The recent announcement and debut trailer for Grand Theft Auto V has sent the internet into overdrive, with players discussing the possible new features and locations that the latest in the open-world series could bring. We look back at some of the most memorable missions from the 3D Grand Theft Auto titles, from action-packed set pieces to decisions that have a dramatic impact on the game's story.
(Warning: The following videos contain spoilers for Grand Theft Auto III, GTA: Vice City, GTA: San Andreas and Grand Theft Auto IV that you may want to avoid.)
Sayonara Salvatore (Grand Theft Auto III)
This mission marks the death of a major character in the series, Salvatore Leone, who stars across Grand Theft Auto III, GTA: San Andreas and Liberty City Stories. After the player is betrayed by Salvatore, Yakuza leader Asuka wants you to prove your loyalty by killing the mob boss as he leads his nightclub. After a lengthy wait on a rooftop, the player just needs a single shot to complete the task. If done right, his bodyguards amusingly walk away from the scene of the crime as if nothing happened.
The Exchange (Grand Theft Auto III)
The final mission in Grand Theft Auto III is one of sweet revenge for protagonist Claude. After leaving him for dead in the game's opening moments and wreaking havoc as the leader of the Cartel, former girlfriend Catalina demands ransom money for kidnapping mob-wife Maria. With the exchange made, Catalina flees with the cash and orders Claude to be killed, only for him to escape and chase her to a nearby dam for the final showdown. After a long gun battle and Marina secure, Claude blows up Catalina's helicopter with a well-placed rocket, ending the game.
Cop Land (Grand Theft Auto: Vice City)
This mission turns the usual theme of police evasion on its head. After a bomb fails to detonate at a local mall, Tommy Vercetti and Lance Vance need to sneak into the crime scene in order to finish the job. The mission has players commit crimes and earn a high enough wanted level to get chased, luring the police into a garage to take their uniforms and sneak into the mall. The mission is made more enjoyable by Lance's comedy dialogue and awkward attempts to blend in during the mission.
Keep Your Friends Close... (Grand Theft Auto: Vice City)
Another final mission in our round-up, this is a similar amount of emotional significance to the main character Tommy. He's paid a visit by former boss Sonny Forelli, who arrives in Vice City to tax Tommy's now-flourishing business. Handing over $3 million in fake cash, he's then sold out by close accomplice Lance Vance, leading to a huge shoot-out in the Vercetti Mansion that leads both Lance and Sonny dead, and Tommy finally in charge of the city.
Stowaway (Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas)
Between the game's final two cities, you're introduced to a dusty air strip where you learn to pilot planes, and is a location that also features a number of entertaining missions. One of the best is Stowaway, which features an agent voiced by the superb James Woods that tasks you with boarding a plane filled with government officials and blowing it up. From chasing the plane down the runway on a bike, to dodging Donkey Kong-style barrels and parachuting to safety, this is easily one of the best missions in the game.
Saint Mark's Bistro (Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas)
As if Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas couldn't be more ambitious by featuring an entire three cities, it also features the surprising cameo of GTA III locale Liberty City. With the objective to kill mobster Forelli, you have to fly a jet off the right side of the map, triggering a transition that leads you to the the East Coast. While you can't explore the city in any way - you're indoors for the duration of the mission - you get a quick look at the snowy Liberty City through a cutscene before flying back home again.
Three Leaf Clover (Grand Theft Auto IV)
One of Grand Theft Auto IV's toughest missions is also one of the most memorable. The final part of Packie's mission sees his brother, friend Michael and Niko attempt to rob the Bank of Liberty of $1 million. Of course, it doesn't go to plan, with a have-a-go-hero gunning down one of the group followed by a street and subway battle with the police. The group eventually make it out alive, and the player is rewarded with a hefty $250,000 for their efforts.
The Holland Play (Grand Theft Auto IV)
The first of many branching story missions in the game, Niko is asked by side-characters Playboy X and Dwayne to assassinate each other, with the player left deciding who to kill. While there is no right or wrong answer, the rewards vary dramatically; killing Dwayne will see you rewarded with a small sum of cash, but Playboy X will soon disown Niko after regretting the decision. Meanwhile, taking down Playboy X provides a tense shootout and the keys to his apartment, some money, a few new costumes and no guilt whatsoever.
View the debut trailer for Grand Theft Auto V below:
What are your favourite missions from Grand Theft Auto? Add a comment to the space below!