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Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas - PlayStation 2

Platform : PlayStation2
Rated: Mature
1,080 customer reviews
Metascore: 95 / 100

List Price: $19.99
Price: $19.98 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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  • Discover an immersive storyline filled with twists and turns
  • Take part in fast-paced and lawless driving
  • Experience all-new action that continues the hit Grand Theft Auto series
  • Encounter new thrills and wicked speeds that are just up the road
  • Traverse the state of San Andreas and take down anyone that gets in your way
37 new from $14.99 280 used from $1.99 36 collectible from $4.99
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Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas - PlayStation 2 + Grand Theft Auto Vice City + Buyee 128MB Memory Card Game Memory Card for Sony Play Station 2 PS2
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Platform: PlayStation2 | Edition: Standard

Product Description

Platform:PlayStation2  |  Edition:Standard

Product Description

Five years ago Carl Johnson escaped from the pressures of life in Los Santos, San Andreas... a city tearing itself apart with gang trouble, drugs and corruption. Where film stars and millionaires do their best to avoid the dealers and gang-bangers. Now, it's the early 90s. Carl's got to go home. His mother has been murdered, his family has fallen apart and his childhood friends are all heading towards disaster. On his return to the neighborhood, a couple of corrupt cops frame him for homicide. CJ is forced on a journey that takes him across the entire state of San Andreas, to save his family and to take control of the streets. Liberty City. Vice City. Now San Andreas, a new chapter in the legendary series. Grand Theft Auto returns to the PlayStation 2 this October.

It may not be a splashy leap forward, but Rockstar Games' Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas in its own deep, dark way does just as much to move and revolutionize video games as its two predecessors, Grand Theft Auto III and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. As in previous installments, here you play as a thug with problems you must steal and shoot your way out of, but the problems this time are disconcertingly more realistic. You play as Carl Johnson, known on the street as CJ, a likeable criminal type who has just returned to his hometown, Los Santos (a fictionalized Los Angeles), to find that his mother has been murdered and that the police have framed him for another murder. Reunions with his friends and a troubled relationship with his brother set off a sprawling, complex plot line, taking place at first in the immediate Los Santos area but eventually spilling into San Fierro (based on San Francisco) and Las Venturas (Las Vegas).

You play as Carl Johnson, known on the street as CJ.

This is an honest effort to create an engaging story about sympathetic characters caught up in a brutal environment that is on par with a movie or novel.

Gaming Gangsters

Where Vice City took its cues, with tongue firmly in cheek, from the 1980s television series Miami Vice, San Andreas is a sincere homage to early 1990s innercity gangster films like Menace 2 Society and Boyz ‘N the Hood. This is an honest effort to create an engaging story about sympathetic characters caught up in a brutal environment that is on par with a movie or novel. If that effort hits a few flat notes (you would have to be totally desensitized not to wonder if it's OK to make entertainment out of driveby shootings), it may also mark the first step toward video games growing up. The first thing that fans of earlier GTA games will notice is the range of action is much wider now: Along with shooting, running, and driving, there's now swimming, eating, working out, shopping, and, yes, getting a haircut. All this means the game has a fairly steep learning curve. But, though the pick-up-and-play appeal of Grand Theft Auto III may be long gone, your access to the action becomes fairly transparent after a little practice. My only serious complaint is that, with the controller now crowded with such previously unheard-of functions like "Gang Active" and "Talk Positive," you can drive only with the left analog stick. A minor point, but it makes cars a lot more difficult to handle.

Bikin’ it
Bicycles take on a surprisingly central role.

Vehicular Variety

It would be hard to surpass the variety of automobiles available in earlier games, and San Andreas wisely does not for the most part try to compete on that score. Instead, it's bicycles of all things that steal the show. The bikes' speed and flexibility are perfect for many of the missions, and there is something about cruising through the streets and basketball courts on a BMX that just feels right. If you play far enough into the game, you will also be rewarded with the chance to fly a number of aircraft, and flying is something Rockstar makes a greater effort to get right this time (welcome news for anyone who struggled with the planes and ‘copters of the earlier games).

Lackluster Graphics--but a Real Feel

Graphics--never a huge priority for Rockstar--actually take a step backward from the luscious, tropical look of Vice City. Textures are rendered with only a cursory attention to detail, and contours are often blocky. It scarcely matters, though, because no matter how San Andreas looks, it feels real. This is due in no small part to voice work by an all-star cast including Samuel L. Jackson, Ice T, James Woods, Peter Fonda, and Outkast's Big Boy and a stellar soundtrack with tunes by Soundgarden, 2Pac, Public Enemy, and even a few country classics from the likes of Willie Nelson. But it's not just realistic, San Andreas is also vast, encompassing three big urban centers and huge swaths of rural land (complete with shotgun-toting farmers) between them. This vastness does mean, however, that there can be a lot of tedious driving to get to the missions, which, along with some awkward sequencing of the cut scenes (they are in places stacked one on top of the other), means that there is a bit too much downtime. But never mind the quibbles. Ladies and gentlemen, we have another classic on our hands. --David Stoesz


  • Astonishingly vast game space
  • Vivid character development
  • Complex, engaging plot
  • Enormous range of available actions


  • Occasionally awkward game design
  • You can no longer steer cars with the directional buttons
  • Steep learning curve

What's Your Strategy?
Get mission strategies and detailed maps to achieve every objective with the Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Official Strategy Guide.

Product Details

Platform: PlayStation2 | Edition: Standard
  • Domestic Shipping: Item can be shipped within U.S.
  • International Shipping: This item can be shipped to select countries outside of the U.S. Learn More
  • ASIN: B0001VGFK2
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 5 x 0.8 inches ; 6.4 ounces
  • Media: Video Game
  • Release Date: October 26, 2004
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,080 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #986 in Video Games (See Top 100 in Video Games)
  • Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here
  • Discontinued by manufacturer: Yes

Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

270 of 297 people found the following review helpful By Scott Woods on October 27, 2004
Platform for Display: PlayStation2Edition: Standard
This is more like a 4.5.

I've mostly just scratched the surface with this game so far, but it's pretty darn impressive.

It retains much of the engine of the previous two versions, so it isn't as mind-blowing as its earlier incarnations; this is mostly tweaks on a good thing that make it even better.

The list of things that you can do in the game is incredibly expansive, and you'll find yourself in some interesting positions thanks to additions like being able to swim, eat, work out, learn how to fight and shop for clothes. Even the first city is pretty huge and detailed, with lots of nooks and crannies to explore.

Graphically, it's about the same as what you're used to, and the character animations and skins are probably less than what they were in Vice City, but the game compensates by being so large, so much more involving, and offering so many more options to address your style of play. If you're the meticulous type who likes to look good and have people notice your new shoes, you can create a path that maintains such a lifestyle. By contrast, if you're a hoodie who likes to bum around and spend their time down at the local bar playing pool and video games, you can do that too (literally: I lost $50 on a pool game that I got to PLAY, but set the high score on a game down at the carry-out around the corner THAT I ALSO GOT TO PLAY).

Every version of this game has used racist and sexist imagery to varying degrees, so if you're suddenly offended by the material in this game, you're about 5 years late. At the same time, this game does up the ante on the negativity vibe, so to speak, and will -justifiably - raise questions about how offensive a game should be.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Jason R. Arnold on November 2, 2004
Platform for Display: PlayStation2Edition: Standard
To start out simply: Whatever your viewpoints on the value of this game, the problems with it, and the sometimes lack of inhibitions dealing with language and other factors, you almost have to admit that besides certain RPGs, Grand Theft Auto : San Andreas is one of the most engrossing and grandiose games that has ever been released.

There are many arguments here dealing with problems with the gameplay, or problems with the story. I'd like to get those out first, because then I can focus on the positives.

To start out, because the world of san andreas is so large, you may find yourself taking ten minutes to get from where your mission ended, to where you can start again. Even for the most Die-hard fan, this long trek can sometimes seem alittle tedious. Many of the Racing missions in this game cause you to travel across half the map to get to the finish. While this can be a good thing, if you screw up, you may have a problem finding your way back.

Car handling feels alittle "slippier" than in Vice City. If anything, the controls feel more similar to Liberty City but not wholly the same.

There are many parts in the story that include references to drugs (and the actual taking of these substances), sexual innuendo, Language, and violence. While these things can add up to a truly classic story (take scarface as an example) sometimes the story here overdoes itself. The game holds nothing back, and it uses language realistically. It doesn't sugarcoat everything, which seems to be the tendency of current american media.
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116 of 139 people found the following review helpful By Jack Barrett on October 28, 2004
Platform for Display: PlayStation2Edition: Standard
Once again Rockstar games has managed to add another landmark game in their already impressive aresnal. GTA San Andreas is the best game I have ever played. The whole city is so realistic you can practically smell the hot pavement cooking in the afternoon sun. The characters all seem to have been lifted off Boyz in the Hood or New Jack City but that doesnt matter, because the storyline is still intresting enough to keep you revited. The sheer variety of things to do is mind boggling, cut your hair, work out, get some tattoos, buy some clothes, get drunk, play video games..that is just a few of the things that keep you busy. This time around Rockstar seems to have added elements of role playing games into the mix. There are several meters determing strenght, endurance, skill and health. This meters can be worked on and filled up until you become the ultimate gangsta killing machine. The terrain is a lot more intresting this time too, more hills, more valleys, forests, mountains, lakes, rivers! I just enjoy driving around from the mountains down to the city, which is fun in itself. The people up in the mountains are heavily southern accented which is pretty funny. Anyways this is definiely worth the $50!!
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52 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 26, 2004
Platform for Display: PlayStation2Edition: Standard
Alright heres the stuff i read in the official Playstation 2 magazine (some of the stuff you may already know but oh well):
-The game is set in 90's San Andreas, which is a whole state that contains cities like Los Angelas, San Francisco, Las Vegas, and a bunch of country stuff in between like deserts, mountains, rivers, and lots and lots of interstate highways.
- You are CJ who decides to come back to his old Los Santos gang called the Orange Grove Family after spending a couple of years in Liberty City...
-YOU CAN: eat in restuarants (get fat), Work out in the gym and get buff( get too buff and you move slower), improve CJ's skills, get haircuts, ride a bicycle, wear lots of outfits, buy and build buildings (many more things to do with this than in Vice City), Gamble at casino's, break into houses and steal money, swim,dual wield mutliple guns, recruit your own gang to help you out, do 4 person drive by shootings.
The improvements: -five to six times the size of Vice City, game comes on a rare dual layer dvd, no more loading between cities, new graphics engine with 35-50% more polygons on screen, longer view distance, more realistic relections, shadows, and animation; every character has a "brain", a bunch of more detailed indoor locations, more mini games, man hunt style gun targeting, better hand to hand combat, each weapon is detailed and has its own realistic experience, rag doll physics, wider range of vehicles with improved physics, and the vehicles get rusty and dirty over time.
The average pedestrian in San Andreas will have up to six times more dialouge than in Vice City. Another thing is that the game will automatically adjust the level of difficulty if a player gets stuck on that impossible mission.
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Platform: PlayStation2 | Edition: Standard