There were still no Porsches or Ferraris, but what the hell. Gran Turismo 2 came out in December of 1999, just when the world was starting to get excited about PlayStation 2. That didn’t matter though - GT2 was a staggering creation that squeezed more out of PSone than had ever seemed possible before.
The feel and system was pretty much unchanged from GT1, apart from two enhancements - the number of cars went from under 200 to well over 600, and the tracks were boosted from the mid teens to nearly 30. It was huge.
Gran Turismo 2 STATS
Released: December 1999 (US)
Music: The Cardigans, Garbage
Average eBay price: $7.85
GT2 was also the game that introduced the extra-special Rally mode, adding thrilling off-road racing. It was, literally, the best driving game and biggest package the world had ever seen. Imagine the faces on the poor old programmers at Sega and Namco when they first found out GT2 had near 650 cars in it. It didn’t just raise the bar, it nailed it to the tail of a space shuttle and blasted it into orbit.
GT2 also gave you a much better statistical breakdown of your achievements, so you knew a little bit more about how many hundred races or license tests you had to power through to unlock the next slightly different version of the Nissan Skyline. Races could now be taken on one at a time - essential in a game of this size.
It was (and still is, we believe) one of the gaming world’s greatest achievements. Especially as it was all running on the little old PSone.