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Virtua Cop is a successful 3D Light Gun Game series created by Yu Suzuki and Sega's AM2 department and initially released in arcades in 1994. The game series revolves around the VCPD Special Investigations Unit and their operatives, Michael Hardy/Rage, James Cools/Smarty and (from the second game onward) Janet Marshall. The core gameplay of all four games in the series is assuming the role of either Rage (first player) or Smarty (second player) and use a light gun (or controller for the console versions) to shoot criminals and advance through the game, with penalties for shooting civilians. There are three missions to choose from, Easy, Medium and Hard, that can be picked in any order. Items like better guns, health packs and even explosive oil drums can be found during the missions.

The franchise consists of:

  • Virtua Cop (1994): The original. Was ported to the Sega Saturn as a launch title, but the light gun peripheral was sold separately. The game followed Rage and Smarty as the systematically took down an illegal gun-running operation by the EVL Inc. criminal empire, led by Joe Fang.
  • Virtua Cop 2 (1995): Ported to the Saturn in 1996, the game had similar gameplay, but with new stages, storylines and improved graphics. Janet is added to this game as she helps with the investigation after the death of her partner, Nick Anderson. This game marked the return of EVL Inc. and Joe Fang.
  • Virtua Cop: Elite Edition (2002): Released on the PlayStation 2, Elite Edition was a compilation remake of Virtua Cop and Virtua Cop 2 including bonus unlockable artwork. Known as Virtua Cop: Re-Birth in Japan, this game was released in Japan and Europe.
  • Virtua Cop 3 (2003): The last game in the series (so far), and released only in the Arcades. Graphics exceptionally and gameplay were greatly improved upon. The player can now switch between weapons instead of using a powerful weapon until it's out of ammo. A pedal was also added, that when pressed, put the player in "Exceeding Sense" mode. When activated, time slows down to the point where enemy bullets become visible and can be shot away. In this game a group of terrorists known as ECM has taken over various industries in the city, Rage, Smarty, and Janet must stop them. The leader of the ECM is none other than Joe Fang, who was thought to have been killed twice.
The following tropes are common to many or all entries in the Virtua Cop franchise.
For tropes specific to individual installments, visit their respective work pages.