The game follows the same path as its predecessors by taking the player on a quest to win new tracks and vehicles. This installment has the added twist of going international, with the challenge now stretching out into many cities around the world. Test Drive 4 features 14 modern and classic street-legal vehicles, covering a wide range of makes and styles. Only few vehicles are available to the player from the outset, with the rest needing to be won or purchased as the game progresses. There are six tracks with locations in five different countries.
The game was generally well received by critics and fans. Prior to its release, Test Drive 4 was awarded the Official Electronic Entertainment Expo Best of Show Award for the "Best Racing Game of 1997." The PlayStation version was rereleased in North America in 1998 as part of Sony's Greatest Hits program.