Vito Scaletta is a member of the Italian-American community of Empire Bay that, as a boy after committing a series of crimes inisieme friend Joe Barbaro, is captured and he was offered the opportunity to redeem himself by helping the U.S. to face: the Second World War is raging in many European countries and the need of new recruits. After serving with honor their country and their being wounded in Italy, Vito returns to the city, welcomed with open arms by his friend Joe in the meantime has become important friends in the local mafia. Vito needs to make money quickly to help her mother and sister, full of debts left by the deceased father, Joe, and offers the fastest way to do it: to help families in their affairs.

Contrary to what one might think, given the presence of a city completely explored on foot or by car, the structure of Mafia II is one of the classic titles free-roaming "the GTA" The city exists for the sole purpose to provide a realistic scenario in which to immerse ourselves, but progress in the missions is extremely driven and linear.

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The story unfolds through 15 different chapters, each of which begins with the awakening of Vito in his home and ends with him falling asleep again, between a chapter and the next months or years may pass and then we also see the city become, first, and then snow in summer, as well as cars driven at the beginning of the game will not be as powerful as those produced in subsequent years, available in later chapters. The bulk of the game takes place in the history of all the main and secondary activities are minimized. This is a plus for those who feared to find themselves a game too distracting, but at the same time does not allow the game to rise above the total duration of 14 hours on normal difficulty. The gameplay is divided between driving phases, in which we are asked to reach a certain place or chase a given individual, and the inevitable shootouts.