Vice City draws much of its inspiration from 1980s American culture. Set in 1986 in Vice City, a fictional city modeled after Miami, the story revolves around Mafia member Tommy Vercetti, who was recently released from prison. After being involved in a drug deal gone wrong, Tommy seeks out those responsible while building a criminal empire and seizing power from other criminal organizations in the city. The game uses a tweaked version of the game engine used in Grand Theft Auto III and similarly presents a huge cityscape, fully populated with buildings, vehicles, and people. Like other games in the series, Vice City is comprised of elements from driving games and third-person shooters, and features "open-world" gameplay that gives the player more control over their playing experience.
Upon its release, Vice City became the best-selling video game of 2002. As of July 2006, Vice City was, in the American market, the best-selling PlayStation 2 game of all time. Vice City also appeared on Japanese magazine Famitsu's readers' list of all-time favorite 100 videogames in 2006, the only fully-Western title on the list. Following this success, Vice City saw releases in Europe, Australia and Japan, as well as a release for the PC. Rockstar Vienna also packaged the game with its predecessor, Grand Theft Auto III, and sold it as Grand Theft Auto: Double Pack for the Xbox. Vice City's setting is also revisited in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories, which serves as a prequel to events in Vice City.