Grand Theft Auto: Vice City is still a fan favorite to this day, but is it worth revisiting before the launch of GTA 6?

In GTA 6, Rockstar Games is taking us back to Vice City, an iconic location from the series’ past. Many fans may know that we first explored the Miami-inspired city properly in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, but that wasn’t the only time we’ve been there before.

In fact, Vice City, along with Liberty City and San Andreas, actually made its debut in the first-ever GTA game.

But there’s no better way to revisit the city than in the PS2 classic.

Do You Need to Play Vice City First?

While revisiting the classics is absolutely worth it, you don’t need to play GTA: Vice City before GTA 6.

All GTA games, even those set in the same timelines as one another, can be played as entirely standalone titles. And what’s more, GTA 6 actually takes place in a different universe from the original Vice City!

The upcoming game will take place in the HD universe, a timeline that contains GTA 4, 5, and Chinatown Wars.

GTA Vice City Logo in GTA 6 Building

Meanwhile, Vice City was the second game in Rockstar Games’ 3D universe, which includes every release from GTA 3 to Vice City Stories.

Therefore, there’s no chance of running into classic Vice City characters, such as protagonist Tommy Vercetti, in GTA 6. However, given that they exist in the same universe, it would be possible to encounter characters from GTA 4 or 5.

Should You Play It Anyway?

The original Grand Theft Auto: Vice City is such an iconic piece of GTA history that every franchise fan who hasn’t played it already should do so.

After all, there’s a reason that so many fans got excited at the news that we’d be returning to the iconic city in 2025. And although GTA 6’s map is far, far bigger than the original game’s, we can’t wait to explore Vice Beach once again.

Vice City itself may be small, but it’s vibrant and bursting to the seams with character. The condensed and colorful city doesn’t waste an inch of space, while providing an excellent backdrop to one of the most memorable GTA experiences of all time,.

GTA Vice City Cars

You won’t need to worry about catching up on the story so far either, as GTA 6 will be the first time we’ve visited Vice City in the HD universe. However, the original game’s story is fun to play through, and the setting oozes 80’s style.

In Vice City, players take control of Tommy Vercetti, voiced by the late Ray Liotta (Goodfellas, Field of Dreams). This was the first time that Rockstar had ever given their main character a voice, and it helped make Tommy one of the greatest GTA protagonists of all time.

Despite coming out just one year after GTA 3, the first-ever 3D Grand Theft Auto game, Vice City somehow crushed all expectations.

And we’d argue that it still holds up as a great game today – as well as a must-play experience for any fan of the franchise.

And Don’t Forget Vice City Stories

But if you’ve played the original Vice City and still want more, don’t miss out on GTA: Vice City Stories! This prequel to Vice City was first released on the PSP in 2006, before being ported to the PS2 in March the following year.

In Vice City Stories, we play as Victor Vance, a character briefly seen in the opening of Vice City. This is also the first game in the 3D timeline chronologically, and one of the earliest settings for a GTA game ever.

Victor Vance in GTA
Victor Vance in Vice City Stories (Left) and Vice City (Right)

Given that the game was released four years after the original, it could be a better way to experience the Miami-inspired location.

After all, the city is far more detailed in the prequel, with a greater draw distance and new additions to the weapon and vehicle roster. Of course, with the release of Vice City – The Definitive Edition in 2021, the original Vice City has had a major facelift itself!

But if you’re looking for more games to scratch that itch, we’ve compiled a list of the best games like Grand Theft Auto to play while we wait for GTA 6 to release.

Managing Editor
With almost a decade of experience in video game journalism, Max is a well-versed writer from Manchester, United Kingdom. His expertise shines in his comprehensive coverage of GTA 6, providing fans with the latest news and developments regarding the highly-anticipated sequel.
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