Why GTA Vice City is still one of the most beloved games in the series in 2021

GTA Vice City continues to amaze in 2021 (Image via Polygon)
GTA Vice City continues to amaze in 2021 (Image via Polygon)
Modified 16 Jan 2021

It is no secret; GTA Vice City is still awesome in 2021.

Plenty of games come and go. Some are great for a while but become outdated and outclassed by others within a few years. Like GTA Vice City, the genuinely amazing games can impress gamers and keep their attention even decades after release. Like with all topics related to gaming, personal preference is vital in whether or not a game can be considered good in 2021.

While certain aspects of GTA Vice City may not have aged well, the game's overall package is still fantastic to play. Some fans praise its music and lovable characters, while others love the simple gameplay. Most GTA titles have aged very well in 2021, and GTA Vice City is no different in that regard.

Why GTA Vice City is still awesome in 2021

GTA Vice City is universally praised for its outstanding music. Some players claim 80s music sounds the best, so this game containing some of the best tunes of that decade helps establish itself among its contemporaries.

Even outside of its time bubble, the music is objectively great, helping introduce people to new songs.

Outside of its impressive music is the general audio of the game. The voice acting is excellent (as one would expect from Rockstar Games), and the sound effects sound clean, even in 2021.

Players won't get confused when they hear something going on, as they can typically tell where the sound is coming from and what is causing it.

#1 - Characters

Image via VG247
Image via VG247

Even if Tommy Vercetti may be one of the most ruthless protagonists in GTA history, he is still a fascinating protagonist that the player can't help but support. Sure, he's ruining thousands of lives with his drug empire, but it's not like his enemies are any more sympathetic.

Tommy's allies and antagonists are also a delight to see. Lance Vance is a distraught individual, but his betraying Tommy is in character. Vice City is a ruthless place to live in, and that's reflected in the characters that inhabit the location. Despite this, some of these brutal characters (such as Lance Vance and Ricardo Diaz) can offer comedic moments that may genuinely entertain players.

Image via Redfill
Image via Redfill

Even the minor characters like Love Fist and Candy Suxxx are memorable. Every side mission and asset has a memorable cast that helps endear the player to the world of Vice City.

Of course, some players despise the portrayals of the Haitians and Cubans in the game, so that is one of the few aspects that don't hold up well in 2021.

#2 - Setting

Image via GTA Wiki
Image via GTA Wiki

As mentioned previously, GTA Vice City is a beautiful world. Sure, the graphics are reminiscent of its era. However, vibrant colors and neon lights help this game stand out compared to other games with more dull color palettes.

Not only that, but the locations aren't as empty as larger games (GTA 5 is a massive title by comparison, but some players hate how underused most of the game is).

As per usual for a GTA game, Vice City is home to plenty of safehouses and assets for players to own. They're evenly spread throughout the map, allowing gamers ample opportunities to save. While they cannot save anywhere they please, the option to save in specific locations makes it more appealing than some old games, where players are starved of checkpoints.

#3 - Missions

Image via GTAGeneration
Image via GTAGeneration

Mission variety is essential to the GTA series. If too many missions are just shoot 'em ups, it wouldn't be exciting (especially in 2021).

Thankfully, GTA Vice City is home to several missions. "Keep Your Friends Close..." is an epic one that involves shooting through Sonny Forelli's men and Lance Vance, while "Publicity Tour" consists of the player driving the Love Fist limo around, hoping for the bumbling bandmates to disarm the bomb.

It's not just the main missions that are awesome in 2021; the side missions are equally delightful to play. "The Job" is one of GTA's most beloved missions, as it's one of the founding fathers for the later games' heists. InterGlobal Studios, Print Works, and Kaufman Cabs are prime examples of assets with memorable missions.

Image via GTA Wiki
Image via GTA Wiki

Of course, there are also frustrating missions to annoy players. However, the joy of completing these demanding missions appeals to some players in 2021.

Many games lately have been dumbed down in terms of difficulty. It's why some titles, like Dark Souls, are popular in 2021, as not every gamer wants to be babysat as they play the game.

Compared to other games in the series

Image via Rockstar Games
Image via Rockstar Games

Despite GTA Vice City being released in 2002, it still holds up very well in 2021. Characterization is on par or better than some of the later games in the series. Gameplay-wise, its simplicity helps endear the game to old-school fans.

Musically, it's a matter of taste if a player would enjoy it in 2021 (although it wouldn't be a stretch to say it's the best in the series). There are still dozens of hours to pour into the game so that it won't feel as daunting as GTA 5 or Online, but it also won't feel as limited as GTA 3.

Image via Rockstar Games
Image via Rockstar Games

Rockstar has done a tremendous job making the GTA series feel timeless. Vice City is a fantastic game to play in 2021, and it isn't hyperbole to say it will still be worth playing long after 2021 is over.

In all honesty, there's so much to enjoy in this game that it's not unheard of to hear players replaying it every now and then.

Disclaimer: This list reflects the writer's personal views.

Published 16 Jan 2021
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