''Virtua Cop'' is a successful 3D LightGunGame series created by Yu Suzuki and Creator/{{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 UsefulNotes/SegaSaturn 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 UsefulNotes/PlayStation2, 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. Both graphics 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 "[[BulletTime Exceeding Sense]]" mode. When activated, time slows down to the point where enemy bullets become visible and [[ShootTheBullet can be shot away]]. In this game, a group of terrorists known as ECM has taken over various industries in the city. As usual, Rage, Smarty, and Janet must stop them. The leader of the ECM [[spoiler: is none other than Joe Fang, who was thought to have been killed twice]].


!!The game features examples of these tropes:
* AllThereInTheManual: Par the course for an arcade series, much of the game's backstory and characterization aren't seen in the games themselves.
* BackFromTheDead: Joe Fang in the second game [[spoiler: and the third]].
* BigBad: Joe Fang in the first two games [[spoiler: as well as the third]].
* BigNo: Whenever a hostage gets shot, they usually yell "NOOOO!"
* BlastingItOutOfTheirHands: Called a "Justice Shot" if done in the games. In the first game, it's called a "Nice Bullseye" outside Japan.
* BoomHeadshot: ''Virtua Cop'' is possibly the UrExample of this in video games. In ''Virtua Cop 3'', however, this is not a good thing. It doesn't give nearly as many points as a Justice Shot, and doesn't even allow for a 3-hit combo followup.
* BossOnlyLevel: The fourth and final missions of ''2'' and ''3''.
* BossRush: The true final stage of ''3''.
* BulletTime: Exceeding Sense mode, introduced in the third game.
* {{Cap}}: ''Virtua Cop 3'' has a score cap of 99,999,999. It is very possible to achieve this if you understand the scoring mechanics well (and, of course, don't die).
* CarFu: On his last bit of health, Bobbie Louise, ''Virtua Cop 2'''s Beginner stage boss, will throw a van at you!
* DemotedToExtra: Janet in the third game. She plays the role of MissionControl this time around, although she joins the boys in the Hard mission [[spoiler: and the true final stage]]. In any case, she's not playable.
* FairCop: The three main characters.
* TheGhost: The second stage in ''Virtua Cop 2'' is called "Save the Mayor!", who is never seen.
* HardLevelsEasyBosses: At least in the first two games, the bosses are easy when compared to the stages themselves.
* HostageSpiritLink: Stupid hostages popping out of nowhere...
** There's an instance of a [[SubvertedTrope subversion]] in the Hard mission of ''Virtua Cop 3''. [[spoiler:Two hostages pops up from the windows of a building...and one proceeds to pull a gun on you. Yes, he DOES shoot you if you don't take him down. It actually counts towards a Civilian shot in both the Interim (Mid-stage) and Mission Reports, but doesn't actually assign you any penalty.]]
* HotPursuit: The Beginner stage in the second game is mostly this.
* ImprobableAimingSkills: In ''Virtua Cop 3'', one must wonder how is it possible that shooting away the metal beams that falling on you would end up falling down onto the criminals in front of you, while they're taking hostages.
* ISurrenderSuckers: Kong, the boss of the Beginner stage in ''Virtua Cop'', tries to pull this on you when he's one shot away from death.
* JetPack: [[WolfpackBoss The Aero-Divers]] and Joe Fang himself fly in one in ''Virtua Cop 2''. [[spoiler: The Joe Fang clones also have them in the bonus stage of the third game]].
* NeverFoundTheBody: The plot of ''Virtua Cop 2'' says that after Joe Fang's helicopter was destroyed, his body was never found. Then, he returns as the final boss of the game but flies in a jetpack instead.
* OneWingedAngel: [[spoiler:At the end of the BossRush Stage of ''Virtua Cop 3'', you face Joe Fang yet again, this time having mutated into [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ABNqWehWr0 a giant green gargoyle wielding an equally massive minigun (skip to 13:30)]], that looks like a freakish mutation of [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII Bizarro-Sephiroth]], [[VideoGame/HouseOfTheDead The Wheel Of Fate]], and [[VideoGame/TeamFortress2 the Heavy]].]]
* PainfullySlowProjectile
* PreAssKickingOneLiner: Every boss has this upon confronting them.
* RecurringBoss: Gale from ''Virtua Cop 3'', a ninja with stealth who can pull off a [[Franchise/KamenRider Rider Kick]] at you.
* ScoreMultiplier: Introduced formally in ''Virtua Cop 3'', where every single enemy shot will level up your score multiplier up to sixteen times.
** And taken to ludicrous levels where you'll realize that shooting away bullets during E.S. mode rakes up its own set of multiplier, so you'll end up shooting so many bullets that a single bullet is worth three times more than a Justice Shot. Seriously.
*** And the sickest part? You are required to do that in order for you to completely max out your score. And by max out, we mean literally getting all 9s.
* ShootTheBullet
* SpiderTank: The boss of the hard mission in ''Virtua Cop 3'', with the ability to launch a MacrossMissileMassacre at you every other attack.
* SpiritualSuccessor: Has two of them:
** ''Confidential Mission'', another arcade light gun game, borrows many, many, elements from the ''Virtua Cop'' series. Released after the second game, which received a proper sequel in the form of the third game.
** ''VideoGame/GHOSTSquad'' also burrows many elements from the series, and even has unlockable ''Virtua Cop'' police uniforms and body armor.
* ThrowABarrelAtIt: Bobbie "Wolf" Louise, the Beginner stage boss of ''Virtua Cop 2'', does this as his primary means of attack other than firing [[PainfullySlowProjectile Painfully Slow Rockets]]. When he's one shot before death, he graduates to CarFu (see above).
* TrueFinalBoss: The BossRush level in the third game can be unlocked only if you have successfully complete the mini-missions presented in the 2nd and 3rd stages in order.
* UpdatedRerelease: ''Virtua Cop: Elite Edition'', or ''Virtua Cop Re-birth'' for the UsefulNotes/PlayStation2.
* VeryHighVelocityRounds: During Exceeding Sense mode.
* VideoGameCrueltyPotential: You can kill civilians, but this makes you lose HP.