A star rating of 4 out of 5.

They say that racing games are a great way to showcase a new console, and so the arrival of Gran Turismo 7 will be very welcome among PS5 owners that love a bit of high-speed action. (It is also coming out on PS4, though.)


Having had the chance to try out GT7 nice and early, RadioTimes.com is pleased to report that it does indeed look lovely and run very smoothly on Sony's new-ish PlayStation 5 console, although you could argue that it doesn't exactly put the pedal to the metal in terms of ambition.

Perhaps it's because we've recently been spoilt by Forza Horizon 5 on Xbox and PC, but Gran Turismo 7 does feel slightly safe and simple by comparison. It does what it does well, but it doesn't do half of the things that the latest Forza game did — there's no open-world to explore here, for example, and you won't be able to customise your character and kit them out in the same way that you can in FH5.

But let's not put the cart before the horse here — or should that be car before the horse-power in this instance? It's worth stressing that Gran Turismo 7 is a great racing game, which is exactly what it sets out to be. It doesn't want to distract you with bells and whistles. It wants to put you in the driver's seat for hour after hour of thrilling rides, and in that sense, it totally succeeds.

The game opens by testing your skills with a music-based racing challenge where you'll try to reach checkpoints on the track in time with a song, which is a novel way to kick things off, but it won't be long until you're loaded into the main game proper. Although you can come back to the music mode later if you wish, the main GT7 experience is where the real fun begins.


With a truly staggering list of cars to collect, you'll be given assignments (in the form of 'menus' picked up at a café, oddly enough) that point you towards races where shiny new vehicles are being given out as prizes. The cars are incredibly realistic-looking replicas of real-life favourites both new and old, and the same could be said of the tracks you'll be racing them on.

The core gameplay experience feels finely tuned for player enjoyment. You can pick between difficulty levels right from the off — don't be afraid to turn on assisted braking and steering if you need them — to ensure that you're never banging your head against a wall. Plus, from relatively early on, you'll be able to buy new and second-hand cars, as well as boost their stats with new parts (in a refreshingly simple menu), which should allow you to overcome any race you're presented with, as long as you're willing to put in a little bit of work.

Buying better cars and tinkering with them is all well and good, plus there's a photography experience that some players might enjoy, but of course, the main attraction here is the racing itself, and boy oh boy does it look and feel wonderful. The tracks and the weather effects feel real, the cars look as majestic as you'd hope, and careening around courses is just as fun as it needs to be for a game like this to succeed.

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There's a real thrill to flying around a fan-favourite track in a car you really love, carefully choosing your racing lines and plotting your overtakes. The control scheme is just right, and that central racing experience feels excellent in your hands. Cornering might not come easy to all players, but nor should it, and the fact it's not too easy means that you get a real sense of satisfaction when you finally get the balance just right. (Look for little hints on the pre-race menu if you keep making errors and you're not sure why!)

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A special shoutout goes to the controller advancements, which the developers from Polyphony Digital have clearly put a lot of thought and effort into honing. Thanks to the PS5 DualSense controller's fancy features, and the devs' imaginative ways of using them, you'll feel the struggle in your right trigger as you force an older car up a steep incline. You'll hear every gear-change clunking through the heart of the controller. And you'll notice the gravel give way if you veer off-track on an overzealous corner approach.

Honestly, coupled with the top-notch visuals, this impressive work on the controller goes a long way to making Gran Turismo 7 feel like one of the most realistic racing sims on the market right now (although last year's F1 2021 game was also very solid on that front). Even if you've got a snazzy steering-wheel rig at home, we'd recommend trying out the controller just to see how good it feels.

But still, it's hard to avoid the comparison to Forza Horizon 5, which offers similarly excellent racing and graphics as well as a whole lot more. Take the audio side of things, for another example — Forza has fully voiced character models for its supporting cast of players, whereas GT7 is content to use text-on-screen as its main way of communicating with you. Even the songs on the FH5 soundtrack are better, you could argue, to the extent that you might end up wanting to make your own playlist instead of listening to the rather safe and plain GT7 audio.

Even when you take all that into account, though, there's no denying that Gran Turismo 7 delivers the goods where it counts — racing has never looked or felt quite this good on a PlayStation console, for our money, and that's not something to be sniffed at. We might hope for a more ambitious Gran Turismo 8 in a few years, but Gran Turismo 7 will serve our needs very nicely in the meantime.

Gran Turismo 7 launches 4th March 2022 for PS4 and PS5. We reviewed on PS5.

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