It is sometimes easy to forget just how long GTA 5 has been around because, despite its age, the game shows no signs of being outdated. In fact, GTA 5's open-world can feel more lived-in, advanced, and deeper than a lot of games that have come out since.
While the game world was always going to be up to the mark, given that Rockstar has rarely ever put a foot wrong in that regard, GTA 5 also had other tricks up its sleeve.
One of the game's best aspects came through the inclusion of Heists as the focal point of the story to drive the narrative forward.
More than just a cinematic set-piece event, the Heists were a fun, gameplay-driven aspect of GTA 5 that received much acclaim. It made sense thematically and served as the narrative that a retired stick-up artist would return to his older ways and give way for Heists to exist in GTA 5.
There are a total of six Heists in GTA 5's Story Mode, and here we rank them all in terms of quality.
GTA 5: Ranking all the Heists in Story Mode
#6 - The Merryweather Heist
While in terms of spectacle and what this Heist means for the narrative, the Heist definitely serves its purpose. However, in terms of how fun it is to play, it has to rank at the very bottom of the pile.
Looking at the setup exclusively, which involves stealing a minisub, makes for one tedious effort as the thing drives as fast as a trolley cart in Walmart. It also doesn't help that the setup also contains one of the worst missions in GTA history, Scouting the Port.
Setup aside, the Heist itself isn't all that special either, as regardless of approach, the outcome is the same: the protagonists don't get paid. However, purely from a gameplay standpoint, this Heist in GTA 5 is the most basic set of actions that aren't that exciting.
#5 - The Paleto Score
The Paleto Score probably has the highest body count alone in GTA 5 than all of the rest combined.
The Heist involves storming a bank "out in the sticks" in Paleto Bay and robbing the corrupt police force of the town blind. The escape plan for the crew involves shooting their way through the said police force.
This blunt-force approach makes for a very heat-like situation but doesn't have too much to offer in terms of interesting gameplay opportunities.
The whole shootout plays out in much the same way players would expect. It also doesn't help Trevor and Michael move at a snail's pace, given the weight of their armor.
Overall, the Heist is but a standard shootout, but its only saving grace is just how over-the-top and action-heavy the entire sequence really is.
#4 - Blitz Play
This is perhaps the biggest nod to Heat that GTA 5 has, in the way that it involves the crew taking control of an armored truck much in the same way as the 1995 classic.
The color of the armored truck is even identical to the one seen in the movie, and the outfits of the protagonist can be made to look exactly like the ones from the movie.
The Heist inolves taking control of a wrecked armored truck and then getting away as fast as possible. The job obviously goes a little sideways as the police are onto the crew almost immediately, and they are forced to shoot their way out of a sticky situation once again.
While it is still a bit skeletal in terms of gameplay choices and approaches, it is still well-paced and cinematic enough to warrant a place high up on the list.
#3 - The Jewel Store Job
It makes sense from a narrative standpoint that the first Heist in the game would be the one with the smallest takes.
At this point in the story, Michael is ushering in his protege, Franklin, to the world of robberies and Heists, and this serves as a great introduction.
The Heist introduces the basic mechanics of GTA 5's Heist systems, including the different approaches, setup missions, and the personnel choices that dictate the take and the consequences of the Heist.
The Jewel Store is truly a great moment in the story as Michael embraces his past and returns to what he does best, which inadvertently leads Trevor right to him. The Heist isn't anything fancy, but it is a sufficiently fun introduction to the game's biggest selling point.
#2 - The Bureau Raid
In one of the most daring Heists in the game, the crew must now infiltrate the IAA's headquarters in a very Mission Impossible meets the A-Team kind of way.
There is enough gameplay variety here and different possible outcomes to keep things interesting, making for one of the most exciting Heists in GTA 5.
Due to the different approaches available, the Heist is still fun on repeat playthroughs, which can't be said about the Heists further down the list.
The Bureau Raid is also quite fun in terms of storytelling as the tensions between Michael and Trevor begin to tip over at right about this mark.
Regardless of approach, the Heist will get pretty hairy, making for a pulsating action-packed romp through the IAA's headquarters.
#1 - The Big Score
Throughout GTA 5's Story Mode, "The Big Score" gets built up as the important job that the crew will take on. As a lifelong dream of Michael, Trevor, and Lester, The Big Score already has the players invested right from the start of the game.
The Heist lives up to the hype regardless of approach and makes for a supremely exciting experience. While the stealthy approach definitely makes for one nail-biting sequence after the other purely in terms of high-pressure situations, the crew find themselves in at every second.
The loud approach makes for a truly over-the-top experience that is complete with launching rockets at enemy helicopters while also carrying a whole lot of hold hanging off the chopper.
The Big Score is definitely the best Heist in the game and acts as a great final act to a captivating Story Mode in GTA 5.