Both protagonists are from widely popular games. However, what makes a fight between these two potential adversaries interesting is how different they are.
There are many ways a character could realistically approach a battle with another, and that's the purpose of this article: to tackle the ways in which either participant would win.
Which GTA character would win in a fight between Michael and Tommy?
Before diving into the potential fight between Tommy and Michael, it's vital to note a few things. The first most important thing to address is age.
Tommy Vercetti is older than Michael by 14 years (assuming Michael's fake gravestone is accurate). If the fight took place in GTA 5's timeline, where Michael is 48 and Tommy is 62, the fight would be a no-brainer in most instances.
The last time the player saw Tommy Vercetti was in GTA Vice City in 1986, although players do know he's still active in 1992 when GTA San Andreas takes place. However, there is little to no info on what he would be like in 2013.
Likewise, it would make no sense to compare young Michael at 21 to Tommy Vercetti at 35, as the former has next to no advantage other than youth. Hence, for the purpose of this article, Tommy will be treated as if he was 35 and Michael as if he was 48, as that's when the most amount of information is available for the two characters.
Tommy Vercetti has several interesting quirks that make him a formidable opponent according to gameplay and lore:
- Owns the largest drug empire in Vice City.
- Physically strong.
- Can survive jumping off buildings with only minimal damage.
Michael De Santa has several interesting quirks that make him a formidable opponent according to gameplay and lore:
- Has a special ability to slow down time
- Can regenerate health
- Can swim
- Can take cover
In a scenario where Michael fights Tommy in a one-on-one fistfight, the latter participant would easily win. While the age difference is a little unfair, the main advantage is that Tommy is just physically stronger than Michael.
Michael's starting strength in GTA 5 would indicate that he is not a physically strong opponent. His body type would also indicate that he doesn't physically train as intensely as other GTA protagonists. His advantages also don't factor at all in this kind of bout.
By comparison, Tommy Vercetti's reputation of being the "Harwood Butcher" would indicate that he can hold his own in a one-on-one bout. If he can handle 11 people on his own in a brutal fashion, then he can likely handle one old man.
As far as gameplay goes, Michael's hand-to-hand combat is rather slow. Even if he could "glitch punch," Tommy would still have the speed advantage by virtue of how much quicker his running punch is.
Tommy Vercetti has a good shot, but that's nothing noteworthy as far as GTA protagonists go. By comparison, shooting is Michael's main shtick as a character, so he should easily defeat Tommy in a one-on-one gunfight.
Michael can slow down time to carefully line up a shot. Plus, his skill in taking cover is more valuable compared to Tommy's ability to take cover in his respective game.
All-out war (anything goes)
A scenario where both protagonists could do anything to win is an interesting one. Both characters are immensely powerful and are at the top of their world in their respective GTA games, so there would have to be a lot of factors to consider.
At the end of the day, most victories in the real world are often decided by who has more money. Whether it's the ability to control the media or to influence politicians, money talks loudly. Both protagonists are wealthy, but Tommy Vercetti is the richest of the two GTA protagonists.
At the end of GTA 5, Michael De Santa is an insanely rich man. He's made a fortune off heists, made a movie and can invest in various stocks and assets. However, Tommy Vercetti owns the largest drug empire in Vice City.
Let us take real-life examples like Pablo Escobar or Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada. The former was reportedly worth $30 billion at one point in his life, while the latter is still an active leader who was largely involved in controlling media coverage through sheer intimidation. Some of these cartels are more powerful than entire countries and are capable of easily killing rival gangs, sometimes going as far as having direct ties with governments and militaries.
It's safe to say that Tommy Vercetti would likely be earning a significant amount of money each year. With the entire Vice City under his thumb, the drug trade would be his. In a scenario where he isn't earning billions, he is still likely to make far more than any other GTA protagonist.
The realistic outcome assuming both are in their primes
Realistically, there are very few protagonists that can threaten Michael De Santa. However, there is arguably no protagonist that could topple Tommy Vercetti (in his prime) in a realistic war.
The amount of money and influence of a full-blown drug cartel is unbelievably huge. If Tommy's drug trade were active today, it would be possible that he would be earning billions of dollars a year.
By comparison, Michael's most profitable moment is making nearly $10 million on a heist. While this is an impressive number, the number of resources Tommy would have at his disposal would be far too much for Michael to compete with.
It would be highly unlikely that Michael would ever come close to meeting Tommy if they waged war on one another. If Michael invades Tommy's turf, he would likely be butchered before setting foot near Tommy, thanks to the advantages that a massive cartel would have. If Tommy sends goons after Michael, the best the latter could hope for is a stalemate.
Considering both parties would have access to the same resources (as in, either party could buy the technology from the other's game), not much could change in the latter's favor.
Franklin and Trevor
As Michael and Trevor survive the events of GTA 5, the former would be allowed to have assistance from both Franklin and Trevor. However, neither GTA character would change the outcome in a realistic war. Michael is intelligent, but so is Tommy Vercetti when it comes to combat.
Trevor is involved in the drug trade, but on a far more minor scale compared to Tommy. Franklin wouldn't bring anything special to the war except for being a good getaway driver.
If cartel leaders could survive several governmental assassination attempts in the real world, it's unlikely that Tommy would be stopped by the GTA 5 protagonists. None of the three have the resources that the US government or the Mexican government have, so their only chance of victory would be to hope for Tommy to make a significant blunder or to fight him past his prime.
Fighting Tommy past his prime would be a matter of too many ifs and buts. Next to nothing is known about Tommy Vercetti in the present GTA universe (not to mention GTA Vice City takes place in a different canon from GTA 5).
The GTA Online Protagonist
Assuming Trevor isn't acting like an idiot in this bout between GTA protagonists, he would also use his old contact, the GTA Online protagonist. If there was any protagonist that could realistically pose a threat to Tommy, it would be the GTA Online protagonist.
After all, they did save the world from impending doom and have access to an overpowered Orbital Cannon. However, that is an entirely different topic for another day.
When it's all said and done, Michael, on his own, won't be able to beat Tommy Vercetti.