Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Game Poster Image

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City



GTA continues with more sex, violence & drugs.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

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

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.

Find out more

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

  • A groundbreaking, stunning adventure for teens.
  • Rock-'n'-roll party returns, better than ever.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Adult Written bybucsfanerik April 9, 2008

Best game in history!!

Its fun for the whole family all though its not multiplayer.
Adult Written byparentof3 April 9, 2008

not that bad

Well, my son recently begged for this game saying it wasn't as bad as the other titles in this series. I soon found out it really wasn't. It does have violence and a bit of language, but I couldn't find hardly any sex in the game. SO if your child is begging for this game I would just think of how mature they are and if they could handle it first.
Parent Written byPlague January 8, 2010

GTA: Vice City

Not as good as GTA 3, but still fun. As long as they have the Rino tank in the game, im a happy guy.