Graphics:
9.5
Gameplay:
9.8
Sound:
9.8
Control:
10.0
Replay Value:
10.0
Online Gameplay:
10.0
Overall Rating:
9.9
Publisher:
SCEA
Developer:
Polyphony Digital
Number Of Players:
1-2 (16 Online)
Genre:
Racing
Release Date:
November 24, 2010


How do you review a game like Gran Turismo 5? To be honest with you, the more I play the more I come to realize this is an extremely frustrating review to write, and I'll explain. Expectations for Gran Turismo 5 have been set so astronomically high that it's almost impossible not to find certain let downs, and thus, have some disappointments. I mean, it's been five years in the making, and with every year we're hearing rumors of more and more features possibly being added to the final product. At the end of the day, about 90-95% of those rumored features made it in. But a lot of people expressed concerns with one in particular, the 1000-large list of cars, of which about 250 are premium from-the-ground-up models specifically made for GT5, including damage and fully modeled interiors. The other 800 are standard vehicles, models out of Gran Turismo 4 and Gran Turismo PSP, but re-skinned in higher-resolution, don't feature modeled interiors, and boast minimal damage.

Now, first thing's first…damage control (no pun intended). I've always felt that the design process is all about giving the gamer/owner options. Do you really not want an extra 800 cars to toy with, even if they are notably weaker in visual quality? That's sort of like saying, "no, I don't want this bag of quarters, because bills are better"…sort of, but you get the point. At the end of the day, money is money, and a virtual car is a virtual car. Options . Hey, if you don't like the standard cars, by all means don't buy them – they're only sold in the used car dealership, all other cars are premium. To be frank, unless you're looking at the standard cars in photo mode or up close in replays, you really aren't that bothered by them during the races. Gran Turismo 5's lighting does a fantastic job at making the lesser models blend in during races. But we're talking a bit too much about the visuals.

It's the gameplay that really sealed it for me. At first, as is par for course, GT5 starts off a bit slow. But things quickly get rolling as you make your way through GT Mode (the career), increasing your driver level, racking up money, buying new cars, winning new cars, buying tons of mods, and so forth. With every level increased, there's always something to look forward to. You see, unlike past Gran Turismo games where you could cheat by grinding and earning tons of money to buy an expensive exotic, tune it, and smoke every single challenge, the level system prevents you from doing that. You can earn money by grinding, sure, but the higher your level gets the more experience points each level will need in order to move onto the next. So grinding for experience points is extremely difficult. But exotics are spread across numerous levels, for example you need to be at level 12 to purchase an Audi R8 5.2 V10, meanwhile above level 20 for a Ferrari F40. Fear not, though, because if you're playing through the career, you'll earn your money and points and unlock not just the ability to purchase a certain car, but also numerous special challenges, including Top Gear, Nascar, AMG School, and a few others.

License tests are no longer an absolute requirement anymore, as the game now relies on your drive rank instead, but they're still present for those devout fans. I will say this, though, some of the challenges, like the Top Gear VW SambaBus challenge are simply brutal and not fun. It took me handful of attempts to complete this challenge, and worst of all…you're driving at an average speed of 50MPH and struggling to go faster, so it was especially maddening when some jerky A.I. decided to clip me at the very end, forcing me to spend another five minutes redoing everything all over again. Ugh. To top it all off, in order to unlock the Top Gear track for regular use, you have to get gold in this challenge. Eventually, you figure it out, and the key is not to be scared of the speed as these busses aren't going fast enough to lose control through most of the curves.

Gran Turismo 5 is about as loaded as a racing game can get. It has a ton of features that seemingly never end. Karts, Super GT, Formula One, LeMans, Rally, and Touring Cars are just some of the extras that went in along side of your everyday pedestrian vehicles. There are over 50 tracks in the game, some of which are reversed courses or various versions of a course (short, standard, modified turns). There is more than enough track diversity in the game as far as cities, real courses, and original courses to keep you happy. But in case you wanted more, a course creator allows you to highly modify a track template to your liking using a number of tools at your disposal.

Now, I've expressed a concern with the frustrating levels of certain challenges, and allow me to express a few more faults I've noticed. First, how come there is no brake upgrade option in the tuning section? It's one of the most common upgrades on cars today, and yet it's completely missing in the game. Sure, your braking will improve considerably with tires and weight reduction mods, but an actual upgrade of the calipers and rotors would've been splendid. Odd. Also, how come I can't slap on new wheels on a standard car? I'm assuming it's because the level of quality between the standard car and the premium wheels isn't compatible, but regardless, they could've just ported over high-resolution GT4 wheels for the standard cars. I also noticed there was no more nitrous upgrade. Additionally, how come we don't have drag racing anymore? Staging some drag races online would've been epic; although I have found a little workaround where racers can just take to the Top Gear runway and line up there.

But at the end of the day, there are simply features and options that Gran Turismo offers that no other racing game does. Even if some other racer features a few options that GT5 doesn't have, it still won't offer as many in total. And what's most impressive is that Polyphony Digital has announced frequent downloadable updates to the game, and already in just five days, we've had two updates, one of which has added new features for online gameplay. Expect cars and possibly tracks to arrive by way of these updates, and it's been said that Sony will not charge for any of them. Don't forget, various updates for GT5 Prologue added numerous cars and enhancements, which no one ever paid a dime for.

Lastly, I should go over the physics. To do this, I will preface this paragraph with a simple comment: if you're playing Gran Turismo 5 with a controller, you're playing a videogame. If you're playing Gran Turismo 5 with a Logitech G25 or G27 wheel, you're playing a simulator. The physics model is far and away the best of any racer I've sampled. Unlike other sims where the cars feel floaty and disconnected from the ground, every car in GT5 feels superbly planted. This feeling of connectivity, or feedback, especially comes across well with the Logitech G27 I've been exclusively using with the game. I haven't even touched the controller for a single round. Also, note that I play using professional physics, professional wheel settings, manual transmission, with all assist nannies off (including traction control). Basically, the most advanced settings possible is how my game is configured, and never anything different. Saving my cars from a drift gone too angular is no different than what I've done on a real car before. Likewise, the same goes for holding a drift too. The physics are simply a treat to someone like me. But don't be put off if you aren't hardcore, because there are other physics settings that even beginners will feel very comfortable with.

I've already mentioned some details about the visuals, but I'll reiterate that the standard cars blend in well during races, just don't take them into photo mode. The premium cars are absolutely gorgeous to look at, they are so precisely detailed that you'll no doubt try everything to avoid smashing them when damage has been enabled later on into the career. That and, well, you have to pay for any severe damages made. The interiors are very true to form, but things like display text on the dash screens and such aren't that great to look at, which was expected. There are visual quirks such as some screen tearing and bits of very slight framerate dips, but all of that will be resolved in the very near future with an update (just like GT5 Prologue's first update). But, what will likely not be fixed is the shadows, which are unusually jaggy and very apparent before races and when you're playing using the cockpit view. Here's hoping that Polyphony pull a rabbit out of their hat and fix the shadowing, because it's pretty much my only major visual complaint. To add to my list of small visual complaints, the tire smoke, while very nice, creates a jagged image when it's engulged the car – this is due to a low-resolution texture mixing/clipping with a high resolution texture. And the rain, while pretty to look at when using the rear or front bumper cam, looks obviously pixilated when in the cockpit view.

While it may sound like I'm complaining too much, all of this stuff really is minor. Gran Turismo 5 is a powerhouse, it's just that because it's so damn beautiful, its flaws stand out that much more. I find GT5 looks best when played using 720p, as it smoothens out the image considerably (720p allows for better anti-aliasing with the game), in addition to mostly preventing framerate dips and tearing. The game also has video options that either sharpen the game, smoothen the game, or leave it with a bit of both. Lastly, as far as track detail, the city tracks look absolutely beautiful with the gorgeous scenery and superbly modeled roads, I prefer them by far. The real courses look nice too, but compared to the other tracks, they're more vanilla for obvious reasons.

Despite what you may have heard about the game's audio, primarily the exhaust and engine notes, Gran Turismo 5 actually sounds fantastic. Having sampled a number of cars in the game that I either own, drive frequently, or have driven numerous times before, I've verified how they all sound. My 350Z, which I've sold literally hours before I began writing this on 11/28/10 sounded pitch perfect as you start it up upon selecting it. Same goes for my 370Z, which is what I replaced the 350Z with, it sounds spot on. Even a bunch of the standard cars sounded good, and sound even better with a few exhaust mods – they truly do come alive if you have a nice audio setup. And yes, even though there is a soundtrack in the game, you are more than welcome to override it by using your own from the hard-drive of your PlayStation 3; always massive points in my book.

So was Gran Turismo 5 worth the wait? Absolutely! Sure there's a few drawbacks, but when looking at the big picture, they hardly seem to matter. The game will be kept alive with continuous downloadable updates, and that's already well under way. So with that said, is it possible that after numerous updates we may actually revisit this score and bump it up to a possible 10? Yes. But let me make something clear, a 10 doesn't quite mean perfection. Having said that, I'll allow Ben to wrap up with a few words he asked me to share at the very end:

"Without making any comment on the game itself, I'd like to remind everyone of something- we can't issue review scores based on expectations alone.  For the most part, an overall score takes the competition into account; i.e., the current games on store shelves.  Whether or not GT5 measures up to our super lofty expectations does matter, but let's not forget that at the end of the day, we have to ask ourselves, "how does this stack up against the best of the best of the generation?"

It's not necessarily about comparing it to some picture of perfection in our minds; it's about saying to the consumer, "you should buy this because it's superior to most other products" or, as the case may be, "you shouldn't buy this because it pales in comparison to other options."  We hope you understand." – Ben D.

To put it blunt: there is no equal.

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camaro300zx
camaro300zx
9 years ago

WOW Thats a high Score…

wasim
wasim
9 years ago

well its a GT game and definitely the best racer ever made

Pyramid
Pyramid
9 years ago

9.9 !! Contender for the Game of the Year? U think can beat God of War 3?

xnonsuchx
xnonsuchx
9 years ago

Maybe not if the 82-85/100 avg scores it's getting overall hold up.

johnld
johnld
9 years ago

great review arnold, but i figured that gt5 wont disappoint. i just bought gt5 today for 30 bucks. however, i still have to finish ninja gaiden sigma 2 and ratchet and clank a crack in time, which i found both under 15 bucks. i have a feeling that if i start gt5 i wont be able to play other games. too bad i'm too broke to buy a wheel though. i just cant justify buying a 100 dollar wheel for 1 game since i have only 2 racing games right now, gt5 and ridge racer.

frylock25
frylock25
9 years ago

then score burnout paradise and the new nfs and you will have 4. then you can justify it 😉

thj_1980
thj_1980
9 years ago

THIS IS TOO GOOD OF A SCORE!!!!!!!!!! I can't wait until I get my hands on this. I really just hope it will be good for me.

STAY3R
STAY3R
9 years ago

arnold you are the man 🙂 , fantastic, one of your best reviews ever

STAY3R
STAY3R
9 years ago

aha! just what i said before, it runs best in 720p, 4x msaa, pure aweumness

jlch777
jlch777
9 years ago

Excellent review!!!

sunspider13
sunspider13
9 years ago

My brother got the collectors edition & brought it & his PS3 with him to show me after Thanksgiving dinner. All I could say is WOW. Wonderful review and this game deserves that score. Soon my pretty, soon you'll be in my hands.

daus26
daus26
9 years ago

About the brakes, they don't really improve raw braking power in real life anyway. However they do improve brake wear under various conditions, but I don't think that's something PD have simulated yet.

In past GT games, we have to buy racing brakes to be able to adjust the Brake Balance Controller. Now, we could do that straight up in the settings menu when you want to adjust performances in your car.

Other than that, great review. I love the honesty in the flaws, and also the reasoning of why the game is what it is, rather than basing it from the exaggerated sky high expectations many people have set. Judging a game's score by current competition and standards is something I always look for in reviews.

ABUrabad
ABUrabad
9 years ago

Actually in real life a new brake design have been introduced in new sport and racing cars by depending on ceramic materials as a major component ,the new breaks dont wear off easily and dont lose it braking power by over-heating .

daus26
daus26
9 years ago

Yeah, that's exactly what I mean, but the game doesn't simulate "brake wear" yet, so there wouldn't be any need to buy it in the game anyway. I think a lot of people think performance brakes greatly improve braking power, but in reality it's the weight and tires that does most of the work.

If brakes become too powerful, the ABS system wouldn't be able to handle such power, and get that tire lock any driver wouldn't want.

ABUrabad
ABUrabad
9 years ago

The braking system is an important part when increasing the horse power of any car ,for example as buying a Honda Civic type R it comes with a very low horse power along with a very small disk pads the are not suitable for stopping the car at high speed even with ABS because the contact area between disk pads with the rotating wheel's break disk that will lead to failure of braking system to stop wheel against the high momentum of the car's weight
,so for better braking system you need wheel with a larger areas of contact with the road along with larger disk pads to be able to hold against the body momentum along with supporting the disk pads with more cylinders at the drum break to force more pressure for disking pads against Disc brake which are also needed to be tougher , more heat resistance and containing better cooling mechanism
surely a lot of car fans would know these principles but still no can take them of from a real game simulator
improving the brakes along with better road traction will provide a better braking stability.

DemonNeno
DemonNeno
9 years ago

Come again?! Brakes don't improve raw breaking power? Maybe a pad slap doesn't but you're fooling yourself if you believe that for a second! Most cars sport streetable brake systems. Using a good, metal canned, brake fluid alone increases breaking power. Braided steel lines improve fade. Two piece rotors with aluminum hats to improve heat removal along with solid construction 4 & 6 piston calipers will shave double digits of feet from braking. Throw in a petitioning valve to keep your car from nosing on the brakes and it'll feel about as god as a sternum rub.

I feel like brake upgrades were left out to keep the games emphasis firmly planted on the significance of braking. This mod would basically unlock one of the biggest handicaps a player could have.

About the sound in this game… Of you're complaining that this doesn't sound good then you don't have the slightest clue as to what cars should sound like! One cat that immediately made this obvious was the Zonda in arcade mode. Holy noise pipes, batman!

daus26
daus26
9 years ago

ABUrabad, I'm not getting what you're trying to say. You're not getting my point. Of course, higher horsepower cars need upgraded brakes, but only to prevent from breaking out, like you say. Race and other fast cars upgrade their brakes for it to be suitable for the right condition, not braking power. Performance brakes seem to perform better than stock brakes because they're more suitable to the situation. Again, the game doesn't simulate any type of break wear, so it doesn't really matter.

DemonNeno,
Unless the game simulates brake wear in a realistic kind of way, buying brakes is pretty mute. Performance brakes improve braking power mainly by managing the heat and the coefficient of friction. If the game can simulate that, then yes, the game better have the option to upgrade.

I'm not saying that performance brakes make no difference. Yes, if you have car with higher horsepower, you'll need to upgrade to bigger and better calipers/rotors. However, buying a stock car, and upgrading it to performance will do no difference, and if you do that in real life with the sense that you'll get better braking power, you'll just be wasting your money. It will however last much longer.

DemonNeno
DemonNeno
9 years ago

All the game had to simulate is shorter braking distances. You'll get better turn-in speeds by doing so with more high speed prior to that on the straight. Better brakes have other consequences, like rotating mass for example, but hardly any car (including stock cars) won't see an improvement in braking distances from upgrade. In fact, brake wear will INCREASE from most high friction materials. By wear I'm implying physical deterioration of materials.

As a road racing enthusiast, I can firmly assure you that brake upgrades do far more than reduce fade. For example (with my personal vehicle) I could turn in at roughly 5 mph slower at black hawk but could keep at speed an additional 50 ft doing 120.. 89 SHO with no abs on a set of hooisers. that was by going to an 13×1.25 2pc rotor (C5) with c5 pbr hd two piston calipers. Thats roughly 2.8" diameter and .5" width imcrease over the sub par oem units… And not pushing my luck! (driving the car to the track and back home).

I'm not saying you're wrong, I'm simply saying brakes are far more significant than just reducing fade.

JJJames
JJJames
9 years ago

The best review I've read for this game. Great Read. I love this site 🙂

ABUrabad
ABUrabad
9 years ago

Thank you for the great review ,I'v enjoyed reading it
"To put it blunt: there is no equal." this is what I liked most and what every other driving game lover most take in consideration.
Im sure about the setbacks at the games that most of them will be fixed by continues updates .
most of all other reviewers (cough IGN )didnt go deep enough into the game to discover that does GT5 have to offer such as the damage which will be unlocked totally by reaching level 40 and I'm sure no one will be able to discover that by playing 20 hours in total for most of us
I hope that all critics ( cough IGN ) would look back a review their own reviews
(cough cough … this one is a real cough)

ABUrabad
ABUrabad
9 years ago

I should also say it again as a lot of great people did say here at this lovely website the score of any game should be compared to all other games of its own genre , and we can all see that GT5 has a lot to offer more than any other game in all consoles available at the market.
GT5 has raised our expectations and the level that other games in the future need to match or getting close to what GT5 offers at this moment.

sticklife
sticklife
9 years ago

Man the IGN review made me sad,It made me sad to see how little time some review sites spend with any one game. Not to mention how desperate they were to get one of the first reviews up. Destructiod did a pretty good review for once, and if they can see this game for how great it really is, and not how long we've waited, I think everyone else can too. I really think some other sites should go back and give it a real amount of time before they just spit something out.

ABUrabad
ABUrabad
9 years ago

I cant stop wondering and at the same time LMAO how are IGN reviewers feeling about themselves after discovering how shallow they were specially when people are now talking about unlockable damage that they havent discover .
the good thing about readers comments as I can find a lot of people step of for the fight against their review at this moment, GT5 has been showing out there a HUGE base of fans.

Jiggy
Jiggy
9 years ago

Easily the best review on the internet. I just wish I had a G27 wheel! Santa, I'm lookin' at you…

sticklife
sticklife
9 years ago

You should get back to Santa after he's done playing GT5, I doubt he can hear you now.

ABUrabad
ABUrabad
9 years ago

Just one simple question ,is there a chance that this review score would be in consideration for metacritic?

daus26
daus26
9 years ago

PSXextreme has always been part of the metacritic score.

*edit

well I don't know since when, but I know for sure a lot of games that I looked for in the site always had PSXextreme as part of the critics list.


Last edited by daus26 on 11/28/2010 3:05:10 PM

Sir Shak
Sir Shak
9 years ago

All PSXE reviews are added to Metacritic and GameRankings.

swapnilgyani
swapnilgyani
9 years ago

I actually stumbled upon PSX through Metacritic. If I remember correctly, I was looking for reviews of Killzone 2…

Boy, am I glad I clicked on that link!

ABUrabad
ABUrabad
9 years ago

hopefully then that this review will rise the average for the reviews after the poor work of some critics with the funny agenda.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

@ABU

The metascore isn't an average, they use statistical methods to remove the influence of the statistical outliers before calculating the final score.

ABUrabad
ABUrabad
9 years ago

so bad , then still a lot of untrusted and superficial reviews to be considered more worthy
,at least sales figure do prove them wrong

psxmax
psxmax
9 years ago

Now this is what I call a true review. I don't know what is going on at IGN, maybe the reviewer was distracted by Jessica Chobot.

Wissam
Wissam
9 years ago

lol

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

She's a butterface. Nice body… but her face…

maxpontiac
maxpontiac
9 years ago

I was waiting for this review, and I am pleased with your review now that it is out. I am also glad that you viewed the the big picture of what GT5 represents, and didn't focus a few missing features. In my book, it's evidence of a true automotive enthusiast.

As you mentioned in your review, the driving in GT5 is superb, and dare I say perfect? There is a reason several automobile manufacturers turn to PD, and whether it's driving a Standard 2004 Pontiac GTO or Premium Toyota FT-86, everything feels right.

When it comes to missing features, there might be hope yet. Kaz himself has stated that GT5 is a living breathing world per se, an that updates will frequent the title in the coming weeks and months.

Wissam
Wissam
9 years ago

That is some good review. Can't wait to play it.

V8SuperCars
V8SuperCars
9 years ago

Great Great Review PSX, After playing the game since launch i have been gob smacked with how good GT5 is. Seen many reviews that are clearly running off the old "play 10mins, get review up to get site hits" and the other old trick "give the biggest game of the year/decade a real low score to get heaps of traffic"
Finally a review that give this master piece some justice.

Well done on the review and well done on holding back to complete more of the game and give a "true" review and score of this epic game.

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

I love this game. Best Gran Turismo I have played. The game is addicting as heck and the complaints people have(even I had at first) aren't worth complaining about after playing the game. I can't wait to get home to play some more.

I did notice unchecking 1080i and 1080p in the PS3 Display menu benefits the game. The minor tearing it does have is almost completely eliminated and while things don't look at sharp the game seems to run a bit smoother. That dolt over at IGN either had an agenda or is just a complete boob. The game is so much better than an 8.5. I think IGN should retract that review. It's hugely misleading.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

Agenda – IMHO…

Temjin001
Temjin001
9 years ago

I look forward to trying it on 720p, too. 4xMSAA is awesome at nearly any res.

Beamboom
Beamboom
9 years ago

Well, it has to be said: When IGN rate it 8.5, 0.2 from the average of 8.7, and this site gives 9.9 one should ask who has the second agenda in this picture…!
Now I'm not saying that Arnold is a exclusive-fanboy, but I *am* saying that accusing IGN for having second agendas because of this microscopic difference is totally ridiculous, no less.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

BEAM, a review is a lot more than a numbered score. Read the IGN review and you'll see why it is poor from the ground up.

Bjorn77
Bjorn77
9 years ago

How can you take IGN seriously wen they give a 10 to the RDR DLC and a 8,5 to GT5? It's a hidden Agenda for sure.

frylock25
frylock25
9 years ago

brilliant review. i love this game. it feels like i am playing the old school gran turismo games from ps1, ps2 times. i also felt like the brakes option not being there was weird but understand why. over all this game is amazing and the premium cars are beautiful.

i like how the game compares your friends progress with yours. some times i will put the game on b-spec mode and put my driver in with a high hp car. put him on pace down and let him go. wins every time.

i have not yet gone online and i am ok with that. i am simply having to much fun in gt mode.

Ludicrous_Liam
Ludicrous_Liam
9 years ago

To answer previous question, PSX is included in metacritics score on most PS1 reviews, so yeah…lets hope it bumps metacritics overall score up -_-

BTW, I'm thinking gametrailers might finally give a PS3 game a 10, because it seems they're taking their time with it…

GT5 sales are going to intresting…

sticklife
sticklife
9 years ago

Ha! I doubt it, maybe a 9.1, they say something about it not have custom stickers.

swapnilgyani
swapnilgyani
9 years ago

Arnold, you've served a great reminder why you, along with Ben, are amongst the best reviewers on the internet today.

I'm not saying because you've given my favorite PS3 title a good score (yes, its got there really fast!), but because you have pointed out the flaws, and explained how little they matter in the big picture.

Well done, mate!

gustave154
gustave154
9 years ago

good review

Oxvial
Oxvial
9 years ago

Such a shame Forza 3 has a more high metacritic score.