The Colombian Cartel without a doubt IMO.
- Income: They were a Cartel, thus they entirely controlled the market for the new (maybe designer) drug SPANK. This gave them a bottomless source of income (
). That makes them perhaps the wealthiest gang in 3D GTA history.
- Assets: They were very smart in investing this massive income - not wasting it on useless luxuries like your stereotypical gangsters. They controlled the best assets of any criminal organisation in 3D GTA game. These includes a freight ship, the massive Pan-Lantic contruction company, which was involved in massive construction projects in LC (including the Porter Tunnel and the massive construction sites in Staunton Island), and other freight in and around Francis International Airport.
- Connections: They had connections with the CIA, as evidenced by the mission
. How many other gangs can boast that level of connections?
- Direct Threat: As a direct threat, the Colombian Cartel is by far the biggest threat to players in 3D GTAs after the Leone Family Mafia,
. After the end of the game, their members start roaming the streets armed with 'Uzis' (Micro-Uzi IRL) and 'AK47s' (AKM/AK74 IRL).
They even have heavily armed death squads dotted around Shoreside Vale in
, some cartel members are armed with Rocket Launchers, and
, one or more of their members have Flame-Throwers!
Overall, I think they are by far the best armed gang in 3D GTA history, as well as the best tactically trained (with the creation and deployment of death squads).
- Cars: Car types and [erformance strong points are rather an acquired taste, so I won't comment on how awesome, big and intimidating the Cartel Cruisers they drive are. However, what I will put up as a point is their intelligent use of civilian cars as concealment, rather than relying on their unique gang cars. To my knowledge, the only other gang in GTA 3 to do that is the
. The cars they use to conceal themselves and their activities are the Sentinel and Pan-Lantic van. Not seeing the gang coming from a mile away must be a major strategic advantage. In GTA IV, most gangs start driving more subtly moded or normal cars.