Even among the violent video games out there, the Grand Theft Auto series stands in a class all its own. Of course there are imitators, such as Saints Row, and not to denigrate that and similar franchises, but nobody can beat the original crime-themed open world masterpiece series. That will always be GTA.
The major problem is, every other game of this kind is just an imitator (okay, maybe not Postal 2) because this magical franchise tends to bring a new set of controversies with it everywhere it goes. While the first two games were top-down and featured mere gratuitous violence, GTA III really upped the ante in a brilliant way, including ladies of the night and an even more violent experience. Vice City, GTA IV, GTA V and the spin-off games have continued the trend of increasing the violence and becoming more and more controversial to keep up with how sick and maniacal mainstream society continues to become (what a time to be alive).
Of course, beating people with baseball bats, shooting them with small arms and driving full speed into them with vehicles is one thing, but part of the beauty of this series is that they've sold over 250 million games by allowing the player to get more creative than that (or writing plots that make the player do so). While it may be in poor taste, and it may be borderline obscene, we know the difference between real life and a video game, so we're going to count down fifteen of the most despicable acts a player can commit in the Grand Theft Auto games. We're going for more than just shooting people, vehicular homicides and brutal assaults with weapons here, as those aren't a big deal in this series.
As always, there are Spoilers Ahead, so beware!!
15 Victim Selfies
Like we said earlier in the introduction, the main themes and overall story arc of Grand Theft Auto games are essentially the same. Carry out awesome crimes as skillfully and quickly as you can in order to progress through the game. But at the same time, Rockstar are brilliant at coming up with ways to keep each game just a bit different from the last. They can be as big as the multiplayer mode in GTA V or as small as giving the player a camera phone with which to take selfies, again, like GTA V. But, of course, the camera phone wasn't used for cat pictures and shots of dinner, players used them to document impressive kills, like our buddy Franklin in the shot above. Truly despicable and we love it.
14 Drowning People
As many will remember, prior to GTA:Vice City swimming wasn't an option for players if your character ended up in the water. Poor Claude (GTA III's silent protagonist), if only he had been enrolled in swimming lessons growing up...and maybe some other extra-curricular activities to prevent his eventual descent into a life of crime...
But when we took control of Tommy Vercetti, we all finally got to swim. Being in what is essentially Miami, it would seem natural that most NPCs would also know how to at least tread water, but alas, swimming lessons had not reached this video game parody of southern Florida. Above is a clip of good ol' Tommy scaring some hapless NPCs into the water for an unpleasant end we wouldn't wish on anyone.
13 Killing 'Ladies of the Night' to Get Your Money Back
While some groups (religious, old people, boring people, so on) may have a problem with the fact that one can have their way with hookers in exchange for a small sum in GTA V and other games in the series, we think that's awesome. The fact that one can then kill that lady of the night and retrieve that money is just economically sound financial planning. Of course, because the hookers in the game are all women, and feminism exists, feminists get their collective panties in a twist every time a new Grand Theft Auto game comes out.
In short, they usually announce statistics linking prostitution in the United States to human trafficking, and then argue that the game is trying to incite violence against the victims of said crime.
12 Targeting Cops
We guess this point really depends on how you see cops in real life. We'll go out on a limb here and wager that for every person who loves cops and thinks they exist to protect us and our communities, there is another person who sees them as pawns of the wealthy, there to control, pester and harass the lower classes.
But with that said, if you have any respect for police and the job they do, missions that target law enforcement along with the fact that killing a cop rewards you, in almost every GTA game, with a bit of money and a pistol/ammo, are pretty despicable.
11 Fly Planes into Buildings (Re-Enacting 9/11)
As we've already seen, the online mode of gameplay has added a certain level of delightful tastelessness to a game and series that was not in need. But the fact that there are numerous videos on YouTube depicting players flying planes into tall buildings and exploding; sometimes from the perspective of other players inside the building, is hilarious and disturbing at the same time. While it may be offensive, and indeed repulsive, to mock a national tragedy, the reality is that many people love this kind of irreverent comedy and this over the top insanity is what GTA is all about.
10 Massacres with Military Hardware
One of the most obvious things one can do in any Grand Theft Auto game is walk up to a person or group of people and start swinging a bat, shooting, swinging a blade, or whatever. You can rack up quite a body count. But if you really want to lay waste to an entire city block in style, the Hunter or Rhino (the Apache-style attack helicopter and tank, respectively) may be more what you're looking for.
Yes, we consider it incredibly entertaining, but also absolutely despicable to run over/bomb car after car and droves of people on the streets with military hardware. If you have any hangups about this sort of thing, just imagine the irritating people you work with and those feelings of humanity should go away.
9 Putting Someone in the Trunk of a Car and Pushing it Off a Cliff
We'll offer up a disclaimer here and say that the person this happens to, very prominently at the end of GTA V definitely deserved it and we don't feel bad for killing Devin Weston this way in the "Death Wish" ending. "Death Wish" is, of course, the ending choice in which Franklin keeps Michael and Trevor alive and the three instead rid the city of their enemies, last of whom is the businessman who caused them numerous headaches throughout the game. We certainly enjoyed doing this to Devin, but had it been anyone who wasn't a scumbag, this has to be a bad way to go, because if the trip down the cliff and the explosion didn't get you, drowning would likely be next in line.
8 Blowing Someone Up on National TV
As you'll notice, many of our points on this list will come from GTA V, as Rockstar did a great job bringing the brutality to the game and really allowing maximum freedom to do terrible things. This one comes straight from the single player campaign. Early on you play as Michael and have to sneak into the "Life Hacker" (GTA's Facebook) office, planting an explosive device in a new prototype phone.
Of course, the GTA version of Mark Zuckerberg, Jay Norris, uses the phone on national television later in the mission during his unveil and is blown away when Michael calls the phone. This is a rough way to go and in front of millions of viewers, no less.
7 Fetch With a Grenade
Maybe we're a little messed up, but while we're willing to joke around with many of the horrific ideas on this list, there is nothing funny about abusing man's best friend. People are awful, but dogs are awesome and the fact that there is a hidden option to get Franklin's dog Chop to play fetch with a grenade rubs us the wrong way. Of course, he regenerates, but this is a tad vile, even for our tastes. If you find it hypocritical that we hate the idea of blowing up a dog but are cracking jokes about every other awful thing you can do in these games, you'll just have to reconcile that on your own, because we can't figure it out either. Maybe it is just like we said, people are awful.
6 Death By Combine Harvester
There are plenty of nasty ways to go, but getting carved up by farm equipment is a particularly terrifying idea. This unconventional vehicle is only available in San Andreas and the player, as CJ, is required to steal one for The Truth. While this isn't a particularly difficult mission, getting to the harvester can be difficult as there are plenty of angry farmers around and little to no cover on the farm from which you are stealing from. With that said, once you're inside the machine, you can make quick work of those farmers, quite literally harvesting them as you make your escape.
5 Covering a Port-a-Potty in Cement
This event occurs during the "Deconstruction" mission in San Andreas. CJ's sister Kendl is having an issue with some local construction workers, so CJ, being the level-headed lad that he is, destroys their construction site and then decides to push their foreman, who is using the portable toilet, into a hole and fill it with cement. There is something absolutely terrifying about being buried alive and cement must be a terrible thing to drown in (we're assuming that the port-o-potty's structural integrity would be overpowered pretty quickly) but the idea of there being a side of human waste in there puts this on another level of unpleasant.
4 Taking Unsuspecting People to a Cult
One of the actions a player can carry out while playing as Trevor Philips is taking random event NPC characters to the Altruists cult; Trevor's "friends in the mountain. While some religions and cults are just minor nuisances (incessant door-knocking with the purpose of spreading "good news" comes to mind), it is implied that when these people are delivered they are quickly incapacitated and carved up for cannibalistic purposes. When someone needs a ride back to the city but you take them to a bunch of maniacs who consume them, that's called despicable.
Spoiler alert. You've been warned. If you haven't played through the entire single player campaign, turn back now.
In Grand Theft Auto it is a completely unremarkable thing to walk into the middle of a street and start shooting at everyone and everything in sight. But teaming up with a couple of guys to carry out intricate missions and earn some money, only to turn on one of them and murder them is something at which we can only hang our heads.
At the end of the single player campaign, the player, as Franklin, is given the choice to either kill Trevor, Michael or team up with the two of them one last time to kill their other enemies earned throughout the game. Michael eventually gets killed after being dropped off a tower by Franklin, while Trevor meets his end in a gas fire, started by the player. You may be a bank robbing psychopath in this game, but there is something so devastating about betraying and killing either of these guys at the end of the game. Despicable indeed.
2 Virtual Assault
GTA V's online mode has added an entirely new element into the game experience, but it isn't all flowers and sunshine. The fact that mods can do many cool things to the gaming world is matched by the fact that one mod allows players to use animations from elsewhere in the game in order to virtually sexually assault one another. It sounds totally ridiculous, but it absolutely happened and plenty of people thought that the modders who did this had crossed a line.
For obvious reasons, this is a touchy subject and may hit home with far more depth than intended; you never know who is watching from another screen and what they've been through.
One of the most controversial elements of Grand Theft Auto V was a very brief mission segment when one is working for the FIB and is required to torture a detainee with electricity, a pipe wrench, a pair of pliers (used to rip out teeth) and of course, everyone's favorite...waterboarding!
It's a tough scene to play, and unlike "No Russian," the level in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 in which one is required to shoot up an airplane terminal full of civilians, there is no option to skip this one. People were throwing fits about this scene, but what many of them didn't realize was that the inclusion of torture in the game was used for satirical purposes, mocking its use in real life. Of course, this was done in a characteristically "Rockstar way" and many people just thought the scene was included for the sake of some extra brutality. Either way, torturing someone is pretty despicable.