Gran Turismo 5

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
Gran Turismo 5 Game Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
Extraordinarily fun racing sim is deep but unrealistic.

Parents say

age 7+
Based on 7 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 13 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Players are rewarded for winning races, and in order to win races, one generally needs to drive with skill and care -- this isn't a game about crashing into other cars and causing mayhem. Races are sanctioned, and cheering crowds line the raceways, safely out of harm's way. However, when accidents do happen they are unrealistic; car exteriors typically remain mostly undamaged and drivers are never injured. This could give kids the impression than high speed racing carries little danger.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The game has no protagonist. You play as a car driver who climbs behind the wheel of many different vehicles, but your avatar is mute and hasn't a personality. Your actions on the road -- whether you drive cautiously or aggressively -- will define his character.

Ease of Play

This is more of a simulation than an arcade game and can be quite challenging as a result. However, players can turn on many driving assists to help with braking, turns, and so forth. Still, there's a bit of a learning curve for those not familiar with this genre.


Cars race around tracks. They can smash into walls and other vehicles, but vehicles show little signs of damage, and drivers are never harmed. 


Among the background music is a song with the following lyrics: "Got me caught without my pants".


One song has the word "scumbag" in the title.


The game showcases many real world cars. Plus, there are billboards and other product placement sightings in the game, mostly for automotive industry products such as tires, cars, motor oils, and so forth.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Gran Turismo 5 is rated "Everyone" by the ESRB because it is free of graphic violence, profanity, sexuality, and illicit substances. However, moms and dads should be aware that the game is filled with advertising and product placement from prominent brands in the automotive industry. Parents should also know that the game fails to depict high speed car crashes with authenticity -- cars show only minor signs of exterior damage and drivers survive unscathed -- meaning younger players could get the wrong impression about the dangers associated with high speed collisions. Note, too, that this game supports open voice chat between online players. Common Sense Media does not recommend open online play for pre-teens. Parents might want to turn off the option for voice chat by using the parental controls that are part of their console system.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bychristian2011 November 26, 2013

One of the best high-definition racing games around.

Gran Turismo 5 is undoubtedly the best one out to date, because of it's new high definition graphics, realistic design and settings, and the new array of h... Continue reading
Adult Written byGDTSP July 5, 2012

Consumerism complaints?

I haven't played it, but I have to comment on this consumerism thing. I can't believe people are getting worked up over billboards with advertising on... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byexpleen maloane October 26, 2019


IT IS GOOD. there is nothing wrong with it besides cosumerisem the only reason i rated it 8 and up is bc of the ease of playyyyy.
Kid, 12 years old June 25, 2019


its graphics are good and is very addicting

What's it about?

PlayStation 3 gamers had to sit idly by last year while Xbox 360 gamers gushed about Microsoft's Forza Motorsport 3. Now, PS3-owning driving fans can climb behind the wheel of Sony's near photo-realistic GRAN TURISMO 5, and for the first time in the coveted series, race with or against up to 15 friends in a handful of online modes. While only a few are available at the start of the game, roughly 1000 unlock-able real-world cars are available, all of which can be modified for better performance or aesthetics. Toy with new camera options, including a view from behind the wheel, as your vehicle hugs the asphalt and reacts in real-time to turns, bumps, and slight imperfections in the road. Those who prefer a more arcade experience can turn on driving assists, if preferred.

Is it any good?

Gran Turismo 5 was well worth the wait for a number of reasons: tight handling, accurate physics, a huge number of cars, outstanding graphics (including 3D support) and ambitious online support. The game houses more than 20 track locations in total, but variations of those tracks (such as mirror mode) bring the number closer to 70. Fans of this best-selling franchise can also expect mechanical and minor external car damage, night racing, and for the first time in the series, NASCAR, Super GT, and World Rally Championship licenses are in the game. Truly, all the bases are covered here. Kudos to Polyphony Digital for delivering a fun, deep, and stunning racing experience that's well worth the wait.

Online interaction: This game supports open voice chat with other players, opening the door for players to be exposed to coarse language and inappropriate conversations. It also makes possible the sharing of personal information. 



Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how a child's perception of driving might be altered as he or she plays racing video games. If a game downplays the dangers involved in high speed racing, will kids think it is safer than it actually is?

  • Would you prefer racing simulators to be more accurate in their depiction of crashes, even if it meant adding graphic violence?

  • Families can also discuss the dangers associated with online play. How can you tell if you encounter an online predator? What steps should you take? 

  • Can playing car race games lead to risky behavior when driving in real life? See our discussion here.

Game details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love Fast Action

Themes & Topics

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