Gran Turismo

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
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A long running driving game franchise on the Sony consoles, starting on the PlayStation in 1998.

The games are known for their high production values and visual fidelity. Each game has a large selection of cars for the player to purchase, from second hand classics through to cutting edge modern cars and sometimes beyond into concept car territory.

The player must earn the right to compete in the harder races by passing license tests that teach proper racing techniques such as using the correct line, late braking and so on.

While not a full-on simulation, the handling model of the game is definitely at the realism end of the spectrum, the game's subtitle being 'The Real Driving Simulator'.

In the mid-2000s, the game has been challenged by Microsoft's Forza Motorsport series of games, which use the same basic formula but adds in custom paint jobs and car damage at the expense of a huge car list.

Not to be confused with Gran Torino.

Tropes used in Gran Turismo include:
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: In GT5 race suits and helmets for your/B-Spec avatars are given as prizes for winning races in the more recent online-only seasonal events.
  • Artificial Stupidity: B-spec mode in GT4 allows you to direct an AI car rather than drive yourself. While it is pretty adept at sticking to the track, it has a really bad habit of riding behind other cars without trying to pass, even if you order it to "Overtake" and you have a vastly superior vehicle.
    • The AI opponents in GT5 can have some trouble as well. See how they almost repeatedly bungle the Schumacher-S chicane in the Nurburgring GP circuit here. Doubles as a Crowning Moment of Funny when it happens en masse.
  • Ascended Fanboy: The game is so realistic that a few fans have become professional racers, or have been invited to try out real cars.
    • Along with GT5, GT Academy was launched; a series of competitions that give the most skilled gamers the opportunity to become real racing drivers.
      • The 2010 GT Academy winner Lucas Ordonez has gone on to win the ILMC and finish 2nd in the 24 Hours of Le Mans (in his class) in his first season.
  • Awesome but Impractical: The TVR Cerbera LM. 591BHP, 900 kg weight, rear wheel drive - and no traction control.
    • Any car whose engine can produce more power than its chassis can handle.
  • Awesome Yet Practical: The whole point of the series.
    • GT1 had the used R32 Skyline GTR. Affordable from Day 1 with your starting money, tunable, stable at cornering - no wonder almost every guide advised you to make it your first car.
    • This is subverted as you progress through the game(s), but it's justified because the faster races require cars either built exclusively or heavily modified for performance.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: A-spec Points in GT4, of which more are awarded for winning races with weaker cars, and the points are not cumulative if you win the same race multiple times.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: AI cars tend to handle on dirt and snow exactly as they would on tarmac, leading to many a thrown controller as junky 80's production cars beat your souped up rally cars. Until you figure out you can cheat too, in a different way.
    • The penalties for crashing into other cars in the rallies in GT4 would always be assessed against the player, no matter whose fault the collision was.
  • Cool Car
  • Creator Provincialism: The vehicle rosters are heavily dominated by Japanese cars. It wasn't until the fourth game that Detroit actually got a decent car lineup, and it was still missing models like the 1970 Dodge Challenger (which showed up in the second game, go figure) and the 80's Pontiac Firebird. It also took until the fifth game in the series for Ferraris to finally appear.
  • Cultural Translation: Sony always has the rather bad habits of axing the BGMs for licensed Western tracks, dividing all monetary values by 100 to resemble US dollars instead of yen, changing the default unit of power (PS to HP), and (in the first game at least) changing which cars are initially available in Quick Arcade mode.
  • Disc One Nuke: If you get all golds on the first license test, which is still kind of hard, you can get a car that will allow you to blow away the competition in the Beginner leagues.
    • GT4 has the mighty Cadillac Cien, which is obtained by completing the first rally event. And if you put this car on the 24 hours of Nürburgring -- which is a pretty much assured victory -- you will get the Formula 1 racer.
    • The second rally event (Capri Rally) gives you the Toyota RSC Rally Raid Car which could also be considered a Disc One Nuke. It is a powerful car in and of itself, and you can sell it for 265 000 credits. If you tune it fully, you can easily get 2-minute laptimes at the Capri. This allows you to grind 1.8 million credits per hour.
    • Anyone who bought the Collector's/Signature edition of GT5 received five "stealth cars", either racing versions of supercars or de-restricted racecars. These cars come with front and rear downforce, are drivable straightaway, and cost next to nothing to repair.
    • The online seasonal events in GT5 qualify as veritable Disc One Nukes if you can tune your car at the right PP level. The easiest of these events would be the Stars & Stripes and Japanese Classics races. Since all of them can net you a LOT of money if you can secure first place, you'll be able to even get the elusive Formula Gran Turismo car in the online dealership at a mere 5,000,000 in just less than an hour. And all this by winning those events time and time again.
    • Step 1: Make friends with a gamer who has a Red Bull X2010 to borrow. Step 2: Enter it in all the events possible. Step 3: ? Step 4: Profit.
      • Hell, let your B-Spec driver race for you.
  • Driving Test: The game's tutorials.
  • Dummied Out: There's quite a few, but GT3 has a few notable examples. Video here.
    • Team Nomad's #88 Lamborghini Diablo GT for the 1999 JGTC season was available as a prize car in NTSC-J, relegated to cheats-only in NTSC-U, and completely removed in the European version. As Polyphony manage to secure licensing rights from Lamborghini for Gran Turismo 5, it made its return in that game.
    • Street and rally versions of the Lancia Stratos are available via cheats on NTSC-J and NTSC-U, removed in PAL. This car would become available in GT4.
  • Dynamic Difficulty
  • Easter Egg: In GT5, if you go into cockpit view in the High End Performance G37 you will notice a Play Station 3 in the back.
    • That's probably because it was included at SEMA. Although there ARE more
  • Elite Tweak
  • First-Person Snapshooter: The fourth and fifth games let you take a picture, can be a still or in the track, and save it to a USB drive.
  • Gotta Catch Em All: A Self-Imposed Challenge for diehard car collectors. Made into a real challenge in GT5 where the Used Car and Online dealerships only show some of the collectable cars at a time (the Used Car list changes a bit after playing certain games; the Online list changes over time), thus demanding patience, and luck, from the players.
  • Green Aesop: GT's 1,031-car lineup even includes hybrids and electric cars, such as the Tesla Roadster.
    • The latest release of GT5 Prologue (aka A-Spec III) had a fictional concept version of the GT by Citroën, which was powered by Fuel Cells (whereas the real car had a V8 petrol engine).
  • Impairment Shot
  • Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: Even "plastic mesh" fences are apparently made of adamantium.
  • Jack of All Stats: Clearing the first license on the fourth game nets you a Pontiac Sunfire, still a normal sedan but also a well-balanced starter car. The first game, meanwhile, is way easier if you start with the Hachi-roku.
    • Most Japanese cars (barring most of Daihatsu); usually moderately powerful and easier to handle, and they're slightly cheaper than Western ones (just like real life). Such as the Mitsubishi Lancer.
  • Jay Leno: He's a brand of car in GT4, as his unique hot rod with a Sherman tank engine is a bonus vehicle.
    • Same car can now be purchased from the Used Car Dealership in GT5. It also can be won as a prize car in the A-Spec American Championship.
  • Joke Character: GT4 allows you to unlock a vintage 1886 Mercedes-Benz patent Motorwagen, which has all of one HP. The Model T is also unlockable. Not to mention the Daihatsu Midget-I...
    • Other useless joke cars include the Fiat 500F, the Honda Life Stepvan, the Subaru 360, the VW Beetle 1948, and many other classic cars. Some of these can't even be driven in races. GT2 had a few of these as well.
      • It is possible, in the fifth installment at least, to make a Honda Life Step Van wheelie. And, that's about all the reasons you have for buying it over that flash Skyline!
    • Subverted with the Citroen 2CV, which actually can be used in a certain event.
    • A Joke Race: your prize for the All-American Championship, which requires you to spend a few hundred thousand credits on a race car or upgrades, is only a useless 1954 Corvette. And the prize credits are a paltry sum as well. So it's a net loss.
    • GT2 featured two dragster cars, which were meant for the Dummied Out drag-racing mode. At least you could have fun trying to control all 1000BHP of them.
    • GT5 throws in the Volkswagen Kübelwagen (an army vehicle) and the Volkswagen Sambus (a van), though they're used in the Top Gear Test Track challenges.
  • Lethal Joke Character: The Renault Espace F1 -- a racing minivan, except this thing is no joke: It actually exists and will kick the ass of any other minivan ever created. A shame it has only been driven once.
    • The De Lorean DMC12. Although it was a crappy car in real life, it kicks ass in-game.
    • The Nike ONE, although it can't be driven in races.
  • Level Grinding: Actually played straight in GT5, though in all incarnations, you're going to have to work hard raking in the dough if you're going to spice up your car with the best parts and/or getting the car(s) of your wildest dreams. Often overlaps with Money Grinding.
  • Loads And Loads Of Cars: In every game. There are over 1000 cars in GT5.
  • Marathon Level: Endurance races.
  • Nintendo Hard: To the point where actually driving a car is easier than beating some of the races.
  • Nitro Boost: The NOS booster was available as an optional upgrade in GT4, but all it does was boosting your acceleration while draining your fuel.
  • Obvious Beta: The PSP version. Five years to develop a cut-down Arcade Mode that somehow manages to have less cars than GT1 and GT2, despite the fact that the PSP has superior hardware. Some circles speculate that the game was actually scrapped mid-way through development and was resuscitated because GT5 was taking too long to develop and Sony decided to throw gamers a bone.
  • Old Save Bonus: There's a few, so take a seat.
    • From 1 to 2: Transferring save data from GT1 to GT2 would give you some extra credits, plus exemptions from the B and A licenses.
    • From 3 to 4: Pretty much the same, except the amount of credits transferred dwarfs the previous example.
    • From Portable or Prologue to 5: Any cars earned in either of those games are unlocked in the Arcade mode of GT5.
    • Played with in Gran Turismo Concept (a PAL and NTSC-J only release) After passing all the license tests, the game allows players to import over 10,000,000 credits and complete all unfinished licenses on GT3. Counts as a sort of Disc One Nuke if you're just starting to play GT3; with that amount of cash and full licenses, you can buy, modify, and enter every car necessary for every event.
  • Pressure Sensitive Interface: The original was largely responsible for the take-up of Sony's then-brand new analogue controllers.
  • Rare Vehicles
  • RPG Elements: GT is basically a Car RPG, where racing replaces battles. Think about it: if you win you gain experience money; you can then level up when you have enough to buy new kit; upgrading parts replaces the upgrade cycle of buying new armor and weapons; both raise your stats so you can take on tougher opponents; you even get new party members cars. And quite often you'll be Level Grinding the races for more money and selling off the cars you win.
    • Oddly, experience points were added in GT5.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: Gran Turismo 5 semi-controversially removed the "Brake Upgrade." The primary reasons for upgrading the brakes in for racing in real life are just about the only two things that Gran Turismo doesn't model: brake pad condition and braking system heat. Raw stopping power owes far more to vehicle weight and tires.
  • Regional Bonus: The English version of the first game added a music player to the options menu.
  • The Rival: Forza Motorsport.
  • Rated "M" for Money: Averted. The entire franchise has been rated E for Everyone throughout its conception but has been selling like hotcakes, is loved by both hardcore car enthusiasts and regular gamers, and is one of many flagship Sony exclusives. It helps that, with sales of 61 million units through the entire series, Gran Turismo has become the best selling exclusive of all time. OF ALL TIME!!!
  • Ruined FOREVER: The removal of Midfield Raceway and Seattle Circuit from Gran Turismo 5 has elicited cries of this. Also, the exclusion of Special Stage Route 11 after GT3, which was one of the best circuits in the series, drew ire from fans as well. The main reason for its exclusion was that the developers thought the track took up a lot of memory space from the games it had appeared in and that more real world circuits would take its place in the later games and overshadow its presence as a playable course.
    • Kazunoiri Yamauchi's announcement that DLC would be bi-monthly. Fans were foaming at the mouth.
    • The removal of the ability to upgrade brakes as well. Players can still adjust the Anti-Lock Brake intensity.
  • Scenery Porn: The entire series is about this. Professional racers have certified that SCEI's Nürburgring is almost exactly like the real one.
  • Scunthorpe Problem:The game censors chat online. However, as this thread may attest, it censors a little too much.
  • Shout-Out: The 1984 Toyota Sprinter Trueno AE86 Shuichi Shigeno, based on the manga creator's own AE86.
    • GT5 includes Dunsfold Park, the famous test track from Top Gear. This may be in honor of the episode where Jeremy Clarkson played Laguna Seca in GT4 and then traveled to the real thing to try and beat his in-game time. He failed.
  • Spin-Off: Tourist Trophy, which is GT4 WITH MOTORCYCLES!
  • Stealth Pun: The car on the cover of the fourth game is the Ford GT. There are two racing versions of this car in the game, both with door number 4. Yes, GT #4.
  • Super Prototype: Both played straight and subverted. Late into the game you'll come across prototype and racing-class versions of stock cars you found in the stores. These are often far better than their unmodified stock models -- the plain vanilla Geo Metro, for example, has 70 hp, whereas the Pikes Peak version has 700 hp -- but by the time you have access to them, you've probably Ace Customized your own cars so much that the prototypes pale in comparison -- at least until you get to max those out.
    • GT5's Stealth Model "Gift Cars" include such vehicles, and you get to have them as early as starting the game for the first time. See Disc One Nuke.
    • The X1/X2010
  • Vendor Trash: You'll be selling cars that practically don't fare well in most races, especially the Joke Cars.