Grand Theft Auto Vice City Stories

Last updated date: June 14, 2019

DWYM Score
8.7

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We looked at the top 1 Sony PSP Games and dug through the reviews from 10 of the most popular review sites including IGN, GameSpot, Games Radar, Video Gamer, Engadget, Pocket-lint, Impulse Gamer, Gaming Excellence, Game Zone, Pocket Gamer and more. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Sony PSP Game you should buy.

Overall Take

In our analysis of 95 expert reviews, the Rockstar Grand Theft Auto Vice City Stories placed 6th when we looked at the top 10 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note August 12, 2019:
Checkout The Best Sony PSP Game for a detailed review of all the top sony psp games.

Expert Summarized Score
8.2
10 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.1
301 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
The story will last you quite a long time, there's lots of exploration to be done and multiplayer only adds more time for the disc to stay in your system.
- IGN
October 30, 2006 | Full review
Of course, no GTA game is worth much without great radio stations, and much the way that Vice City set the standard for how music in games ought to be handled, Vice City Stories delivers another fantastic soundtrack.
- GameSpot
November 3, 2006 | Full review
Controls better than on PSP Awesome '80s soundtrack Still a great GTA game
- Games Radar
March 10, 2007 | Full review
The game world is more detailed, the frame rate is smooth and the audio work is brilliant, with some superb radio stations and an impeccable soundtrack.
- Video Gamer
March 7, 2007 | Full review
The new water mechanics are a great addition. Knowing that your character doesn't seem to dissolve in it makes a great deal of sense.
- Engadget
December 3, 2006 | Full review
The 80s soundtrack, the first sighting of 3D GTA bikes and glorious dialogue all adds up to a title that’ll go down in history as one of the best ever.
- Pocket-lint
November 1, 2006 | Full review
For those that are unaware of the gaming formulate behind the series, the concept is simple yet the world is vast, varied and amazingly entertaining.
- Impulse Gamer
The audio in the VCS suffers from technical issues as well, which is unfortunate because the soundtrack is so phenomenal.
- Gaming Excellence
January 15, 2007 | Full review
Aside from some great character models, the Miami-inspired city just looks amazing.
- Game Zone
May 4, 2012 | Full review
And as ever there's huge amounts of fun to be had car-jacking the vehicle of your choice, cranking up the stereo and blasting through town, powersliding majestically around its 90-degree corners and mowing down civilians on its pavements while listening to some '80s classic with half of the Vice City PD on your exhaust.
- Pocket Gamer
November 9, 2006 | Full review
What experts didn't like
The story is certainly sub-par and there are problems with close combat while armed with a firearm or when attacked in groups, but it still has all of the elements that makes every Grand Theft Auto game great.
- IGN
October 30, 2006 | Full review
Camera control is mapped to the left trigger, and basically all you can do is whip it behind you if you get too turned around.
- GameSpot
November 3, 2006 | Full review
No multiplayer Uneven mission difficulty
- Games Radar
March 10, 2007 | Full review
Looks and feels like a handheld game
- Video Gamer
March 7, 2007 | Full review
One of the slightly frustrating aspects of the game (although in no way affects gameplay) is the story. Unfortunately, it tries to establish Vic as a sympathetic character, as he tries to earn money for his sick brother.
- Engadget
December 3, 2006 | Full review
But despite this standing head and shoulders above most other PSP titles – particularly considering the huge size of the game world you can wander off and gawp at – graphical errors rear their ugly heads from time to time.
- Pocket-lint
November 1, 2006 | Full review
Although it should be noted that certain sections do struggle with the framerate, however it is fairly decent throughout the game.
- Impulse Gamer
There are glitches a plenty in this one. There are glitches with graphics, collision detection, audio, gameplay, you name it.
- Gaming Excellence
January 15, 2007 | Full review
Unfortunately there are some graphical glitches mainly due to the hardware’s limitations.
- Game Zone
May 4, 2012 | Full review
t's a bit like the Parisian patisserie using just the wrong amount of flour. Its cake is still delicious, and far, far better than the others available. But you can't help noticing there's something preventing it from matching in every way the maker's usual high standards.
- Pocket Gamer
November 9, 2006 | Full review

From The Manufacturer

Having just made it back onto the streets of Liberty City after a long stretch in maximum security, Tommy Vercetti is sent to Vice City by his old boss, Sonny Forelli. They were understandably nervous about his re-appearance in Liberty City, so a trip down south seemed like a good idea. But all does not go smoothly upon his arrival in the glamorous, hedonistic metropolis of Vice City. He's set up and is left with no money and no merchandise. Sonny wants his money back, but the biker gangs, Cuban gangsters, and corrupt politicians stand in his way. Most of Vice City seems to want Tommy dead. His only answer is to fight back and take over the city himself. Vice City, 1984. Opportunity abounds in a city emerging from the swamps, its growth fueled by the violent power struggle in a lucrative drugs trade. Construction is everywhere as a shining metropolis rises from foundations of crime and betrayal. As a soldier, Vic Vance has always protected his dysfunctional family, his country, himself. One bad decision later and that job is about to get much harder. Kicked out onto the streets of a city torn between glamour and gluttony, Vic is faced with a stark choice - build an empire or be crushed. Vice City Stories is a monumental improvement upon the previous Grand Theft Auto title on the PlayStation Portable. For one, the draw distance has nearly doubled so that buildings and features can be seen across town. Character models and cars are as detailed as if they were on the PlayStation 2 and include all of the shine and transparency that looked so great in other Grand Theft Auto titles. Players can even choose the clothing that Vic will wear in Vice City. Overall, Rockstar has substantially increased all visual elements so that you don't need to make any graphical sacrifices when taking Grand Theft Auto on the road. Even the city appears as never before- people on the street will notice you and recognize you for the actions you've taken on previous missions. Some even comment about actions you've taken and give you an idea about how the public feels about your notoriety.

Overall Product Rankings

1. PlayStation Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep
Overall Score: 9.3
Expert Reviews: 11
2. Final Fantasy 7: Crisis Core
Overall Score: 8.9
Expert Reviews: 8
3. God of War: Ghost of Sparta
Overall Score: 8.8
Expert Reviews: 9
4. Final Fantasy IV The Complete Collection
Overall Score: 8.7
Expert Reviews: 9
5. God of War Chains of Olympus
Overall Score: 8.7
Expert Reviews: 9
6. Grand Theft Auto Vice City Stories
Overall Score: 8.7
Expert Reviews: 10
7. Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker
Overall Score: 8.6
Expert Reviews: 8
8. Daxter
Overall Score: 8.5
Expert Reviews: 9
9. Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters
Overall Score: 8.3
Expert Reviews: 8
10. Toy Story 3
Overall Score: 7.7
Expert Reviews: 4

An Overview On Sony PSP Games

The last edition of the PlayStation Portable (or PSP) was discontinued back in 2014, so to say that this system is past its heyday would be something of an understatement. But the early generation of PlayStation’s games are still some of its best, and many of them are playable on this handheld game console in some form. In a lot of ways, there’s been no better time to be a PSP gamer! For one thing, both the system and games can be found for just a fraction of what they cost when Sony’s flagship portable was released in the mid-2000s.

Back then, that sticker price was one of the main gripes against the PSP, but it was clearly worth it to the millions of gamers who bought one. The PSP was an early adopter of some the bells and whistles that are now commonplace to handheld systems like the Nintendo Switch, like the ability to play it on a television or monitor. And while they’ve stopped making games for it, the graphics hold up well on its 4.3 inch LCD screen.

Those games included nearly every genre there is: Action / adventure (“God of War: Ghost of Sparta,” “Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories”), role-playing (“Final Fantasy 7,” “Kingdom Hearts”), racing (“Ridge Racer,” “Need for Speed: Underground Rivals”), sports (“NFL Street 2: Unleashed”) and much more. While solo is the primary way most gamers play on the PSP, you can play with a friend on some designated multiplayer titles if they also have a PSP in the same room. Failing that, you can hook up to Wi-Fi through the system’s internet capability and find other players online. Just bear in mind that Sony’s online support for the PSP has been largely phased out, so the community of players you find online may be less than robust.

While we’re on the subject of online support, it’s helpful to know that Sony has also phased out the PlayStation Store on the PSP, where you would originally go to download games. Barring some inventive tech solutions, the only way you can play the PSP’s games now is on the primary media that it launched with: The UMD, or Universal Media Disc. But that’s not to say your options are limited! Over its lifetime, Sony and other big developers put out hundreds of titles for the PSP. They’re still out there for sale, used and new. And as has been said before, they’re still some of the best.

DYWM Fun Fact

Gamers praise the Nintendo Switch these days for its modular setup and versatility. The PSP wasn’t quite as well known for its non-game potential — at least, not officially. Hackers have found several inventive uses for old PSP consoles, modifying them into robot remotes or rudimentary smartphones.

The Sony PSP Game Buying Guide

  • When you’re buying a PSP game, consider the player. If that player is a young child, you might have to do a tiny bit of homework first. With its slick presentation and sharper graphics, the PSP was initially marketed toward an older crowd of gamers than the Nintendo DS, its primary competition at the time. That’s not to say that the PSP didn’t have games for younger kids. Titles like “Daxter” and “Little Big Planet” are not only some of the system’s top-selling games, they’re great fun, no matter what age you are. But there are more mature games whose violence level might be a concern for parents, such as “God of War: Ghost of Sparta” or “Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories.” When in doubt, check the ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board) box on the cover of any game. It’ll not only tell you what age range the game is suitable for, but also the reasons the game is rated that way (violence, language, etc.).
  • Do you plan on playing the game with others? Group play is a highlight of the gaming experience for many, but the PSP — being a handheld, portable device — caters slightly more toward the solo player. That’s not to say you can’t play select games with friends, but since online support for the system has been largely discontinued, your options are a bit more limited. For the most part, you’ll need another player physically present in the room with another PSP to connect to. This can be a particular concern if you’re buying sports games or one-on-one fighting games like “Darkstalkers Chronicle,” where multiplayer competition is a primary appeal.
  • A lot of parents buy games to occupy their kids on long car trips or to buy a little quiet time at restaurants. If that’s the case, consider whether the game needs the sound on to be playable. While it’s nice to hear the soundtrack on “Final Fantasy 7: Crisis Core,” that game and RPGs like it usually have subtitles for the dialogue. If a game really needs the sound up, maybe consider another option — or just invest in headphones, so your young player won’t bring the whole room into the game.
  • Another factor to consider is repeat playability. It’s great to binge-play an engrossing new game when you first get it out of the box. It’s not so great to be done the next day when you’ve played through the storyline and there’s nowhere else to go.
  • A word on the software: While you used to be able to download games and even movies through the PlayStation Store, that’s no longer the case now that Sony has phased out the PSP in favor of its newer handheld (the PS Vita). You can still play games on their primary physical format, the Universal Media Disc. That “universal” part is not to be taken at face value, though. Keep in mind that UMDs will work only in your PSP, and not in your larger PlayStation consoles or any other device.