I havent played Chinatown wars or Vice City Stories, but for the simple fact that the way the story was structured and all the characters in it were presented, this game became an interactive homage to all the cult favourites within its possible scope - Vice City is hands down my favourite.
The story was an obvious rip of all the best bits of Scarface, mixed with elements of all the Mafia classics (Goodfellas, Casino etc.) as its underlying back story. Add to that, blatant re-use of the 80s combo from Miami Vice, gave a kick-ass combo that no other game has matched story wise. It's the only one that felt like playing a movie, and being an 80s kid, the soundtrack is the icing on the cake