There are games that we play only once and games that we play many times over. No matter what, we can all agree that the first playthrough is always the most special. I don't know how you prefer to do things, but when I play a game for the first time I like to lock myself in a room and turn off my phone. I don't want any distractions at all. This is because the first playthrough is very important to me.  It's the first time I'm experiencing a new world, new characters, a new story or the next chapter in a story.

While I was a kid, living in my parents' house, if I got a new game I would announce to everyone: "Hey! I'm about to start this game. If you need to talk to me about something or need me to do anything please speak up now."  It's funny thinking about it now because making that announcement to my parents never really stopped them from coming into my room to ask me something.

Back to what I was saying, the first playthrough of any game is very important to me. Every time I play through a game that I have beaten already the experience just is never quite as good as the first run. So I want to start this new series talking about my first playthrough of some of my favorites games. Games that opened my eyes to what video games are capable of and just games that blew me away.

(Wow! It's been nearly 10 years already? Time goes by fast. ")

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City will always have a special place in my heart.  Vice City really opened my eyes to how amazing video games are. The biggest reason was because it was the first true open world game that I had ever played. There were other games I played in the past that let you drive around in a city, but you didn't have a reason to go anywhere except to your next mission. No buildings to go into, they all looked the same anyways and no side missions. Basically there was no reason to explore the world you were in. Vice City changed that.

I remember hearing my friends talk about this game one day at school. Mostly talking about getting into a huge car chase with the cops and then blowing stuff up with an rpg. Hearing all of that alone had me interested, but I didn't really know anything about the game. My first time seeing gameplay was at a friend's house. "Wow! You can get into any car you want to? Wow! Music plays when you get into a car? Holy Mother! There are different radio stations you can choose from?" *Head Explosion*

Honestly, just the fact that you could listen to different radio stations while driving around sold me on this game. So I went and purchased it the next time I was at the store. I didn't know how to play it the first time I started it up though. Which mission do I go to first? Should I go here or there? Is it ok if I just mess around and not do a mission for a couple hours? It took me a while to realize that what I did next was my decision to make and not the games. Once I made that realization my head exploded once more. I was so use to linear gameplay. An open world style of gameplay had never crossed my mind and just never knew that was possible.

You may ask what I do most in this game. My answer might seem boring, but I like to just drive around and listen to the amazing music on the radio.

Vice City has the best soundtrack out of all of the GTA's by far. If it's music from the 80's then I probably like it. I have a soft spot for 80's Hair Metal. Vice City only made my love for Hair Metal grow stronger. My favorite station was V-Rock. Mostly, because of the stations DJ Lazlow and all of the cool/lame stuff he said.

I also loved the Vice City Public Radio (VCPR) station. I had so much fun driving around listening to these crazy people argue with each other.

Rockstar did a wonderful job with not only creating great characters that you meet in the game, but also characters that you listen to on the radio. I could not get over how fun it was to just drive around at high speeds while listening to the radio. That's still my favorite part of any GTA.

As for the story of Vice City I don't think I really paid much attention to it the first time through. I knew that you didn't mess with Vercetti and that he was fighting his way to the top. That's about all I knew. Buying new property was always fun and you really felt like you were taking over the city with every new purchase. When I completed the game and the credits started rolling I knew this was one of the greatest games ever. Once the credits were finished I was ready to start a new game until I realized that I could continue playing even after the main story was completed. *Head explosion*

That's about all I remember from my first playthrough of Vice City. Actually having freedom in a game was simply amazing to me at the time. The variety of things to do made it hard to turn the game off. Vice City really felt alive to me and I had never experience that from a video game before. Vice City is one of the reasons I'm in love with video games today.