Grand Theft Auto is one of the most iconic and popular series of the video game world. With intense action sequences and in-depth stories influenced by pop culture as well as cult classic films like “Heat” “Scarface” and “Lethal Weapon,” Rockstar games created a globally-known franchise that dominates the gaming world. Its not just the unique free roam sandbox style of play that causes millions to purchase the game but also the deranged, psychotic, violent, comical, somewhat relatable characters that we all know and love. With just a few weeks removed from the latest installment of the “Grand Theft Auto” series, lets take a look at the top ten characters of “Grand Theft Auto.”
10: El Burro “GTA”: El Burro “The Donkey” appears in two games of the series and gets mentioned in a third. The Homosexual Mexican leader of the Diablo’s gang of Liberty City once resided in Aye Valley of San Andreas in the first GTA where he sent you on a number of fun missions. The missions included destroying buses, drug labs and murdering eight major characters and anyone else in between. In the “GTA III,” his missions come via phone call (bridging the gap between the first installment and the third) with a number of time-related driving missions, which revolve around his pornography business, tends to be difficult at first, but can be fun once you get the hang of driving. With a whispering tone of voice delivered with a Mexican accent, you can get the hint that he either means serious business or maybe be doing something seriously creepy on the other end of the line.
9: Umberto Robina, “GTA Vice City”: Umberto Robina famously voiced by Danny Trejo, is the leader of “The Cubans,” a gang which resides in Little Havana of the “GTA Vice City” and “Vice City: Stories” respectively. Robina is a peer pressuring tough guy who you can always gets the main protagonist to take on a job by questioning the size of his “Cojones.”
8: Trevor Phillips, “GTA V”: Trevor Phillips is the most deranged character created by Rockstar. Phillips is hilarious and is the most unpredictable character in the GTA Universe. At any point in time that you drop in on him you may find him getting kicked out of a building, spooning with another male character, or on the beach in his underwear surrounded by dead bodies. What is there not to like about this deranged psychopath?
7: Yusuf Amir, “Ballad of Gay Tony”: Yusuf Amir is one of those classic GTA crazies who will have you laughing everytime you meet him for a mission. From the far-fetched stories he makes claim of during the missions (via riding shotgun in the car or calling your cell phone) to him dancing while in his duck print underwear singing, “We getting A-Rab Money” Yusuf is just is a hilarious character. His insane missions match his bizarre personality very well, though in his mind he thinks it’s normal. Amir ask you to steal a chopper guarded by national security agents from off a ship in the middle of the ocean…yeah that’s pretty normal.
6: Roman Bellic, “GTA IV”: The charismatic yet always scared cousin of the infamous Niko Bellic. Roman is a great character that plays off of Niko’s personality. Niko’s serious, intense rational and sometimes irrational attitude meshes perfectly with Roman’s not so serious, cowardly and comedic personally. Roman brings the game to life as the younger over optimistic cousin whom you are constantly and solely trying to protect. Plus with his constant calls to go hang out always adds to that sense of connection to gamers and their real life siblings and friends.
5: Damitri, “GTV IV”: Damitri is the one character that you’ll hate so much that you have to love him. This guy is absolutely by far the biggest back-stabbing double-crossing scumbag in all of GTA. He not only convinces you to kill his boss just so that he could take over, he burns your house down, then he kidnaps your cousin Roman and possibly kills him. Damitri is like Lex Luthor to Superman and is the best most ruthless antagonist Rockstar games has ever come up with.
4: Lamar Davis, “GTA V”: With a game full of comedy while still keeping its serious edge Lamar manages to stand out pretty well and take the fourth spot on this list. Played by Slink Johnson (Black Jesus of Adult Swim’s “Black Jesus”) Davis’ brash, bold and sometimes ignorant statements and dialogue produce a one-of-a-kid character. Davis isn’t book or street smart, but his reckless nature and knack for always getting you into life threatening situations, is trumped by how naturally funny he is. He completely embodies that one real life friend we have that we know if we hang out with them, will get us into something we shouldn’t get into but we do anyway.
3: Niko Bellic “GTA IV”: Niko the serious Eastern European Merch who was just looking for a good start. Niko’s tough, serious take no mess attitude made for one awesome protagonist. Niko’s character brought extra realism into the GTA series with intense cinematic action and his battle between changing his life for the better or reverting back to his old ways. We see Niko start off a bit tamed but not to be disrespected, to becoming ruthless when attempting to save his family and those whom he considers closest to him. Niko taught us that you sometimes have to get your hands dirty to protect those you love.
2: Carl C.J. Johnson, “GTA San Andreas”: CJ changed the dynamics of the GTA series. CJ was everything we ever wanted to be. He was a womanizer, a gang banger, and business owner. With so much customization from the clothes to your car to you even your body (CJ could be skinny like Snoop Dog, heavy like Biggie smalls, or as muscular as Brock Lesnar) CJ was a character we all loved. CJ’s character took us from the mean street of Los Santos modeled after LA, to San Feirro/ San Fransico, to Las Ventures/ Las Vegas giving us an intriguing West Coast experience from our own living room.
1: Franklyn, “GTA V”: Franklyn, in Michael DeSanta’s words, “The son I always wanted,” grabs the top spot on this list for a number of reasons. Regardless of the similar style and swag to CJ’s in “GTA: San Andreas,” he’s still his own character. His special driving ability to slow down traffic allowing you to dip and dodge in and out of lanes is a major plus. His ambition to better himself is discussed at the beginning of the game is a great set up to his character and without a doubt shows why he is the most level headed of the insane trio of “GTA V.” Out of the three main characters of “GTA V,” Franklyn is clearly the most rational which keeps Trevor and Michael balanced. Franklyn ultimately shows them that the one’s you go through the most with no matter how much they aggravate you, you stay loyal to because they’re the only ones you can count on in the end.