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).
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