Despite being set in the 80's, GTA Vice City remains a vintage classic; it's no wonder the GTA series makes several references to it.
GTA Vice City is a memorable throwback to the coke-fueled schemes of criminal drug lords. The 80's were a crazy time to be alive. With a colorful set of characters and classic songs, Vice City will forever be remembered by GTA fans. Rockstar Games also shares this sentiment.
Before and after the release of GTA Vice City, the development team made sure to sprinkle a few references to it. A few of these are easy to spot, as long as the players know where to look. Vice City is a major crime destination, so it makes sense the GTA series would look back to this location.
Five times GTA Vice City was referenced in the GTA series
#5 - GTA 3 advertises Vice City on a billboard
Francis International Airport is the first of its kind in the GTA series. Before GTA 3 players can enter the airport, however, they will be greeted with a series of billboards. One of the advertisements is rather interesting:
"See you in Miami"
When GTA 3 was first released in late 2001, Rockstar Games had already begun development for the next game - GTA Vice City. No doubt this billboard was a little teaser for the upcoming game, which was set in a Miami-inspired location.
Vice City was originally planned to be a mission pack for GTA 3. However, the development team thought the better of it and made it into a fully-fledged game. The rest is history.
#4 - San Andreas sees the return of multiple characters
For one reason or another, several characters in Vice City have moved out into the San Andreas state. This ranges from major players like Ken Rosenberg and Kent Paul to minor characters like Dwayne and Jethro.
Carl Johnson goes out of his way to help them out. In return, they assist him in his business ventures, such as vehicle maintenance and the music industry.
Unfortunately, Tommy Vercetti was unable to make it into the game due to financial disputes. He is only mentioned in the introduction movie and a few missions.
#3 - Candy Suxxx appears in San Andreas safehouses
Candy Suxxx made her name in the porn industry, becoming one of the biggest stars in GTA history. Tommy Vercetti made sure of that when he took over the InterGlobal Studios.
Inside the safehouses of GTA San Andreas, players can find pictures of her during a porn shoot. CJ must really like her, considering they are everywhere in these safehouses. On a related note, Candy Suxxx also appears as a billboard on the Old Venturas Strip.
Funny enough, there is censorship within the Japanese version of GTA San Andreas. Likely due to the sexual content of her photos, they are outright replaced. Instead, Japanese players get to enjoy pictures of flowers and kittens.
#2 - Vice City FM in Ballad of Gay Tony
One of the GTA 4 DLC episodes, Ballad of Gay Tony, pays homage to the 80's soundtrack of Vice City. It offers a wide selection of famous songs from that era, which include "Maneater" by Hall and Oates.
Vice City FM is one of the favorite radio stations of Tony Prince, the titular character. The Ballad of Gay Tony is to GTA 4 what Vice City was to GTA 3 - a lighter version of a criminally dark perspective
Fernando Martinez also made a return - he now hosts the radio station. Unfortunately, his lustful personality and love-making obsession has proved detrimental to him. Society no longer tolerates his actions like they did back in the 80's (at least openly).
#1 - The Twins appear in various GTA titles
Although GTA Vice City players may not know their names, they would likely recognize the Twins. Both of these scantily-clad women are greatly featured in promotional artwork for the game. They also appear in the Malibu Club and Pole Position, where they were as bartenders/strippers respectively.
Within the poverty-stricken streets of GTA 4, players can find several graffiti walls. One of the Twins will make an appearance here. GTA 5 also references them in the form of a Los Santos advertisement.
Notably, GTA Online allows players to purchase a painting in their Master Penthouse. One of these paintings is known as Vices, which features one of the Twins.
For the cost of 7,500 casino chips, players can adorn their penthouse with this art piece. It's relatively cheap in comparison to other works.
Note: This article reflects the writer's personal views.