Universal acclaim - based on 62 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 62 out of 62
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 62
  3. Negative: 0 out of 62
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  1. 100
    No excuses, you’re gonna have to buy this. Unless you don’t own a PS2, in which case, get out of our Internet!
  2. 100
    One immaculate game. Granted the graphics can be blurry and the missions too frustrating at times - but this is still what consoles were invented for.
  3. 100
    The gameplay in Vice City is more addictive than ever, except now there's twice as much of nearly everything that made the first game so great—more streets, more cars (and other vehicles), more cool missions, more awesome street life.
  4. AceGamez
    The best action title on PS2.
  5. A worthy sequel to a great game! As close to perfection as I can possibly think of!
  6. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    As big as "GTA3" is, Vice City dwarfs it in almost every way. (Greg) ... The graphical improvements are subtle but effective. (Che) ... An instant classic. (Milkman)[Dec 2002, p.204]
  7. Official U.S. Playstation Magazine
    The game will twist and turn, surprise and captivate, and surpass any expectations you might have conjured up...The PS2's defining title. [Dec 2002, p.154]
  8. GameNow
    You simply must find a way to play it. [Jan 2003, p.44]
  9. The one thing most critics don't seem to get, is that this game isn't loved because of it's violence...What makes this game so popular and loved among gamers is it's freedom.
  10. Follow-ups that come this quickly are not supposed to be this rewarding, which makes Vice City a remarkable achievement at a time when companies are all too willing to release so-called sequels with only a few tweaks and cosmetic changes.
  11. 100
    They've managed to improve the game without changing its heart, and provided their millions of fans with a fantastic new experience. GTA: Vice City is a must buy for any adult PS2 owner with a pulse.
  12. GMR Magazine
    There's something indescribably cool about cruising Vice City's beach strip while rocking to "Billie Jean." [Feb 2003, p.92]
  13. Entertainment Weekly
    Helicopters make traversing the 13-section city a breeze, and there is a superb collection of motorcycles for Vercetti to fire an Uzi from. [1 Nov 2002, p.76]
  14. You’ll be sold the second you get into a gang bang with the song “Beat It” playing in the background. It just doesn’t get any better than that.
  15. The massive amount of new features sets this game miles apart from "GTA: 3" - everything from interior locations, the combat, the graphics to the car handling has been improved, making this into a totally brilliant game.
  16. The missions are a lot more complex then they were in GTA3, which means you will get more into the character as well as the plot, which means even more fun.
  17. The depth of this game is unparalleled; there are hordes of side quests and missions and cool little easter eggs. You need to follow the main story in order to open up the whole city and gain access to property acquisition, but you can still spend hours just wandering around getting into trouble.
  18. Game Informer
    Vice City doesn't just match the magic of "GTA III"; it bests it in every way possible. [Dec 2002, p.104]
  19. You can literally do anything you imagine. You can kill police officers, civilians; pick up hookers, etc with more than forty weapons at your disposal you will be frothing at the mouth. This game truly is a winner in the gameplay department.
  20. Manages to meld a great story, serious action, and limitless gameplay to produce one of the best games of all time.
  21. This is a long game, longer than GTA3 because there are far more missions in this game in a far larger area.
  22. The open-ended nature of the game design almost rivals those persistent world games like "EverQuest." You can literally lose yourself in the world of Vice City.
  23. Often comical and always brutal, this is a game that isn’t afraid to get its hands dirty and gamers will absolutely love it for that.
  24. The best and most ambitious game of the year, and it is also one that everyone should play before Lieberman gets his old throat to Congress.
  25. It's one of the best games of the year, no doubt, and anybody who denies the game that much is a tree-smoking psychopath.
  26. 97
    It's enormous, packed with an immense amount of gameplay, and it's a truly unique gameplay experience...This year's most impressive title, by a log shot.
  27. Visually, Vice City is truly amazing, portraying a living, breathing city with unbelievable depth. Every building, from the lowliest storefront to the largest skyscraper, seems to have its own history, personality and flavor.
  28. The sound design is frickin' phenomenal... [and] this is easily the best soundtrack I've heard in a game.
  29. The gameplay, plot and soundtrack are all outstanding individually, but when blended together create an essential experience...What we're trying to say is this is simply the best videogame GamesMaster has played this century. [GamesMaster]
    Everything about Vice City positively reeks of genius.
  31. Everything that was good about "GTA III" has been multiplied exponentially and injected right into the throbbing veins of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, but many of the problems have been carried over as well.
  32. Provides just about everything you'd want in a follow-up to an outstanding game. It's bigger, badder, and better in almost every imaginable way.
  33. The replay value is basically perfect.
  34. It scores high/perfect in all areas and is pure bliss to play. If you are old enough and you don’t mind dark, dark humor and 80’s nostalgia, then this game is most definitely for you!
  35. It's bigger, badder, and better in almost every imaginable way. The game tells a compelling story and adds enough gameplay content to the formula to engage players who've already played the previous game to death.
  36. The new setting is far more appealing than the modern Liberty City of the original. And it seems more dynamic and interactive also, since players can explore inside buildings and rob businesses, which could not be done in the original.
  37. Everything GTA3 was and so much more. Sweeping improvements have been made in gameplay, graphics and sound over the last incarnation.
  38. And of course, the true beauty of Vice City is total, absolute, glorious freedom...I guess what I am trying to say is this game is REALLY FRICKIN' GOOD.
  39. 95
    A broader, deeper, and more addictive version of the brilliance found in its predecessor. And while it isn't quite perfect and the graphics show some age, it's clearly one of the best games released in 2002.
  40. Contains a lot more of what people loved about GTA3, along with a dream-come-true soundtrack and voice cast, and over twice as many missions.
  41. Funny, unpredictable and astoundingly lacking in moral virtue, Vice City is way, way out there; you'll cherish every outrageous moment.
  42. Rockstar Games have managed to do something very unique for a game: they captured the atmosphere of an era better than most movies could do, and simultaneously managed to pack in a wonderful, open-ended game.
  43. Weekly Famitsu
    10 / 9 / 9 / 9 - 37 platinum [Vol 805; 28 May 2004]
  44. A larger and spicier serving of GTA3 with some minor, though beneficial, trimmings.
  45. 92
    Sure, the controversy is attractive, but Vice City provides a perfect balance between an open-ended game that rewards players for exploring the environment without restrictions, while also handing out specific goals in order to complete the game. Not very many titles strike this balance so succinctly.
  46. There’s not really a grand innovation to the gameplay, and the concept of seeing how much havoc you can cause hasn’t changed much from the last game.
  47. Puts the word sequel to shame. Rockstar Games has really taken the time to put together a game that not only fits in perfectly in the GTA universe, but ups the ante for itself and others as well.
  48. On top of the fine sound effects and voice acting is a soundtrack that's beyond amazing.
  49. netjak
    In essence, Vice City is little more than a GTA3 expansion pack. Still, considering this could have just been a cash cow license like Tomb Raider, Vice City came out surprisingly well.
  50. PSM Magazine
    And it must be said that this game is funny as hell (at tip of the hat to whoever wrote the pee-inducing "Explorer" radio ad.) [Holiday 2002, p.28]
  51. The sound of GTA Vice City is glorious.
  52. While the graphical presentation is more of the same in Vice City, the sound effects and music have been vastly improved.
  53. The weapons targeting system while on foot has gotten a significant upgrade from last years abysmal attempt, however targeting specific people in groups can still be problematic. Also the camera can be a bit confusing while running indoors. Overall, though, GTA:VC is a joy to play.
  54. The seamless amalgamation of all things '80s into the mix lets the creative team go wild with the vocal work and provide an outstanding retro soundtrack.
  55. It’s graphics notwithstanding, this is THE PS2 title XBox and GameCube loyalists will jealously write angrily about to Santa in their Christmas letters.
  56. Every bit as good as we thought it would be – if not better... But don’t expect to be constantly surprised, for much of Vice City is a retread of old ground, and if you didn’t like the last one, then Vice City probably won’t change your mind.
  57. It has the right blend of intense gameplay, an intricate place to explore, several hours of gameplay, a great selection of 80’s era music, a wonderful (if not a little cliched) story, and one of the most memorable antiheroes to ever set foot on the gaming scene.
  58. To me, GTA:VC is same old, same old. Nothing about it screams out to me. Everything I need for any GTA addiction would be found in GTA III. Vice City just takes that title, polishes it and chucks in an 80's theme.
  59. It's a game worth owning, for most, but it's not so revolutionary that it will make converts out of the skeptical. Perhaps in Grand Theft Auto 4. Time will tell.
  60. Play Magazine
    I can't say it's perfect, though, as these models are somewhat archaic (especially for the chicas) by hey, they need something to shoot for. Maybe next time they'll give us a crack at it before "Entertainment Weekly." [Jan 2003, p.79]
  61. The maturation process of the series, and videogames, remain standstill because of the developer’s refusal to move outside racial and social stereotypes, and staying away from certain taboos of popular art, merely suggesting sex and drug use. Compared to what this game could’ve been, this is still kid’s gloves.
  62. 80
    As a game, the technical problems affect gameplay to such a high degree that GTA: VC simply cannot be awarded a 5 out of 5 rating. Progress through the game can become a chore, something that never occurred in "GTA3."

Awards & Rankings

#1 Most Discussed PS2 Game of 2002
#3 Most Shared PS2 Game of 2002
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 1314 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Dec 4, 2012
    I love the 80s and I love Grand Theft Auto. I cum in my pants when I play this. It's that good. Great soundtrack, great story, great graphicsI love the 80s and I love Grand Theft Auto. I cum in my pants when I play this. It's that good. Great soundtrack, great story, great graphics for its time and great gameplay. **** you if you didn't like it when it came out Full Review »
  2. Aug 22, 2012
    This game is my favorite GTA III Era game. It has style, story and big pack of action. I grew on this game (along with GTA3 and GTA SanThis game is my favorite GTA III Era game. It has style, story and big pack of action. I grew on this game (along with GTA3 and GTA San Andreas). One of the best games EVER. Full Review »
  3. Dec 22, 2010
    I think this game kinda sucks. A lot. The graphics suck too, bad. You can't even see they're emotions. Lamest game on the PS2. Don't buy it.I think this game kinda sucks. A lot. The graphics suck too, bad. You can't even see they're emotions. Lamest game on the PS2. Don't buy it. Please just don't buy it. Full Review »