Top 10: Grand Theft Auto Missions

Top 10: Grand Theft Auto Missions

Ten of the best crimes you'll ever commit.

For more than ten years, from GTA III to GTA 4, we’ve been committing crimes in Liberty City, Vice City, and the state of San Andreas. Hundreds of missions, countless assassinations, heists, and untold stolen cars, bikes, copters, and planes. Time to look back and decide what, of that lot, was best.

Last November, Rockstar released the GTA V trailer. At the time, someone mentioned a 2012 release. Could it possibly be that we’d be playing a new GTA this Christmas? After six months of nothing, let’s just say ‘hope’ ended up a bullet-ridden corpse lying outside a liquor store in Ganton.

A week ago something stirred. Rockstar released a couple of beautiful screenshots, answered a few questions and, while I promised myself I wouldn’t be, here I am, obsessed with Grand Theft Auto again.

So, with the expectation that a finished game may still be a long way off, and Rockstar Games will read this, concluded that I know exactly what I’m talking about, and subsequently tailor GTA V specifically to me, here are my Top Ten Grand Theft Auto missions.

10. GTA 4 – I’ll take her

TA 4’s conflicted, tortured protagonist Niko Bellic meets Gracie to supposedly buy her car. When she finds out she’s being kidnapped, all hell breaks loose. No, it’s not a five star wanted level. It’s an angry mob daughter pulling on the steering wheel and trying to scratch Niko’s eyes out. And, the language.

Niko making friends and influencing people, as he does

So, conflicted and tortured, Niko punches Grace in the face, knocks her the #@&% out. It’s a GTA mission with a difference, not a heist, not a beat the clock, or a car chase, but still crude, violent, wrong on so many levels, and funny as hell.

9. Vice City – The Driver

Talking of heists and car chases... While there is a major robbery as the centrepiece of most GTA games - Three Leaf Clover from GTA 4 being an especially good example - the best is the bank job in Vice City. But first you have to beat Hillary, Vice City’s best driver, a two star wanted rating, and a few annoying cops. And all you get is a bog standard Sentinel.

Flat out through the centre of the city, no weapons, no short-cuts, your only chance is to nudge Hillary into a wall and then drive perfectly to the finish. It sounds simple, but it ain’t. It’ll take a lot of attempts, and a lot of luck. When you beat Hillary, you’ll stand up and cheer. But, you’ll never want to play the mission again.

8. San Andreas - Hijacked

If you think that ‘never wanting to play a mission again’ is a strange reason for putting a mission in a top ten list, how about liking a mission because of plot twists and character development.

For a PS2 game, San Andreas looked pretty good

Gang-banger CJ finds drug dealer Mike Toreno, who CJ thought he killed, is alive, and a member of the CIA (or worse). And Toreno wants CJ to work for them. With Cesar, CJ has to steal a truck. It’s a simple and fun mission. Ride fast over the Garver Bridge with Cesar on the back of the bike. Avoid the traffic, get close enough for Cesar to jump onto the truck. Then drive back to the garage.

A great, straightforward mission, a major plot twist and some quiet conversation between Cesar and CJ, some of my favourite bits in San Andreas. You just can’t underestimate plot and character when it comes to GTA.

7. GTA III – Two-Faced Tanner

Sometimes it’s not plot, character, or even hard racing that makes a good mission. Sometimes it’s a simple short-cut, and a joke at another game’s expense. When GTA III’s Claude has to take out the weird walking, but fast driving Tanner, you have two choices. You can drive after him, and chase him all over town, with a four star wanted level. Or, you can trigger the cut-scene, line up your bazooka, and blow him up before he’s out of second gear.

6. Vice City - Copland

While we’re blowing stuff up: back in Vice City, Tommy needs to detonate a bomb in the mall. Unfortunately, the cops know there’s a bomb there, and they have the place locked down. So Tommy and Lance Vance steal a police car and a couple of uniforms, walk into the mall, and set off the bomb. Instant five-star wanted level.

Vice City's still regarded as one of the best in the series for a reason: it's truly excellent

In GTA there are five stars, and then there are five stars. In Copland there’s no armoured car to jack, no tank, no helicopter stashed around the back of the building. It’s just you, whatever car’s closest, and every damn cop in the city, in a balls-out race back to your mansion.

Any mission the starts with ‘these pants are a bit tight in the crotch’ and ends with five thousand dollars delivered to your mansion door every day, sums up what GTA is all about.

Continue reading on page 2.


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Comments Comments (9)

Posted by Jake
On Wednesday 25 Jul 2012 3:35 PM
Do a Top 10: Forum Fiends next!
Posted by Original_Noob
On Wednesday 25 Jul 2012 4:03 PM
I reckon TBOGT and GTA IV had the most enjoyable missions.

IMO, GTA III's "Espresso-2-Go" was the hardest mission in the history of Grand Theft Auto (I've completed all GTA's - except China Town Wars - since GTA III). I actually had to plan the fastest possible route and draw it on the map.
Posted by Ron
On Thursday 26 Jul 2012 10:56 AM
I found the early games that went 3D very hard to play the missions. The camera and targeting system were very clunky, and I got killed many, many time. GTA:SA was my favourite thus far in the series.
Posted by kiwiatlarge
On Thursday 26 Jul 2012 8:50 PM
The Driver had to be one of the hardest missions of any GTA.. You were pretty much reliant on him spinning out if you were lucky to get the advantage.

Espresso 2 Go IIRC I think I used a map/guide and it was still incredibly tight with the time.

San Andreas had it's moments, especially some of the multi-part missions, but GTAIV was pretty easy. Only the motorbike missions annoyed me in that one.

The hardest final mission has to be Catalina, because you have a time restriction and start with no weapons. I think the only way I ever did it legit without cheats was on my 100% run where I had every spawn at the safehouse.. I ran down the hill, picked up the weapon spawns and the tank and took out Catalina's goons that way...
Posted by KapaiZombie
On Friday 27 Jul 2012 6:01 PM
No Three Leaf Clover from GTA IV?
Man that's gotta be one of my favourite missions of all time, felt like I was playing 'Heat' the videogame.
Posted by SmurfWorks
On Saturday 28 Jul 2012 12:47 PM
One mission that I'll never forget:
Posted by joshdrought
On Saturday 1 Dec 2012 1:16 AM
most satisfying killing ryder in gta san andreas i always hated that punk
Posted by Romulus
On Wednesday 19 Dec 2012 2:11 PM
Keep your Friends Close from Vice City did not make the list? Replicating the end of Scarface was awesome ... plus I really enjoyed capping Lance!
Posted by PE0PLEKN0WME
On Sunday 4 Aug 2013 12:31 PM
Loved and Owned all of the GTA series since 3, Vice City was Great, San Andreas Better and whils they removed the use of several vehicles in 4 I still loved it even more so, especially the Ballad of Gay Tony Add on. That Helicopter is BEAST!!