Home » Gran Turismo Is 25 Years Old Today: What Was Your Favorite Car?

Gran Turismo Is 25 Years Old Today: What Was Your Favorite Car?

Gran Turismo

On a cold December 23rd, 1997, the automotive world changed. It’s not an understatement to say that the original Gran Turismo for Playstation was the most impactful car racing game of all time. Not only was the gameplay more realistic than any other mainstream game that preceded it, GT introduced kids outside Japan to cars they’d never even imagined existed.

I was 14 when this game debuted and I’d glimpsed other cars through the “World Rally Championship” on SPEEDVISION and through the German car magazines my relatives would bring back from the Frankfurt airport. I thought I was cool. I was not cool. I knew nothing!

I got Gran Turismo for Christmas in 1997 and, honestly, I don’t remember much of 1998. Did I kiss a girl that entire year? Possibly not. Did I get an International-A License so I could race a Mazda Demio at Grand Valley Raceway? Hell yeah I did.

In honor of the game’s 25th anniversary let’s take a trip down memory lane, all to the sound of Manic Street Preachers remixed by The Chemical Brothers. If you’re old enough to remember, please tell me what your favorite car was (here’s the car list if you need a refresher).

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Gran Turismo Via Japanese Racing Group

For me, the Mitsubishi FTO was the definition of forbidden fruit. I love a quick FWD car, but the only real options in the United States were the Probe/MX-6 or the Honda Prelude. There’s nothing wrong with those cars, but I think still think the FTO is the most attractive of the bunch.

The best version of this car was the prize-only FTO LM, a special all-wheel drive racing version with more than 500 hp that never existed in the real world. Look at it!

Ok, your turn!

Photo: Gran Turismo

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62 Responses

  1. My memory is failing; I can’t remember if it was the Nissan R32 Skyline GT-R ’89, ’91, Nismo, Vspec or Vspec II. Seriously – love the game, and the car, but the fetishization of the GT-R in its many, many forms was pretty insane. Personally I remember being super-impressed at the way FR, FF and (in particular) MR cars felt noticeably different on the limit. You could get an MR2 into a reeeeally stable drift if you got it just right, and it felt awesome.

  2. Well, I didn’t play GT1, but if we’re talking the whole series I’ll go with the Nissan Skyline Super Silhouette R30 from Grand Turismo 2. I also liked the Suzuki Escudo Pikes Peak, but that one felt more like a cheat code to win any unrestricted race. I’m not 100% sure, but I think I won all endurance races “driving” the Skyline (or at least the ones I could enter it; not sure if there were endurance races with class restrictions, haven’t played GT2 in a while). I loved that the game had the Espace F1, but racing it was a disappointment.


  3. Favorite car was probably the NSX-R LM you could win in the world cup event but my most useful was the Castrol Supra GT you could win in the 300KM race. Once you got that Supra everything else was a cake walk.

    1. I believe Matt is exclusively referencing Grand Turismo 1, which didn’t have the S2K as the car launched three years later.

      1. Back then, I didn’t have much of a car preference. Everything was cool to me, but the three cars I remember picking most often were the 67 Corvette Stingray, 96 Corvette Grand Sport and the Eclipse GS-T. Funny enough, all these years later you’d think I’m a Corvette fan, but I actually can’t stand them.

        1. WTF is up with this website. I was writing a new comment standalone comment below and it placed it here. This wasn’t a reply.

  4. I’m the weirdo who always plays with boring every-cars in racing games. In modern games I’m the guy racing tuned cargo vans and oddball 70’s compact cars.

    I always liked the Honda del Sol in GT1 – I also vividly remember beating a Shelby Cobra in a souped-up PT Cruiser in GT3.

  5. The Mitsubishi 3000GT when fully upgraded absolutely dominated, can’t confirm %100 since it’s been so long but a couple places say it could be upgraded to 900+ HP, combined with AWD it was unstoppable. That is the only car I remember from that game because it was the only that mattered.

  6. I remember spending way more hours than was healthy on that game, but my guilty pleasure was in racing the sleeper cars that were actually on sale in the UK domestic market at the time. I’m talking the Nissan Sunny and Primera, Honda Accord (wagon, obviously) and the Mazda MX-5.

    I think the PlayStation X/O buttons are still imprinted on my thumbs.

  7. There was this guy, and we’ve become best friends because of Gran Turismo 2. And we’d always spend all the night battling “his” R34 GT-R V-Spec with everything maxed up Vs. “my” Supra RZ with everything maxed up at Mid Field Raceway.
    Good times! Then we grew up and apart and now I miss someone that doesn’t exist anymore.

    1. I specifically checked out the comments here looking to see if anyone mentioned TVR. I didn’t know what TVR was when I found it way back when on GT – maybe it was a reward car I tested with the intention to immediately flip. To me it seemed to be the best handling car in the game – which is bonkers because to my knowledge driving a TVR… any TVR… is like trying to cuddle a honey badger (full disclosure, never even seen a TVR in person – going by Top Gear/Grand Tour shows). If I recall correctly I used the TVR exclusively after that.

      Side note – I specifically bought PS4 way back when thinking they MUST be coming out with an updated GT and years and years later when they finally did I thought it was horrible. It also had a horrible VR content that would make you sick almost instantly.

      1. I have actually driven a TVR…for about two meters, but I did have a friend who owned and daily drove a 5 litre Chimera, and from what he described, it was a bit of a handful if you weren’t careful, but not actually sketchy.
        He drove his wife and dogs around in it, so he clearly felt it was safe, but it did get replaced (with a 328i iirc) when they had kids.

  8. Around Thanksgiving this year I saw a Mitsubishi FTO in traffic. I recognized it because of Gran Turismo. Those cars are old enough to be imported legally now.

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