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Why Grove Street is the best starting location in the GTA series


It’s hard to think of a better starting location than Grove Street within the GTA series.

It’s important to clarify that the starting location of every GTA game differs from game to game basis. Essentially, they’re the first place of residence for the protagonist, although they can also be the first place where the player has to do some missions.

Naturally, the GTA series has over a dozen starting locations. The 2D universe GTA games won’t be discussed here, as saving and missions work differently in those games. Still, the Johnson safehouse and several key missions take place in GTA San Andreas’s Grove Street, which makes it seem like one of the most influential starting areas in the series.



How Grove Street is the best starting location in the GTA series

Several notable missions take place here (Image via Rockstar Games)
Several notable missions take place here (Image via Rockstar Games)

Ultimately, Grove Street is where GTA San Andreas begins and ends. Although the player doesn’t literally start off in Grove Street, the game still requires them to go there to start the first real mission in the game. Of course, it’s also where the game ends, as End of the Line brings the whole storyline to its climax in this location.

No other starting location is as important. The other 3D universe games just have the protagonist move on to a better location as the game progresses. GTA 5 starts with Franklin, and his default areas are incredibly minor in the grand scheme of things.

What makes Grove Street stand out

The Johnson House is located here, which is one of the most memorable safehouses in the series (Image via Rockstar Games)
The Johnson House is located here, which is one of the most memorable safehouses in the series (Image via Rockstar Games)

Other than the aforementioned point, Grove Street also happens to have several other great features that make it seem like the best starting location in a GTA game.

For starters, a Hydra spawns on Sweet’s roof if the player has 100% completion in GTA San Andreas. There is also a Rhino under the bridge near Ganton, which is highly convenient for the player.

However, most GTA San Andreas players will remember how the Johnson safehouse can generate up to $10,000 profit every day. Plus, those who have sprayed every tag also get some weapons spawning in the kitchen.

What other starting locations lack by comparison

Not much goes on here, and Claude doesn
Not much goes on here, and Claude doesn’t do missions here, either (Image via Rockstar Games)

Apart from the other GTA games ending in a different place, it’s important to note that these starting locations tend to be less important to the overall plot. The sole exception would be Lost MC Clubhouse in GTA 4: The Lost and Damned.

Technically, the Lost MC Clubhouse is more relevant for most of the game than Grove Street is to GTA San Andreas. While CJ is in San Fierro and Las Venturas, Grove Street isn’t all that relevant. But it’s worth noting that GTA San Andreas is a much bigger game, overall.

Not only that, but it’s from a mainline title, which means that GTA fans are more likely to fondly remember Grove Street rather than a location from a GTA 4 spin-off.

Plus, the Lost MC Clubhouse is destroyed at the end of GTA 4: The Lost and Damned, not to mention that the Lost MC’s reputation is tarnished as well thanks to Trevor Philips in GTA 5.

The Lost MC Clubhouse would be the closest to Grove Street in terms of overall importance (Image via Rockstar Games)
The Lost MC Clubhouse would be the closest to Grove Street in terms of overall importance (Image via Rockstar Games)

Of course, other GTA games aren’t like GTA San Andreas or The Lost and Damned. In these games, the starting location often serves as a tutorial level, before the player moves on to something bigger and better.

Naturally, this means that players are less inclined to be emotionally engaged with these starting areas. Something like the Ocean View Hotel is memorable, but it’s nowhere near as important or useful as Grove Street in GTA San Andreas.

Note: This article reflects the writer’s personal views.

Edited by Sijo Samuel Paul




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