Grand Theft Auto: Vice City



GTA continues with more sex, violence & drugs.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Stealing, killing, and shooting are all a part of this gangster lifestyle.


The object is to shoot, kill, and beat up as many people as possible. There is gang warfare, beatings, drive-by shootings, killing of innocent bystanders, bloody and grotesque deaths.


Explicitly sexual -- you can be serviced by hookers.


Constant swearing is a part of this world.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Unapologetic drug use. Some alcohol consumption as well.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this game features all manner of violence, drug use, and foul language. Kids who play this game will be able to steal cars, kill a prostitute after having sex with her, shoot cops, and sell drugs. While clever pop culture references to the 1980s make the game creative and appealing, the graphic nature of its storyline makes it shocking. Parents also need to know that the star rating given to this game is based on quality of gameplay within this adult genre of gaming and not an endorsement of the violence within the game.

What's it about?

The controversial Grand Theft Auto series continues with GRAND THEFT AUTO: VICE CITY. And while it changes locales from the previous entry, it doesn't abandon the series' trademark recipe of drugs, sex, and violence. Players control Tommy Vercetti, a recognized member of a big-city crime family, recently released after time in prison. Rather than returning home, Tommy settles in Vice City, a near-perfect replica of mid-1980s Miami. With a surging drug trade, profitable prostitution rings, and brutal violence, Vice City looks like a perfect fit for a guy like Tommy. Sure enough, it's not long before players are pimping women, selling drugs, and strong-arming rivals with the help of shotguns, AK-47s, Molotov cocktails, and a deadly chainsaw (among other weapons).

Is it any good?


If you've heard of the Grand Theft Auto series, it's likely you have formed an opinion on whether it's a fun, groundbreaking, and popular game, or if it's exploitative, x-rated schlock. The game's contents are so objectionable -- and nevertheless well-made and engaging -- that it can't help but be polarizing.

But as offensive as the scenarios presented in Vice City may be, the game's amazing detail, ease of play, deep story, and sprawling game environment make it easy to spend hundreds of hours exploring and exploiting in this adult-content world.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the presence of adult content in video games. Does the interactive nature of the experience make it more influential than books or movies? Is it appropriate for game developers to address such mature subjects as drug use and prostitution in what was once considered a children's medium?

Game details

Platforms:Windows, PlayStation 2, Xbox
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Rockstar Games
Release date:October 29, 2002
Genre:Role Playing
ESRB rating:M for Blood and Gore, Strong Language,Strong Sexual Content, Violence (PlayStation 2, Windows, Xbox)

This review of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 14 years old Written byJ-dog21 June 18, 2009

Onne of the cleaner GTA's

THis is one of the cleanest GTA's out there but you can search very hard and try to break into a stripclub but unless you try to find it it wont happen, otherwise sex is not in it. if your looking for a 100% sex free GTA get Grand Theft Auto III, it just has mild violence and language.
Adult Written byNarcolepsy April 9, 2008

Warning: this game will make you be a good parent

I'm 18. I play GTA: Vice City. Deal with it. The fact of the matter is, GTA has inspired kids to commit heinous crimes, such as the shooting in Florida where the male-nurse was killed. Why weren't the parents locking up the guns? Why did they purchase the game for the kids? Games have ratings. You should all try reading them. GTA is, at its core, a mafioso wonder that rival the Godfather or Scarface. It's brutal, sex-fueled drug-snatching fun. If you're an adult, it is a great game. If you're a parent, maybe you should not by this for lil' Jonny.
Kid, 12 years old April 9, 2008

Come on grow up.....

For all you over-protective parents out there!!!! GROW UP!!!! I've been playing this freaking game since I was 7. I'm just fine the way I am!!!!! You people that don't let your kids play with this: you are so stupid!!!! KIDS WON"T COPY THIS!!! IT ISN'T EVEN THAT BAD!!!!


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