Like any game, Grand Theft Auto 5 went through many iterations during development, and in spite of the impressive size and breadth of content the game sports, some ideas ended up on the cutting room floor.
While things that don't quite fit the game, haven't been well realized or don't translate well from concept to practice usually end up being left out, budgetary constraints and deadlines, or even just creative decisions sometimes leave the good stuff out too.
After combing through all the confirmed content that was cut from GTA 5 and Online, we picked out those we would have loved to see the most.
It is important to note that some of the content cut from GTA 5 was later added to GTA Online as DLC, but remains inaccessible in single player without mods, and we will be mentioning some of these - so don't flood the comment section with "but the Hunter is in the game".
Six Star Wanted Level
This is by far the game's fanbase most lamented cut. GTA 5's files make direct and clear references to a sixth wanted level, which lines up with all previous GTA games. However for some reason it was decided that a break from tradition was required and the wanted level was capped at five stars.
Just the wanted level on its own isn't even the full extent of the cut content. Some assets pertaining to law enforcement vehicles that would have pursued players in the original wanted system were also scrapped entirely, like the Annihilator (later added to GTA Online), the Police Fugitive or the Squaddie.
Some of you might say that the police in GTA 5 are already uncharacteristically skilled and dangerous in the game, the last thing you need is them to be even tougher, but consider this - it is most likely that during design, the sixth wanted level wasn't just a clean cut off the top, but the reduction of the tiers in the system resulted in a complete rebalancing.
This skewed level distribution led to a weird balance of law enforcement units on your butt. Of course, this doesn't explain why cops in Los Santos are omniscient terminators who can zero in on you even if you're alone in a desert, and who can also beat an aimbot for accuracy.
The sixth wanted level has perplexed the community for as long as the game has been out, with a data-mining "hunt" for it having been conducted at one point. It was definitely supposed to be in the game initially, but someone made a decision to cut it, and our over-the-top police chase fantasies remain unfulfilled.
A lesser-known but no less awesome cut feature of game would actually have resulted in a vastly different approach to multiplayer. A faction-based gang warfare structure would have seen players affiliated with a given organization, working cooperatively with their fellow members in a turf war.
The files revealing this initial approach were discovered in 2016, 3 years after the game's release. This was from very early on in development with only a few HUD elements recovered, most of which had placeholder text describing what would need to be added later on, such as tooltips and the like. We're talking so early that the associated files included a working Chihuahua Hot Dogs logo that was literally hand scribbled.
Mission markers and map sections showing territory control indicate just how deeply ingrained into the fabric of this version of the game the gang feature would have been - it would have formed the basis of all activities in GTA Online.
An interesting aspect of the Gang Wars version is that one of the factions were Cops, where you had the chance to pick playable police officers. Ever since GTA 5 has been released, a "police DLC" has been possibly the single most requested addition, and huge mods converting the game into a law enforcement simulator have cropped up.
The whole gang war mechanic is largely reminiscent of GTA: San Andreas and its own turf war system. The association shouldn't come as a surprise seeing as GTA 5 revisits the setting of San Andreas, so a shared mechanic wouldn't be an outlandish concept.
A Whole Lot Of Vehicles
GTA 5 sports a pretty impressive lineup of vehicles, even if it pales in comparison to the selection offered by the multiplayer counterpart, Online, which has been fed with a healthy amount of DLC since 2013.
Even so, the full list could have been a whole lot longer had all of the vehicles planned for the game made it through to the finish line.
The game files of GTA 5 are practically a vehicle graveyard full of unused assets. You have entire vehicles ready to go in there but that can't be accessed without mods or spawning, even though they are complete.
Then, aside from these you have scraps of near-finished vehicles that modders have tried to restore, and again a few stray bits of code referencing vehicles we know nothing about other than internal working names.
The Hunter attack helicopter, based on the iconic Apache and featured in one of GTA 5's trailers, was among these cut vehicles. It wasn't until late 2017 that it appeared in a GTA Online DLC.
The much-hated bane of Online, the Hydra, was also slated for single player but never made it into the game.
Buying Properties Online
Another feature that not only resurfaced in, but ended up comprising a huge part of GTA Online, is purchasing properties through various in-game websites.
In order to increase immersion and expanding on this aspect from past games, Rockstar created a satirized but rather in-depth faux internet for players to browse in-game. A secondary menu accessed through your character's phone allowed browsing sites which let you purchase cars or weapons.
Properties, however, had to be bought manually. While this does make sense and is largely realistic, it is a bit of an inconvenience and can be bothersome to get back into after we have been spoiled by GTA Online's comforts.
Extra: Single Player DLC
GTA 5 was also slated to get single player DLC at one point.
Since this isn't content that was cut during development but planned after release, and we still don't know precisely what it would have contained, it doesn't qualify for this list in spite of being something we - and pretty much the whole player base - would love to see get released.
However, there is a theory that the content of the fabled story DLC as adapted and baked into The Doomsday Heist, at least partially.
These examples only scratch the surface of all the content that has been cut from GTA 5 and Online. Even though we would gladly see them present, both games are filled with content as they are and offer potentially hundreds of hours of entertainment, so we'll let it slide.