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Grand Theft Auto: Vice City

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Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
"Sonny, you have my personal assurance that I'm gonna get you your money back, and the drugs, and I'm gonna mail you the dicks of those responsible."
Tommy Vercetti
Protagonist(s): Thomas "Tommy" Vercetti
Genre(s): Action-adventure
October 29, 2002
PlayStation 2
NA: October 29, 2002
PAL: November 8, 2002

Microsoft Windows
NA: May 12, 2003
EU: May 15, 2003
AU: May 21, 2003

NA: October 31, 2003
PAL: January 2, 2004

Mac OS X
WW: November 12, 2010
WW: December 6, 2012
WW: December 12, 2012
Fire OS
WW: May 15, 2014
Engine: RenderWare
Developer(s): Rockstar North
Rockstar Vienna (Xbox)
War Drum Studios (Android/iOS)
Publisher(s): Rockstar Games
Country: United Kingdom
United States
Series: Grand Theft Auto
Predecessor: Grand Theft Auto III
Successor: Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City is an action-adventure video game released for the PlayStation 2, Microsoft Windows, Xbox, Mac OS X, iOS, Android, and Fire OS. It was developed by Rockstar North and published by Rockstar Games. A Nintendo GameCube version was planned but cancelled for unknown reasons.


Thomas "Tommy" Vercetti, member of the Forelli crime family, was arrested in 1971 after murdering eleven assassins during a Harwood ambush in Liberty City. The Forelli family managed to prevent a death sentence and he served 15 years in prison. After his release, he loses Sonny Forelli's money in a botched drug deal. As he begins to uncover the truth behind the ordeal, Tommy rises through the ranks as his influence increases.

Why It's Got Big Cajones

  1. This game makes a number of improvements from the previous game.
    • The driving controls are an improved with the most notable example being the Ambulance, which makes completing Paramedic a lot less frustrating.
    • Rampage icons only have one spawn location.
    • The gunplay is much better as the the guns are more accurate and the camera points focuses on the enemies when locked on.
    • There is now a map, which makes navigation a lot easier.
    • It's the first GTA game where you can intentionally fly airplanes (the Dodo in GTA III wasn't meant to be flyable)
  2. There are many types of missions (in total twenty-two storyline missions, thirteen gang missions, twenty-two asset missions, six street races, five assassination missions, three stadium events, four helicopter missions, four off-road races and three RC races) in this game.
  3. The main protagonist, Tommy Vercetti, is a true badass and a memorable character. In addition, he is the very first talking protagonist in the series.
  4. Great voice acting, which is provided by an all-star cast, especially from Tommy's voice actor, Ray Liotta.
  5. You can change Tommy's outfit, and if you have stars, changing outfits can actually take off two wanted stars.
  6. Amazing and vivid graphics, especially by 2002 standards at its time.
  7. Many famous quotes, including "THAT WAS MY MONEY TOMMY! MY MONEY!"
  8. Vice City captures the feeling of 1980s Miami along with its storyline highly inspired by Scarface.
  9. Awesome soundtrack, which gives an 80s feel in the courtesy of the game's radio stations:
    • Wildstyle Pirate Radio: Hip-hop station. Hosted by Mr. Magic.
    • Flash FM: Pop station. Hosted by DJ Toni.
    • K-Chat: Interview station. Hosted by Amy Sheckenhausen.
    • Fever 105: Disco station. Hosted by Oliver Biscuit.
    • V-Rock: Heavy metal and rock station. Hosted by Lazlow Jones.
    • Vice City Public Radio: Talk station. Hosted by Maurice Chavez and his supervisors Jonathan Freeloader and Michelle Montanius.
    • Radio Espantoso: Latin jazz station. Hosted by Pepe.
    • Emotion 98.3: Power ballads station. Hosted by Fernando Martinez.
    • Wave 103: New wave station. Hosted by Adam First.
  10. More than 60 hours of gameplay.
  11. Now you can control more vehicles, such as helicopters.
  12. New Assassination and Race missions for stock car, street, and Sparrow races.
  13. The game spawned a prequel called Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories, taking place two years prior to this game.
  14. You can actually rob many stores to earn extra cash.
  15. When 100% is achieved in the game, the following rewards are given:
    • 200 maximum Health.
    • 200 maximum Body Armor.
    • Replenishing ammunition for all weapons.
    • The ability to recruit three bodyguards at the Vercetti Estate for $2000 each.
    • The "Frankie" outfit inside the Vercetti Estate, which has a T-shirt that reads "I completed Vice City and all I got was a lousy t-shirt".
    • Double vehicle strength for any vehicle Tommy Vercetti drives.
  16. You can now crouch, which can make your aim more accurate and/or allow dodging bullets via cover.
  17. The side-missions from GTA III return along with a new Pizza Boy mission and the rewards are great.
    • Pizza Boy Level 10: +25 Max health.
    • Vigilante Level 12: +50% Max armor.
    • Firefighter Level 12: Immunity to fire damage.
    • Transport a total of 100 fares: All taxis gain boost/jump ability.
    • Paramedic Level 12: Infinite sprint.
  18. Just like GTA III, there are 100 hidden packages. Collecting them spawns various rewards in the Hyman Condo, Vercetti Estate and Ocean View Hotel.
    • 10 Packages: Body Armor
    • 20 Packages: Chainsaw
    • 30 Packages: Colt Python
    • 40 Packages: Flamethrower
    • 50 Packages: Combat Sniper
    • 60 Packages: Minigun
    • 70 Packages: Rocket Launcher
    • 80 Packages: Sea Sparrow (at the back of Vercetti Estate only)
    • 90 Packages: Rhino spawns on Fort Baxter Air Base.
    • 100 Packages: Hunter spawns on the Fort Baxter Air Base and on the helipad next to Lance Vance's house in Ocean Beach + an additional $100,000 reward.
  19. If you die or get arrested during a mission and respawn at a hospital or a police station, a taxi can come to your location and drive you back to the mission marker, saving you driving time.
    • This still happens in the mobile version even though they have a "quick restart" feature that renders it unnecessary.
  20. The mission Autocide has mocked the Driver series with a character named "Dick Tanner".
  21. You can now buy safehouses and assets. With safehouses you can store more than one or two vehicles this time and with businesses you can complete missions that can unlock the ability to collect revenue.
  22. Import/Export missions return when purchasing the Sunshine Auto company and has 4 lists of cars. However, instead of collecting every car in the game, you only have to collect 5 specific vehicles per list. On top of that, you don't get those vehicles you collect for free, but instead unlock a prize vehicle in the showroom and provide income every list you complete.
  23. A new Rifle Range mini-game. Getting 30 points will award $500. Getting 45 points or more will increase the player's reload rate for all weapons.
  24. In the Japanese release, it has two exclusive Tommy skins, while other regions/countries have none.

Bad Qualities

  1. The game sparked heavy controversy by using many racial terms and slang against Cubans and Haitians. So much so that the dialogue was removed in later releases of the PS2, Xbox, and PC versions (and later, The Definitive Edition).
  2. Some missions are extremely difficult and annoying, specifically Death Row (due to difficulty against Diaz's men), The Job (relentless VCPD), Demolition Man (complicated helicopter controls), and the side mission, Hotring (reckless AI, the car's low durability, and the requirement to get 1st place for 100%).
  3. The game features a few occasional glitches and technical issues, some of them infamous for being game-breaking.
    • For instance, saving your game at the Cherry Popper ice cream factory on the PS2 version can actually corrupt your save file.
    • On IOS, force-quitting the game while on a Rampage mission gives you infinite ammo for a weapon (until it gets replaced) but also renders it impossible to complete.
  4. You can't swim, which is especially ironic because of the fact that your character lives near the ocean. Unlike III and Liberty City Stories, there is no explanation for this, and you can indeed swim in Vice City Stories, which reuses much of this game’s assets. The only thing that one can assume is that Tommy doesn't know how to swim, and that Rockstar still wasn't able to implement it out of time constraints.
  5. For the Japanese release published by Capcom, CERO boggled down on the censorship. For example: Disembodied headshots have been removed, the amount of blood was nerfed, references to drugs have been completely silenced and/or cut, and most Candy Suxx scenes or images have been completely removed.
  6. The Xbox version suffers from some chugging during the intro when it's played on the 360.
  7. The PS4 version added trophies and with that the "Take the Cannoli" trophy, easily one of the most time-consuming trophies to earn in the game. Getting it requires getting the criminal rating to Godfather, which you get by getting a million criminal points and having $10 million. Getting points depends on how many people you kill, vehicles you destroy, how much money you have and your accuracy. It would be the last thing that affects how much points you have. If you get any other trophy and play all the missions and get 100% completion, you will more than likely have your accuracy rating low and if you want it, expect to do hundreds of hours of grinding. There are quicker ways to do this, though they will still take several hours before you get it.
  8. The boat controls aren't good due to how sluggish it is to turn them.
  9. Although some problems from GTA III are fixed. It still has problems from GTA III like you can only turn the camera while you're in a first-person view on foot in the console versions. You cannot move the camera at all when you're driving on all versions. The police are still tough to avoid and many glitches are carried over from the previous game
  10. The vertical sensitivity on PC is atrocious and the worst thing is that you cannot change it by default. Thankfully you can fix it with the Silent Patch mod.
  11. There are some inaccuracies for the time period.
    • The M16 from III was replaced by the M4 in this game. The M4 wasn't first issued until 1994, eight years after this game takes place.
      • Subsequent releases of the game have the M4 replaced with a carbine resembling the period-accurate Colt Model 733, which was released one year before the events of the game take place. The M4 model still appears in certain cutscenes, however.
    • The song "A Gozar con Mi Combo" on Espantoso was released in 1994, eight years after this game's events.


Upon release, the game received critical acclaim, with praise particularly directed at its music and gameplay. Vice City became the best-selling video game of 2002 and has sold over 20 million copies.

Considered one of the most significant titles of the sixth generation of video games, it won numerous year-end accolades including Game of the Year awards from several gaming publications.

Game Tips

  • The Shootist and Rifle Range: Focus on the targets that give 2 and 3 points, ignoring the closest one.
  • Drive-by shooting Rampages in PC: Use a motorbike like a Freeway or PCJ 600 as they can shoot forwards. Put a piece of tape (or maybe rubber band) on the mouse's shooting button (default is left click), because your ammo is infinite and you will only need to drive.
  • Use a tank to complete the Vigilante mission.
  • Some tips for hard missions:
  1. Death Row: Try to go inside the junkyard with a vehicle, like a Rhino (appears at the Fort Baxter Base after collecting 90 hidden packages or obtained in the mission Sir, Yes Sir)
    • Practically anything that is a helicopter or can't be damaged by bullets will be able to cheese the mission.
      • If the enemy comets are annoying, a heavier vehicle works better, should Crash-proof vehicles are not available.
    • Lance's HP stops dropping if he is rescued but he can still die from external damage.
  2. Gun Runner: Use a Rhino, as it can destroy all enemy vehicles in a single hit.
    • Note that the mission doesn't fail if the vehicles get too far, and the Waltons have a unique paint-job that isn't seen anywhere else, so they're worth collecting. You need to destroy the Waltons for the mission to pass, however.
  3. The Driver: Doing a PIT Maneuver on Hilary's Sabre Turbo will help you very much as the provided Sentinel is way too slow. It should be noted that if you manage to flip the Sabre Turbo over, it won't catch fire and won't explode, and will respawn if you get too far away from it. While it's flipped over, it's the ideal time for you to get a faster car like an Infernus or you can pick up the PCJ-600 from the left of the hotel.
  4. The Job: Look at the road before running to the bank, as the cars only stop when you're the one in front of them and will have no difficult in roadkilling Phil or Cam. The ambulances won't stop even if you're the one in their front. When the SWAT arrives, just crouch where you're supposed to and kill the soldier who spawns near you. Phil will kill them all in a matter of seconds. When you're out of the bank, kill responding SWAT officers and destroy their Enforcers, as they can pull you out of your getaway vehicle. You don't need to use the Taxi to escape and practically as long as you can lose your wanted level any vehicle is fine..
  5. Keep Your Friends Close: If you are bad at shooting, get the adrenaline pill on the roof. This slows down time, giving you about two minutes or so to shoot accurately at the mafia members coming into your mansion or use a good weapon like M60.
    • You can destroy the 3 limos outside of the mansion if you want to as this cuts off their spawns, but be sure to save one copy for yourself due to their unique color.
  6. There are a couple of ways to get the Take the Cannoli trophy on the PS4 version.
    • The Hyman Condo Method, which has you parking four Sea Sparrow helicopters in the Hyman condo garage and then getting three helicopters together on the roof of the same building and spam the blow up all vehicles cheat until you earn the achievement.
    • The Sea Sparrow method, where it's best to start a new game. This trick exploits the glitch for accuracy. Once you start the new game, you collect 80 packages to unlock the Sea Sparrow at the Vercetti estate (despite how it's still Diaz's property) and then get a gun and fire 100 shots as accuracy doesn't count until 100 shots have been fired. Then take the Sea Sparrow to the film studio and have the Sparrow fire at the Packer truck (even after it's destroyed) as it won't count for shots fired but for shots hit and put a rubber band over the fire button on the controller until it unlocks. And as for money, just keep replaying Cone Crazy until you reach $10 million.


  • Tommy Vercetti and Claude (who is silent) are the only GTA protagonists to never say "fuck". In fact, the word is only seen twice in the game, both on posters for "Chicks with Guns 1 and 2", and not in any spoken dialogue.
  • Kent Paul wears the exact same shirt as Tommy, but red.
  • There's a huge glitch in Japanese version which skips the entire asset mission part of the game.
  • In the VCN building, near the Maverick, is a nonsolid wall that when you jump into it, a literal Easter egg is in the room, saying Happy Easter.
  • At certain hours, the Chariot Hotel's lights form in the shape of a phallus, and a little while later, the top of the building sprays water, making it "ejaculate".



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