Top 10 Tank Missions in Video Games

Published 10 months ago by This is a list post.

Greatest Tank Missions Video Game In the history of warfare, few inventions command more respect - or hold the power to turn the tide of a battle - than a tank. Heavy, powerful, and deadly, the armored attack vehicles have carved out a place in the history of warfare, and modern video games have followed suit. Diehard simulation fans have been treated to dozens of games designed to recreate the challenges and thrills of piloting a tank into combat, but the unique maneuvering and attacks have taken tanks into more than just historically-accurate simulations. Shooters to comedic action titles, there's nothing like a hood old-fashioned tank mission. Here is our list of the Top 10 Tank Missions in Video Games.

GoldenEye 007

Goldeneye 64 Tank Mission Mission: "St. Petersburg (Streets)" Sure, the tank sequence in GoldenEye 007 may not be the most graphically ambitious, or impressive in hindsight, but we can't blame the developers for doing what they could with the hardware of the Nintendo 64. At the time, the tank's arrival in the movie which the game adapted sent jaws dropping, and its video game counterpart had much the same effect. The enemies, animations, maneuverability and look of the tank has been overhauled in subsequent HD remastering, but there's something to be said for the original. After all, it was a time when merely driving a tank as James Bond through the streets of St. Petersburg was enough to thrill gamers - not how many polygons were used to create it.

Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood

Assassins Creed Da Vinci Tank Mission Mission: "Hell on Wheels" The Assassin's Creed series certainly isn't known for its vehicles or aircraft, but in Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, the developers decided to experiment. The game's campaign challenged players to meet up with their old friend Leonardo da Vinci, and see how well his inventions fared in the real world. Fans may have been largely disappointed by the implementation of Leonardo's flying machine, but his battle tank proved extremely effective. Sure, the tank was somewhat cumbersome, and not truly in keeping with the rest of the game's mechanics, but da Vinci's war machine was a force to be reckoned with. The machine was operated, like today, by a crew of soldiers - but capable of moving in any direction and armed with a rotating belt of cannons, it put modern tanks to shame.

Call of Duty 3

Call of Duty 3 Black Baron Tank Mission Mission: "The Black Baron" The multinational story of Call of Duty 3 was nothing new for the series, but it did give a refreshingly new perspective - specifically that of 'Bohater,' the only Polish soldier featured in the franchise's many entries. As a member of the country's Armored Division forces, that gave players the chance to live the thrills of tank warfare up close and personal. In this particular mission players were tasked with hunting down 'The Black Baron,' the legendary German ace (based on the real-life tank commander Michael Wittman, credited with 138 tank kills). The suspense and tension of tank combat was perfectly captured, and combining it with the thrill of a chase made this mission an unforgettable one.

Star Fox 64

Star Fox 64 Landmaster Tank Mission Mission: "The Search For Slippy" There's a good chance that for many early console gamers, Star Fox represented their first experience with a video game flight simulator. Naturally, the gameplay centered on flying the series' iconic fighter, the Arwing, but in Star Fox 64 a new vehicle was added to the arsenal of Fox McCloud's squadron: the Landmaster Tank. Although the Landmaster looked and operated like the Arwing, the gameplay it brought was a refreshing change of pace. The tank came in handy when Fox set out to rescue Slippy on the planet Titania, fighting through a vast army of Venomian forces. The mission was just one of two tank missions in the game, but the surprise of piloting a battle tank - and how well it was executed - makes it one of our favorites.

Saints Row: The Third

Saints Row 3 Pixel Tank Mission Mission: "http://decker.die" When players of Saints Row: The Third dove headlong into the Tron-inspired visuals of the game's digital realm, they were treated to a recreation of the classic 1974 Atari game Tank. While the ASP (or 'Cyber Tank') is only controlled from a top-down perspective during the mission, completion leads to the vehicle being unlocked. It's not adapted or updated for its venture into the real world, meaning players can pilot the tank consisting of enormous pixels forming the rough shape of a tank. The 'Tank Mayhem' missions included in the game's campaign (putting players behind the controls of a battle tank and challenged to cause thousands of dollars of damage in a limited time) could all be a worthy entry on this list. However, the top-down Tank remake is both hilarious and faithfully performed - the fact that the voxel-firing ASP is placed into the open world is simply icing on the cake.

Call of Duty: World at War

Call of Duty World at War Blood Iron Tank Mission Mission: "Blood & Iron" As the Call of Duty game that first proved Treyarch had what it took to be a solid developer, spawning the Black Ops timeline in the process, Call of Duty: World at War should be aprreciated for plenty as a whole. But the 'Blood & Iron' mission was certainly a standout, and not only because it was the most graphically intense that the game had to offer. Following the directions of Viktor Reznov (voiced by Gary Oldman), players quickly learned the finer points of utilizing a Russian OT-34-85 tank (and its flamethrower) in the field. The level may have dreamed up a world in which trees were impervious to battle tanks, but the blend of stationary targets, enemy Panzers, and eventual trainyard free-for-all gave players every taste of combat they could wish for.

Battlefield 3

Battlefield 3 Thunder Run Tank Mission Mission: "Thunder Run" Once Battlefield 3 was unveiled to the masses, it was clear the developers had set a new visual bar for graphics - and no mission made the point clearer than 'Thunder Run.' Following a column of American tanks through the deserts of Iran, the visuals were so staggeringly realistic, it was (and likely still is) considered one of the best simulations of what desert/tank combat consists of - the main reason gameplay footage of the mission was used heavily in marketing. The mission also sought to place players into the mind of the men and women who crew and M1 Abrams, beginning with a toy dinosaur, and making specific efforts to show the inner workings of the tank crew's many duties. The mission remains a showpiece for everything the game did right, and is still one of the best-looking tank missions ever.

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City

Grand Theft Auto Vice City Tank Mission Mission: "Sir, Yes Sir!" For as much time as Rockstar Games tends to put into the stories driving the events of their Grand Theft Auto entries, scripted events can rarely match the carnage and lunacy made possible in the open world. In GTA3, that carnage went to a new level when the new approach to a third-person action title was paired with the Rhino - the armored tank dispatched when players achieved a 6-star Wanted level. But it wasn't until GTA: Vice City that the developers tasked players with hijacking a Rhino from an armored convy when its driver ran into a donut shop. From then on, the challenge was reaching the garage before the tank's self-destruct system reduced it to scrap. The mission was ridiculous, spectacular, and one-of-a-kind (as every GTA should be).

Call of Duty 2

Call of Duty 2 Crusader Charge Tank Mission Mission: "Crusader Charge" Northwestern Libya may not be what comes to mind when picturing a WWII Call of Duty mission, but like most desert missions in the series, the overall experience is a memorable one. And it was Call of Duty 2 that game players the chance to command their very own Crusader tank in a sandy skirmish. Tanks had been driven in the game's predecessor, but the drab European landscape couldn't compete with 'Crusader Charge.' With the low-hanging sun and the clouds of dust, Infinity Ward was attempting to do what the minds behind BF3 did years later. The two can't really compare, but CoD2 came a heck of a lot closer than one might think. And with its free-wheeling mission structure, it encapsulates all the fun and satisfaction a good tank mission should aspire to.

Halo 2

Halo 2 Metropolis Tank Mission Mission: "Metropolis" The star of the Halo series may be seen as something of a walking tank, but even the Master Chief can't compare to the lethality and strength of a UNSC M808B Main Battle Tank - affectionately known as 'the Scorpion.' Fans were already aware of the armored vehicle thanks to the series' debut title, but with Halo 2, a prettier, faster-firing, and greener Scorpion was unveiled. While Marines cowered in fear from the Covenant Scarab strolling its way through New Mombasa, the Chief hopped behind the controls of the Scorpion and headed straight into the fight. To be more exact, picking his way across a long bridge into the city's core, fighting the Covenant forces on the ground and in the sky. The mission may be one long corridor, but the wealth of targets and Marines seated atop the Scorpion firing missiles was an early chance for Halo 2 to flex its muscles, and given its legacy, that's saying something.

Conclusion

Video Game Tank Missions List There are certainly many more tank-based missions and challenges than those on our list, whether recent releases that pushed the genre forward, or classics that new experiences can never compare to. Be sure to mention your own favorites in the comments. _____ Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.
TAGS: Assassin's Creed Brotherhood, Battlefield 3, Call of Duty, Goldeneye, Grand Theft Auto, Halo 2, Saints Row 3, Star Fox, World of Tanks

7 Comments

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  1. I’m surprised the original Operation Flashpoint didn’t make the list. So many awesome tank missions in that game, and so much more realistic too…

    • SO TRUE!
      It was awesome, especially the one where your commander gets a little over ambitious and orders an assault on a heavily defended enemy outpost.

      Tanks concealed/on high ground finally causing your “unstoppable” platoon to fall back because only 2 Tanks are left.

      That was kind of making you feel unbeatable at first, then just as vulnerable and hopeless as everything else again.

      • My favorite was actually not technically a tank mission, but since Operation Flashpoint was open-ended, I made it into a tank mission and it was the most awesome tank mission I’ve ever played, lol. It was one where you were dropped in as spec-ops with 2 other spec-ops guys under your command and your mission was to infiltrate an enemy tank repair base and destroy as many armored vehicles as you can and then get back to the extraction point. Well, I decided to play that one differently. I ordered my guys to go directly to the extraction point, and I went in alone. They only give you 2 satchel charges, and even destroying only one of their tanks will give you a mission successful status (given you make it back out alive) but that’s not good enough for me.

        I sneak into the base without anyone seeing me, then I jump into one of their tanks, the best one on the base, which was a T-80, the others are T-72′s and APC’s. From inside the T-80, I jump into the gunner seat, and I kill all of the crewmen sitting around outside the tanks, then I start destroying all of the tanks in the base with the T-80 I jumped into. Eventually reinforcements arrive including a gunship helicopter, I destroy everything with the tank, at some points the gunship hovers low enough for me to shoot it out of the sky with the tank, lol. I blow up the APC’s that show up and the troop carrier that shows up killing everyone, and when everyone is dead and every tank in that base is destroyed (except the one I’m in) instead of getting to the extraction by foot like a fool, I switch to the driver seat in the tank and I drive my happy ass to the extraction point in comfort and style, lol.

        I love that game because they let you complete any mission in any way you see fit. It’s so awesome… I’m playing ARMA III now and I notice there are a bit more restriction this time around. Hopefully it’s not too much though. So far it’s still a blast to play. :-)

  2. Great list. Was wondering if halo was going to get a spot the whole time, glad it found a place up top where it belongs.

  3. the tank level on crysis was amazing.

  4. and MOHAA? that shoulda been in the list

  5. So it seems people only enjoy the highly scripted and arcadey tank missions? I’m the only one that enjoys one where your own tank is just as weak as everyone else’s and there is an actual risk of dying, where nothing is scripted so you can either play it through where all of your friendly tanks make it through or none of them would and anywhere in between?

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