Grand Theft Auto: The Most Dangerous Characters

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Grand Theft Auto is littered with the vilest, most ruthless, and most insane characters in video game history—main protagonists included. Pretty much every key individual within the GTA universe has a skewed sense of morality, and those that are righteous or lawful tend to not make it through the end of their respective games.

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In a game series that has an impressive rogue’s gallery, which are the ones that you would not want to meet in a dark alley at night? It takes a special kind of mean to stand out from a cast of dangerous characters, but these few take the bloody cake.

10 Avery Duggan (Grand Theft Auto Online)

Avery Duggan holding a shotgun

Introduced in GTA Online, Avery Duggan is what you get if you take the stereotypical cutthroat Texas businessman, but on steroids. A wealthy Texan magnate with his finger in every pie in Los Santos, Avery Duggan is someone who is used to getting what he wants.

That is, until he crosses paths with your created character in GTA Online. What happens next is a perfect example of escalation, as Duggan and your employer, Mr. Tao, get into a game of one-upmanship.

With you as the pawn—a heavily armed pawn. Avery’s power lies in his wealth and cold-bloodedness, and he won’t even think twice about throwing an army of mercenaries, attacking helicopters, and causing wanton destruction if it means that he wins in the end.

9 Ricardo Diaz (Grand Theft Auto: Vice City)

Ricardo Diaz sunset at the beach

Ricardo Diaz is already a dangerous and impulsive psychopath, but add money into that equation, and the danger factor ratchets up by a quadruple percentage. Diaz is the head of the drug cartel that operates in Vice City, and he makes sure everyone knows that he owns that city.

Ricardo Diaz eventually meets his violent end at the hands of GTA: Vice City protagonists Tommy Vercetti and Lance Vance during their bloody assault on his mansion, which is a direct homage to the finale of the 1983 film Scarface.

8 Jizzy B. (Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas)

Jizzy B lounging in the nightclub

Jizzy B, the owner of the Pleasure Dome nightclub and a despicable and abusive pimp who moonlights as a recruiter for the Loco Syndicate drug cartel, is one of the most unlikeable characters in the GTA series.

With no redeeming qualities, Jizzy B is one of the most dangerous players in the San Andreas criminal underworld. As long as there’s money to be had, the sadistic pimp won’t think twice about throwing his grandmother under a bus.

Fortunately, GTA: San Andreas’ protagonist CJ ended Jizzy B’s reign of terror by leaving him in the burning wreck of his custom Cadillac called the Pimpmobile.

7 Devin Weston (Grand Theft Auto 5)

Devin Weston in front of his garage with bodyguard and sportscar (2)

Similar to Avery Duggan, Devin Weston is a billionaire venture capitalist who, behind the scenes, has his hands elbow-deep in criminal activities. Behind Devin’s squeaky-clean public image is a petty and vicious narcissist who thinks that he is untouchable.

He can go so far as to have the entire family of his opponents murdered to achieve his goal, believing that he can simply throw money at his problems to make them disappear.

For most of his life, this belief held until, of course, he double-crossed the three main characters of GTA 5: Michael, Franklin, and the extremely volatile sociopath Trevor. Do yourself a favor and don’t give Devin satisfaction; always choose the “Third Way” when given the choice.

6 Niko Bellic (Grand Theft Auto 4)

Niko Bellic in front of Liberty City

Niko Bellic is a tragic character who can’t get away from a life of violence, no matter how hard he tries. Growing up in an abusive home and joining the Yugoslavian army as a teenager, Niko fought during the Yugoslav Wars, wherein he committed heinous acts.

This led to his being bitter, disenfranchised, and suffering from depression. With no other skillset, he entered the European criminal underworld.

After a botched smuggling run in the Adriatic Sea, Niko took this chance to start a new life in Liberty City. Unfortunately, his past caught up to him, and he once again resorted to what he knows best: killing.

Niko’s exploits during GTA 4 are filled with carnage, destruction, and tragedy, building up quite a reputation within the criminal underworld. He is referenced in future installments, but not much is known about Niko Bellic’s fate, as the last mention of him in-game was that he has “gone quiet.”

5 Claude (Grand Theft Auto 3)

Claude holding a baseball bat

The silent protagonist of the third GTA entry that revolutionized open-world video games, Claude, is designed as a blank slate. Not much is known about the enigmatic, mute main character of GTA 3 other than that he owned a garage in San Fierro and that he was betrayed by his then-girlfriend, the equally ruthless Catalina, in a botched bank robbery and left for dead.

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Claude’s primary impetus in GTA 3 is basic revenge. His impulse to get vengeance against Catalina is so great that he has no qualms about using everyone to achieve his goal and will not even think twice about taking out anyone in his way.

By the end of GTA 3, Claude has managed to piss off the Mafia, Cartel, and Yakuza in his quest for revenge, becoming one of the most infamous and dangerous criminals in Liberty City. His fate is currently unknown, and based on the bodies he stacked up in GTA 3, it is pretty safe to say that Claude is probably still out there.

4 Frank Tenpenny (Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas)

Frank Tenpenny holding a gun

The corrupt cop that made the life of GTA: San Andreas protagonist CJ a living hell—Officer Tenpenny—is the worst of the worst. Sadistic, cruel, greedy, and arrogant, Frank Tenpenny is nothing more than a thug hiding behind a badge.

He uses CJ to pit the gangs of Los Santos against each other so that they take each other out, but the truth is that Tenpenny is working with the brutal Ballas Gang and wants to install them at the top of the food chain, which effectively places himself at the top as well.

A true sociopath, Tenpenny is manipulative, callous, and impulsive. He won’t think twice about eliminating any character that he feels has become an impediment to his objectives.

3 Carl Johnson (Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas)

CJ walking with an AK47 away from car

The main character of GTA: San Andreas, Carl Johnson, or CJ, is by far one of the rarer protagonists of the series at the time, as he is considerably less violent or sociopathic than his processors, Claude and Tommy. You can even say that CJ might be too naive for this kind of lifestyle.

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That said, it also gives testament to how dangerous CJ can be when pushed, as a switch seemingly turns on in his head that throws away any inhibitions. CJ would have ranked higher here if not for his lack of desire to continue as a career criminal.

In hindsight, that is probably a good thing for the good people of San Andreas.

2 Tommy Vercetti (Grand Theft Auto: Vice City)

Tommy

Starting as a low-level goon and hired gun, Tommy Vercetti went to Vice City with one goal only: work his way to the top and become the most powerful criminal mob boss. Unlike the other protagonists of Grand Theft Auto, whose main drive is something other than achieving power, Tommy Vercetti is an ambitious and competent individual who is also ruthless—a potent combination for any would-be criminal mastermind.

The fact that he successfully and efficiently took out all his enemies on his way to the top of the criminal ladder means he is one of the most dangerous characters in GTA who is, possibly, still in power.

1 Trevor Philips

Trevor with a lighter

You probably already saw this one coming. Without a doubt, Trevor Philips is the most dangerous existing entity within the GTA universe.

What he lacks in influence and power, Trevor makes up for in complete, unhinged, and unbridled anarchy. He is the wildcard in every scenario, and his talent for creating gratuitous levels of violence will make even the most powerful personalities in the GTA universe flinch.

Trevor Philips does have one redeeming quality: his absolute loyalty to those he respects or views as friends. However, his unpredictable and volatile persona will always put everyone within his general vicinity on edge.

Like a ticking time bomb, Trevor can turn any situation into a full-blown catastrophe for everyone, making him the most dangerous character in Grand Theft Auto.

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