The Grand Theft Auto series made its debut on the PlayStation in 1997, and it has undergone significant transformations since then. Initially conceived as a police chase simulator, the game evolved into a series delving into the darkest aspects of the criminal underworld. The games now unfold in expansive open worlds, offering myriad opportunities for players to wreak havoc in meticulously crafted environments.

Despite the series' evolution, the developers have consistently prioritized humor. This comedic element permeates the entire Grand Theft Auto series, predominantly through its diverse cast of characters. GTA games feature some of the most unforgettable non-player characters, boasting larger-than-life personalities not easily matched by other gaming franchises.

1. Big Smoke

Appeared in: San Andreas

There are hardly any video game characters as iconic for their quotes as Big Smoke. From his early moments in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, where he delivers memorable lines while interacting with CJ or commanding him to "follow the damn train," Big Smoke has become a significant figure in contemporary meme culture.

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Big Smoke

Despite his seemingly affable appearance, Big Smoke's character holds more complexity than meets the eye. In the main storyline, he betrays the gang, revealing a cunning side that sets him apart as one of the most intelligent non-player characters in the series.

2. Lazlow Jones

Appeared in: GTA 3, Vice City, San Andreas, GTA 4, GTA 5, GTA Online, Liberty City Stories, Vice City Stories, Episodes From Liberty City

While some NPCs in GTA manage to be endearing despite their involvement in nefarious activities, Lazlow Jones stands out as a character devoid of any redeeming qualities. This television show host embodies egotism, womanizing behavior, and a sexist attitude, often displaying immaturity and a strong aversion to rejection.

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Lazlow Jones

In fact, the game developers skillfully crafted Lazlow Jones in a way that prompts players to strongly dislike him. Such is the depth of this antipathy that it can be immensely satisfying to aggressively confront and physically confront him in one of the story missions. Nevertheless, his presence does serve the purpose of reuniting Michael and Trevor, offering a silver lining amid his otherwise obnoxious presence.

3. Lance Vance

Appeared in: Vice City & Vice City Stories

Tommy Vercetti finds himself in a precarious situation upon encountering Lance Vance in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. Fortunately, Lance possesses all the qualities the player character requires at that moment – he is resourceful, self-assured, and exudes effortless coolness. Together, they successfully seize control of a significant portion of the city.

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Lance Vance

Regrettably, this partnership comes to an abrupt end when it is revealed that Lance is the one responsible for undermining the initial deal and is the very person Tommy has been searching for. Despite this betrayal, Lance Vance remains a character too enjoyable to despise, making it difficult to categorize him as a mere villain despite his actions.

4. Roman Bellic

Appeared in: GTA 4 & The Ballad Of Gay Tony

Roman Bellic serves as the driving force behind Nico Bellic's decision to leave his homeland and move to Liberty City in GTA 4. Sadly, the rumors of Roman's newfound wealth prove to be highly exaggerated, leaving Nico to spend more time rescuing his cousin from various predicaments than focusing on his own future. Roman exhibits traits of cowardice, irresponsibility, and childlike behavior. Despite these flaws, his amiable and innocent nature endears him to players, making it difficult to be annoyed by him. After all, who wouldn't enjoy a game of bowling with him?

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Roman Bellic

5. Toni Cipriani

Appeared in: GTA 3 & Liberty City Stories (Playable)

When Grand Theft Auto 3 transitioned to 3D, the developers faced the challenge of imbuing more personality into each non-player character (NPC). This effort becomes evident when players encounter Toni Cipriani in the main story.

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Toni Cipriani

Toni, a prominent member of the Leone crime family, stands out for his bold and assertive demeanor, refusing to tolerate any nonsense. His strong personality is a clear indication of why he occupies his high-ranking position. In fact, players can delve into Toni Cipriani's backstory by playing Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories, where he serves as the protagonist, shedding light on how he climbed the ranks within the crime family.

6. Brucie Kibbutz

Appeared in: GTA 4, The Ballad Of Gay Tony, & GTA Online

For players introduced to GTA through Grand Theft Auto 4, encountering Brucie Kibbutz might be unexpected. However, seasoned GTA fans are already acquainted with these larger-than-life non-player characters when Nico is required to interact with Brucie in the main storyline.

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Brucie Kibbutz

Brucie Kibbutz is a gym enthusiast with a muscular physique, seemingly unaware of his own exaggerated sexuality. Consequently, his words and actions come across as compensatory. His missions frequently revolve around car races or confrontations with thugs, all while Brucie passionately communicates with the player over the phone, often in a loud and enthusiastic manner.

7. Lester Crest

Appeared in: GTA 5 & GTA Online

Among all the characters in GTA 5, Lester Crest is likely the NPC players will be most familiar with. He serves as the mastermind behind all the heists the player embarks on, bringing together the three protagonists through a mutual connection.

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Lester Crest

Lester, although brusque and frequently impolite, needs to adopt such a demeanor when dealing with individuals like Trevor, Michael, and Franklin. He plays a significant role in a substantial portion of GTA 5's main storyline and even features as a non-player character in GTA Online. Consequently, he stands out as the GTA NPC with the most on-screen presence.

8. Ken Rosenberg

Appeared in: Vice City & San Andreas

Ken Rosenberg is the anxious attorney who assists the player character at the beginning of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. When a drug deal goes awry, Rosenberg and Tommy Vercetti must collaborate to uncover the identity of the betrayer before their boss inquires about the money owed.

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Ken Rosenberg

Since Vercetti is new to the city, Rosenberg takes on the responsibility of guiding him to influential individuals who could aid them in their situation. He often resorts to imagining the worst-case scenarios and remains holed up in his office. Nevertheless, Ken Rosenberg serves as the initial NPC with whom many players will interact in a GTA game.

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