Vice City is the second entry in the GTA 3D trilogy, and arguably the most iconic. It took clear inspiration from the culture of the 80s, and is still beloved by many, even after 20 years. The game has done a lot of things right, even when compared to Rockstar's newer titles. In this article, Gurugamer is going to showcase the 8 things that Vice City does better than any other GTA game.

1. Great main story with twists

Vice City's story is a classic in the making - many fans are convinced that it is the best story from Rockstar Games to date. The main story feature Ray Liotta's Tommy Vercetti, a recently released convict who's on a rampage of revenge. Players then follow the struggle of Tommy to rise through the ranks and gain a profit, right in the middle of the drug-fueled, crime-riddled town of Vice City.

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Tommy arrives at Vice City

Tommy ventures to Vice City for a major drug deal with the Vance Brothers, but everything goes wrong, and Tommy embarks on a mission to find those responsible. Tommy’s journey takes many twists and turns and has him even leading his gang, the Vercetti Crime Family. Liotta brings a legendary performance to Tommy and makes the character his own.

2. Colorful characters

GTA is a franchise that does not afraid of putting in weird or colorful characters. They can range from deranged to dangerous or even just outright stupid. The game's large cast of characters is colorful and memorable, stereotypes of real people, made upon the likeness of the ones seen on television police shows. This kind of character design provided a lot of comedic moments. The best ones are probably Umberto Robina (played by the favorite Danny Trejo) and Ken Rosenberg (played by William Fichtner).

The iconic main cast of GTA Vice City is very colorful.

Mr. Vercetti is a fully realized character with plenty to say for himself, he interacts with the major and not-so-major characters in town through a mostly amusing and well-acted script, stuffed with amusing accents and odd series in-joke.

There is a surprising lack of interesting female characters in Vice City, however.

3. The Aesthetic

To make the most of their Miami-like Vice City map, Rockstar Games set their new project in the 1980s. (Scientifically speaking, Miami is the most 80s city.) Pastels and neon abound, as do palm trees, malls, corny yuppies, and 80s crimes like cocaine smuggling and international arms deals. And it’s all drenched in Grand Theft Auto’s signature cynicism and satire.

Vice City's aesthetics are rarely seen in video games.

As a parody of 1980s Miami, Rockstar North has done a fantastic job of constructing a believable set of islands with appropriately garish neon-lined urban architecture, Cuban and Haitian populated ghettos and disgustingly rich areas dotted with mansions complete with golf courses and jetties, yachts and all. Despite the age, the animation is still nice, with body language playing an important role in the portrayal of the story, cars are nicely constructed and the city architecture surrounding them is still cool to see.

4. The Vibrant City

Vice City has a distinct design compared to the other cities in other GTA games. It is colorful, vibrant, alive, and wild. The architecture is bold with white paints all over, and the lighting is full of neon pink and blues. The city looks amazing, both during the day and the night. There is a reason that GTA players want it to come back in Grand Theft Auto 6.

Sitting at 9.11 square kilometers, Vice City isn't much bigger than Liberty City. It's split into two main chunks: the Mainland and Vice Beach. Each area contains several individual districts, as well as featuring two main beaches.

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The city needs to be enlarged if it ever comes to GTA 6.

5. The 80s Music

Grand Theft Auto, famous for loading eclectic and extremely cool playlists onto the in-game radio stations, went all-out for Vice City. For a lot of players, unfamiliarity with these decades-old tracks gradually became genuine appreciation—even a kind of nostalgia for a time they’d never experienced. The game features nine hours of 80s music, so you can evade police to the smooth grooves of Wang Chung.

Complementing the crazy action and late-night cruising of the game’s Miami-esque location, the GTA Vice City soundtrack will immerse you further in the world and keep you entertained for hours.

6. Interesting Missions

The story is a classic from-bottom-to-the-top-Scarface-like journey. And although it's nothing spectacular, all well-written characters, funny lines of dialogue and memorable missions made it special.

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There are a lot of iconic missions in Vice City that are very memorable.

Just take a look at what kind of jobs were there and tell me you don't miss it:

  • Explode a building with RC helicopter
  • Dress as a cop and plant a bomb at the mall
  • Steal a tank in a broad daylight from the main street
  • Produce and promote your own porn movie
  • Jump between two skyscrapers on a bike
  • Fight off a french army on a boat
  • Join the gang, start a war, join the other gang, repeat
  • Buy an ice-cream truck and sell dope from it

Don't forget the first massive Bank Heist with several preparation missions beforehand.

7. Simple and straightforward gameplay

As a third-person open-world, Vice City is arcade to the core and the missions involve a nice variety of gameplay. Worldbuilding plays a big role in the approach to an objective. Some buildings can be entered, some can be used as a landing pad for helicopters, some can be bought, opening up a new range of missions and rewards. Weapons and vehicles variety is huge as well, Tommy can’t still swim but he can ride a boat and fly.

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Vice City's gameplay is pretty simple and straightforward.

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