But that was Vice City. As it always seems to do, a few years after its Vice masterpiece, Rockstar took its beloved series to the streets of Los Santos (California) and again redefined open-world gaming. GTA: San Andreas was unprecedented in size and production value, and even included Samuel L. Jackson as Officer Tenpenny.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was the original sandbox. It was the first time you felt like you could truly do anything - drive from the concrete jungle to the backwoods, train like a beast in the gym, play pool, get your pilot license, burgle a house, spray paint walls, get tattooed, jet pack onto a building then parachute off, eat until you puke, fight gang wars, low-ride, purchase property, derail a train, and simply change your hair. And that isn't even everything. Simply put, San Andreas was well ahead of its time.
This isn't just one of the very best PS2 games, it's one of the best games of all time and a testament to world-building, storytelling, characterization, and how to make a game fun.