The Gran Turismo world may be all about GT Sport and esports, but an older title is enjoying a second lease on life right now.
In case you missed it, some enterprising members of the GT community have been digging through the game files of Gran Turismo 5. The 2010 title was the first full foray on PS3 hardware for Gran Turismo, and even though Polyphony Digital has long since turned the servers off (making it impossible to get a Platinum PSN trophy in the process), the game still has something to give.
It transpires that the game code contains just about every circuit from Gran Turismo history. From GT2’s Pikes Peak to GT PSP’s Circuit Ricardo Tormo, and every GT3 and GT4 track, players are able — with some trickery — to drive on more or less anything with GT5’s Premium vehicles.
Some players have been doing just that, and recording the results. Prepare for a blast-wave of nostalgia!
Apricot Hill didn’t make the transition from PS2 to PS3 until 2013’s Gran Turismo 6. It was sorely missed too; one of the Polyphony Digital “Original” circuits, Apricot Hill was one of those tracks that had a bit of everything and was a firm favorite for testing cars in mixed conditions.
Another PD “Original”, another track that didn’t make its PS3 debut until GT6. In fact Midfield Raceway didn’t even ship with 6, it arrived later in the game’s life as a free DLC pack.
Driving Park – Beginner Course
In earlier GT games, the Driving Park was essentially an automotive proving ground. It featured a gymkhana arena, circular courses for testing lateral G, and this, the Beginner Course. If the layout looks familiar, that’s because there’s a very similar track in GT Sport: Kyoto Driving Park Miyabi.
Driving Park – Complex String
When it came to vehicle testing though, Driving Park’s Complex String was the peak. The track featured everything you’d need to test out a car’s limits, from slow square corners to gentle curves on a slope, appearing in a number of Licence Tests. As one of the older courses in the game, this one doesn’t run without a few… issues, as you’ll see below.
GT5 did feature a Chamonix circuit, but it wasn’t the same one as the track that appeared in GT4. The new track was big on snow-banks and featured four layouts, but the original was a part-paved affair, combining a fast road section with the technical areas up in the snow.
Seattle Circuit is one of Gran Turismo’s great unsolved mysteries. A city circuit favorite from GT2 through to GT4, it seemed odds-on to be coming to GT6 when a preview clip of the then-new Acura NSX heavily featured the track. And then there was nothing but tumbleweed – we’ve not seen the track in PS3 or PS4 era games.
However, it is part of the hidden legacy code, and playable in GT5 as we can see below. Now that the city of Seattle is demolishing the freeway flyover around the start-finish, the track’s future might have disappeared too. That said, Polyphony Digital didn’t let a stadium demolition stop it from appearing on the circuit, so you never know.
Another fan favorite, Infineon Raceway — also known as Sears Point and now called Sonoma — appeared in GT4 and then vanished. That was a bit of a shame as, aside from being a fun course to drive, GT5 introduced 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup stock cars which would have been right at home on the circuit. You can see this recreated in the video below.
The strangest of all the tracks included in GT5’s code, Pikes Peak made its one and only Gran Turismo appearance back in GT2. You might remember back in late 2010 that Red Bull’s PR team thought the track was actually in GT5. This discovery shows that it wasn’t quite as comprehensively wrong as we all thought…
This track, a section of the hill climb based on a three-mile section from George’s Corner to Devil’s Playground, runs with more issues than most — including the requirement to be in two-player mode to position the cars correctly at the start. As PD reportedly holds an exclusive licence for Pikes Peak, we may yet see a more accurate, modern version in a GT game.
There are many other tracks beside these, including New York, Seoul, Motorland, El Capitan and pre-GT5 versions of original circuits, and you can view them all in the comments thread.
Thanks to GTPlanet member Thom Lee for recording these videos!