part of any game. As for a rating I’m going to give it a solid “two number 9s, a number 9 large, a number 6 with extra dip, a number 7, two number 45s’ one with cheese, and a large soda” out of a jetpack.