For every time the Grand Theft Auto series provides thrill, action and high-octane set pieces, there are just as many missions which sees the series take itself not so seriously. We’ve handily compiled this list using the best of both, analysing bank robberies, tech start-up infiltrations and vehicle chases to deliver the top 10 GTA missions of all time. With so many Grand Theft Auto games in the bag there are plenty to choose from, but these are the few that earn a rare five star rating!
The Paleto Score (GTA V)
We’ll kick off this list much in the same way the fantastic GTA V did, with a bang. As a mission, ‘The Paleto Score’ successfully set the template for the fruitful and bombastic story to come, tasking our three central heroes to pull off a small-town bank heist which soon goes awry. Michael and Trevor are suitably armed to the teeth, sporting heavy duty combat gear and some very effective mini guns, resulting in one of the most memorable fire-fights and escape sequences with you needing to switch between all three characters to succeed. Whether in first person or third, this heist is intense as well as thrilling.
The Job (GTA Vice City)
“Look, it’s easy. Haven’t you ever seen a movie? We walk into the bank, we wave a gun around and leave very rich men.” What could have been famous last words for Scarface-like Tommy Verceti ended up resulting in one of the best missions Vice City had to offer in the form of an old-fashioned heist. Shortly after buying the Malibu club, your authority is put to the test when recruiting a team to carry out the kind of robbery that would make anyone familiar with PayDay blush. A vault, a SWAT team and a getaway, what more could you want in this movie inspired action bank robbery?
Dropping In (The Ballad of Gay Tony)
GTA IV’s The Ballad of Gay Tony is an expansion that is by no means short on fun characters, set-pieces and stand-out moments, yet as far as over the top badassery goes, ‘Dropping in’ has got you covered. Tasked with killing the owner of Liberty City’s famous hockey team, as Luis you scale one of the area’s tallest sky scrapers to catch him off guard. One shot to the head sees your target tumble from a 20 story building as you eventually escape by parachuting James Bond-style into a nearby flatbed truck – Very convenient!
Three Leaf Clover (GTA IV)
I promise that the majority of this list won’t solely be centred around bank robberies, but hey there’s bound to be a few in pretty much every series entry. ‘Three leaf clover’ has successfully earned its place as one of GTA IV’s best missions, seeing you infiltrate the heavily-fortified Bank of Liberty and covering your team mates Derrick and Packie as you attempt to storm the vault. As Niko Bellick you were not only earning your right to achieve the American dream, but ripping it from the hands of greedy statesmen. ‘Three leaf clover’ quite clearly laid the foundation for GTA V’s ever popular Heists.
Keep Your Friends Close (GTA Vice City)
As the very last mission of the brilliant Vice City, ‘Keep your friends close’ saw you reach the very top of the crime boss food chain, achieving enough power to finally take on previous ally Lance Vance. Eventually fuelling your blood-lust by chasing Lance to a mansion roof top, it’s a final stand-off that feels ever so satisfying and makes the 20+ hours leading up to this point all the more worth it. Vice City is at heart a rags to riches crime story and ‘Keep your friends close’ capped off the journey spectacularly.