Rockstar has released quite a number of great GTA games over the years. However, amongst the 16 titles in the series, GTA 5 and GTA San Andreas are probably the top fan-favorite. They are the best games of their generation - San Andreas for the HD era and 5 for the modern era. In this article, we are going to find out which is the better game between GTA 5 vs GTA San Andreas.

Gta 5 Vs Gta Sa
Let's analyze which GTA game is better in each criterion!

1 - Graphics

GTA 5 was released 10 years after San Andreas, and the advancement in technology is evident. It has the best graphics ever made in the series, with an amazingly detailed environment, HD textures, detailed characters' appearance, weather, and more. It is also constantly updated with GTA Online patches.

Furthermore, GTA 5 even has some "future-proof" graphical settings that even top-of-the-line graphic cards would have to struggle with.

Result: GTA 5 is better in graphics.

However, you can actually consider this an "accessibility weakness" of the game. Most PC gamers in India have weak setups, which means GTA 5 won't run as smoothly as GTA San Andreas. Some players might not even be able to run the game at all.

2 - Accessibility

Currently, you can play GTA 5 on PC and all consoles from PS3/Xbox 360 onwards. However, only the PC and next-gen console versions are enhanced with the latest patch. GTA San Andreas, on the other hand, can be run perfectly on PC, Consoles and Mobile.

The availability of a Mobile version makes San Andreas a much easier game to get into, as everyone has phones, but not everyone has a PC good enough to play GTA 5.

Result: GTA San Andreas is better in accessibility.

GTA San Andreas on Android

3 - Characters

GTA 5 is the first game in the franchise that has three different protagonists. Previous titles like Vice City, 4, or San Andreas only have 1. However, the fact that GTA 5 has more protagonists doesn't mean that it has better characters. CJ's journey in GTA San Andreas is much more human - it taught players the value of family.

The characters in GTA 5, on the other hand, are much more toxic in general. They are barely likable, from the protagonists Trevor and Michael to the various side characters from quests. Only Franklin has some kind of value... and the guy is actually distantly related to the world of GTA San Andreas.

Result: GTA San Andreas has better characters.

Franklin in GTA 5 vs CJ in GTA SA
The character CJ in San Andreas proves more human-like.

4 - Map

GTA V has a far bigger map than GTA: SA. However, the majority of that map is just empty mountains and deserts. On the other hand, GTA: SA consists of three main cities: Los Santos (based on Los Angeles), San Fierro (based on San Francisco), and Las Venturas (based on Las Vegas).

These cities together have arguably more urban areas than GTA 5's Los Santos. Furthermore, they also have more variety, as the three cities were very different and unique to one another. In open-world games like GTA, the urban areas are much more important than those empty mountains and deserts... because it is where all the actions are.

Result: Draw

Map size comparison
GTA 5 vs San Andreas map: While 5 is much bigger in size, the urban area is about the same.

>>> Read more: How To Maximize GTA 5 Online Vehicle Warehouse Profit

5 - Soundtrack

Overall, the soundtrack of GTA: San Andreas is much better than that of GTA 5. It is based on the 90s and has done an amazing job of retaining the essence of that era. While driving a car in Los Santos, the various radios can trigger a lot of nostalgia.

However, if you are a younger gamer, GTA 5's soundtrack might be more down your alley.

Result: Draw

6 - Storyline

GTA San Andreas' plot revolves around CJ's return to the city after years of exile. Upon seeing the sorry state of his family and former gang, CJ decides to join in and help them take back the streets of Los Santos. Overall, the plot of San Andreas is much more personal - it is all about family and brotherhood.

GTA V, on the other hand, is very different. It does not have any grand, overarching storyline - just the three protagonists doing heists and various other crimes... for money. This is quite shallow and nowhere as meaningful as GTA: SA's plot.

Result: GTA San Andreas has better storyline.

Grand Theft Auto San Andreas
CJ's gang in Grand Theft Auto San Andreas

7 - Multiplayer

The answer is pretty obvious. While GTA San Andreas is a great game, its multiplayer feature is only rudimentary, befitting a game from the 2000s. On the other hand, GTA Online, the multiplayer component of GTA 5, makes hundred of millions per year.

Result: GTA 5 is better in multiplayer.

8 - Gameplay and Quests

Apart from stealing, killing, and completing missions, there are a lot of side activities you can do in GTA 5. The technical advancement allows it the most complicated and detailed map of the series. From playing golf and tennis to taking part in various adventurous activities, GTA 5 gives you an opportunity to escape violence and relax when you want to.

On the other hand, GTA San Andreas does not have that many diverse options available to players.

Result: GTA 5 is better in gameplay and quests.

Golf in GTA 5
You can do a lot more activities in GTA 5 vs GTA San Andreas.

GTA 5 Vs GTA San Andreas: Verdict

With all said and done, GTA: San Andreas and GTA 5 are both worth playing - they are the best of the period when they were released. If you want a good story, world and aesthetics, play GTA San Andreas. If gameplay depth factors more to your preference, GTA 5 should be the top choice.

However, there's nothing that prevents you from playing both games. Experiencing both masterpieces is necessary if you want to become a true GTA fan.

Interested in more of our posts related to the GTA Series? Please check out this article to find out more about the Top 10 GTA 5 Mods For PC In 2021.