Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is a 2001 action-adventure game developed by DMA Design and published by Rockstar Games. It is the fifth game in the GTA series (seventh if we count the expansions) and the third in the series to use 3D graphics.
The game’s plot takes place in San Andreas, a fictional state that contains three metropolitan cities: Los Santos, San Fierro, and Las Venturas; the three based on the cities of Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Las Vegas, respectively, being the most extensive map of the saga. Set in 1992, the game tells the story of Carl Johnson “CJ”, who decides to return to Los Santos after five years of being absent from Liberty City, after learning about his mother’s murder.
Upon his arrival, CJ attempts to re-establish the power of his former gang and family, while slowly uncovering the truth behind his mother’s death. The plot is loosely based on events such as the rivalry between the Bloods and Crips gangs, the crack epidemic, the Rampart scandal, and the 1992 Los Angeles riots.
Unlike its predecessor, San Andreas brought with it new gameplay elements that would later be incorporated into future titles, such as RPG-style mechanics, customization options for both clothing and vehicle appearance, a wide variety of activities, and mini-games, and the inclusion of gambling.
Considered by many critics to be one of the best video games ever, San Andreas was critically acclaimed upon its release, with praise for its music, story and gameplay, and criticism for its graphics and some aspects of its controls.