Generally favorable reviews - based on 50 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 46 out of 50
  2. Negative: 0 out of 50
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  1. Official Playstation 2 Magazine UK
    Not only is this the greatest game on PSP, it also leaves a large percentage of the PS2 back catalogue looking ordinary. But it right now. [Dec 2006, p.76]
  2. Play UK
    Better than "Liberty City Stories" in every single way, Vice City Stories is an astonishing achievement and one of the best games of the year on any system. [Issue #147, p.66]
  3. PSM Magazine
    Then along comes Vice City Stories, a game that exceeds all our expectations. [Dec. 2006, p.68]
  4. Vice City Stories won’t make you a believer in the franchise if you didn’t understand why people play Grand Theft Auto so avidly. However, for the millions of us that do, having a new story and an excuse to spend more time in Vice City is more than enough.
  5. If "Liberty City Stories" was the reason you should buy a PSP, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories is the reason you need a PSP.
  6. PSM3 Magazine UK
    While Vice City Stories is just as important a chapter in the GTA saga as any, it's another re-tread of the ageing GTA3 game engine. The missions feel familiar and so do the driving and the save system - they're all remnants of a six-year-old game, after all. Upstart "Scarface" feels fresher...But this is top-drawer entertainment. [Dec 2006, p.68]
  7. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories doesn’t attempt to reinvent the formula, but it does offer you a fantastic action/adventure game full of memorable characters, fun missions and great music.
  8. Vice City Stories is topped off with killer ad-hoc multiplayer for up to six people, which lets you tear it up on foot or in cars, helicopters and boats across 10 different modes. While these matches tend to get choppy, they'll keep you playing long after you've finished the game's lengthy storyline - as will all the hidden nooks, unlockable vehicles and dozens of optional tasks scattered around the city.
  9. 90
    Essentially more of the same, for better or for worse. It's a nice leap over what we saw in last year's release of Liberty City Stories, but it still feels "safe" by many standards.
  10. 90
    It's a shame Rockstar chose not to fix obvious flaws that have been called out repeatedly, but the weight of the total experience more than counterbalances this disappointment, making PSP owners, however briefly, the envy of those in the portable war.
  11. Obviously more attuned with the PSP hardware, Rockstar has topped last year's excellent "Liberty City Stories" with a GTA sporting as many thrills, action and now-famous witty dialogue as the series has ever seen.
  12. The loading times on the PSP may test your patience, but this is a game entertaining enough to make it worth the wait.
  13. Vice City Stories is an amazing game, and one I would wholeheartedly recommend, (a lot of work has gone into it, despite the fact that the city has undergone few changes from the original) but I hope that for the upcoming (if you can wait a year) "GTA IV" we see enough of a change to refresh the genre and franchise, because the games are great, but starting to seem quite samey.
  14. The mediocre plot, and control limitations keep it from being the groundbreaking experience it always is on the bigger systems.
  15. Okay, so there’s nothing majorly new here, but if this isn’t a game to showcase the PSP and spur on other developers, we just don’t know what is.
  16. Like all the Grand Theft Auto experiences, Vice City Stories offers fun gameplay, an excellent story with hours of enjoyment wrapped up on a little UMD.
  17. AceGamez
    While Vice City Stories may strike you as being formulaic and unoriginal, know that the similarities are merely skin deep; dig a little deeper and you'll discover an experience with the kind of production values, Rockstar-gloss and utter playability that the GTA titles are reputed for.
  18. Stunning graphics, awesome soundtrack and top notch story combine to make this one of the year’s must have titles and not just for the PSP.
  19. I chuckled a little less, partly because the game does have a little more of a bite to it (the change in political climate probably has something to do with it), but I still enjoyed the portable version of Vice City every bit as much as the PS2 version.
  20. Official U.S. Playstation Magazine
    Like last year's game, VCS impresses like few other games on the PSP. [Jan. 2007, p.90]
  21. Pelit (Finland)
    An entertaining digital playground/action-adventure. Do whatever you want, whenever you want, as long as it is something criminal. [Jan 2007]
  22. Pure Magazine UK
    Some minor issues inherent in all GTA games don't really spoil another slice of ciminal mayhem.
  23. Another GTA added on to and upgraded. If you like GTA then you will like this game. If you’re tired of the series then maybe you should sit this one out.
  24. If you’re not expecting a total overhaul to the GTA franchise with Vice City Stories, you won’t be disappointed. The story may be different but not so the gameplay. It’s familiar territory for all of us, but one that definitely begging to be revisited.
  25. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    The whole of what's here still stuns in the uncompromising GTA way, putting it--with sister game "Liberty City Stories"--leagues above anything else on the PSP. [Jan. 2007, p.108]
  26. This game is a ton of fun, and feels like a definite improvement to some of GTA’s core elements. Rather than just smush a GTA game onto the PSP, it seems like some thought was put into this one specifically to make it a great handheld game.
  27. Either way, if you enjoyed most GTA games but felt like Liberty City Stories was just missing a few too many features, then you'll really get into GTA Vice City Stories.
  28. One can’t help but have the feeling that the series needs something new. The Empire system in this game adds a little bit, but it’s nothing revolutionary, and only provides a distraction from the same old gameplay. This “same old gameplay”, though, is darn good.
  29. While Rockstar Leeds has taken steps to improve the targeting, there are far too many times when large-scale conflicts play out like an absolute mess. Also, if you’ve played all the GTA games, you’ll recognize too many of the same old mission types that we’ve done dozens of times in the past (I’m seriously never giving a hooker a ride again).
  30. 85
    One of the best games on the PSP. It's a step up from Vice City and little enhancements make the game a thoroughly enjoyable portable title.
  31. Games Master UK
    A superb technical achievement, but it's GTA's quirks and cranks that linger longer. [Christmas 2006, p.74]
  32. What VCS does to make things a bit more interesting when off the beaten path of the core story missions is to introduce a new gameplay dynamic in the form of an Empire building system.
  33. Vice City Stories is more like a sidestep for the GTA franchise--it's a great deal of typical GTA fun, but doesn't really move the series forward in any meaningful way.
  34. A playground of totally '80s excess worth revisiting, especially with such ballsy satirists at the cigarette boat's helm.
  35. 80
    The driving is fine, made just a bit more difficult with the PSP's analog nub, but the shooting is very problematic thanks to the twitchy and unreliable lock-on system the series has become famous for.
  36. While some of the missions frustrate thanks to the clunky GTA controls, the game's sense of style, the 100-plus-song soundtrack and knee-slapping sense of humor make Vice City Stories a nice place to (re)visit.
  37. While this particular GTA game wouldn't inspire me to sit in my bedroom at night trying to make animated squish graphics to put on the top of my website, it's still happily one of the best games on the PSP, and well worth looking into if you still haven't hit your GTA ceiling.
  38. Vice City Stories is a much richer and well-rounded experience than its predecessor, though the addition of Wi-Fi Infrastructure mode is something that the series is crying out for.
  39. An improvement over its predecessor in almost every area and as such the new lord of free-roaming gangster simulations – there's nothing to match it on PSP. But the narrative feels a little undercooked.
  40. 80
    Vice City Stories could have used some story clean-up and some tweaking to make the lock-on system work better for the user. As is, however, it's a good piece of 80's fun wrapped around an already solid engine.
  41. A fun, action-packed extension of Rockstar's lauded series that deserves play. Even though it possesses graphical shortcomings and tried-and-true gameplay, it's still enjoyable and worth picking up.
  42. An impressive PSP game and a considerable improvement over the first GTA outing on the system.
  43. games(TM)
    Vice City Stories, for all its frustration and lack of genuine originality is a sterling piece of work. If this is Grand Theft Auto III's swansong, then it could not have received a more fitting send-off. [Christmas 2006, p.102]
  44. 80
    The game makes no attempt to advance the gameplay or design of the series—it’s simply a smaller version of the original "Grand Theft Auto: Vice City."
  45. 75
    The game is gritty and dull to a fault and it doesn't have the same sense of humor that made the past titles so entertaining. What humor there is tends to be painfully blunt - the first four hours are like one long un-funny redneck joke, for example.
  46. As you cruise around the city lights, it’s hard not to look forward to a "San Andreas Stories," but in the meantime running drugs and running over pedestrians in Miami is one more crime spree you won’t want to miss.
  47. 72
    The familiarity of Vice City Stories also breeds a clawing sense of stagnancy, and the lack of a second analogue stick - while patched - does leave a rent in the application of the gameplay control.
  48. Edge Magazine
    For those who favour Vice City above all else from GTA's back catalogue, it's the perfect 80's revival: a chance to live in the past, and love it. [Christmas 2006, p.80]
  49. It’s hard to rate this game, as it is meaty, contains a gameplay formula that people are used to (despite its lumps), and contains just enough good to counter the bad.
  50. The pressure of following in the footsteps of one of the console’s greatest successes seems to have removed any sense of humour from the game.

Awards & Rankings

#1 Most Discussed PSP Game of 2006
#1 Most Shared PSP Game of 2006
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 299 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 27 out of 299
  1. Nov 7, 2011
    This is one of the best games on the PSP because it has so much to do. The missions are so great that you'll want to replay the missions moreThis is one of the best games on the PSP because it has so much to do. The missions are so great that you'll want to replay the missions more than once. The open world is also large and fun to explore. Full Review »
  2. Oct 2, 2011
    Considering that it's on PSP, this has to be the best game for portable consoles. There's a lot of content for a handheld title, and despiteConsidering that it's on PSP, this has to be the best game for portable consoles. There's a lot of content for a handheld title, and despite the game seeming cheap and not as good as the original vice city, VC Stories still delivers a great GTA experience that's fun. Full Review »
  3. Jan 20, 2012
    100% PS2 games were ported to PSP and it was same as PS2,OMG, did do impossible thing for PSP and it was brutally fun and100% PS2 games were ported to PSP and it was same as PS2,OMG, did do impossible thing for PSP and it was brutally fun and definitely worth money than you could. Full Review »