GTA3 vs Vice City vs San Andreas


When looking back over the GTA series, many fans feel San Andreas was the better of the three main games. Does anyone else agree that Vice City and GTA3 were the better games?

Nobody can dispute that San Andreas has a rediculously large amount of things to do to keep you entertained, keep you busy, but I felt the game lost something from its predessecor. Vice City and GTA3 had such charm, such elegance. The character of Vercetti was so much better as a character than the CJ we have in San An. Vercetti was witty, charming, funny. People liked him, you enjoyed being that character. CJ had nothing on him. I dont think many people appreciated the whole 'ghetto'/'gangster' thing. Unless of course, you are, fresh off the streets of Compton.

The sense of achievement that came with the dominance of Vice City too, you really felt by the end, you owned that city. You were the man. You had a big mansion and everything. All the companies, belonged to you. San Andreas was far too large, far too expansive for us to feel anything of this magnitude. Half the time you dont even know where the hell you were going. Mabe i'm wrong, maybe people like that exploration/adventure aspect of a rediculusly huge map. But i didnt. I liked knowing exactly where I was, where i needed to go. You knew the streets of Vice so well if you played that game. They need to downsize on the next GTA. Attention to detail rather than quantity over quality.

And make the character likable. Wit over foul mouthed gangster talk. Anyway, any posts in reply to this would be appreciated. Maybe i am completely alone in my thoughts...


Distinguished Member
Personally, I did enjoy VC more, but that was mainly because of the 80's theme. I remember the 80's well, so the music was just a nostalgia trip for me and gave it the edge. Game play wise, I think that SA had the edge with the new things it brought to the game, like riding a bike, though I do agree with you about the whole Gangster thing.


Distinguished Member
As a gaming fan i much preferred San Andreas but as an older gamer i much preferred the style and setting of Vice City...... if that makes any sense at all....:suicide::rolleyes:

Mark Botwright

Distinguished Member
I definitely preferred Vice City. For me it was much more humorous and the setting was more colourful and garish. Personally i always felt SA was a bit drab in artistic style. The extra gameplay elements i actually felt detracted in some ways from the cartoonish feel of the game by trying to make it into some kind of gangsta sim.

Pastel suits with the sleeves turned up. Living the Miami Vice experience. Crap 80s music. Vice City wins hands down for me.

I also thought Ray Liotta's voice acting was perfect as well.


Vice City for me... I got completely bored with San Andreas & the whole living in the "hood" gangster thing.


Novice Member
From the second you start playing San Andreas, you realise just how amazing it is, and how much the game had greatly improved from its top down, and even GTA3 days. Riding a bike to your hood with your 'bro's', was a great way to start a game, and get the player encapsulated in the whole experience.

Without wanting to go on and on about how great SA was, I'd say that Vice City was my favourite game. I LOVED the 80's soundtrack (interestingly, I actually feel that was what really made the game as great as it was) the weapons were greatly improved, it was the first time you could properly 'fly'. Everything about it was just brilliant.

The real cruncher over what game I prefer now, after time has passed sinced I last played either, was how well I responded to the game after completing all the missions. I found that I could spend hours on end driving around Vice City, listening to the music, causing havoc, finding hidden missions, flying to areas I shoudnt have etc. With San Andreas, the sheer scale of the game really put me off playing it after I completed it, and as such, would only ever have a few minutes stints flying the jets as fast as possible, shooting cars as low as I could, or 'pimping' out my ride, and opening her up on the freeways with the boosters. This wouldnt last long however before turning off.

I didnt have a problem with the theme of SA (I'm partial to a bit of gangster rap, and am a massive fan of films like Boyz N The Hood/Menace 2 Society) but I know many did which probably put a lot of people off the game (imagine how people will react to GTA4 then, an Eastern European!! :eek:) I think Rockstar did a good job, and with GTA4 are doing a good job of bucking the trend, and doing away with the 'true american hero' in a rags to riches story, and introducing other cultures and experiences to their games. Unfortunately, you can always impress the old school masses, and as such I think San Andreas wasnt properly given a chance (I would even go as far as to say some racists wouldnt play the gane, due to its theme!) but saying that, I still prefered the content, missions and soundtrack to Vice City.

I was very glad for San An, only because it was a fresh, new GTA game with moer to see, do and explore, but its only looking back now that I realise the most favourable of the 2 games was Vice City.

Long winded, but question answered! :smashin:


Distinguished Member
VC is easily the better game of the 2. SA was a good game, massively ambitious, lots to do, had FreeBird on the radio etc etc. But it was almost too big, not in terms of stuff to do but the actual size of the map, it also didn't have the charm of VC, i didn't mind the ganstaness of it all, but the Scarface homage of VC, the music, the characters, the cars, cruising(maybe not the right word) with Billie Jean on the radio with 5 police stars was just amazing.

I'm glad to read that IV is returning to a smaller scale map this time around, high hopes for a great game from me


Distinguished Member
To be honest, both are very well made games, but IMO VC is much the better game. If i'm honest I didn't get on with the "yo bro" gansta thing and the whole druglord/mafia style game of Vice City was just much better IMO. SA may be techincally better but as far as subject matter goes it's VC by a long way for me.


Yeah Vice City was much better to me.

Driving around the garish colourful gaming map, listening to Billie Jean on the radio, while listening to Ray Liotta providing Tommy's vocals...great stuff.

I found San Andreas boring and hated the gangster feel of it all.
again vice city had a great feeling, maybe it just hit a chord with the 80's kids?

however i did enjoy just going for it on a scrambler in the middle of nowhere in sanandreas

classic michael jackson on the sounds while on a super bike, popping a cap in passers by!


Distinguished Member
Also far preferred Vice City to San Andreas, infact I loved GTA up until SA but it kind of put me off the whole GTA series. Although it had it's improvements, overall it felt pretty stale to me & just couldn't get into the whole Gangsta thing.

Vice City was probably the peak of the series for me & I think it'll be difficult to beat. The setting was perfect(yep, another child of the 80's here), colourful, funny, and one of the best soundtracks to appear in a videogame.

Think I just got a bit bored of that genre after that, it's like the same thing but different setting(well, I guess most games fall into that category to an extent).

Wouldn't mind a revisit to Vice City with HD visuals and something like 8 player online(as long as it's more interesting modes than deathmatch etc.).

Anyway, back on topic, in order of preference for me.

Vice City
GTA London
San Andreas

Gave the older ones a mention there as in honesty I had more fun out of those in their day than San Andreas.


Novice Member
For me Vice City and Vice City stories are the best for 1 reason. The soundtrack!

So I guess it depends on what music you like to listen to.

Here's hoping GTA IV will let you play your own music off the Hard Disc or at least allow us to set the same radio station regardless of how many times you change car.

I got so sick of keep having to switch off Radio Espantoso, trying to find a better station with the 1 button while trying to get away from someone, only to fly past the station I wanted. Arrrrggghhh. :lease:


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