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One of my favorite gaming memories from my childhood is typing “PANZER” while playing the PC version of GTA: Vice City (2006) and getting my very own battle tank to wreak havoc all around the city.
It’s easy enough to steal a Rhino from Fort Zancudo in Grand Theft Auto 5, but an even better idea is downloading some custom battle tank mods to spice things up.
In this list, I’ve curated a wide variety of tanks from across the long-spanning history of these armored vehicles – and even some fictional ones that’ll blow your mind (and your enemies) away.
15. Panhard EBR 105 Tramontana
We’re starting out with a very unusual tank.
The Panhard EBR 105 is all about mobility. It’s small and light, allowing the crew to maneuver it into tight spaces and clear obstacles other tanks wouldn’t.
You’ve never seen something like the Panhard EBR 105 in any war films or TV shows because it doesn’t exist in real life. It’s a fictional French “light tank” from the famous Belarusian war game World of Tanks.
Still, the high-quality model, realistic engine sounds, and excellent handling make it a gem in GTA 5.
14. M41 Walker Bulldog
In reality, “light tanks” look like the M41 Walker Bulldog.
Or, rather, that’s what they looked like in the 60s.
The M41 Walker Bulldog was developed for armed reconnaissance, but its heavy armament and adequate armoring made it an excellent asset for infantry support.
Regrettably, manufacturing and design problems made it unpopular among the troops, and the M41 was eventually shelved. Operational units were slowly sold to armies in Argentina, Brazil, Lebanon, and West Germany.
Luckily for us, a cramped cabin and occasional malfunctioning shouldn’t be an issue for a GTA 5 mod.
13. Leopard 2A7V German MBT
Germany unveiled the Leopard 2A7V as its main battle tank in early 2022.
It’s the latest generation in the long-standing “Leopard” family of tanks, bringing many updates to firepower, mobility, and protection.
The tank’s armoring got some of the biggest upgrades, which adds a fair bit of weight to the Leopard 2A7V. Coming in just shy of 64 tons, it’s one of the heaviest tanks currently in service anywhere in the world.
This GTA 5 mod brings the Leopard 2A7V to Los Santos in incredible detail. It also features a wealth of visual tuning options, including different armor configurations and multi-spectral camouflage.
12. M1A2C Abrams Mega Pack
Fans of military flicks set after the 1980s will have seen the M1 Abrams main battle tank at least a couple of times.
This MBT has been the armored cavalry of the US Army for over 40 years, seeing extensive action during the Persian Gulf War, the War in Afghanistan, and the Iraq War.
Export models have also made it into the hands of countries like Egypt, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq, who’ve mainly used it to defend their territory against insurgent groups like the Islamic State.
This M1A2C Abrams mega-pack introduces a beautiful depiction of this storied battle tank with a wealth of modular tuning parts such as extra turrets and a Mad Max-looking mine plow.
11. T-55A / T-55AM-1
If there was an award for the longest-serving tank model, the T-55 would probably get it.
Designed and produced by the Soviet Union between 1947 and 1981, T-54 and T-55 tanks made up the bulk of Soviet heavy armor and were distributed among members of the Warsaw Pact.
They were eventually phased out by the Soviets (and, later, the Russians) in favor of more modern units. Still, the T-55 has continued seeing use until our times in the hands of less-advanced armies worldwide.
It was deployed in the Vietnam War, the Iraqi-Kurdish conflict, the Ethiopian civil war, the Invasion of Iraq, and most recently, the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh conflict by the Azerbaijani Land Forces.
10. T-72B3 Main Battle Tank
Tanks are heavy, expensive equipment, so armies around the world will often just modernize old units rather than replace their entire heavy armor with a new model.
The T-72 family was introduced by the Soviet Union way back in 1969, but as recent Russian military actions in Georgia and later Ukraine have shown us, the Russians still trust it with their lives.
The current T-72B3 has had a list of upgrades before being deployed to gain control of Crimea in 2014 and the Donbas region in 2022, but it still looks mostly the same.
9. Soviet T-34-85
The “modern world” was born from fire and blood during World War 2 – and so was the Soviet T-34-85.
The T-34 began production in the Soviet Union in 1940 and were immediately sent to serve in the Eastern Front, where they could sway the course of the war and gained recognition even from the Germans.
However, by 1942, the once-admiring Germans had already developed countermeasures against the T-34 – mainly heavier armor that could deflect the T-34’s weaponry.
The T-34-85 was introduced in the first months of 1944 with upgraded firepower and continued to play a vital role in holding the Eastern Front.
Something about its visual design screams “Soviet Union,” making it a unique anachronistic addition to your GTA 5 armory.
8. WW2 Tanks Pack
If you’re more of a history buff than a modern military enthusiast, you’ll love this World War 2 Tanks Pack.
It features some of the most influential tanks of World War 2 from some of the main players, including the American M4A3E8 Sherman, the German Panzer VI Tiger and Panzer V Panther, and the aforementioned Soviet T-34-85.
With these four iconic tanks, you can easily turn Los Santos into a 20th Century warzone.
God bless World of Tanks for producing so many high-quality tank models for modders to port to GTA 5.
7. Flammpanzer III
Along with the Panzer IV, the Germans produced the lighter, more mobile Panzer III.
It replaced the Panzer IV as the primary infantry support tank when it was upgraded with heavier weapons and armor to take on the formidable Soviet T-34.
Sometime around 1943, the Germans suddenly realized that setting people on fire was a great way to deal with an infantry rush.
They mounted a flamethrower on a Panzer III; the rest is history.
This mod brings the fearsome Flammpanzer III to GTA 5 to help you deal with rival gang members, the LSPD, or even zombies if you’re running that kind of mod.
6. Type 10 Japanese MBT
Shortly after World War 2 officially ended, the Japanese renounced their right to go to war through Article 9 of their new constitution.
That said, they have a Japanese Self-Defense Force, which has slowly cultivated significant military power.
In 2012, they introduced the Hitomaru-shiki Sensha, or the Type 10 MBT, with increased anti-tank capabilities as one of the main upgrades from the previous model.
Hopefully, games like World of Tanks or modded Grand Theft Auto 5 will remain the only place where this tank sees any real action.
5. M3A3 Bradley CFV
The M3A3 Bradley is not exactly a tank.
More precisely, it’s a Cavalry Fighting Vehicle, designed for swift movement in open battlefields, transporting infantry or scouts safely under a rain of bullets.
I felt compelled to include the M3A3 Bradley variant due to its unique look.
The M3A3 sets itself apart by using high-tech information and communication attachments, along with a new integrated sight unit known as the IBAS – which you can see clearly on this GTA 5 mod.
4. Challenger 2 TES Megatron MBT
The Challenger 2 is Britain’s main battle tank.
Its service with the British Army began in 1998, but its first use in combat would happen five years later with the Invasion of Iraq.
As with most tanks, the Challenger 2 has been upgraded and modified several times since its introduction. One of the most promising experimental models is the Challenger 2 Theatre Entry Standard – also known as the Megatron.
The TES system is meant to increase protection against modern tandem warheads and improvised explosive devices. In that way, it’s similar to the M1 Abrams Tank Unit Survival Kit (TUSK).
3. PL-01 Future MBT
Poland finds itself on the feistier side of Europe, and as such, it takes its military very seriously.
The PL-01 was revealed in 2013 as a concept for the next generation of Polish tanks.
It owes much of its unique shape to efforts by the developers at OBRUM to create a stealth ground vehicle. The entire tank will also be coated in radiation-absorbent material to avoid appearing on radar.
Regrettably, the PL-01 has notoriously missed its projected 2018 mass production date, and it remains just an exciting idea for the future – and a sleek-looking tank for GTA 5.
2. Armored Vehicles Pack
If you want to turn Los Santos into a real warzone, you will need a lot of tanks.
The Armored Vehicles Pack makes it easy by giving you access to 54 different tanks and other armored ground vehicles from around the world.
Some even feature extra custom liveries, further increasing the number of different vehicles.
There are amphibian landing crafts, infantry fighting vehicles, and heavily-armored tanks ranging from WW2 relics to the crowning achievements of modern tank technology like the PL-01.
1. Metal Slug SV-001
Since we’re having fun in the fictional world of Grand Theft Auto 5, why would the best tank be based on a real-life vehicle?
The SV-001 – also known as the Metal Slug – is the titular tank of the classic Metal Slug run-and-gun video game series and one of the most iconic vehicles in gaming.
Its top-heavy design makes it prone to tipping over, but in the world of Metal Slug, there seems to be no better ground vehicle – except, perhaps, a camel with mounted machine guns.
This relatively small tank is perfect for maneuvering in the sometimes tight streets of Los Santos’ urban sprawl, and it looks absolutely amazing.