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Gran Turismo 3: A-spec

aka: GT3, Gran Turismo 2000, Gran Turismo 3: The Real Driving Simulator - A-spec
Moby ID: 3910

Critic Reviews add missing review

Average score: 92% (based on 48 ratings)

Player Reviews

Average score: 3.8 out of 5 (based on 108 ratings with 10 reviews)

Best racing game ever, but not without some flaws.

The Good
When this game was released it was without question on of the beautiful racing games ever seen on any console. Being the first Gran Turismo on the PS2, the graphics department is one area where this game certainly didn’t disappoint. The amount of details in each car was astonishing, and the little touches like glowing brake discs under heavy breaking was a nice inclusion. Engine sounds were great in this game, except the V8 engines (good news is that GT4 has some beaut V8 engine sounds).

The Bad
GT3 was a great game, and although it looked the best in the series, it really missed some features that the original one’s had. One set back was the lack of cars/variety of cars. There were 120+ cars in the game, but GT1 had about 150, and GT2 had 300+ cars, the 120 presented in GT3 did seem small. But the number wasn’t really the problem, it was the variety. For instance there is something like 6 different Mitubishi Lancers all practically the same.

Another drawback to the game was the sense of speed. Or lack of it actually. There are situations where you find yourself driving a car at 150+ and it feels like your just cursing around at 20kph.

But the biggest drawback to this game, in my opinion anyone, was the computer AI. The computer controlled cars were to too stupid and offered no challenge.

The Bottom Line
Even with it's flaws, this still is the best racing game (Until GT4 hits our shelves). This game (series of games) is the sole reason I ever bought a PS2 (and PSX/PSOne). The game still offered some of the most realistic handling and physics ever, without sacrificing playability too much. If you're a serious racing fan/car nut, go out and grab this game (should be budget priced now). Or you can just wait for GT4. (I have played GT4:Prologue. And it is great)

PlayStation 2 · by gozilla (66) · 2004

Excellent racer but with one major flaw

The Good
Graphics are superb and smooth. Cars are rendered cleanly and have that signature shimmy and shine. Peripheral viewings as you are blazing down the courses is adequate for visual pleasure. It is not like you have a lot of time to ponder the surroundings unless you are in a slow car.

The Bad
All aspects but one were stellar. The one major flaw in this game are the endurance races. If you want to get 100% in this game you have to go through the tedious and hour plus races that totally takes all the fun out of this title. These races should be for "extra" points and not for completion requirements. It is so bad that some people have given suggestions on how to tape your controller in a particular position and acceleration on the oval tracks to get through the races. It is then recommended to go to a move while your rigged controllers buzzes your car around the track. I like to enjoy my games, not have them be a job!

The Bottom Line
Awesome on road and off road actions. Great for simulation and quick racing. As long as you can avoid the endurance races, you got a class A title.

PlayStation 2 · by Random Fiste (8) · 2001

Still playing it...

The Good
Nice graphics. Large variety of music.

The Bad
The first time that I played it I was very disappointed. There are no used cars. I was expecting a huge car line up. As an example there is the Chrysler dealership and the only car that it offers is the PT cruiser. A lot of the dealerships offer only a very small selection to choose from. Something is wrong with the stats. I bought a Mazda Miata and upgrade the motor so I was sitting on 280hp. It said that the car made 17 ft/lbs of torque. There are still the licenses to get but they seem almost pointless...like someone remembered that GT1 & GT2 had license tests so GT3 should have tests as well. You cannot adjust the level of the music and background volume as you could in the earlier versions. Instead you can only turn it on and off. I find that the music volume is barely audible and I would like to be able to adjust it. I could be wrong but it seems like the tachometer and speedometer are not custom to each car. All cars have a max 9k tac and 200mph speedo, they simply have different rev limiters. All in all the game feels less personal and detail oriented. For me this takes away from the overall fun factor. I am still playing this game, so if it grows on me with time I'll be sure to update this review. I am still playing the game trying to get into it but I'm so far having a hard time.

The Bottom Line
A graphical step step forward. The lack of detail and car selection is disappointing.

I would buy this game only if you already own a PS2 and the game is cheap.

PlayStation 2 · by The Holy Moly (19) · 2004

The biggest, cutest, most fun racing game available on any platform, EVER.

The Good
Incredible Graphics - On first inspection you think, "Yeah, they're not bad", however after a bit of play you really appreciate how great they are. There are heaps of subtle touches - heat haze, track glare, smoke, environment mapping, shadows... it's all there. It amounts to something that could almost pass for real life video at some moments and really good computer graphics the rest of the time. Still impressive after a year or two out of the box!

Size - This is one big game, LOTS of tracks, LOTS of cars, LOTS of options and multiple modes of play. This game is the best value for money I've ever gotten from a game (maybe with the exception of 'Doom'). If only all games were this size we could justify the high cost!

Sound - Again, awesome. Sound effects are good, and each car has it's own growl. While not exactly the same as the real things, it's close enough, and closer than most other games have ever come. The music is also a good rock selection and while none of it is really well known, it all fits in with the atmosphere of the game and furthers the adrenaline rush.

Engine - The car handling is great and feels very true to life. At the same time you don't have to find tweaking minor details and studying stats and lap times fun, to do well - the emphasis is on the racing (as it should be!) - other games take note!

The Bad
Not Much - There's not much wrong with the game at all. All I would say is that the "Gran Turismo" (career) mode could have been balanced a little better. By that I mean that it is very easy to work into a corner where the only races you are likely to win are ones which you don't quite have a car that meets the criteria. This requires you to repeat previous races in order to get the money for new vehicles and/or parts. After a while this becomes a drag - but this is only a minor thing, and better that than have the whole thing mapped out linearly for you.

The Bottom Line
A game worth buying a PS2 for. Simply awesome.

PlayStation 2 · by Tibes80 (1542) · 2003

Great Game For Its time

The Good
This game has got lots of gameplay time, about 60 hours. The cars and tracks available are very high detailed. Also has different types of tracks, goes from technical, with lots of turns, to high speed tracks. Each car has a different handling. The endurance races are not too strenuous.

The Bad
In this game there were only about 180 cars, way less than previous titles. Some professional events and races are just too long.

The Bottom Line
This game marks a huge leap in graphics and that's due to the change from PS to PS2. It allows you to have a very nice time, alone or with your friends. It justifies being one of the best selling PS2 games ever. It's a classic and if you can you should get it.

PlayStation 2 · by Pedro Cunha (233) · 2012

An excellent product.

The Good
Everything. There is a wide variety of cars, from compact to sports, including some '80s cars. There are lots of tracks, and all of them appear to have been worked on extensively, with detailed buildings, environmental effects and sun glare. In Rally races, they've even included believable dirt tracks, which when played in two player mode, can really distort the view of a trailing car.

The Simulation, or Career mode, is outstanding. You can only buy a few cars with your measley starting credits (cash), and you use that car to win races to earn money to buy upgrades to improve your car. It has been really thought out and was implemented nicely.

The Arcade mode, which lets you play two-player battles, free run, and other races is also done nicely. Not only is it there for people who don't want to start a career, but some areas of this mode MUST be completed to get a 100% completion rating for the entire game.

The iLink battle is astounding. If you have the hardware to set this up, you are guaranteed one of the most exciting nights of your life. You can hook six PlayStation2's to each other, each connected to a separate television and race each other, all at once, just like you would find in a video arcade.

The Bad
I can't really find anything bad to say about GT3:AS, but one thing I was disappointed at was the fact that they didn't include any '80s muscle cars, especially from Dodge, which were readily available in GT2. Other than that, the game is, well, perfect.

The Bottom Line
Any fan of racing games should pick this up no doubt. If you loved the previous GT games, you will adore this incarnation. People who aren't into racing would probably get bored of this game really fast, so I'd recommend it as a rental to non-race fans.

PlayStation 2 · by JPaterson (9496) · 2001

This racer acts like a drug, for better or worse

The Good
It's not hard to explain what gets people hooked on this game. First and foremost, I would say the graphics are quite amazing, even eleven years after GT3's initial release they still look great.

And then there's the sense of achievement once you got your first car all prepped up and once you have won your first championship and got away with a new bonus car plus a decent amount of credits. It is then that you really want to try out more cars and can't racing the same few tracks over and over.

The Rally mode does not yet include the penalty system that pestered GT4. This is a relief because the rallies are rather difficult to master even without penalties.

The simplicity of the menu layouts and the speed of switching between screens are also much more of a relief as compared to the tedious and frequent loading screens of GT4. There's not so much aggravating loading involved in this title.

The Bad
Back in 2001, this instalment may have been the epitome of racing sims on the PS2. At the same time, the GT franchise had always been hyped beyond recognition. There are plenty of flaws and frustrating experiences that come along with prolonged play.

I don't mind so much the smaller range of cars available as opposed to GT2 or GT4, no, it's actually the lack of track variety that makes the simulation boring after a short while. And increasing the number of laps for each difficulty level doesn't help make it more interesting.

A problem that has still not been addressed even by GT4 is the resale value of the cars. No matter how much you invest in any further tuning parts, you'll never get the huge amounts of money spent back. I guess I can live with this, but it's nonetheless annoying.

I also noticed that the computer cars are not only dumb and strictly routine by the way the drive, but they are also unfair towards the player. There are some events that are nearly impossible to win, and I'm not talking about the endurance races. For example, take the MR challenge at amateur level: I got me a nice Honda NSX Type R car, all nicely done up to maximum level and optimally tuned too, and still I can't seem to beat the Elise cars here. It's also that much more horsepower doesn't help when speeding up on straights in order to get a little advantage over the competition, because once you reach the next corner, they're all quite close behind you again, and the AI cars seem to be routinely placed on certain spots on the track where you will get to see them every time regardless of your advantage that you think you should have. That's really a pain in the butt, and luckily, this issue has been addressed in the next instalment.

It may be me, but in the steering, I don't like the oversensitivity of the steering axis, and there's no option to adjust the sensitivity of the controller. I'm not intending to buy a steering wheel. In comparison, the steering sensitivity in Enthusia has been done much more realistic, like driving a real car, and I know because I do drive for real.

The Bottom Line
There's plenty of hours of fun in this game. But once you've seen all of the tracks and you've sensed the computer AI's unfairness just to make things even more challenging, the only thing in the game that may keep you motivated to keep on playing is the percentage of completion on the status screen. You may want to see more cars also, but the tedious gameplay will most likely prevent you from clinging on to the experience.

PlayStation 2 · by CoffeeCrack (20) · 2012

A whole new experience, and a sign of things to come...

The Good
The amazing amount of realism: Light flowing through cracks in the tree branches and bouncing off the roof; headlights lighting the way through the rain; sun sets blinding your view; logo's on the cars. Everything has been taken care of.

The tracks: Updated looks for classic tracks from GT1 and 2, and new tracks with plenty of winding roads and tight turns, making for some great passing moves.

The Cars: A great selection, including some new models (and my personal fav, the Ford Tickford V8 Supercar, marking the debut of Australian cars in the GT series).

The Rally mode: Bigger and better then GT2, and just as good as any other stand alone Rally game out there.

F1 Cars: Yes they are in there, somewhere, although not the latest versions, but still this makes for another good reason to complete the game as best you can.

And finally, the sound. Plug in your surround sound system, and you'll be in heaven.

The Bad
A few things missing in the latest version:

Online: It's a pitty that an online mode hasn't been included, but that makes GT4 all that more important for the PS2. The i.link modem meanwhile, does a good job of bringing heaps of people together at a time.

The Cars: Not as many as the previous title, but then again, it wasn't all that much fun racing in a VW Beetle, was it? So the lack of a huge amount isn't that much of a worry.

Car Damage: Thank the car manufacturers for this loss, as they do not wish to see their cars damaged. This would have added a lot more realism to the game, and a bit more strategy in buying new parts, etc. So hopefully GT4 will change that.

No Drivers: Not that I didn't like this, but it seems funny driving these super realistic cars without a driver inside them!! Makes it look like radio controlled cars!

The Bottom Line
The only reason (for the time being) why you should save up and buy a Playstation 2. Amazing detail, and a sign of great things to come over the next few years, considering this is a 1st/2nd generation title. You must get this, if only to watch the sun set.

PlayStation 2 · by Kartanym (12417) · 2001

Great Game but least favorite of the series.

The Good
Gran Turismo as a series has always been a great racing game. The realism is always been a factor, giving each car its own feel. For being an early PS2 game I found the graphics to be very amazing. Especially when I first bought it. The selection of cars, though less then GT2, still gave you a good variety. The tuning shops also let you take full control over your car's performance. I thought this game was great.

The Bad
It is hard to find problems with Gran Turismo but I did find it a little had to get money in this game.

The Bottom Line
This is one of the best racing games there are out there. With great flexibility on many factors, such as car type and track type, this game lives up to the claim of being "the real driving simulator".

PlayStation 2 · by Jeff Robinson (64) · 2009

A strong candidate for the best driving game ever.

The Good
I will never change my opinion, Prince of Persia is the top game ever for me, but in the case of driving games two strong candidates are Gran Turismo 2 & 3. The graphics are simply outstanding in this game, the speed control, smoke effects and light in this game are other things that are great, this game is technically perfect, but what is technical perfection without great enjoyment? Nothing is the answer, but luckily for us gamers, this game is enjoyment at it's peak, all the racing action is worth the price of this game without the superb graphics and technology.

The Bad
It's overall an excellent game, with no flaws at all, except the Playstation 2 controller, but the controller doesn't have anything to do with the game, does it?

The Bottom Line
The result: A fast and exciting racing simulation with great cars. A great game that is a must-play, and it lives up to the Gran Turismo series.

PlayStation 2 · by Jim Fun (207) · 2002

Contributors to this Entry

Critic reviews added by Big John WV, Cavalary, CalaisianMindthief, nyccrg, Lain Crowley, mikewwm8, DreinIX, Alsy, Mike G, Wizo, vedder, Jeanne, Patrick Bregger, Parf, vicrabb, Jacob Gens, shphhd, lights out party, yenruoj_tsegnol_eht (!!ihsoy), Tim Janssen.