Grand Theft Auto: Vice City is an open world action-adventure
third-person shooter video game developed by Rockstar North and
published by Rockstar Games. It was released on 27 October 2002
for the PlayStation 2, on 12 May 2003 for Microsoft Windows,
and on 31 October 2003 for the Xbox. A remastered version was
released for mobile platforms in 2012, for the game's tenth
anniversary. It is the sixth title in the Grand Theft Auto
series and the first main entry since 2001's Grand Theft Auto
III. Set within the fictional Vice City, based on Miami, the
game follows Tommy Vercetti following his release from prison.
After he is caught up in an ambushed drug deal, he seeks out
those responsible while building a criminal empire and seizing
power from other criminal organisations in the city.
The game is played from a third-person perspective, and its world is navigated on foot or by vehicle. The open world design lets the player freely roam Vice City, consisting of two main islands. The game's plot is based on multiple real-world people and events in Miami such as Cuban, Haitian, and Biker gangs, the 1980s crack epidemic, the Mafioso drug lords of Miami, and the dominance of glam metal. The game was also influenced by the film and television of the era, including Scarface and Miami Vice. Much of the development work constituted creating the game world to fit the inspiration and time period; the development team conducted extensive field research in Miami while creating the world.
Upon release, the game received critical acclaim, with praise particularly directed at its music, gameplay and open world design. However, the game also generated controversy, with criticism directed at the depiction of violence and racial groups. The game sparked lawsuits and protests while being labelled as violent and explicit. Vice City became the best-selling video game of 2002 and has sold over 20 million copies. Considered one of the most significant titles of the sixth generation of video games, it won numerous year-end accolades including Game of the Year awards from several gaming publications. Since its release, the game has received numerous ports to many gaming platforms. Its successor, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, was released in October 2004, and a prequel, Vice City Stories, was released in 2006.