Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 37
  2. Negative: 0 out of 37
Buy On
  1. Play UK
    As a PSP game this was truly exceptional. As a PS2 release it's not as technically impressive, but still represents fantastic value for money. [Issue #92, p.92]
  2. 90
    As ever, there are some issues with the combat system -- but this doesn't outweigh the overall quality, or the fact that you are getting one hell of a lot of game for a penny shy of 20 bucks.
  3. GTA: Vice City Stories might be more of what we love, but at least love is still the operative word here. And love it you should.
  4. The experience is a great deal more entertaining than the previous effort (Liberty City Stories), so if you enjoyed Vice City for the PS2 and don’t own a PSP, go ahead and pick this one up.
  5. Games Master UK
    It lacks the vitality it once had, but Vice City is still one of the best open-ended worlds. [Apr 2007, p.74]
  6. PSM Magazine
    But hey, at $20, it's hard to go wrong, even if you've played it already. [May 2007, p.81]
  7. While dated graphics and an overall air of familiarity may turn off some, the sheer amount of fun activities coupled with the budget price make for a heartily recommended adventure.
  8. For 20 notes, though, you can't really complain. Played the PSP version to death? Leave this on the shop shelf. But if you're looking for a sunny spot to fritter away the hours until you get a PS3, then GTA is still the only vacation we'd recommend.
  9. Playstation Official Magazine UK
    Luckily, the standard of presentation on Stories is as high as it's ever been, from the first rate acting right down to the epoch-defining soundtrack. Try not grinning idiotically as you attempt to time a unique jump in a powder-blue convertible to the chorus of "Easy Lover."[Apr 2007, p.94]
  10. Vice City Stories is an impressive PSP game but a less impressive PlayStation 2 title. It's not a great port but with another PS2-only GTA being highly unlikely, fans yet to enter the PSP market should find a highly enjoyable game.
  11. Admittedly, the PS2 is never going to be home to revolutionary ideas at this stage (particularly a PSP conversion), but even at a budget-price you have to ask yourself whether the appeal of the story and returning to Vice City is worth stepping back in time to a game that's the equivalent of a straight-to-DVD release.
  12. AceGamez
    The PS2 version is cheap and cheerful, it's a lot easier to control than the PSP version and for those people who loved Vice City and want an excuse to go back, well, Stories is your reason.
  13. Official Playstation 2 Magazine UK
    If you don't own VCS on PSP, there's nothing stopping you from enjoying this. [Apr 2007, p.92]
  14. It’s expansive, fun, challenging and most of the time, plain hilarious. Yet, concurrently, it’s also in dire need of a makeover and the combat system could do with a refined dusting.
  15. We were huge fans of VCS when we were able to carry it around in our pocket, but the PS2 version is definitely lacking some necessary optimization.
  16. While this latest entry is definitely a step back for the series, it still has most of the hallmarks of solid action and inappropriate behavior that have always been so much fun in the series.
  17. Vice City fans might have fun with the game for a while, returning to familiar haunts one last time, but ultimately Vice City Stories is a great handheld game through and through, and this PS2 port does little more than emphasise the difference between the formats.
  18. Pelit (Finland)
    Same old GTA with an uninteresting plot and lame characters, but it is still pretty fun. The soundtrack is superb. [Apr 2007]
  19. 75
    While the game stood tall on the PSP, its PlayStation 2 port seems weak in comparison when you look at the other options on the system. It's still fun, to be sure, but it just feels like a sloppy port.
  20. 75
    Although it may not be without its problems, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories is still an incredibly fun and highly recommended experience.
  21. Although the game feels like GTA Lite in many respects, it still is a GTA game, with GTA humor and gameplay infused into it and it's hard to beat the $20 price tag. Just don't pick up Vice City Stories expecting anything new.
  22. The lack of multiplayer that was so proudly distributed on the PSP is long gone on the PS2 version and players who already played the previous version will see no reason to pick up this title as well, as it offers nothing new in terms of actual gameplay.
  23. Like Liberty City Stories before it, Vice City Stories isn't nearly as appealing as a PS2 game, but it's still got worthwhile qualities.
  24. If you missed it on the PSP (or just hated the controls), then it's absolutely worth grabbing, but don't expect anything revolutionary.
  25. If you're dying for a new GTA game, then VCS is worth picking up for a mere $20. But be aware that this is just more of the same GTA that we've played for years, with nothing much new in the way of gameplay elements.
  26. The graphics show clear signs of being rushed and Rockstar removed the multiplayer modes.
  27. A crap port of a great game is still a crap port. The good game part helps, yes, but when everything about the way the game plays on the PS2 feels like a rush job, it doesn't really instill a feeling of satisfaction -- if if the game is only $20.
  28. Rockstar continues to milk the GTA franchise with this PS2 port off the handheld original. Decent choice for those who want to complete their GTA gaming library.
  29. What was once so amazing barely conjures excitement on PlayStation 2.
  30. 70
    Vice City Stories is a fun game that lets you jump into right into the action, but don't expect anything special or new from this game.
  31. It might be cheap, and it might have more content than Liberty City Stories, and it has gaming audio to die for, but, on balance, Rockstar has milked the flaccid teat of its cash cow to the limit.
  32. 60
    This is clearly a port in the wrong direction. The PSP visuals that looked great on the small screen now look terrible, and visual glitches and shortcomings flood the screen.
  33. Pure Magazine UK
    One conversion too far, a game that is much more at home on the PSP than its bigger brother. [May 2007, p.71]
  34. 60
    As lacklustre as Vice City Stories is, there’s no denying that it effectively replicates the core genius of the GTA series in a way no other sandbox action title can. Presumably the last GTA on the PS2, you’ll leave it thinking that it was a missed opportunity rather than a poor experience.
  35. But it's also got all the quirky baggage of the other GTA games – control issues, mediocre graphics and, this time, a story that falls short of the bar set by others in the series. It also doesn't include the multiplayer modes found on the PSP version, but there are helicopters. Life as a drug dealer is full of tradeoffs.
  36. Just pop in one of the old games – or any one of their numerous clones from the past few years – and it’ll probably be more worthwhile.
  37. The odd moments of joy don’t warrant sitting through the rest of the tedium and broken mechanics for. This cash cow has been well and truly milked.

Awards & Rankings

#8 Most Discussed PS2 Game of 2007
#5 Most Shared PS2 Game of 2007
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 109 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 71 out of 109
  2. Negative: 5 out of 109
  1. Apr 5, 2012
    better on psp but still amazing fun not as good as previous instalments but still great controlls. traditional gta madness. fun as ever greatbetter on psp but still amazing fun not as good as previous instalments but still great controlls. traditional gta madness. fun as ever great cast and fun story Full Review »
  2. Feb 17, 2019
    As I already wrote about this game (only about PSP), PS2 graphics and other elements are better, but again not the level of the game at theAs I already wrote about this game (only about PSP), PS2 graphics and other elements are better, but again not the level of the game at the time of release (considering which games were released in the release year of Gta VCS for PS2) and yes, I'm talking about graphics, but so be it.
    I would like to add a few more words to my review. Gameplay and difficulty in games is better than in GTA VC, but the plot and the hero himself (more or less) are worse, but not by much.
    The new antagonists are different, but it’s a pity that Mendesam had so little time for the game (especially Diego), but the same Westerman is very good. In general, the secondary characters came out very good.
    Probably the biggest minus in the game, it's bugs, lags and similar unpleasant things in games (think about the controls on the PSP ...).
    But yes.
    Full Review »
  3. Sep 28, 2015
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. Better On PSP But Still Amazing Fun Not As Good As Previous Instalments But Still Great Controlls Traditional Grand Theft Auto Madness. Fun As Ever Great Cast And Fun Story. Full Review »