Star Rating:

Gran Turismo 7

Platforms: PS4, PS5

Release Date: Friday 4th March 2022

Play Modes: Single Player, Online Multiplayer

Genre(s): Sports

25 years into the series, and ‘Gran Turismo’ is showing no signs of slowing down.

'Gran Turismo' is just as much a part of PlayStation history as 'Crash Bandicoot', 'Metal Gear Solid' and in later years, 'The Last Of Us' and 'Horizon'.

The franchise is marking 25 years in the spotlight this year - hey, like us! - and 'Gran Turismo 7' is the series taking a victory lap of sorts.

When we spoke to series creator Kazunori Yamauchi back in January, he told us that he wanted to make a 'Gran Turismo' game for everyone, and he succeeds in some style.

'Gran Turismo 7' is a love letter to the car, and a treat for old and new fans alike.

Changing Gears

The ‘Gran Turismo’ formula has been pretty simple over the years; make players feel like they’re behind the wheel of some of the hottest cars on the market.

For 2022, the team at Polyphony Digital have gone one step further with the PlayStation 5 version of the game.

If players want to experience the full ‘Gran Turismo 7’ experience, the PlayStation 5 is the optimal way to play.

The DualSense controller is the star of the show; the controller subtly vibrates when you’re driving over puddles, it purrs when you’re holding down the brake before tackling a corner, and rumbles in sync with you changing up a gear.

These features of course date all the way back to the PlayStation 1 era, but with ‘Gran Turismo 7’ is a leap forward for the series and immersion in general.

Add in a good television or monitor as well as the Sony Pulse 3D headset, and the game becomes the ultimate racing experience.

In motion, 'Gran Turismo 7' sets the standard for what graphics are capable of on consoles.

Thanks to the extensive car customisation options, you can rack up some serious speed

As always, good graphics don't immediately make a game good, but 'Gran Turismo 7' predicted where we were coming from and have made the gameplay equally fantastic.

Perhaps crucially for a car game, the sense of boredom that comes with repetition never sets in.

There is a certain amount of repetition to unlock the best cars, but the varying weather conditions and smart AI means that players rarely have the same race twice.

One of the biggest appeals of any racing game is putting in a good lap time and being determined to beat it.

The thrill of beating your previous record by milliseconds is a joy that is second to none in gaming and 'Gran Turismo 7' offers plenty of punch-the-air moments in that vein.

2017's 'Gran Turismo Sport' was a solid addition to the franchise but suffered from a distinct lack of focus.

'Gran Turismo 7' rectifies that with a fun mode called the "Cafe" which serves as a version of the traditional campaign.

The cafe allows players to dive into car history

Players are introduced to various cars, and they are tasked with completing a series of tasks to unlock them.

It's a clever way to keep players engaged, and provides an incentive to keep players on board.

Players progress from hatchbacks all the way up to Lamborghinis and BMW supercars, and the sense of progression feels earned because players start modestly and build from there.

Starting the game, players are driving 2nd hand cars, and within a few hours, players are behind the wheel of cars capable of going 350km/h.

Be Quiet And Drive (Far Away)

Music has long been an integral part of the 'Gran Turismo' games, and the new entry takes it to its logical conclusion; a mode entirely based around driving your car to the beat of the music.

Players can sit back and enjoy a leisurely drive while listening to pre-selected songs, and hopefully, in time we'll get a mode that lets us drive to our favourite tunes on Spotify.

The 'Music Rally' mode is a novel and fun addition to the franchise, and underpins the mission statement for the game: 'Gran Turismo 7' is the culmination of the series' 25-year history.

The mode is like a mix between 'Guitar Hero' and 'Gran Turismo' and could have been a game mode all by itself.

In fact, the game has multiple modes that could have been released as their own games.

The game boasts a comprehensive photo mode that lets players indulge their inner photographer, and players can place their cars in locations all over the world, including locations in Ireland.

The photo mode could have been released as its own app or game, yet it's so in-depth and dense that it adds to the game as a whole.

Most cars in the game have a detailed and rich history behind them, and the game tells you all about the history of various famous cars

In our review for 'Horizon: Forbidden West' we lamented that the game was missing that final touch to push the game over the edge to total greatness, and 'Gran Turismo 7' succeeds on that front.

The greatest trick 'Gran Turismo 7' pulls is making the action off the track just as interesting as zipping along at 300 km/h.

At the press event in January, Yamauchi said that he wanted to make a game that paid tribute to car history, and also make a game that anyone can enjoy regardless of their familiarity with cars.

Yamauchi and his team at Polyphony Digital have succeeded in some style.

Driven To Distraction

Last November, 'Forza Horizon 5' rewrote the rulebook on what players should come to expect from racing games.

We ranked it as the 2nd best game of 2021, and for good reason; it was an utterly liberating and exciting game that appealed to car and non-car fans alike.

In our review, we mentioned that the developers managed to "appeal to petrolheads who wasted oh so many hours playing 'Gran Turismo 2' on the Playstation 1 while also appealing to the 'pick up and play' demographic."

Games don't exist in a vacuum and to a certain extent, games are always reacting to what's popular and what resonates with players.

'Gran Turismo' pulls off the impossible by being as exciting, fresh and as dynamic as 'Forza Horizon 5'.

The game graphics are a sight to behold

While it doesn't have the same giddy open-world feel, there is a tighter focus in 'Gran Turismo', and no two races are ever the same.

The sheer depth of the progression system, variety of cars and reverence for the culture and history surrounding cars makes the game a treat for fans.

If 'Forza Horizon 5' was a person, it would be the carefree friend who studied arts in college that is always up for a good time, has to be reminded to take out the bins occasionally, but is a kind-hearted type.

'Gran Turismo 7' is the more strait-laced friend who studied something sensible in college like actuary, always pays the rent on time, but generally keeps to themself and has to be coaxed out of their room to socialise.

There is room for both games in the world, and 'Gran Turismo 7' and its more highbrow approach may not be what some players are in the market for, 'Gran Turismo 7' is well worth your time.

If we had to pick which was the better game in terms of sheer quality, we're giving the edge to 'Forza Horizon 5' on the technicality that the soundtrack is better, but there isn't a lot separating it.

Should you be fortunate to own both an Xbox and PlayStation, both games are well worth your time.

The first-person mode is the best way to experience the games first-rate graphics

'Gran Turismo 7' is easily the best game in the series since 'Gran Turismo 4', and is the most graphically impressive game we've played on the PlayStation 5 so far.

The gameplay is the tried-and-tested 'Gran Turismo' formula, with some updated sensibilities for 2022 such as the subtle vibration of the controller, the updated HUD when you enter first-person mode in a car, the smart AI, to name but a few.

The sign of a great console is offering players games and experiences they can't get anywhere else.

'Gran Turismo 7' is the game that will convince you to pick up a PlayStation 5, and retailers would be well-advised to include the game in a package deal.

The game is a stunning example of what the PlayStation 5 can do.

'Gran Turismo 7' is, all in all, an excellent game that walks the fine line between nostalgia and progressivism.

There's enough self-reflective exploration of the past while also casting an eye on the future to make this a 2022 video game in all respects.

'Gran Turismo 7' is like when a legendary musician releases a late-career masterpiece - it reminds you why they're such a legend to begin with, and shows the new kids a thing or two.

'Gran Turismo 7' releases on Friday, March 4th