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GTA: Best villains in the series

Steve Haines from GTA V
Steve Haines from GTA V
Rahul Bhushan

It was once said that a good hero always needs a great villain. While it can be argued that the GTA franchise does not have heroes in the first place, the game does have great villains.

The protagonists of the GTA franchise are criminals with questionable morals, but in their own ways, they encounter possibly worse criminals with evil intentions.

Also read: GTA 5: All letter scraps locations in the game

The franchise is full of colorful characters, both good and bad, and the series has never failed to deliver memorable characters that stay with you long after you have finished the game.


Here, we look at the five best villains from the GTA franchise

5) Ricardo Diaz

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Ricardo Diaz is a Colombian drug lord who rules over drug trade in GTA: Vice City. He ambushes Tommy upon his arrival in Vice City, and foils his drug deal with Lance and his brother.

Tommy soon discovers this and befriends Diaz (an out-of-control drug addict who is prone to bursts of anger), becoming a trusted associate; all the while planning his murder with Lance.

Voiced by the iconic Luiz Guzman, Diaz is a colourful character who is both funny and terrifying at the same time.


4) Sonny Forelli

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Sonny Forelli is the mob boss from the Forelli Crime Family from GTA: Liberty City. Tommy was a trusted soldier for the Forelli family for the longest time, and even spent 15 years in jail for them.

It is later discovered that Sonny was behind the ambush that led to Tommy's incarceration. It was revealed in the very cutscene where Tommy was being set up to take over Vice City, during which Sonny would swoop in and eliminate Tommy.

Sonny is an extremely cunning and ruthless mob boss who is always several steps ahead of his rivals.


3) Big Smoke

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Perhaps one of the greatest betrayals ever in the history of gaming is when Big Smoke is revealed as the perpetrator behind the death of CJ's mother. It is also revealed that the reason he had moved out of Grove Street was because he had indeed been snitching to the Ballas.

Big Smoke was a character-favourite and a likeable presence to have around in the game. Delivering several funny quotables one after the other in rapid succession, his ultimate betrayal resulted in one of the GTA series' most cinematic showdowns with CJ, during the riots.


2) Steve Haines

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Some villains are terrifying, some villains are powerful and some villains are just geniuses. Steve Haines is neither of those things, he is simply hateable. He is one of the most unlikeable characters in any game, constantly causing trouble in Michael's life in GTA V.

However, a great villain is also someone you can hate, and no one does that better than Steve Haines. The satisfaction you get when you pull the trigger on him is one of the many reasons why people still play the GTA franchise.


1) Officer Frank Tenpenny

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From the moment players heard Samuel L Jackson's voice in GTA: San Andreas, they were captivated by Officer Frank Tenpenny.

A despicable, corrupt cop who makes CJ's life a living hell, Frank Tenpenny is perhaps the greatest villain in GTA history. He is funny while also being menacing in a way that only Samuel L Jackson could pull off.

He is one of the most memorable characters over the entire series, and will go down as one of the best villains in gaming as a whole.


Edited by Ravi Iyer

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