The GTA series has been able to, with great success, craft uniquely charming stories and gripping missions that have captured the imagination of players. The sheer adrenaline rush of a bank heist or an action-packed romp through the city with the police hot on the player’s heels are the kinds of moments players live for.
For the most part, Rockstar Games has been able to craft lengthy campaigns that could sustain the momentum of an action-packed mission throughout the game. However, every once in a while, GTA will randomly throw a stinker towards players.
They can range anywhere from being an exercise in tedium or an unexpected and thoroughly unfair difficulty spike. Over two decades and 16 games, the GTA series was bound to have a few let-downs. However, these missions went above and beyond to drive gamers away from the product.
Missions that had players rage-quitting GTA
#1 – All of Zero’s missions, GTA San Andreas
The response to Zero’s missions and overall feeling in the fanbase was so palpable and vocal that Rockstar had to reference it in future titles. In GTA Online, Julian’s producer on Kult FM refers to a “total zero” in San Fierro with an annoying voice and one who sends him on tedious missions.
This was, of course, about Zero and all the tedious activities he had the players doing in his missions. Any mission involving some remote control always elicits a strong response from fans, and one of the primary reasons is Zero’s missions in GTA San Andreas.
#2 – Demolition Man, GTA Vice City
Another mission that involves remote-controlled vehicles, this absolute stinker of a mission deserves a place in the underworld. Not only is it unfairly designed with its hilariously small timer, but the helicopter controls couldn’t be any worse.
It wasn’t even an issue of the platform, as players had an equally tough time on both consoles and PC. This mission in GTA Vice City tested players’ patience and love for the game and whether they truly want to suffer through this horrid ordeal to finish the game.
The worst part is, the mission is actually optional and not even required for progression. Many players might not have known before they broke their CDs, uninstalled the game, or punched a hole through the monitor.
#3 – Espresso-2-Go, GTA 3
This mission, in particular, is guilty of having one of the most absurd time limits in the history of the series. The objective is to destroy multiple food stalls all over Liberty City, which are pretty far from each other, increasing travel time by quite a bit.
The timer is unforgiving, and players had to run the whole gamut on which weapons worked best. Ultimately, the Rocket Launcher seemed to hold the answers, but the timer still felt pretty unforgiving.
#4 – Wrong Side of the Tracks, GTA San Andreas
This mission ticks all the right boxes on paper, an exciting premise which involves riding a bike alongside a train to shoot down rival gang members. In theory, this is the quintessential GTA mission. In practice, it is, by far, one of the most broken missions in the game mechanically.
For one, Big Smoke’s AI seems to have terrible aim as he fails to shoot enemies merely 10 meters away from him. Even if the player maintains a decent range between the train and the bike, Big Smoke will miss most targets.
Furthermore, it makes no narrative sense for CJ and Big Smoke to stop following the train past a certain point apart from GTA San Andreas posing unjustified restrictions.
#5 – The Driver, GTA Vice City
This mission has what is quite easily the most simple premise, win a race against opponents. Where it starts to falter is just how incredibly adept Hilary, the player’s opponent, seems to be at driving.
While it makes sense for the getaway driver to be quick and precise, it doesn’t make for a fun experience. Trying to overtake Hilary will likely result in the player spinning as he will crash into the rear of the player’s car.
The presence of police also doesn’t help as they will often ram the player off-course and onto oncoming traffic.
Note: This article reflects the author’s personal views.