I was reading Retro Gamer Collection Volume 7 where developers and gamers listed their 100 favorite gaming moments. This made me reminisce about my favorite gaming moment.
After a short time thinking, I knew what game and moment it was: Grand Theft Auto San Andreas. Sure, I would have put GTA III or GTA Vice City as my favorite games as they both had countless good moments (that is what I have been told) but I never got to play them (to this date, I still have to play them). I read countless magazine articles about both those games, watch friends play them on their PlayStation 2 while I was hoping they would come out on the GameCube. But they never did. Then I remember Rockstar announcing GTA San Andreas and Sony announcing the PlayStation 2 Slimline. I was not going to miss this moment.
I traded in my GameCube and my big collection of games to be able to buy both the console and the game. Once I turned it on and I got to control CJ, I felt like I was living all the moments I read and saw in magazines about GTA III and GTA Vice City. But this was not the reason why GTA San Andreas has my favorite gaming moment. No, it was that I got to live in 90’s Los Angeles.
During that time I was listening to Hip Hop songs from the 90s. Most of them referenced events that happened during the time, such as the LA riots, the gang wars and the crack epidemic. By playing this game, I felt like I was there. Living the moments that all the hip-hop songs referenced. I felt the effects of the crack epidemic as it tore apart the neighborhood, I helped corrupt members of CRASH commit crimes and I witnessed what the LA riots did to the city.
I never understood the full effect of the LA riots until I played the game. When I saw that in the game, I was blown away. It was just chaos. People were committing crimes and the police could not stop them. There was no order. I even forgot to complete missions as I stopped to witness what was happening on the streets and then a stranger would steal my car and beat me to death (damn AI). I felt I was there in 90s Los Angeles. GTA San Andreas was my time machine that took me to a time that I only read and heard about before.
Because the numerous amounts of unforgettable moments in the game, from the riots to the Ocean 11 style casino robbery, I am going to say that the whole game was my favorite moment. I enjoyed watching the intro video, enjoyed spray painting my first tag and buying my first house.