It's no secret that I am a pretty huge Rockstar fan. Ever since GTA 2, I've had my eye on them, and they rarely disappoint. While I haven't played their driving games, Rockstar's other franchises are some of my favorites. For me, their strength is crafting characters. From Bonnie McFarlane to O.G. Loc, these guys have a plethora of memorable characters. 

With my own personal hype train for GTA V chugging along, I can't help but think about the three main protagonists and how they will compare to some of my current favorites. So, I thought I'd talk about those favorites in an effort to quell my GTA V jonesing. I suppose you could call these my five favorite Rockstar Rockstars.



5. Tommy Vercetti - GTA: Vice City

Vice City was the first GTA game I played on the PS2, as my parental guardian wasn't about to let me play GTA III. And boy, what an experience. Vice City was my favorite game for a very long time, as I wandered the city and bought up every property I could find. 

A huge part of the game's attraction is the main character, Tommy Vercetti. He's a seasoned mobster sent to capitalize on Vice City's potential when he becomes embedded in the inner workings of the criminal activity. It's a wild ride that's filled with deception and betrayal. Oh, and can you say Ray Liotta? Yea... excellent choice for a mobster voice actor. 


4. Gay Tony - GTA IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony

The Ballad of Gay Tony is a GTA IV expansion that places you into the shoes of Tony's bodyguard and business partner. The expansion itself is one of my favorites and could have easily been made into its own game. The element that grounds this DLC is Gay Tony. Sure, he's a stereotypical gay person, and some may say that he's a detrement to the gay community. I can understand that.

What most don't see is the strength that he has. Gay Tony is usually a timid, frightened person. But when it comes to people he cares about, he's surprisingly powerful. I don't think he got the chance to show it very much over the course of the game, but Tony is a guy that can get things done. He's got powerful friends in high places, and is one of the most underrated characters in all of gaming, in my opinion.


3. Officer Tenpenny - GTA: San Andreas

Yep. Booking Samuel L. Jackson as the main antagonist in a video game was a pretty big deal. The guy is an American treasure, much like Morgan Freeman (hint hint Rockstar). A voice actor alone can impact a character in a pretty huge way, and it shows with Officer Tenpenny.

Voice aside, Tenpenny is a pretty dirty guy. He's a police officer in the worst possible sense. He sparks gang wars. He steals money and drugs. He kills people that don't do what he says. Tenpenny is despicable, but I found myself still rooting for him. Every time he was on the screen, I payed more attention to what was happening. I mean... it's hard to root against Sam Jackson.


2. John Marston - Red Dead Redemption

People that know me expected this one, and probably at number one. Red Dead is my favorite game, and Marston is a huge reason why. He's done some awful things but is trying to set them all right by erasing his past. He struggles with the things he's done, yet he owns up to them. 

I connect with John because of his family relationships. He does whatever is necessary to ensure their safety, even if it means doing things he doesn't agree with. He's a man's man, and a character that I could easily sit down and have a drink with. Maybe even play some poker or horseshoes or bandit hunting or something.


1. Max Payne - Max Payne series

I'll admit that I wasn't a Max Payne fan until the latest installment. The controls of the earlier games felt a bit clunky, and the gunplay wasn't up to par in my book. Max Payne 3 blew away all of those downfalls, however, and delivered in a big way.

I love Max because he isn't Superman. He's a normal guy that bleeds when he gets shot. He is prone to anger and rash decisions. He's got weaknesses in the forms of alcohol and pills. He's made some big mistakes, but he tries his best to not let them define who he is. Max does the wrong thing just as much as he does the right thing. Max Payne is a normal guy. The things that set him apart are will and determination. He strives to do the job he was hired to do, even when it seems impossible. His sense of duty is astounding. 



Given the characters that Rockstar has given us, I'm optomistic about the future. I still have to wonder... what's next?