Top 15 Hardest Missions in GTA IV, Ranked

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The fourth entry in the long-lived Grand Theft Auto franchise might not be the most difficult in the series.

But it does have some missions that’ll pose a challenge to even the most experienced players. Doesn’t matter what weapons you’ve got or what car you’re driving.

Without cheats, these missions are just tough.

Let’s take a look at some of the most demanding ones out there in GTA4.

15. The Cousins Bellic

The Cousins Bellic GTA 4 mission screenshot

Reward: $25

The first main story mission in GTA IV starts right after your cousin Roman welcomes you to the land of opportunities that is Liberty City.

Experienced gamers and GTA veterans may not find it too hard, as it’s merely driving Roman’s cab to his place on Mohawk Avenue.

But it’s a different story for newcomers.

Most players will still be getting a feel for the game, and navigating Liberty City can quickly spiral out of control once you accidentally run over a couple of grandmas.


14. Have a Heart

Have a Heart GTA 4 gameplay

Reward: $3,000

Something similar happens with Have a Heart, the final mission you’ll get from Elizabeta.

For this mission you’ll have to drive Elizabeta’s Voodoo with special care to avoid the police, as the car’s trunk is loaded with the dead bodies of Manny Escuela and Jay Hamilton.

If you so much as pass a police patrol with an open trunk, you’ll instantly get a two-star wanted level, which you’ll have to lose before getting to Elizabeta’s organ-harvesting contact.

This can turn an otherwise simple job into a veritable hell.


13. Pegorino’s Pride

Pegorino’s Pride GTA 4 screenshot

Reward: $10,500

The first mission you’re given by Jimmy Pegorino – head of the Pegorino crime family – is also one of the hardest.

You’re tasked with protecting the wealthy criminal during an exchange with the Pavano family. Of course, the deal goes to hell.

And you’ll have to spring into action if you want Pegorino to make it out alive.

Handling the sniper rifle might be hard if you haven’t practiced before, and Pegorino is remarkably good at getting himself killed if you don’t mow down the Pavanos quickly.


12. Tunnel of Death

Tunnel of Death GTA 4 mission screenshot

Reward: $7,500

Suppose you’re one of those people who’ve never felt comfortable behind the wheel.

If that’s the case, you’re bound to have trouble with Tunnel of Death – the final mission given to protagonist Niko Bellic by Derrick McReary.

During this mission you’ll have to shoot your way through countless police officers on the way to retrieving your target, Aiden O’Malley, who you find inside a Police Stockade car.

As if surviving the shootouts wasn’t enough, now you have to lose the police while driving the Police Stockade. Which is not really fast enough to make a clean getaway.


11. The Master and the Molotov

The Master and the Molotov GTA 4 gameplay

Reward: None

The Master and the Molotov follows Niko after Dmitri Rascalov sends him to kill his former boss, Mikhail Faustin, hiding in his club.

Not only is the place crawling with Faustin’s men, but the man himself is surprisingly fast and hard to catch if you’re not that good at tailing a target.

An excellent way to tone down this mission’s difficulty is to come prepared with armor and explosives. Maybe a Molotov?


10. A Dish Served Cold

A Dish Served Cold GTA 4 gameplay

Reward: None

Some missions are challenging due to tricky puzzles, others because of unfair winning conditions.

And this one? Well, this one is just way too long.

A Dish Served Cold is the second-to-last mission for the “Revenge” ending, in which Niko betrays Pegorino and kills Rascalov aboard his ship – the Platypus.

Fighting through the Platypus can be a long and grueling process if you’re not an expert marksman, especially considering the narrow spaces you’ll have to move through.

It’s only fair to include challenging missions late into the game, but couldn’t they add more checkpoints?


9. Deconstruction for Beginners

Deconstruction for Beginners GTA 4 screenshot

Reward: $6,500

If you want to get acquainted with Playboy X, a drug dealer, and a prominent GTA4 character, you’ll need to do him a little favor first.

Deconstruction for Beginners has you killing many thuggish Union workers from the Messina Family as Playboy X’s way of impressing Yusuf Amir, who’s been ignoring his criminal business proposals.

If you’re good at shooting, you can go in guns blazing – but that will only work if you’re a true marksman.

I recommend getting up on a vantage point and using a sniper.


8. This Shit’s Cursed – The Lost and Damned

This Shit’s Cursed – The Lost and Damned GTA 4 gameplay

Reward: None

This Shit’s Cursed is the final mission TLaD protagonist Johnny Klebitz gets from Billy Grey – and it’s a pivotal moment leading up to the game’s main story.

After stealing a heroin shipment from the Angels of Death, you plan on selling it to The Triads, an influential Chinese crime syndicate.

Since the heroin was stolen from them to being with, the deal sours quickly. And you’re left running for your life along with your peeps.

You’ll have to think fast and strike true if you and your comrades are to make it out alive.


7. If the Price is Right

If the Price is Right GTA 4 screenshot

Reward: $250,000

On the first mission of the route leading to the “Deal” ending, Niko accepts to serve as Jimmy Pegorino’s courier and pick up payment for a heroin deal.

As expected, it goes spectacularly wrong thanks to Dmitri’s meddling.

After Niko and Phil Bell decide to steal the money and run, you’ll have to fight your way out of the buyer’s warehouse, which wouldn’t be so hard if Phil didn’t seem intent on getting himself shot.

It’s manageable if you’re good at shooting. But it’s not easy.


6. The Snow Storm

The Snow Storm GTA 4 mission screenshot

Reward: $2,500

The Snow Storm is a remarkably difficult mission given to you by Elizabeta Torres near the beginning of the game.

You must retrieve the heroin that was stolen from the Angels of Death so that Elizabeta can finally get a return on her initial investment.

While there’s a way to sneak into the old hospital where they’re being held, most people will do it the hard way – killing every Angel of Death and Spanish Lord in sight until reaching the drugs.

As if that wasn’t enough, the hospital is raided by NOOSE. And even if you make it through that, you still have to lose your wanted level, which may still be a challenge this early on in the game.


5. Out of Commission

Out of Commission GTA 4 screenshot

Reward: $250,000

After Pegorino kills Niko’s girl Kate in a drive-by during his cousin’s wedding, there’s nothing but revenge in his mind – and he’ll get it in the Out of Commission.

This challenging mission includes neither one nor two, but three high-speed chases – the first in a car, then a bike, and finally, an Annihilator helicopter.

You’ll also have to kill several of Pegorino’s thugs in some intense shootouts.

This mission might not have been half as tricky were it not for the unexplained scarcity of checkpoints. And the fact that piloting helicopters is nigh-impossible in GTA4.


4. A Revenger’s Tragedy

A Revenger’s Tragedy GTA 4 mission screenshot

Reward: None

The final mission in the “Deal” route is pretty similar to Out of Commission.

Instead of getting revenge on Pegorino, you’ll be chasing after Dmitri Rascalov for causing your cousin Roman’s death on the day of his wedding.

You’ll have to fight through hordes of Dmitri’s goons, and it also includes three difficult high-speed chases – on a car, on a boat, and even on a helicopter.

This mission was notoriously hellish when the game first came out on due to numerous bugs, which have since been fixed.


3. Three Leaf Clover

Three Leaf Clover GTA 4 gameplay

Reward: $250,000

You’d think the hardest part about raiding the Bank of Liberty would be getting to the cash – but as it turns out, that’s the easy part.

The mission starts in earnest a bit after getting a million dollars from the vault.

You’ll have to shoot your way out through armies of LCPD officers, FBI agents, and the NOOSE.

Even if you survive long enough to reach the surface, you’ll still have to get on a Huntley Sport and lose those Wanted levels fast before getting to the McReary residence.


2. Sexy Time – The Ballad of Gay Tony

Sexy Time – The Ballad of Gay Tony GTA 4 gameplay

Reward: $10,000

There’s one reason, only one, why the Sexy Time mission makes it so far up the list.

And it’s the Buzzard helicopter.

Operating any helicopter in GTA4 is already notoriously awkward. Still, the Buzzard takes it to the next level with remarkably sensitive controls and the durability of a sunflower seed in a hamster’s hands.

As if just driving it wasn’t enough, you need to somehow get close-enough to Frickie Van Hardenburg’s yacht to destroy it with the Buzzard’s mediocre weaponry – all of this without crashing in the process. Good luck!


1. Catch the Wave

Catch the Wave GTA 4 screenshot

Reward: $7,500

If something can top the Buzzard’s problems, it’s Phil Bell’s terrible AI during Catch the Wave.

The mission has you and Phil stealing a shipment of cocaine right from under the Russians’ noses.

As expected, things get violent pretty fast, leaving Niko and Phil with no option but to fight their way through.

Phil has a bold attitude for someone armed with only a tiny pistol, so keeping him alive during the main shootout is more challenging than you’d think.

After Phil boards the boat loaded with cocaine, you’ll have to follow him on a Squalo while simultaneously taking out enemy boats before they take him out – because why not.

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Nelson Chitty

Nelson Chitty is a Venezuelan expat living in Argentina. He’s a writer and translator passionate about history and foreign cultures. His ideal weekend is spent between leisurely playing games of Civilization VI and looking for the next seinen anime to marathon.