Following up the most ground-breaking, controversial and realistic video game ever made (at that time) was never going to be an easy feat. But, as we now expect of it, Rockstar Games took one look at the bar of expectation and decided to break it in half.
2002 was a pretty amazing year for gaming: Kingdom Hearts, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell, Spider-Man, Super Mario Sunshine, Metroid Prime, Tony Hawk Pro Skater 4, The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker, Sly Cooper and the Thievous Racoonus and Ratchet and Clank, to name just a few. So it's telling just how good GTA: Vice City was that it received so many game of the year awards.
Everything from the story to the music was perfect in this stylized version of 1980's Miami, Florida. While GTA III was the birth of the series and the open-world game as we know it, it was Vice City where Rockstar found its footing and added a ton of color, humor and absurdity to the series. Flying around the neon streets on a red motorcycle, listening to I Ran (So Far Away), with an SMG in hand, that's Vice City.