Rockstar’s gritty sandbox game series, Grand Theft Auto, is officialy the most successful video games franchise to ever originate from the UK. And with the long-awaited (and recently patched) Definitive Edition, it’s now available for the most recent generation of consoles.There’s no getting around the fact that across all of the Grand Theft Auto games, the original trilogy has some of the best bits in the entire franchise. So we’ve put together this neat little feature which takes a look back at the best bits of the GTA Trilogy…and they really are the *best* bits.
GTA: Vice City – “Keep Your Friends Close”
The climatic storyline mission of GTA: Vice City, “Keep Your Friends Close” has protagonist Tommy Vercetti doing his best Scarface impression. He murders his way through an absolute legion of gun-toting goons before taking his well-earned place atop the Vice City criminal underworld. Filled with oodles of violence, piles of mind-warping powder and a good betrayal or two, GTA: Vice City’s final mission ranks up there with the very best bits of any game in the series.
GTA: San Andreas – “Just Business”
A standout mission from GTA: San Andreas, “Just Business” has CJ rescuing his best bud, Big Smoke, from the consequences of a deal that has gone catastrophically south. With no recourse but to literally get the heck outta dodge (well, Downtown), CJ and Big Smoke escape on a motorcycle, with the latter riding the bike in question and the former riding literal shotgun to deal with incoming enemies.
Generously stuffed with a seemingly never ending army of really rather angry Russian gangsters and an explosive set piece that looks like it belongs in the movies, “Just Business” is certainly a bombastic highlight when it comes to the best bits of the original GTA trilogy.
GTA 3 – “The Exchange”
In “The Exchange” – the final mission of GTA 3 – our mute protagonist Claude finally gets revenge on his murderousl insane ex-girlfriend by killing all of her remaining allies, before preventing her escape in a helicopter by sticking a rocket into it. After what felt like far too much time being on the back foot, Claude finally getting his revenge provided GTA 3 with the sort of satisfying, epic closure that Rockstar’s genre-defining offering arguably deserved.
GTA 3 – “Plaster Blaster”
One of the most hilarious bits of any game in the Grand Theft Auto franchise, the “Plaster Blaster” mission in GTA 3 has Claude taking on a mission from psychotic gangster Ray Machowski. After blowing up the apartment complex of some poor sap in a previous mission, players must chase him down to finish the job.
Where the (dark) laughs come in, however, is that this chap is pretty much covered in a plastered cast and is being transported in an ambulance to the nearest hospital. Naturally, this being a GTA game, the unfortunate chap falls out of the ambulance and can be promptly run over by Claude – cast and all – to complete the mission. Fun times!
GTA: San Andreas – “End Of The Line”
The final storyline mission of GTA: San Andreas, “End of the Line” has the story come full circle as players are whisked back to where it all began at Grove Street before all hell breaks loose. Easily the single most epic mission of any of the games in the original GTA trilogy, “End of the Line” has all the good stuff one would want from such an endeavour – betrayals, riots, prolonged gun battles, car chases and a final, climactic showdown with the nihilistic Officer Tenpenny.
Still absolutely breathtaking when played even today, End of the Line is a perfect example of how you cap off one of the greatest sandbox games ever made. Quite simply a sublime and raucous celebration of Rockstar’s commitment to open-world mayhem.
Has your favourite mission from the original GTA Trilogy made our list? Head over to our Community Forum and let us know what you think!