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5 reasons why GTA Vice City is one of the most iconic titles in the series

GTA Vice City, released in 2002, was perhaps one of the best follow-ups to an instant classic (Image via Rockstar Games)
GTA Vice City, released in 2002, was perhaps one of the best follow-ups to an instant classic (Image via Rockstar Games)
Rahul Bhushan
ANALYST
Modified 27 Apr 2021
Feature

GTA Vice City continues to dominate conversations surrounding the GTA franchise, and rightfully so. The game has not only been able to stand the test of time but has also grown in popularity over the years. It is, therefore, no surprise that fans have been clamoring for a return to Vice City in a future sequel.

GTA Vice City, released in 2002, was perhaps one of the best follow-ups to an instant classic as it improved on virtually all fronts.

There are a lot of reasons why GTA Vice City became massively popular. Here's a look at a few of them.

5 reasons why GTA Vice City is one of the best games in the GTA franchise

#1 The soundtrack

GTA Vice City has the coolest soundtrack in the GTA franchise. Nothing comes close to the nostalgia of listening to a familiar song that was present on the Vice City soundtrack.

The game has one of the best collections of 80s music. Not only restricted to synth-pop bangers, Rockstar Games went to great lengths to secure rights to rock, metal, world and reggae acts. This resulted in one of the most electric soundscapes for a video game.

#2 Retrowave

Somewhere after 2010, Retrowave, as a subculture, took off in a massive way, giving rise to plenty of Retrowave-influenced media. Short films such as Kung Fury and video games such as Hotline Miami led the charge on the retrowave movement, but it was GTA Vice City that was way ahead of its time.

It felt like GTA Vice City had capitalized on a trend that would come into existence a whole decade after its release. As a result, the game became massively popular in the modern day. Instead of impairing the experience, its age only added to the quality of GTA Vice City.

#3 Iconic characters and actors

Early in the 2000s, Rockstar took a much different approach to the way they acquired talent to voice the characters in the game.

The studio elected to bring in massive Hollywood talent to star in their games, which led to an additional dose of charm.

The main cast includes the iconic Ray Liotta as Tommy Vercetti, Luis Guzman as Diaz, William Fichtner as Ken Rosenberg, and Danny Trejo as Umberto Robina. GTA Vice City is packed with tons of other great cameos from the likes of Burt Reynolds and Phil Collins.

#4 Movie influences

It is quite easy to see where GTA Vice City draws its inspiration from. The game is so influenced by Scarface that exact locations from the movie, such as Ocean Drive, were put right into the game. Even the Vercetti Estate is an exact replica of Tony Montana's mansion in Scarface.

Scarface has its handprints all over Vice City, but rather than feeling derivative, the game ends up feeling more charming for it. Many games have fallen into the trap of getting too mixed up in their influences and failing to have an identity of their own.

This isn't a problem that GTA Vice City has since the game has plenty of personality of its own.

#5 Vice City

In an era of detailed modern-day open-world games, Vice City stands out as one of the best ever virtual cities ever created.

The entire city seems to be under a thick layer of neon, giving it an almost dreamy vibe during nighttime. The game benefits a ton from this exotic Miami-inspired city.

From its unique art style to its period-accurate architecture, each part of Vice City has a ton of personality that players fell in love with.

Published 27 Apr 2021
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