The 13 Movies That Inspired Vice City’s Perfect 1980s

The 13 Movies That Inspired Vice City’s Perfect 1980s

Rockstar’s 2002 classic Vice City remains so popular today as much for its bottling of mid-1980s culture and excess as it does the actual game.

The game’s soundtrack rightly gets a lot of credit for this, as does the colour palette, but have you ever wondered which movies served as the inspiration for the neon-infused Vice City itself? I mean, beyond Scarface?

Well, here you go. Rockstar has shared 13 movies it says “served as perfect inspiration for the stories, characters and scenery that drove the world and vibe of Vice City”.

The link below contains explanations just why they inspired the development team, while the 13 films and their trailers can be seen by scrolling down.

Less Than Zero (1987)

The Long Good Friday (1980)

To Live and Die in L.A. (1985)

Manhunter (1986)

First Blood (1982)

Road Warrior (1981)

Aliens (1986)

Sudden Impact (1983)

Top Gun (1986)

Body Double (1984)

Rocky IV (1985)

Over The Top (1987)

Scarface (1983)

A Totally Rad Roundup of 80s Flicks in honour of Vice City [Rockstar]


  • Mad Max?Aliens?That’s a bit of a stretch and they left of Miami Vice which lent Vice City the 80’s,the synth music, the pastel suits and the undercover cops in the Ferrari sorry infernos that show up if you hit 4 wanted stars.

  • Was going to add Carlito’s Way (Sean Penn’s character was massively ripped off for the character of Ken Rosenberg) but apparently that’s a 90’s movie…..

    • I thought the same thing. Carlito’s Way would have been the leading influence, even more so than scarface. This list is stupid, and totally inaccurate.

  • Even though Miami Vice was a TV Series, It was clearly more influential on Vice City than most of those films.

    For instance the voice of Lance is Phillip Michael Thomas (Tubbs from Miami Vice) and one of the most memorable radio tracks ‘Crockett’s Theme’ is straight from the show.

    If you want a true fix of 80s nostalgia watch Miami Vice, it has dated better than the obsolete GTA game.

    • I can only assume you are a little misguided and have somehow mistyped “oh-so-leet” as “obsolete”.
      Playing Vice City on my phone right now and it has definitely kept up, pretty far from dated if you ask me.

      • It’s a fantastic game that desperately needs an update, even if it’s just a matter of bringing the control system into line with that of San Andreas. Been meaning to pick this up for my phone, but how awkward is it to play via the touchscreen??

        • Some things are more awkward than others, moving around, driving, picking up weapons, stealing cars, changing the radio etc are all fine.
          Shooting people… can be a bit problematic. It’s kind of a click-with-finger auto-aim system that definitely takes getting used to, but I’m yet to fail a mission because of it.
          Definitely worth checking out. If only for that glorious collection of radio channels.

          • I was always a bit concerned about using your finger to aim or move since you’d obstruct part of the screen. But hey, if that’s it, bring it on! I can’t wait to play VC whilst cycling at the gym, in peak hour on the tram, on the toilet or in the car or at my workstation! :p

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!