Yes, 2010’s Gran Turismo 5 is a great game. And, yeah, Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec, is pretty wonderful. But we’re allowing only one title per series and have to give the nod to the debut release in this fabled franchise. Offering a “simulation” experience vastly more demanding than the arcade-like controls of kart racers, GT introduced to a whole generation of console gamers such Racing 101 concepts as “understeering” and “drafting” and the increased speed and handling when accelerating out of a turn. Just as noteworthy was the exacting level of visual and sonic detail (which included the developers recording the engine sounds for each in-game vehicle) and a “replay” feature that let you admire your brilliance on the asphalt. The game could be infuriatingly difficult – did anyone actually earn an “International-A” license? – but offered a rewarding experience and quite possibly boosted the real-life driving skills of its most devoted fans.
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