PS2 Grand Theft Auto Vice City
There can't be any more sure-fire a hit in the gaming world than Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. Grandma may not approve, but the 143 million people who bought GTA III will be chomping at the bit for this follow-up. Not quite a full-blown sequel, but far more than the average lazy mission disk, Vice City relocates the action of the previous game from the New York-esque Liberty City to the Miami-influenced metropolis of the title. And clearly as soon as someone mentioned Miami the developers immediately thought of Miami Vice, because they've gone and set the whole thing in 1986 with an incredible soundtrack featuring everyone from Michael Jackson to Sigue Sigue Sputnik.
As the game starts you take control of Tommy Vercetti (voiced by Goodfellas star Ray Liotta) who gets involved in a bungled drug deal and must set himself up from scratch as a crime boss. Unlike in GTA III, you're not restricted to being a small-time hood any more; the game now allows you to purchase property (porn studios, strip clubs, cab companies and so on) and run extortion rackets, which cleverly widens the scope of the game while keeping the controls and gameplay pretty much the same. Which means that you still spend the majority of your time driving cars very dangerously and shooting and maiming anyone that happens to get in your way. Indeed, in most respects the game is very similar to its predecessor--the graphics, for example, are improved but hardly groundbreaking--though there are numerous minor additions, most notably the chance to ride motorbikes--which is particularly satisfying--and fly proper aircraft.
Vice City can't be recommended unreservedly though: if you're intending to buy this game for someone under 18, you really should think again, as it's violent, filled with sex and swearing, and is totally and utterly immoral. Which is why it's guaranteed to sell and sell. --David Jenkins