I love all of them and think they all makes sense when you put the timeline in order.
- 3 Dante is basically a traumatized, bitter kid who's went through a lot and developed some interesting and not always helpful coping mechanism.
- 1 Dante is more serious cause he's going after Mundus, who is his "Jackpot".
- Anime Dante had just lost is brother and his reason for living since killing Mundus and taking revenge was all he ever wanted to do since he was 8 yo.
- 2 Dante is still in that mood but is in a better state in a way.
- 4 Dante start off as 2 Dante but becomes more jokey when he start to test Nero. Also, for him the whole mission is a joke since the supposed bad guys aren't really a threat for him, this is another minor job to him and his daily routine. Lastly, he states in the novel that human after demonic powers makes him more sick than demons himself, so his approach towards the orders makes sense imo.
- 5 Dante is in a bad mental spot, he's at his rope end. Here comes his brother who he had already mourned 3 times and thought had been tricked into killing, learning nothing from prior experiences, destroying the city and killing the civilians Dante's made his responsability to protect, hurting the people Dante's cared about and putting Dante in 1 month coma in which he presumably dreamed of his mother's death and who know what else. Must be mind blowing and world turning, and must have left him feeling a million of different emotions. So I don't blame him for being snappy or resolutely going after Vergil. Also the game strongly suggest Dante was on a suicide mission, since he seemed to expect to die.
I also love Pre-DMC3 Dante/1 Novel Dante (Tony Redgrave) to pieces, as he is Dante at his most vulnerable (and in a way innocent, despite his line of work), and since it explains and gives so much insight on the character and generally speaking, builds Dante as we know him, while also showing a lot of sides that he hides from everyone as he uses his more jokey persona as a facade to protect himself and as a weapon against his enemies.