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GTA: San Andreas' Frank Tenpenny hailed as Rockstar's best antagonist

Emma Flint

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GTA: San Andreas' Frank Tenpenny hailed as Rockstar's best antagonist

Featured Image Credit: Rockstar Games

When it comes to villains, few gamers believe there’s anyone more chilling then Frank Tenpenny in GTA: San Andreas. Although there are plenty of antagonists fans could choose from, it’s Tenpenny that sticks out in their minds. Why? He was just so damn committed to being an arse to everyone.

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The Reddit thread that started the discussion is only a day old, but it’s already got plenty of comments in favour of Tenpenny being the biggest baddie (not in a slay kind of way) of GTA history. For those who haven’t played San Andreas, and there are a few of you out there, the 2004 RPG followed Vice City, and centres around the character of Carl, who’s returned home following the murder of his mum. Forced into a tough position, Carl follows in with gang activity and the rest, they say, is history.

Check out this fan-made GTA: San Andreas remake in Unreal Engine 5!

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Incredibly well-received, the game sold millions of copies worldwide, resulting in San Andreas being hailed as the best game of 2004. With those kinds of accolades, is it any wonder that one of the greatest antagonists would herald from this game? As one Redditor explained, “He [Tenpenny] was so funny, such a dickhead needlessly. Best GTA antagonist for sure.” We do love those villains who really lean into their role, especially when voiced by such distinctive actors like Samuel L. Jackson, the voice behind Tenpenny.

Of course, as with any debate, there were other names thrown into the ring, one of which being Dimitri Rascalov from GTA 4. “Tenpenny was a dick, but Dimitri Rascalov was just pure evil,” said LegendNomad when comparing the two. It does seem that Dimitri is the only character who could potentially knock Tenpenny off his current top spot. Arguably, this debate comes down to what you value most in your villains: completely unhinged, evil tactics, or someone who’s cruel but isn’t dangerous on every level. Personally, I like bad guys who are the worst of the worst, but with a smidge of humour, just to round their personality out.

Clearly, there’s a great deal of love here for the good, bad, ugly, and downright weird in San Andreas – why else would new missions be added to the game years later, thanks to modders? Modders really are the backbone of so many fandoms.

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Who do you think deserves to be hailed as the best antagonist? As far as we’re concerned, Tenpenny is a solid choice and has the backing of many other gamers. However, with the likes of Dimitri and Trevor in the mix too, there’s still everything to play for. Not ignoring the fact that there’s the unknown that is GTA 6, which could introduce an even worse villain.

Topics: Grand Theft Auto, Rockstar Games

Emma Flint
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