Game of the Month, December 2012: Grand Theft Auto: Vice City

Traditionally, December is a big month for iOS gaming, and this year it did not disappoint. Many of the best games released this month were ports from other consoles, and our top pick originally came out a decade ago for PlayStation 2. To this day, it remains one of the most lauded and best-selling games of all time.

Our Game of the Month winner for December is Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, an open-world game that tracks the rise of a gangster in a setting very much like 1980s Miami. You play as Tommy Vercetti, a cool criminal voiced by Ray Liotta who’s released from prison at the start of the game. You take jobs from various mob bosses, elbowing your way up the ladder in the seedy Vice City underworld. Not only is the game violent and vulgar, but it’s also a well written crime drama.

Even after 10 years, the game still looks and sounds great, with its open world vistas and inspired soundtrack of licensed music. They’ve managed to further smooth out the controls since last year’s port of Grand Theft Auto 3, so it’s now easier to run through the environment, stealing cars, firing rocket launchers, and generally causing mayhem. The best thing about the iOS port, though, is that you can experience this huge, classic game anytime and anywhere, just by tapping on your phone.

Our runner-up for December’s Game of the Month is Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour, the latest title in Gameloft’s line of Call of Duty-like shooters. This year’s edition is the best yet, with a lengthy single-player campaign that gets you accustomed to the controls and puts a number of weapons in your hands. Then there’s the best-in-class multiplayer mode that lets you level up your character by making kills in well-designed arenas. The game packs tons of content for a very reasonable price. If you ever wished you could take Call of Duty on the go, this is your best bet.

Congratulations to Rockstar Games, the makers of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, and Gameloft, the company behind Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour, for bringing us our favorite games this month! Meanwhile, you should also check out these other Must Have iOS games that launched in December: Middle Manager of Justice, Final Fantasy IV, Meganoid 2, You Don’t Know Jack, Sleepwalker’s Journey, Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition, Minigore 2: Zombies, and Blastpoints.

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