I've been watching Danny O'Dwyer's Random Encounters streams of the three PS2 GTA games, alongside playing a TON of the Final Fantasy XIV PS4 beta (I'm not sure how that happened either...) and DmC: Devil May Cry. This obviously isn't a new topic of conversation, but for some reason it was really nagging at the back of my head during DmC, became as overwhelming as the convention is wont to do in an RPG and then, of course, became as explicit as possible watching the old GTAs.
For a form of entertainment filled to the brim with protagonists/playable characters without whom the entire town/city/country/world/galaxy/universe would be destroyed, I'm sure having a hard time thinking of games (moreso in the era of storytelling as a given, roughly Playstation-onward; though I'd love examples of independent old school too) in which that's truly the case. For a guy as all-powerful as Dante it's interesting how completely confused he has to be throughout the game purely in service of the player, from how limbo works to what it'll take to save the world. Likewise, Grand Theft Auto games are all about independence from their mechanics to their storylines and yet that message is delivered via a number of people who know much, much more about the world than your character(s) could ever hope to (Grand Theft Auto V actually does some pretty good work in bucking this trend, as Michael and Trevor both find work for themselves throughout the game...sadly I don't remember Franklin being much more than a puppet).