The act of betrayal is a horrifying experience for many people, so it's no surprise that the GTA series is full of violent and messy ones.
The GTA franchise has no shortage of surprising (and not so surprising) betrayals. Considering it's a video game series about crime, treacheries are quite the norm, but that doesn't mean some aren't shocking to players.
Unsurprisingly, the GTA game's protagonists are involved in these unexpected deceptions (they are the main focus, after all).
Power struggles are a common motif for betrayal within the GTA series. Yet, players often don't know about a character's motivations until after it happens, making these five betrayals something most didn't see coming in their first playthrough.
Note: This list is subjective and reflects only the writer's opinions.
Five best betrayals no one saw coming in the GTA franchise
#5 - Introduction
How can players see a betrayal coming in a GTA game at the very beginning? There's no way to immediately expect a sellout at the start unless they already knew from an outside source.
More specifically, Catalina's betrayal of Claude in GTA 3 sparks that game's events, leading Claude to desire vengeance throughout most of it.
#4 - The Master and the Molotov
When players play through GTA 4 for the first time, Mikhail Faustin is the type of character that invokes violence. As a result, they would expect him to betray Niko Bellic for some petty crime reason.
However, it's actually his aide, Dimitri Rascalov, who orders Niko to betray his old associate, Mikhail. It's a good subversion of expectations, which also starts Dimitri's rise to power (and eventual betrayal towards Niko).
#3 - The Green Sabre
While it's easy to look back in hindsight to realize something was up with Big Smoke, his initial depiction as a comic relief character throws some players off his true intentions.
He and Ryder seem loyal to Grove Street initially, so it's especially brutal that those two sell them out. It is a bit strange in Ryder's case, as he seems excruciatingly minor compared to the other antagonists later on.
#2 - Something Sensible/The Time's Come
It's not often that players have a choice in choosing to betray another character, let alone their own protagonists. "Something Sensible" is the final mission in GTA 5, where Franklin and Michael kill Trevor, while "The Time's Come" has Franklin kill Michael.
Players can only choose to do one of these two missions (or the third canon ending where nobody gets betrayed), but it's still highly unexpected to see.
#1 - Keep Your Friends Close...
A betrayal within the final mission of a GTA game is pretty astonishing. The regular routine in the series involves an antagonist betraying the player early on, giving them a reason to build connections in hopes of taking down the assailant.
However, GTA Vice City flips this on its head with Lance Vance betraying Tommy Vercetti in its very last (main) mission. It's quite surprising to see this happen at the end, as Lance got along with Tommy for most of the game, and players would have no idea that Lance is working with Sonny Forelli.