Looking back on Grand Theft Auto: Vice City on the occasion of its recent mobile release is a pretty powerful double-hit of nostalgia for us. Not only are we here at Rockstar taken back to that wild year of 2002 when we labored to take the groundbreaking 3D GTA experience pioneered in the previous fall's Grand Theft Auto III into a direction that no one at the time expected - but it's also a time to revisit the fascination with 1980s pop culture that inspired Vice City in the first place. From coked-out debutantes, suave and in-control hit men, hot-blooded drug kingpins, egomaniacal movie directors... the larger than life attitudes of that "me" decade as served up in the films of the era served as perfect inspiration for the stories, characters and scenery that drove the world and vibe of Vice City...
But of course. Largely dismissed at the time as an overblown, needlessly and gratuitously violent and profane remake of Howard Hawks' 1932 gangster classic - it has now, of course, transcended all of that and become one of the biggest and most enduring cult hits of all time - defining what a modern crime epic should be. An absolute top favorite of ours, we started paying homage to the film's legacy in GTAIII with Flashback 95.6's Scarface soundtrack heavy playlist and the casting of Robert Loggia as the sciatica-plagued Ray Machowski - but it goes without saying that Vice City owes much of its inspiration to the vivid characters, style, scenery and music of De Palma and Pacino's 1980s Miami gangster masterpiece.
Less Than Zero (1987)
Hands down the darkest movie of the 'brat pack' genre, this Robert Downey Jr. and Andrew McCarthy-starring movie is a stylish adaptation of the disturbing Bret Easton Ellis (American Psycho) novel. A morality tale of excess following rich Beverly Hills yuppie kids caught up with living life in the coke-fueled fast lane of the 1980s social scene. Incredible style, music and oddly prophetic to the drug troubles that would plague Downey himself in the years to come.
Hit the jump below for the rest of our selections and be sure to recommend your favorites in the comments.