Excruciatingly annoying criticisms people have for sim racing/racing games in general:
1-"You just drive a car"
oversimplifying things to make them sound bad is stupid, "in life you just breathe", it doesn't make sense half of the time and there's always more than "just driving" in a video game
2-"why do racing games exist, you can always just race/drive in real life!"
this sounds really dumb as well *why play gta, you can always rob people at gun point and steal cars right??", video games are meant to represent a free world where you can do anything you want whenever you want, and that's why people use it as an escape from reality, plus acquiring a track/race car in real life and finding local racers is also very hard, and almost always illegal depending on where you live
3-"this is way too realistic, where's the fun in that??"
the game is meant to represent real world racing accurately while still keeping it fun casual and occasionally wacky or unique, not every racing game has to be a grande super causal mario kart game that's been shilled to death by Nintendo fans, nor does it need to be an extremely competitive and difficult racing game, keeping a balance is always great and that's what gran turismo does
now that we got that out of the way so I don't have to mention it for every review i write for racing games, Gran Turismo 4
and Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition
were basically the racing games of my childhood (I played a lot of racing games in my childhood but these ones especially held up) and i have very fond memories especially of Gran Turismo 4
where me and my brothers would stay up all night trying to collect all the gold medals in each license test, play 20 lap split screen Nürburgring until i basically memorized it and got extremely familiar with the massive track and much more, Gran Turismo 4
is the definitive racing game in my opinion and everyone should experience it at least once, even if you're not a big fan of racing games, you'll at least have a bit of fun playing it, it's the perfect mixture of accessible and yet balls kicking sim racing and is the probably one of the best game for getting into the racing genre, it has a lot of content, tons of tracks and more than 800 customizable cars, the mini campaigns, the car specific events, the music, everything about is purely and utterly perfect, it's a massive step above Gran Turismo 2
and Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec
, specifically Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec
also the graphics held up really well (honestly that's the case for most ps2 games, this game especially held up though) and the fact that it was running 1080i at 60fps in 2004 is staggeringGran Turismo 5
does a few things better in my opinion but both Gran Turismo 4
and Gran Turismo 5
are racing masterpieces and any modern studio looking forward to make racing games should take notes from their success and notes from Gran Turismo 6
's failure, but that's for another review..