Real Talk By: KJ
It all started with a demo disk for me. I remembered being absolutely blown away by the graphics in Gran Turismo, and everything else about it. This driving simulator came out of nowhere. Could this game change the landscape of a genre? Even back then, the racing market was over-saturated. You really had to be great to stand out. Well, GT definitely was. The list of foreign cars were through the roof. 140 plus vehicles, in 1998, it was madness! Tracks were fun to play on, as were the vehicles driven. Race replays were the best at that time. The camera angles chosen, were incredibly stylish for the era. While I wasn’t the greatest GT player ever, the replay viewer made me look like a professional.
Controls were realistic. Misjudge a turn, and immediately pay for it. Its learning curve alone would keep this title in your PS1. It was almost unforgiving, but not to the point where you’d put the controller down. Gamers had to get a really good feel for the car. Individual rides demanded different play-styles. That feature had been in other racing titles around that time period, but never taken to this extreme level.
While Microsoft’s Forza series has really been giving Sony’s franchise some stiff competition, time will tell which franchise sits at the top. The original Gran Turismo will go down as one of the best racing games ever. One of those titles where non gamers even spoke about it. GT left that much of an impact with Drivers. Where it ranks in your mind, that’s up to you. For me, id still give it 5 out of 5 MF’s.