Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Game Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
Violent, open-world, do-anything mature adventure.

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 91 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 162 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Gangster lifestyle is central to the storyline, so violence, misogyny, and mayhem are all rewarded.

Positive Role Models & Representations

You are a gangster with no moral compass. You kill policemen, hookers, and anyone else you encounter. You can explore just about any deviant behavior.

Ease of Play

Gang warfare, beatings, drive-by shootings, killing of innocent bystanders, bloody and grotesque deaths.


The game contains everything from idle come-ons and sexual encounters to pimping and strip clubs. Partial/near nudity.The infamous "Hot Coffee" hidden scene has been removed by the game makers.


You're unlikely to find a video game that uses the "F" word more liberally. Consistent, repeated use of profanity in almost all scenes.


Faux radio and billboard ads spoof national brands.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Drug use is prevalent and there is some alcohol consumption, as well.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this game is raunchy and violent and portrays just about every deviant act that a criminal could think of in full, living 3-D graphics. Players participate in drive-by shootings, deliver prostitutes to their johns, kill mob bosses, hijack vehicles, and learn to operate within the criminal world. The star rating given to this game is based on quality of gameplay within this adult genre of video gaming and is not an endorsement of the violence within the game.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 17-year-old Written bySircjalot July 24, 2018

GTA San Andreas (2004) San Andreas takes place in within city called Los Santos "which is a fictional version of L.A." The 1990s was the most violent time to live in L.A as well!

This game is very violent. You can free roam around the cities and kill anybody you want. You can even kill people in brutal ways such as, setting them on fire,... Continue reading
Parent of a 8 and 12-year-old Written byLaurie Marron December 23, 2013

Try It Out

OK this game has bad things in it im not gonna lie. But it is very easily avoidable. My son is 12 years old and he has this game. I watched him played this game... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written bybradeblo3 February 29, 2016

This Game is Terrific!

This game was really something! The best game in the Grand Theft Auto series! Things to watch out is the profanity. Almost every cut scene has the F-word and... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byXx that one bro Xx December 1, 2016

I love going into Chunky cheese and causing mayhem lol

This game is a Classic you should want ur kids to play this game!! Amazing game got me hooked on my PlayStation for the past 10yrs!! By the way chunky cheese is... Continue reading

What's it about?

In GRAND THEFT AUTO: SAN ANDREAS, players must run, gun, and drive through a bustling city to perform missions such as knocking off a mob boss or preventing a truckload of ammunition from reaching its destination. Gamers play as Carl \"CJ\" Johnson, a young man who returns to the slums to avenge his mother's murder with the help of his old gang. New gameplay features to the Grand Theft Autoseries require players to perfect certain skills over time, such as hand-to-hand combat and driving. You must also earn \"respect\" with each mission; the more you gain, the more likely gang members will help you on missions.

Is it any good?

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas boasts an exceptional soundtrack, a well-written story line and a slew of plot twists and other surprises. The dialogue between CJ and his crew is raw but convincing, and some big-name celebrities contribute their vocal talent, including James Woods and George Clinton.

Without question, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas isn't for kids because of its graphic violence, sex, and coarse language, but mature fans of this 32 million-unit-selling franchise who want to know if this sequel lives up to its hype, the answer is a resounding yes. Few video games pull off everything successfully, but San Andreas does so in spades. Indeed, this mature-rated game may be deemed offensive for its depiction of life as a "gangbanger," but if taken for what it is -- an interactive action-adventure for adult gamers -- you won't find a title that's more difficult to put down.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the presence of adult content in video games. How do you feel when you are doing things that are clearly illegal or immoral? The game is a way to experience criminal life without societal consequences -- is it the "forbidden fruit" aspect that draws so many people to it?

  • Why do you think this game is so popular?

  • How do you think violent media affects you?

Game details

  • Platforms: Windows, Xbox
  • Price: $49.99
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: Rockstar Games
  • Release date: November 2, 2004
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • ESRB rating: M for Blood and gore, intense violence, strong language, strong sexual content, use of drugs
  • Last updated: November 19, 2019

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