When Sony launched the Playstation in North America, gamers were not sure what to expect from this newcomer. Was the Playstation going to be like other attempts to break into gaming such as the 3DO, the Pippon and many other failed attempts? Sony showed gamers that the Playstation was truly the place for varied gaming even the virtual car tuner could have fun. Gran Turismo was the first salvo in a long running series that still continues today.
Gran Turismo came with two gameplay modes, Arcade and Simulation. The majority of the fun derived from Gran Turismo is from the Simulation mode where medals are earned, cars are tweaked from bumper to bumper, including wheels and rims. This level of customization helped separate Gran Turismo from the weak offerings on the other consoles at the time (mainly the Sega Saturn).
The other cool thing about Gran Turismo is that the tracks are based on real tracks while the cars and parts are all licensed real things. Sony and Polyphonal Digital went well out of their way to add the little things to Gran Turismo, things that other games missed. As they say, the devil is in the details and anyone that has lost hours upon hours tweaking their cars in Gran Turismo will tell you, this game is deep.