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5 most underrated characters in the GTA series

The supporting characters and lesser-appreciated protagonists in this list are some of the best-written characters (Image via wallpapersden)
The supporting characters and lesser-appreciated protagonists in this list are some of the best-written characters (Image via wallpapersden)

Although usually portrayed in mainstream media as "escapist, mindless entertainment," the GTA franchise is often a deeply layered satire. However, that doesn't mean that the games have a dearth of characters with substance, as Rockstar Games has often showcased its skill at writing complex and interesting characters.

While the Tommy Vercetti's and Trevor Phillips' of the franchise hog all the spotlight, many get swept aside. The GTA franchise has been able to deliver not only interesting protagonists but surround them with a colorful and engaging cast of characters as well.

The supporting characters and lesser-appreciated protagonists in this list are some of the best-written characters by Rockstar that should have ideally gotten more screen time or simply weren't appreciated enough upon the game's release.

Note: This article reflects the writer's personal opinions.


Top five underrated GTA characters

#5 - Kate McReary

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Although Rockstar has proven, as of late, that the studio is capable of writing complex and compelling female characters, that wasn't always the case. There are far too many Catalinas and Mercedes for every Sadie Adler or Susan Grimshaw.

However, one clear standout in the GTA franchise was GTA 4's Kate McReary, one of its most important characters. Sister to the McReary brothers, Kate's wasn't exactly the most peaceful of childhoods, and she has grown somewhat accustomed to a life of violence and crime.

Kate forms an extremely close bond with Niko through the game's events and shows enough agency to be a pivotal participant rather than merely a bystander.

GTA 4 showed a level of maturity that was previously never seen in the franchise.


#4 - Johnny Klebitz

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On the face of it, Johnny Klebbitz is probably the most quintessential 2000s protagonist with his gruff, biker persona and moody one-liners uttered in a gravely baritone. Yet, through GTA 4: The Lost and Damned's events, Johnny reveals more and more of himself and develops into a fascinating character.

Battling addictions while simultaneously trying to protect his brothers, Johnny is loyal to the end but has a ton of demons he must face by himself. The character makes no effort to come off as friendly or approachable, and it is his brash honesty that makes him so compelling.

With a somewhat strong moral compass and a rather interesting philosophy on religion and faith, Johnny Klebitz is one of the most underrated protagonists in the GTA franchise.

Also read: 5 things that GTA 4 did better than GTA 5


#3 - Steve Haines

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Steve Haines is perhaps one of the most disliked villains in the series' history. This means that he perhaps does his job better than almost every other villain in the franchise. Rotten to the core with a rather shifty sense of patriotism, Steve Haines represents the corruption that power brings at the highest level for all means and purposes.

The character comes off as extremely unlikeable, which is precisely what a villain should be doing. There is no single redeemable quality to Steve Haines, and players can't help but hate his guts.

Steve, throughout the events of GTA 5, never gives the players their due and always finds ways to undercut or screw them over. This is why, when he finally gets his comeuppance, it is that much more satisfying.


#2 - Ken Rosenberg

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Largely inspired by Sean Penn's character in Carlito's Way, David Kleinfeld, Ken Rosenberg is brought to life in GTA Vice City in stunning form by the iconic Willian Fichtner. Being played by an A-list actor certainly helps, but Ken Rosenberg is simply one of the best supporting characters of all-time.

Perhaps the last guy gamers would expect to remain loyal to the very end, Ken Rosenberg is surprisingly all that and much more. Neurotic, fearful, and shady, he manages to be a complete wreck yet a very competent lawyer and, more importantly, a good friend.

Throughout GTA Vice City, he helps Tommy get back on his feet and remains by his side as he becomes the ultimate kingpin of Vice City.


#1 - Luis Fernando Lopez

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Luis Fernando Lopez is probably the perfect foil to the loudmouth and flamboyant Tony Prince and helps balance the scales slightly in GTA: The Ballad of Gay Tony. Luis is far more reserved than any other protagonist in GTA history, but it becomes clear through his actions exactly what drives his ambition.

Having grown extremely bitter towards the "street" lifestyle that landed him in prison, Luis Fernando Lopez is a calculating individual but isn't afraid to help his friends and family. Perhaps not the most "glamorous" of protagonists in the series, he is probably one of the most underrated leads in not just the GTA franchise but also gaming.

Also read: Which is the highest paying job in GTA Online in 2021?

For comprehensive guides, walkthroughs, character information and more, check out SK GTA Wiki

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Edited by Ravi Iyer
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