Gran Turismo (video game)

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Gran Turismo
Gran Turismo - Cover - North America.jpg
North American cover art
Developer(s)Polys Entertainment
Publisher(s)Sony Computer Entertainment
Producer(s)Kazunori Yamauchi
Designer(s)Kazunori Yamauchi
Takeshi Yokouchi
Hirotaka Komiyama
Programmer(s)Seiichi Ikiou
Artist(s)Masaaki Goto
Composer(s)Masahiro Andoh
Isamu Ohira
SeriesGran Turismo
Genre(s)Sim racing[4][5]
Mode(s)Single player, multiplayer

Gran Turismo is a sim racing video game designed by Kazunori Yamauchi. Gran Turismo was developed by Polys Entertainment and published by Sony Computer Entertainment in 1997 for the PlayStation video game console. The game's development group was established as Polyphony Digital in 1998.

After five years of development time, it was well-received publicly and critically, shipping a total of 10.85 million copies worldwide as of March 2013[6] (making it the best-selling PlayStation game), and scoring an average of 95% in GameRankings' aggregate,[7] making it the highest rated racing video game of all-time. Many publications have deemed it one of the greatest video games of all time. The game has started a series, and has spawned over 10 spin-offs and sequels.


Gameplay screenshot featuring a Mitsubishi FTO GPX on Trial Mountain Circuit

Gran Turismo is a racing game. The player must maneuver a car to compete against artificially intelligent drivers on various race tracks. The game uses two different modes: Arcade Mode and Simulation Mode (Gran Turismo Mode in PAL and Japanese versions). In the arcade mode, the player can freely choose the courses and vehicles they wish to use. Winning races unlocks additional cars and courses.

However, simulation mode requires the player to earn different levels of driver's licenses in order to qualify for events, and earn credits (money), trophies and prize cars by winning race championships. Winning one particular championship also unlocks a video and a few additional demonstration tracks. Credits can be used to purchase additional vehicles, and for parts and tuning.

Gran Turismo features 140 cars and 11 race tracks (as well as their reversed versions). Two Honda NSX cars from 1992 were included in the Japanese version, but were removed from the North American and European versions. There is also a 1967 Chevrolet Corvette and a 1998 Mazda Roadster exclusive to the Arcade mode.


The game required five years to complete.[8] During an interview with Kazunori Yamauchi, it was revealed that development of Gran Turismo started in the second half of 1992. Yamauchi added that at different times there were only seven to fifteen people assisting him.[9] When asked how difficult it was to create Gran Turismo, Yamauchi remarked: "It took five years. In those five years, we could not see the end. I would wake up at work, go to sleep at work. It was getting cold, so I knew it must be winter. I estimate I was home only four days a year."[8] Sound design was one aspect that Yamauchi believed was compromised due to a lack of time. Although Kazunori considered the game's artificial intelligence to be superior to its competitors, he remained unsatisfied with its development.[10]

When Gran Turismo was released in Japan, Polyphony Digital was still a development group within Sony Computer Entertainment. The studio was established in April 1998, before the Western release of the game.[11] Yamauchi estimated that Gran Turismo utilised around 75% of the PlayStation's maximum performance.[12]


The opening song for the North American and PAL versions is a Chemical Brothers remix of the Manic Street Preachers song "Everything Must Go". The opening song for the Japanese version is "Moon Over the Castle", composed by Masahiro Andoh. The game itself had a selection of licensed songs, including "Lose Control" by Ash; "Chicken on a Bone" (reworked instrumental), "Shade" (instrumental), "Tangerine" (instrumental), and "Sweet 16" by Feeder (PAL version); "As Heaven is Wide" by Garbage; and "Oxyacetalene", "Skeletal", "Autonomy", and "Industry" by Cubanate (North American and PAL versions). The Japanese version, however, used a completely original score. Aside from "Moon Over the Castle", other songs were remixed for Gran Turismo 2 and Gran Turismo 4.


Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllGame5/5 stars[15]
GamePro5/5 stars[19]
Game RevolutionA[20]
OPM (US)5/5 stars[23]
Entertainment WeeklyA−[24]
Spotlight Awards 1999Best simulation
Official UK PlayStation MagazinePerfect 10
Academy of Interactive Arts & SciencesRacing Game of the Year
MobyGamesGame of the Year

Gran Turismo was met with critical acclaim.

The game was praised by critics, including in the reviews by IGN (9.5/10)[22] and GameSpot (8.6/10).[21] Gran Turismo won the best simulation of 1999 at the Spotlight Awards,[25] won "Best Driving Game" and "Best Graphics" of 1999 according to the staff of PlayStation Official Magazine,[26] and was voted the sixth best game of all time by the magazine's readers in the same issue.[26] In 2000, readers of Computer and Video Games voted it the eighth best video game of all time.[27] Game Informer ranked it the 21st best video game ever made in 2001. The staff felt that the racing genre had not offered as "complete [a] package" as Gran Turismo.[28] In 2017, Gran Turismo was declared the best driving game ever by Top Gear.[29]

As of April 2008, the game has shipped 2.55 million copies in Japan, 10,000 in Southeast Asia, 4.3 million in Europe, and 3.99 million in North America for a total of 10.85 million copies, in which to this day, remains the best selling video game for the PlayStation and the third highest-selling game in the Gran Turismo franchise, behind Gran Turismo 4 and Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec respectively.[2][3] It was also a high seller in Australia, selling over 100,000 units in the first two months and with sales exceeding 130,000 as of October 1998.[30]


  1. ^ "Corporate profile". Cyberhead. Archived from the original on 2001-10-24. Retrieved 30 August 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d ""Gran Turismo" Series Software Title List". Polyphony Digital. June 2008. Archived from the original on 2007-02-06. Retrieved 2008-12-03.
  3. ^ a b "Gran Turismo Series Shipment Exceeds 50 Million Units Worldwide" (Press release). Sony Interactive Entertainment. 2008-05-09. Retrieved 2008-05-29.
  4. ^
  5. ^ The Greatest Games of All Time: Gran Turismo, GameSpot
  6. ^ "Gran Turismo Series Software Title List". 2013. Archived from the original on 2007-02-06. Retrieved 2013-01-30.
  7. ^
  8. ^ a b Vaughn, Mark (June 3, 2009). "Six questions for the creator of Gran Turismo". AutoWeek Magazine. Retrieved 2009-07-02.
  9. ^ Takahashi, Dean (2010-01-14). "Gran Turismo's creator takes a fifth stab at a perfect racing game". GamesBeat. Retrieved 2011-01-27.
  10. ^ "Prescreen: Gran Turismo 2". Edge. Future Publishing (68): 48–49. February 1999.
  11. ^ "Corporate Profile". Archived from the original on 24 February 2012. Retrieved 15 January 2012.
  12. ^ "Prescreen: Gran Turismo 2". Edge. Future Publishing (68): 46. February 1999.
  13. ^ "Gran Turismo for PlayStation". GameRankings. CBS Interactive. Retrieved November 6, 2013.
  14. ^ "Gran Turismo for PlayStation Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved November 6, 2013.
  15. ^ Broesder, Chris. "Gran Turismo - Review". AllGame. Archived from the original on 2014-11-14. Retrieved 2014-11-22.
  16. ^ Alex C (1998). "PlayStation Review: Gran Turismo". Computer and Video Games. Archived from the original on 2007-06-10. Retrieved 2014-03-11.
  17. ^ Edge Staff (February 1998). "Gran Turismo review". Edge (55). Archived from the original on 2014-02-21. Retrieved 2015-03-08.
  18. ^ "Gran Turismo". Electronic Gaming Monthly (175): 188. January 2004.
  19. ^ Air Hendrix (1998). "Gran Turismo Review for PlayStation on". GamePro. Archived from the original on 2005-02-12. Retrieved 2014-03-11.
  20. ^ Baldric (May 1998). "Gran Turismo Review (PS)". Game Revolution. Archived from the original on 2008-05-14. Retrieved 2014-03-11.
  21. ^ a b Broady, Vincent (1998-01-15). "Gran Turismo Review". GameSpot. Retrieved 2013-11-06.
  22. ^ a b Boor, Jay (1998-08-23). "Gran Turismo". IGN. Retrieved 2013-11-06.
  23. ^ "Gran Turismo". Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine. 1998.
  24. ^ Walk, Gary Eng (1998-06-19). "Gran Turismo". Entertainment Weekly (437). Retrieved 2014-03-11.
  25. ^ "Game Developers Choice Awards". Retrieved 2013-11-06.
  26. ^ a b Official UK PlayStation Magazine issue 50, page 38, Future Publishing, October 1999.
  27. ^ Computer and Video Games issue 218.
  28. ^ Cork, Jeff (2009-11-16). "Game Informer's Top 100 Games of All Time (Circa Issue 100)". Game Informer. Retrieved 2013-12-10.
  29. ^
  30. ^ "10 million PAL PlayStations". Official PlayStation Magazine (Australia) (15): 14. October 1998.

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