Having a long-running franchise isn’t always so great. Some series struggle with expectations (Final Fantasy) while others seemingly hit a wall in innovation (Call of Duty).
Luckily, Gran Turismo seems to still have plenty of gas in its tank even as the genre-defining series hit its 15th anniversary. Yes, folks, that racing game that once made Playstation 1 owners go, "Huwooow! Parang totoo!" is now 15 years old!
The first game in the series was released back in 1998 in the U.S. The sixth full game, Gran Turismo 6, will be coming out on December 6 of this year, with a 15th anniversary edition available for hardcore digital gearheads.
Polyphony Digital, GT's creators, pretty much invented the racing simulator genre on consoles when they released the first game. Now, if the words “racing simulator” scare you, relax, and ease the grip on that wheel. While very detailed, the game's not just for hardcore racers. Even Sunday drivers (like us!) can relate thanks mainly to an arcade mode and the sheer amount of car porn present.
With over 1,000 cars in GT5 (compared to the original’s mere 140), it’s hard to name favorites. But since the game is celebrating a milestone, we're jumping on this bandwagon, and pinpointing 15 whips that are parked in a special place in our hearts.
From the bottom of our hearts, we thank Gran Turismo for letting us digitally own all the cars we want that we probably will never even get a whiff of in real life. As for those stupid license tests? Well, Gran Turismo, you've always been kind of a snooty jerk that we can't help but admire anyway.
The cars below are by no means a definitive list of the 15 best cars of the series. These are just some of our favorites. So do chime in our comments section if you're a fan of the series, and let us know what other cars should have been included here!
1. Mazda Demio - Gran Turismo
Despite all the dream cars in the series, the humble Mazda Demio will always have a special place in Gran Turismo players’ hearts. Since there wasn’t really anything like GT prior, you inevitably spent more time in this tiny car–repeatedly failing the first B-License test–than you would have wanted to. Welcome to the real driving simulator!
2. Mitsubishi GTO Twin Turbo – Gran Turismo
Mitsubishi was a major force back then. The FTO was often suggested as a good starter car for your measly 10,000 credits, and at the other end of the scale, the GTO TT was perfect for max speed runs in the endgame–when you had enough money to mod your car to insane horsepower levels.
3. Castrol Tom’s Supra/Mugen NSX/ARTA GT-R – Gran Turismo 2
Before “everyday” exotica like Lamborghinis and Paganis entered the grid, the grail cars in the early days of GT were these JGTC (Japanese Grand Touring Championship) track monsters. In stock form, an NSX, Supra Mk.IV, and an R34 GT-R are lust-inducing enough, but seeing them in full race livery was a whole different level of DO WANT.
4. Suzuki Escudo Pikes Peak Edition – Gran Turismo 2
Blinded by its NINE HUNDRED horsepower, giant aero kit, and trying to fly thanks to its giant aero kit, most of us probably didn’t even realize this was based on a small SUV (Vitara, anyone?) rather than a regular car.
5. Mitsubishi Evolution V – Gran Turismo 2
Along with the intro of rally racing for GT’s second installment, we also got arguably the definitive version of Mitsubishi’s WRC champ car–the Evolution V (cue turbo whoosh). Driving it in the dirt didn’t make that ridiculously overpriced car wash at GT Auto any more necessary though!
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