Gran Designs - Day one: Gran Turismo

As well as control, GT introduced another thing to the world of racing games - statistics. The first GT gave us a staggering 178 cars, quite something to a gaming world then ruled by titles like Sega Rally and Daytona USA which would, if you were lucky, give you a choice of three vehicles with maybe a fourth as a bonus.

Gran Turismo was intriguing. It was interesting to drive your mom’s old family car around a race track. Gone were the fantasy worlds where you raced F1 cars and stock cars at 1000mph - now you were a learner driver bumping Fiats into cones.

Playing in Arcade or Simulation modes gave you a regular race game or the more advanced collection of license tests, and the first of these were pretty tricky - especially when struggling to learn how to use Sony’s new analog controller.

It also established another of the series’ defining features - a rocking soundtrack made up of famous bands. In GT we only got the lame rock of Feeder and Ash, but it was a start, and a glimpse toward the ultimate blend of music, cutting-edge looks and comprehensive car lists that GT would become famous for. And it looked hot.

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