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GTA San Andreas vs. Vice City: Which game has stood the test of time better?

Image via David Games
Image via David Games
ANALYST
Modified 14 Jan 2021, 12:59 IST
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GTA San Andreas and Vice City are both beloved titles. A comparison of these titles often leads to fans wondering which game stood the test of time better.

Both titles were heavily praised after their release. Even today, some fans adore the series citing either one as their favorite to play. It's important to divide the two games into categories when analyzing which title stood the test of time better.

The categories of analysis are graphics, sound, story, gameplay, and miscellaneous factors. General perception plays a significant role in deciding the favorability of a game as audience reception is generally more valued than a critic's rating. To preface this article, it's important to note that both games are still playable an quite engaging after all this time.



GTA San Andreas or Vice City: Which one stood the test of time better?

Both titles are popular in 2021. In terms of sheer popularity, more players play GTA San Andreas, so it edges out quantitatively. But it's important to discuss why a game like GTA San Andreas might be more popular. That where evaluating the quality between the two games comes into focus.

Graphics

Image via Pixellation Magazine
Image via Pixellation Magazine

Graphics is arguably the weakest domain for these two games. While their graphics were acceptable for the time, neither GTA San Andreas nor Vice City has stood the test of time in terms of their graphics (mods notwithstanding).

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That's not to say that either game is attrocious to play. These games won't hurt the player's eyes and they offer some visually appealing things from time-to-time. However, some players are obsessed with high-quality graphics and these titles won't bring them to come back.

In terms of comparing visually, most fans would argue for GTA San Andreas' superiority over Vice City. While the two games are not radically different, GTA San Andreas has a more diverse locale (Los Santos, San Fierro, Las Venturas, and all of the related countryside).

Audio

Image via Rockstar Games
Image via Rockstar Games

The audio in both games stands in complete contrast to the graphics. The voice acting is great, the music is terrific, and the sound effects are on-point. With their audio, both games can easily stand the test of time.

But it's a close call for which game fares better. GTA San Andreas might be more popular but GTA Vice City arguably has the better soundtrack. As a result, the choice becomes a matter of player preference. Although, GTA Vice City's edges out in front in this department.

Story

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Image via GTA Wiki
Image via GTA Wiki

Both GTA San Andreas and GTA Vice City have a memorable storyline that engages the player from start-to-end. Both games execute the story well although they have noticeably different storylines. As a result, the main missions and side missions for both stand the test of time.

Some fans might find GTA Vice City less original thanks to its obvious homage to Scarface. If originality is important to the player, then GTA San Andreas fares better given its original plot.

Outside of the originality factor, some players prefer GTA San Andreas story as it's more relatable. The positive and goofy vibes of this game also helps its case compared to GTA Vice City's tone. Since characterization is included within this aspect, this category is another matter of player preference. For the sake of clarity, GTA Andreas stood the test of time more than GTA Vice City due to the aforementioned attributes.

Gameplay

Image via Version Museum
Image via Version Museum

The gameplay is a divisive category for GTA fans. Some don't like the style of San Andreas and Vice City as the gameplay feels archaic compared to GTA IV and V. Others believe that these games held up well. The overall opinion on gameplay is a mixed bag.

There are some noticeable differences between GTA Vice City and GTA San Andreas. The latter has significantly more customizable features such as clothing and hair options, in-game partners, customizable cars, safehouses to enter, martial arts etc. By comparison, GTA Vice City is linear. This makes GTA San Andreas stand the test of time better because it allows for replayability.

Miscellaneous factors

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Image via Lutris
Image via Lutris

Mods are an often underlooked aspect about helping a game stand the test of time. Since GTA San Andreas is one of the most modified games of all time, it is undeniably the winner in this category. There's always a new way to experience GTA San Andreas.

There are new maps, new weapons, new characters, new missions, and so on. These factors alone make San Andreas stand the test of time better. There are other mods to consider, such as San Andreas Multiplayer (GTA SAMP), which offers an experience similar to GTA Online.

Verdict

Image via Rockstar Games
Image via Rockstar Games

While both GTA titles have stood the test of time in their own way, San Andreas is undeniably better-suited to modern generations from an objective standpoint. GTA San Andreas and Vice City are excellent games and thus highly recommended to gamers who might not have experienced either. Nonetheless, an analysis mandates a conclusion. All things considered, GTA San Andreas is the game that stood the test of time better.

Published 14 Jan 2021, 12:59 IST
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