Gran Turismo

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
Gran Turismo Game Poster Image
Crashes have no consequences in pricey racing sim.
  • PSP
  • $39.99
  • 2009

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 6 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

This game endorses legal, high-speed racing in closed courses and rewards players for driving with precision (which is to say, staying on the track and not touching other cars). However, the game does not show the real impact of crashes, so kids could get the impression that high speed racing isn't dangerous.

Positive Role Models & Representations

There are no characters in the game other than the drivers, whom we never meet or hear talking. However, players are in essence stepping into the shoes of these drivers and are the ones engaging in high speed racing. This is legal racing as opposed to street racing, but the driving is nonetheless dangerous and unrealistically shows no consequences for high speed crashes.

Ease of Play

The difficulty level is high, but the driving challenges provide detailed instructions regarding strategy and control.

Violence

Though players are encouraged to drive with precision, cars often smash into walls with alarming force. However, the effects of these crashes are negligible; no one is injured and the cars show little sign of damage.

Sex

Not an issue.

Language

Not an issue.

Consumerism

With 800 licensed cars and dozens of real-world tracks, this game sometimes feels like a perpetual advertisement for real-world car companies. Players will also see signs and car decals showing recognizable brands, such as Exxon and Italia.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Not an issue.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Gran Turismo is a racing simulation game, and that it encourages players to drive carefully and with precision. That said, high speed collisions do occur, and the game doesn’t accurately depict the dire consequences of forceful accidents, which could lead younger players, who have yet to learn how to drive, to believe that crashes aren’t all that serious. Parents should also be aware that this is a highly commercial game, featuring more than 800 licensed cars and billboard and decals showing recognizable brands such as Exxon and Italia.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 13 year old Written bychrrr October 10, 2009
Teen, 14 years old Written byCloudIsC00L723 June 19, 2011

Really fun, age appropriate, racing sim, complex for under 10.

This is not only the first PSP game that I've played but it's also one of the best realistic racing games I've ever played on a handheld. For one... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byNFSRacer0210 May 30, 2010

Non violant agme, its make you learn about cars.

This game is for 12+ because is difficault and hard for under 12 or beginers, it makes you dream about cars or a race driver.

What's it about?

With GRAN TURISMO Sony has finally brought its beloved console-based racing simulation franchise to the PlayStation Portable. Like its big brothers, it’s loaded with more than 800 licensed cars and 35 real-world tracks (over 60 if you count the mirrored circuits), and features scores of driving challenges that teach players how to do things like take advantage of slipstreams, handle tricky chicanes, and safely overtake competitors. Outside of the challenges, players can enter one-off quick races against a trio of computer controlled opponents, enter time trials on the tracks of their choice, and go up against up to three other players in local wireless multiplayer (there is no online play).

Is it any good?

Gran Turismo is just OK. What’s in the game is terrific -- the selection of cars is second to none and they handle splendidly -- even without the force feedback found in the console editions. However, Gran Turismo is missing some key features, like the ability to purchase upgrades and improve car performance. Even more noticeable is the absence of any sort of career mode. Without these elements, the races seem somewhat pointless. You can earn money and buy cars, but without some sort of grander aspiration -- like building up a supercar or winning a particular series of races -- it’s easy to get bored and lose focus.

The most compelling reason to keep playing, it turns out, is to build up your garage so that you can transfer it over to Gran Turismo 5 for PlayStation 3 when it releases next year. But buying a full-priced game as a way to prepare for an as-yet unreleased game is a bit lame -- especially since fans of the franchise have already done this once before when they picked up Gran Turismo 5: Prologue for PlayStation 3 last year. That part is disappointing.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the sport of race car driving. Many have died and been seriously injured while racing in legal, sanctioned races. Why do you think people are drawn to such a dangerous pastime? Does it appeal to you? Is the source of the attraction the cars, the excitement, or the possibility of fame and fortune?

  • Families can also discuss the difference between crashes seen in this game and crashes in real life. The likelihood of anyone driving -- much less walking -- away from a 200-mile-per-hour collision is low. Why do you think the game’s designers, who seem so focused on delivering a realistic driving experience, decided not to depict the game’s crashes with equal authenticity.

  • Families with teens who are just learning to drive might want to pay attention to a study that suggests that playing some racing games can lead to taking more driving risks in real life.

Game details

  • Platforms: PSP
  • Price: $39.99
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: Sony Computer Entertainment
  • Release date: October 1, 2009
  • Genre: Racing
  • ESRB rating: E for No Descriptors

For kids who love fast-paced games

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