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Best missions from the GTA franchise, ranked

The GTA Series spans a couple of decades, and this is the best from them. (Image via Sportskeeda)
The GTA Series spans a couple of decades, and this is the best from them. (Image via Sportskeeda)
Somawk Banerjee

The GTA franchise is probably one of the most popular video-game series today. This is not without reason, however. Every individual game in the series has managed to shine in its own way and in its own time.

Currently, fans are still playing Five and eagerly waiting for Six. Over the years, the franchise has churned out some great games like Four, Three, San Andreas, Vice City, etc.

These games were great, but a few moments in these games were legendary. This article attempts to rank the best missions across the series.

Note: The points below represent the views of the writer. There are various missions from different Grand Theft Auto games on the list. Spoiler alert!


Ranking the best missions in the GTA series

10) Saint Mark's Bistro - GTA San Andreas

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GTA games rarely cross over, which OG fans know all too well. This mission from San Andreas sees CJ visit Liberty City to shoot down Saint Mark's Bistro. CJ's story is mainly based in San Andreas, Las Venturas, etc.

This mission made this list due to nostalgic reasons. A game giving the ability to players to fly to a different city is enormous.

The mission is handed over by Salvatore Leone. The Leone family Don is pleased with CJ as he handled the Forelli hit squad all too well.

Leone wants to shoot up Saint Mark's Bistro in Liberty City in retaliation. The mission layout features a shoot 'em style. But the fact that it's a call-back to Liberty City is fantastic.


9) Two-faced Tanner - GTA 3

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Moving on from the nostalgic element and San Andreas, let's head to GTA 3. GTA 3 allows gamers to take on the role of Claude and venture through Liberty City.

The game saw Rockstar's entry into the 3D space. At the time, there was nothing like Grand Theft Auto on the market. Competitors were probably working on GTA clones at the time.

The closest thing to a rival the Grand Theft Auto Series had at the time was the Driver franchise. The games were not very similar, but a few aspects did match. This mission sees Rockstar take a dig at its competitor.

The mission even has a dialog that reads: 'He's more or less useless out of his car.' This is a hint to the Driver's mechanic, which prevents players from getting out of the car.


8) Stowaway - GTA San Andreas

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Mike Toreno, the government agent, gives this mission out to CJ in San Andreas. Toreno, a government agent, gets news of a rival agency wanting to supply mines to the Middle East.

CJ is tasked with destroying the shipment and preventing the supply. The mission pays homage to the classic action era of 80s movies.

CJ rides a bike while avoiding gunfire into the belly of a cargo plane about to take off. Once on the plane, CJ must fight his way to the interior and place a satchel charge. While making his way in, he must be careful not to shoot out the explosives that might kill him.

He also needs to avoid drums rolling towards the open cargo bay door. Once the explosive is placed, in classic Hollywood fashion, CJ parachutes out while the plane explodes in the background.


7) Dropping in - The Ballad of Gay Tony

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GTA 4 is probably the most unique game in the series. It takes on a different path compared to the other editions in the series. Four's grim and dark approach made it feel a lot more real. The story of Niko's revenge is very well written and aged brilliantly.

The game also featured two episodic DLCs. One of them was the Ballad of Gay Tony. The mission Dropping in is handed to Luis Fernando Lopez by Ray Bulgarin. Mr. Bulgarin wants to buy the Liberty City Rampage hockey team.

The current owner, Marki Ashvilli, is pretty reluctant and doesn't want to sell. This is probably because Bulgarin tasked Luis with taking out the investigators sent by Ashvilli in the prior mission.

Luis needs to take out Ashvilli so that Bulgarin can take over the Rampage hockey team. This mission once again showcases quite a bit of Hollywood-esque action. Luis jumps out of a chopper, lands on the roof, and takes out Ashvilli's army floor-by-floor. Upon reaching the end, he kills Ashvilli and escapes.


6) The Job - GTA Vice City

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GTA fans today can be classified as new and OG. The series has been entertaining fans for over two decades now. Newer fans of the series are in love with the criminal empire setting of Five, especially the heist mechanic.

OG gamers will disagree and say the heist mechanic was present in the series long before Five was even on paper. 'The Job' from Vice City is the last Malibu Club asset mission. Tommy does this on his own, and this mission isn't given to him by anyone.

The mission sees a classic heist plan. One that involves a two-gunman, a driver, and a vault expert. Tommy is accompanied by Hilary, Phil, and Cam for the job. It is a great mission for its time.


5) Father and Son - GTA 5

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GTA 5 is the latest iteration of the series and has been around for almost a decade. Newer fans continue to throng the game even today. The reason is the fantastic writing and excellent satirical take on American pop culture.

The mission named Father and Son showcases some great writing and gameplay elements. The mission even lets gamers decide who to play as.

Michael and Franklin must chase a group of boat thieves in a car. The chase takes place along the Great Ocean Highway. Upon driving up to the trailer, Franklin gets onto the car's hood to get rescue Jimmy, who's stuck on the yacht.

Interestingly enough, the mission begins with Franklin requesting Michael to train him owing to his criminal experience. There is a lot of action in this mission, and the dialog exchange between all three players is comedy gold.


4) The Exchange - GTA 3

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The Exchange is the last mission of GTA 3. It is given to Claude by the main antagonist of the game, Catalina. She is also Claude's ex-girlfriend. Catalina has kidnapped Maria, Claude's latest love interest. She tells Claude to get $500K to ensure no harm reaches Maria.

On reaching the mansion, Claude gives the money and has all his weapons taken away. Soon Catalina takes the money and orders her henchmen to kill him. Claude then chases down a chopper with Cataline and Maria on board to the Cochrane Dam.

There, he takes out a small army of Catalina's cartel members. Maria and a few thugs are dropped off on the helipad, and Catalina tries to escape. After taking out the thugs and getting to Maria, Claude shoots an RPG and takes out the chopper.

After the mission, the credits roll, but Maria continues to talk. A sudden gunshot later, her voice cannot be heard any longer. What happened? Did Claude kill her? Did she kill Claude?


3) Friend Request - GTA 5

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Rockstar has poked fun at the American way of life through the series. But GTA 5 takes it to the next level as it precisely targets the famous on various occasions. The mission, Friend Request, is given to Michael by his friend and accomplice, Lester Crest.

Michael must infiltrate the Live Invader office under disguise and replace a prototype in the office before its launch. The dialogs in this mission attempt to poke fun at Facebook and its habit of invading privacy.

Once inside, Michael meets a few people in the office. One of the employee's tasks Michael with removing a virus from his system. The exchange is hilarious.

Once the prototype is replaced, Lester tells Michael to call a number while watching the Live Invader launch event. Upon calling, Jay Norris' new device rings, and once he tries to answer it, his head is blown clean off.


2) The Holland Play - GTA 4

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As mentioned above, GTA 4 did things differently from its counterparts in the series. The game's approach was so unique that it left an indelible mark on gamers. The game does feature the classic Grand Theft Auto stuff like stealing cars, wreaking havoc, etc. But every once in a while, the game throws a curveball.

The mission 'The Holland Play' is one such changeup. Playboy X gives this mission to Niko. Playboy X asks Niko to kill his friend Dwayne Forge upon meeting Niko.

Niko instantly turns down the offer but, after a bit of coaxing, says he will sleep on it. Upon leaving the apartment, Niko gets another call, this time from Dwayne, asking Niko to kill Playboy X.

Gamers must now make a choice and kill one of the two. Both options have different outcomes.


1) Three Leaf Clover - GTA 4

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Three Leaf Clover is another mission that revolves around the heist mechanic. This time in GTA 4. Niko is taken to the McReary Mansion in Dukes by Packie. This is where he meets Michael and Derrick.

The opening cutscene sees the group discuss Niko's inclusion. The heat between the three is quite evident from the get-go. They are at each other's throats every second.

Once the plan is in place, the four head down to the Bank of Liberty on Columbus Avenue in Algonquin, the group divides the duties and heads to the vault as Michael stays back to look after the hostages.

After stealing $1 million, they try to make their way out. An argument erupts between the brothers. The altercation provides enough time for gun enthusiast Eugene Reaper to shoot and kill Michael. Eugene is then shot multiple times, and the gang makes their escape.

This GTA 4 sequence is legendary and is often compared to a movie named Heat.


Edited by Yasho Amonkar

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