Games Like GTA Vice City

Games Like GTA Vice City

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It has been over eight years since GTA V was released, with it first being released on the PS3 and Xbox 360 all the way back in 2013. Since then, it has been ported to numerous systems, including the recently enhanced port on the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S.

With it being so long since the last entry in the series, it is understandable that you might be itching to play the next title from Rockstar Games. It is rumored that GTA 6 will take place in Vice City, which makes sense as GTA IV was set in Liberty City, and GTA V was set in Los Santos, the settings for GTA 3 and San Andreas. This leaves GTA Vice City as the only PS2-era game to not receive a modern title.

So, while you wait, now is the perfect time to jump back into Vice City and take a trip back to the 1980s. Once you’re done if you’re still itching for a new GTA game to play, why not try some similar games. Here are X  best Games Like GTA Vice City.

Bottom Line Up Front

GTA Vice City was the second entry in the classic sixth-generation trilogy of Grand Theft Auto games that also included GTA 3 and GTA: San Andreas.

It can’t be overstated the impact that all three games had on gaming, with inspiration being seen in hundreds of games released since.

For this list, I have tried to include various games across numerous generations, including some more recently released titles, with some being released by Rockstar Games themselves and some being by other studios.

Many of these titles are easily playable today, whether it’s due to them being recent games or seeing rereleases and ports over the years. However, some will need to be hunted down to play on older consoles, such as the PlayStation 2.

If you’re a fan of the Grand Theft Auto series, you will certainly find something on this list that you will enjoy and get your fix while you’re waiting for GTA 6, whenever that might be. Come on Rockstar, it’s been eight years, just give us GTA 6.


With GTA Vice City, and the series as a whole, never straying too far from its roots, I made sure that all of the games on this list met a similar criteria so they would all have that GTA feel to them. After all, it wouldn’t make sense to recommend Super Mario if you’re looking for a GTA-style game.

Must Center Around Crime

GTA is a crime simulator, the player takes control of a criminal as they build their empire. There is a lot of crime, people being killed, and plenty of police chases. All of the games on this list are centered around crime and the criminal underworld, although one is more child-friendly, so it doesn’t necessarily fit this requirement in a strict sense, but it is a child-friendly GTA clone, so it definitely counts still.

Must be Open-World

GTA Vice City is an open-world sandbox game, as is every other game on this list.

Must Have a Strong Focus on Driving

How will you get to the location of your next crime? Walk? Of course not, we’re going to drive there. GTA has an extensive list of vehicles and vehicle types, and every game on this list focuses on driving too.

Now, let’s get to the first game on this list.

1. Hotline Miami

Hotline Miami

  • Genre: Shooter
  • Platforms: PC, PS3, PS Vita, PS4, Android, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Google Stadia
  • Metacritic: 85
  • Release Date: 2012

For the first entry on this list, I thought I’d shake things up a bit as there will be plenty of games that draw heavy inspiration from GTA, with some going as far as being near clones of the franchise.

As the name suggests, Hotline Miami is set in…Miami, the same location that Vice City is based on, and both games are set in the 80s. But, if it was going to be likened to any GTA game, it would bear a closer resemblance to GTA 1 and 2 due to its top-down shooter style.

Hotline Miami is an incredibly influential game and has become a cult classic in recent years. The game is a definite change of pace when compared to other games on this list, and sometimes that is exactly what is needed.

2. Mafia: Trilogy

Mafia: Trilogy

  • Genre: Action-adventure
  • Platforms: PS2, PS3, PS4, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Google Stadia (Depending on the entry in the series)
  • Metacritic: 79
  • Release Date: 2002-2020

The Mafia series takes the GTA formula and puts it squarely in the middle of organized crime as players enter the Mafia in the 1930s, 40s, 50s, and 60s, depending on which game is played.

Over the years, the Mafia series has received a lot of praise for its complex and deep story and its focus on realism. The first entry in the series is undoubtedly the highlight, with the other two drawing more criticisms. The good news is that Mafia 1 received a remake in 2020.

All three games were bundled together, allowing players to experience the full story in one go. While perhaps not the best game on this list, it is an iconic series that became one of the first to try and replicate the success of GTA 3.

3. Cyberpunk 2077

Cyberpunk 2077

  • Genre: Action Role-Playing Game
  • Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Google Stadia
  • Metacritic: 86
  • Release Date: 2020

Cyberpunk 2077 is the newest game on this list, with CD Projekt Red’s latest IP finally released in December 2020. The game does share some similarities to the GTA series, which can make it a fun alternative to the series. However, Cyberpunk 2077 didn’t release without its controversy.

Many glitches and issues were present at launch, and a lot of content was cut that was initially planned. But, over the past year or so that the game has been released, CD Projekt Red has been hard at work improving the game, and it is in a pretty good state right now, which makes it at least worth checking out.

4. The Simpsons: Hit and Run

The Simpsons Hit and Run

  • Genre: Action-adventure
  • Platforms: PC, PS2, Xbox, Gamecube
  • Metacritic: 82
  • Release Date: 2003

In the early 2000s, Radical Entertainment developed some games as part of The Simpsons franchise. 2001’s The Simpsons: Road Rage was a clone of Crazy Taxi, while 2003’s The Simpsons: Hit and Run was a clone of the Grand Theft Auto.

The Simpsons: Hit and Run plays like a kid-friendly Grand Theft Auto game, with the violence completely toned down, but the gameplay largely remains the same. Players control various members of the Simpson household as they drive around Springfield, interact with iconic characters from the show, and complete many missions throughout the story.

For many years fans have asked for a remaster and rerelease of The Simpsons: Hit and Run, but it has fallen on deaf ears as there is no way to play the game on modern systems without emulation. If you don’t want to do that, you’ll have to track down a copy on PS2, Xbox, or Gamecube. Another option is to try and get the PC version working on modern hardware.

5. True Crime: Streets Of LA

True Crime: Streets Of LA

  • Genre: Action-adventure
  • Platforms: PC, PS2, Xbox, Gamecube, Mobile
  • Metacritic: 77
  • Release Date: 2003

During the sixth generation of consoles, every studio wanted a piece of Rockstar Games’ success with the GTA franchise. True Crime: Streets Of LA takes the GTA formula and flips it on its head. The player controls a police officer instead of a criminal, tasked with investigating a series of bombings in Chinatown.

Despite taking clear inspiration from GTA 3, it does try its best to set itself apart and does so for the most part.

One of the most impressive aspects of the game is that it features a 240-square-mile (622 km2) recreation of many parts of Los Angeles, including Beverly Hills and Santa Monica, also retaining street names and landmarks. It must be really cool to live in a city that a game is set in, I’d certainly be trying to find my house in it.

6. Saints Row: The Third

Saints Row: The Third

  • Genre: Action-adventure
  • Platforms: PC, PS3, PS4, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch, Google Stadia, Amazon Luna
  • Metacritic: 84
  • Release Date: 2011

During the seventh generation, the Saints Row series was seen as the main competitor to the Grand Theft Auto series. While bearing many similarities to GTA, Saints Row has a more arcade feel to it, with the gameplay being much more fundamental than Rockstar’s flagship crime simulator.

Although the second entry in the series helped put the franchise on the map, Saints Row: The Third really stood apart from the rest. First released in 2011 on PC, PS3, and Xbox 360, Saints Row: The Third has seen numerous ports and rereleases.

These include on the Nintendo Switch in 2019, PS4 and Xbox One in 2020, and on the PS5, Xbox Series X|S, Amazon Luna, and Google Stadia in 2021.

Saints Row: The Third has a much more coherent tone and plot, which helped perfect the formula for future entries in the series. The game performed well with critics, with it scoring 82 and 84 depending on the platform on Metacritic.

Continue reading our complete Saints Row vs GTA comparison

7. Driv3r


  • Genre: Action-adventure
  • Platforms: PC, PS2, Xbox, Gameboy Advance, Mobile
  • Metacritic: 57
  • Release Date: 2004

During the fifth generation, the Driver series became a competitor to GTA. It actually beat Rockstar to the punch when it came to creating a 3D crime and driving game.

Driver 3, or Driv3r as it’s technically called, took the series to the sixth generation as players take on the role of an undercover FBI agent tasked with investigating a car-smuggling ring. Another great reason to check out Driv3r is that the game is set in Miami, the same location that Vice City is based on.

Driv3r did receive mixed reviews upon release, but it is a fun alternative to GTA and if nothing else a part of history during one of the greatest eras in video games.

8. Red Dead Redemption 2

Red Dead Redemption 2

  • Genre: Action-adventure
  • Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Google Stadia
  • Metacritic: 97
  • Release Date: 2018

Red Dead Redemption 2 is the latest game to be developed by Rockstar Games and is essentially GTA set in the wild west. Released five years after GTA V, Red Dead Redemption 2 dramatically expands on the level of depth.

It is one of the largest games available today, both in terms of map size and story and just the amount of content that is crammed into the game.

With file sizes not really being a factor, Rockstar Games went to town with Red Dead Redemption 2 being 120GB in size on PC, which is slightly above the 105GB that GTA V takes to install. Red Dead Redemption 2 is one of the most beautiful and detailed games available today.

Even the most modern PC hardware is struggling to play it at high resolutions and frame rates. If you’re itching for your next GTA fix, this is as close as you will get.

9. Watch Dogs 2

Watch Dogs 2

  • Genre: Action-adventure
  • Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Google Stadia
  • Metacritic: 82
  • Release Date: 2016

The Watch Dogs series took heavy inspiration from GTA and added stealth and hacking mechanics to it, giving Ubisoft a smash hit franchise. So far, there have been three games released in the series, but if I was to recommend one, I would suggest Watch Dogs 2.

Ubisoft took what worked in the first game and improved upon it while fixing and changing the things that didn’t. Despite being a sequel to the first game, Watch Dogs 2 largely stands on its own with only a few callbacks to the original title. While all three games are worth playing if you’re just going to give one a shot, make it this one.

10. Sleeping Dogs

Sleeping Dogs

  • Genre: Martial Arts/Action-adventure
  • Platforms: PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
  • Metacritic: 83
  • Release Date: 2012-2014

While looking back at all of the fantastic games like the Grand Theft Auto series, one stood out to me, Sleeping Dogs. First released in 2012 on PC, PS3, and the Xbox 360, Sleeping Dogs is essentially GTA set in Hong Kong. The game plays like GTA in almost every way, except the game adds some RPG elements to help set it apart from its clear inspiration.

I first played Sleeping Dogs on the Xbox 360 when it was initially released and enjoyed every second of my time with the game. So, when piecing this list together, I thought to myself, “I haven’t played Sleeping Dogs in a minute,” so I investigated how to play it in 2022. It turns out the game was remastered in 2014 on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.

So I immediately went onto Steam and searched for the game and was prepared to purchase it when I noticed it was already in my library. I have no knowledge of buying the game, it potentially came as part of a bundle, but I am not complaining.

But now, I am ready to jump back into the fantastic world and story of Sleeping Dogs a decade later. I’m sure I will enjoy every second of it as much as I did when I first played the game on the Xbox 360.


Question: How Can I play Grand Theft Auto Vice City Today?

Answer: GTA Vice City, as well as GTA 3 and San Andreas, was easily accessible for many years, with it being released on Steam and on PS3/PS4.

However, with the recent release of the Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – Definitive Edition, the original versions of these games have been delisted from the PlayStation Store and Steam, they are still available as a bundle alongside the Definitive Edition on the Rockstar Games launcher.

Vice City was also ported to mobile devices, which is also an option if you’re a mobile gamer. These are your only option if you don’t already own it, or you can find a copy on PS2 or Xbox.

Question: Which is the Best Grand Theft Auto Game?

Answer: Choosing the best GTA game is entirely subjective. Everyone will have their own reasons as to why one game is better than the other. However, all of the mainline entries in the series and the vast majority of the spin-offs have received critical acclaim and have high review scores on Metacritic.

These are the Metacritic scores for the 3D mainline GTA games:

• GTA IV – 98
• GTA III – 97
• GTA V – 97
• GTA Vice City – 95
• GTA: San Andreas – 95

So, as you can see, you can’t really go wrong when choosing a GTA game to play.

Question: Are There Any Other Grand Theft Auto Games Set in Vice City?

Answer: When it comes to the mainline games, no, both GTA 1 and 2 take place partly in Vice City, but they are top-down games. Vice City Stories is a spin-off game that is set in Vice City, and GTA 6 is rumored (but unconfirmed as of right now) to be taking place in Vice City.

Question: Which City is Vice City based on?

Answer: Vice City is based on Miami, Florida. Liberty City, the location of GTA 3 and 4, is based on New York City, and Los Santos/San Andreas is based on Los Angeles.

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