Top 25 of this Decade: #3

12.18.2009

The top three selections hold a very special meaning to me. I’d say I spent more time playing these three games than the rest of my top 25 selection, sans Super Mario Strikers and Champions of Norrath. These three are without a doubt in the short list of my all time favorite games, with such a strong replay value. So much so, I’ve been playing these three titles quite a bit as of late. Lets see what I chose as the third best game of this decade -

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3

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sanandreas3

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Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
Sony Playstation 2
US Release Date: October 26, 2004

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What is it?
Follow Carl Johnson, aka CJ, through a story with more twists and turns than a typical hour of General Hospital. Deal with crooked cops, getting back into the gang, travel through three fully realized cities and country sides and have more activities to do than any other sandbox game title out there!

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Why did it make my list?
Grand Theft Auto 3 built the sandbox. Vice City threw some sand in. San Andreas dumped the whole beach into it. There’s a ton of things Rockstar added into San Andreas after Vice City and III. Some of it transferred over to GTAIV (more refined vehicular controls, more than one city and/or state in the same game) and some of it didn’t (maintaining your weight, bicycles, piloting planes). Regardless, San Andreas introduced so much to the series, had so much to do, that it sometimes seemed overwhelming.

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CJ tried to get away from a life and world of crime, only to be dragged back in.

CJ tried to get away from a life and world of crime, only to be dragged back in.

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The story does take some unusual twists and turns later on, but the time period and settings were all wonderful. Mix in some excellent music that spans through several genres, and your travels will never be dull. The fact that you have three fully realized cities, country side, air fields and so much more to explore, you’ll have a hard time not being interested in the game. Find the air field and you can fly some airborne vehicles around. Take part in some gang war/turf war battles in the beginning of the game, take the Grove St. gang through random drive by’s, work out, eat, buy clothes, take part in home burglaries, gamble away your money, and so much more.  The time I’ve sunk just on randomness and not even following the storyline is absurd. San Andreas us just so captivating.

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It's not always about the run and gun. The diversity found in San Andreas is nothing short of amazing.

It's not always about the run and gun. The diversity found in San Andreas is nothing short of amazing.

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How do you feel about Vice City, or IV?
When it comes to Vice City, I felt that as epic as it was, and as much time as I put into it, the scope was greater in San Andreas. There was a lot more to do, a ton more to see, and even with a lot of dead spots in the open world, I felt there was a lot more to explore and enjoy. While I appreciated the stories of Vice City and IV a lot more than San Andreas and it’s head scratching change of pace, I have to put over the overall package and fun of San Andreas. Either one of the three titles supplies dozens upon dozens of hours of fun and interest, and to an extent, they are interchangeable.

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Top 25 of this Decade: #25 – 21

Top 25 of this Decade: #20 – 16

Top 25 of this Decade: #15 – 11

Top 25 of this Decade: #10 – 6

Top 25 of this Decade: #5 & 4


Jason V.

I am the Co-Editor-in-Chief here at Chocolate Lemon. Over the last 15 years, I have been writing gaming articles here and there, including my time with GameSages, a then IGN affiliated video game code database that's now owned by IGN, as well as my near four year stay on this very site. I'm quite the gaming enthusiast, have a somewhat "old school" soul, and enjoy a wide variety of geeky shows, movies and so on. Follow me on Twitter @Jas0nVelez