It seems almost cliche to say these days when speaking of the Gran Turismo series, but I really have been a huge fan since the first one. I had just turned 11 years old when the first one hit stores in North America. I don't remember how I heard about it, but I do remember my mom taking me up to a Funcoland to get it, I'm willing to bet it was around my birthday in April in '98 but the guy up there told us it wasn't out yet. Seeing how disappointed I know I clearly was, the employee assured me that the game was going to be simply amazing and well worth the wait, which put a smile back on my face as I responded, "Really?? Awesome." It was only a couple weeks to a month later when the game released, but I remember vividly feeling like it was forever away, as you tend to do as a kid.
Going from mostly playing NES and Sega Genesis games to having PlayStation games like Crash Bandicoot 2 and Spyro the Dragon was a leap, but for a car fanatic.. the greatest video game leap was seeing Gran Turismo 1 for the first time. So many cars, first of all - and just look at them! Needless to say, I was hooked.
I will never bash a Gran Turismo game, even the ones I don't particularly care about like GT for the PSP. The time and passion put into the series... how can anyone put it down. That's not to say there haven't been some disappointments, especially recently however. I remember getting Gran Turismo 3: A Spec brand new as well and showing my brother (who cares nothing about cars, but just to impress him). Same thing with GT4, perhaps my favorite of all the GT series, it had the coolest cover art and improved on the last PS2 game, I don't recall having anything even slightly disappointing with that one. I just played it - a lot. Then GT5: Prologue came along, and maybe was too much of a tease. The word "prologue" tells you everything you needed to know about that though; I'd rather wait and get a full version of a game than a teaser, but it was at least priced accordingly and of course, I snagged a copy. I really liked GT5. It had some flaws, but by now we are spoiled and expect some level of perfection. The really disappointing thing for most people, I believe, was the whole Standard vs Premium cars dilemma that left everyone scratching their heads. The problem with it, is that it essentially says you've chosen to add quantity over quality, and while quantity has been a staple of the Gran Turismo series, it was never over quality. Suddenly, some of our favorite cars weren't as lovingly represented as others. And GT6, while better, still carried that on amazingly. We can only hope when GT for the PS4 releases, they go back to blowing us away with quality instead of bragging about the sheer volume of cars they've crammed into it. Still, I can't help but to love this game... and I just noticed you can get it from Amazon here for just $14.99! Not sure how long that'll last, but even the list price is just $39, and it's easily worth that in my book.