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Is Trevor Phillips the Best ‘GTA V’ Protagonist?

While Michael and Franklin may have their own compelling personality traits, they both pale in comparison to Trevor Phillips.



Trevor Phillips, the foul-mouthed, violent, psychotic, drug-fueled former bank robber turned gun runner is just one of three playable characters in Grand Theft Auto V. He is also (in my opinion) the best protagonist in the newest GTA entry.  I have a few points that I hope will illustrate why Trevor is the best protagonist and, hopefully, by the end of the article, you will also agree with me. (Warning: MAJOR spoilers ahead.)

First, Trevor is loyal to a fault. Believing that Brad is alive and in prison for 9 years after the North Yankton bank robbery, Trevor is driven by his loyalty to Brad to see him freed. He also has an incredible undying loyalty for his mother. When she shows up at his trailer at the end of the game and tasks him with finding a supply of Deludamol,a painkiller in the GTA universe, he rushes out to find some. Upon returning with them, he is driven to tears when she is gone, having abandoned him again. All he wants is to have people stick with him like he does to them.

Conversely, Michael set Trevor and Brad up in North Yankton so he could go straight, and Brad just happened to be collateral damage. Had Trevor not figured it out for himself, Michael would have been happy to keep his little secret forever. Franklin is not much better in his treatment of Lamar. No, Lamar doesn’t want to get out of the hood, but he’s happy with his lot in life. Franklin’s chastising and belittling of Lamar and anybody else that doesn’t want the same things that he wants shows immaturity.

Second, Trevor has great business sense. He knows to strike when the iron is hot and how to broker a good business deal. When he learns that the Aztecas are running guns in his territory, he aggressively expands his turf and overtakes the Aztecas (under threat of death). He also builds a good rapport with the Asians in an attempt to expand further. But when that deal goes down, he eliminates the competition. These qualities are why he is at the top of his own criminal empire.

Again, comparing this to Michael and Franklin, Trevor shines. Michael has a hair trigger, long burn temper, shown by his decision to pull down the balcony of the house that his wife’s lover was staying at. While Trevor might have the same proclivity to overreaction, his temperament comes with measured, positive results. Franklin, as well, shows poor decision making in terms of business. He consistently bails out a friend by driving tow truck for him, and then can buy the business to keep doing the work?

Last, Trevor is funny. He sees the humor in a lot of situations and doesn’t let things get too heavy on him. When tasked by the FIB with a Heat style smash and grab of some documents, he laughs at the get ups that he, Michael, and Franklin are in. When driving with Wade and Floyd down to the docks, he describes the trip as akin to finding the perfect porn: he doesn’t know what he’s looking for until he finds it.

Michael and Franklin are always so dark and depressed. Franklin is constantly in a ‘woe is me’ state, hating the people that want to stay in the hood and never seeing the bright side of things. Michael is constantly looking over his shoulder for Trevor, afraid that his secret might be found out and he’ll unleash the beast. Neither of the other two protagonists has a lot of fun. Hell, Franklin doesn’t even play tennis.

Trevor is the best GTA V protagonist. Not only is he loyal, business-minded, and funny, he also embodies the chaotic GTA player; the one there to blow stuff up and cause panic. While Michael and Franklin may have their own compelling personality traits, they both pale in comparison to Trevor Phillips.

Mitch is a writer from Saskatoon, SK. His top three gaming franchises are Hitman, Grand Theft Auto, and Fallout. An avid writer and gamer, he has embraced the chance to combine both his loves.