I downloaded San Andreas on PSN about a year ago, it was my first time playing it since the original PS2 days. I was scared to even play it because I was scared I'd be disappointed, not necessarily because its my favourite game of all time (this did play a part of course) but because it represents a particular time in my life... I was young when SA was released, I didn't even own a copy but my older brother was living at home in them days and we shared a room. He bought a PS2 just to play it, I'd sit and watch him play for hours and hours just in awe at everything you could do in the game world, every chance I'd get I'd play the game, sometimes I'd need to use the toilet but I'd hold it in because I did not want to put the controller down.
Playing it on PS3 a year ago was a big deal for me then, as soon as the game started I knew it was the same game that I loved and was in awe over as a kid, all the way through the game I was thinking to myself "wow, this is a game like no other".
I hear people say that nostalgia is the biggest key in people who say San Andreas is the best GTA game in the series and to be honest, it could well be, either way I don't care, I have such fond memories of San Andreas and completing it again a year ago showed me that with nostalgia or without it, San Andreas is still an amazing game to play.
I think because its a much older game people I.e. San Andreas fans forget that people are allowed to have differing opinions on the game, that's why fans of San Andreas are so protective an cherish the game so much. Me personally? I don't care what people say about San Andreas, because what I think of the game goes far beyond the game itself, it represents a time in my life and a great one at that.