Do you remember opening your shiny new Playstation 2? All the perks of the original Sony console, but with something that seemed much more refined and futuristic about it – plus you could watch DVD’s, and let’s face it, that did change the world.
Enough about a once new console. I’m more interested in the best selling game of that console, arguably the best in its prestigious and long running franchise, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.
This gives real impetus to the ‘Games That Changed The Industry’ title of the column. San Andreas was a truly massive game for its time both in terms of sales and in game space. Though there had been other open world games before this point, none had really brought all of the key aspects together as coherently as GTA: San Andreas did. This was the first truly open game to make a big impact on our consoles.
One of the best things about the free roaming in San Andreas was its ability to keep you interested. There was a main plot along with numerous side quests, when running around causing complete havoc lost its appeal. The refreshing openness to maintain a balance between the crazy and downright ridiculous really made this stand out in what was turning into the very serious business of video games.
Beyond the gameplay aspects, which undoubtedly give the game a place in this column, there is another important reason here that could be taken from several other big games in the period. For the first time in thirty-five years it wasn’t Nintendo that was making the best games. There were other serious options out there and people were beginning to think that these new options might actually be better.
Selling 27 millions copies, this was the best selling game of 2004 on the PS2, making it the 10th best selling console game of all time with several very successful follow ups. Not all that surprising really, is it?
Sam Brewer, Games and Tech Columnist
Is San Andreas your favourite entry in the Grand Theft Auto series? What other open world games have been the most important in shaping the video game industry we see today? Let us know in the comments below, or drop us an email at email@example.com. For more on everything else games and tech, check us out on Facebook and Twitter.