Gran Turismo 2 (グランツーリスモ2 Guran Tsūrisumo Tsū?, Italian for "Grand Tourer" or "Grand Touring", commonly abbreviated GT2) is a racing game for the Sony PlayStation. Gran Turismo 2 was developed by Polyphony Digital and published by Sony Computer Entertainment in 1999. It is the sequel to Gran Turismo. It was well-received publicly and critically, shipping 1.71 million copies in Japan, 20,000 in Southeast Asia, 3.96 million in North America, and 3.68 million in Europe for a total of 9.37 million copies as of April 30, 2008, and eventually becoming a Sony Greatest Hits game. The title received an average of 93% in Metacritic's aggregate. Gran Turismo 2 was also the first PS1 game to be emulated on the Dreamcast via Bleemcast.
Gran Turismo 2 is fundamentally based on the racing game genre. The player must maneuver an automobile to compete against artificially intelligent drivers on various race tracks. The game uses two different modes: Arcade Mode and Simulation Mode (Gran Turismo Mode in PAL and Japanese versions). In the arcade mode, the player can freely choose vehicles they wish to use, and can enable damage. However, the simulation mode requires the player to earn driver's licenses, pay for vehicles, and earn trophies in order to unlock new courses. Gran Turismo 2 features nearly 650 automobiles and 27 racing tracks, including rally tracks.
Compared with Gran Turismo, the gameplay, physics and graphics are very similar: the only real noticeable difference in vehicle dynamics was the brakes, which became much less likely to lock up and cause the vehicle to oversteer. The major changes are the vastly expanded number of cars, tracks and races in simulation mode. Other differences include that the player can race events separately, if he/she does not want to enter the whole tournament. The player is no longer able to "qualify" for each race entered.
After the unexpected success of Gran Turismo, lead developer Kazunori Yamauchi planned to make Gran Turismo 2 "an even better product". SCEA's marketing director (Ami Blaire) had high hopes, stating "the overwhelming and continuing popularity of Gran Turismo clearly positions Gran Turismo 2 to be one of the hottest titles available for the holidays and beyond". Jack Tretton (sales vice president of SCEA) had similar enthusiasm, expecting Gran Turismo 2 to "fly off the shelves faster than the original, continuing the momentum of this incredible franchise".
Upon the game's release, players shortly found various errors and glitches. SCEA did not ignore the outcry, and offered a replacement if any problems occurred. For example, the maximum attainable completion percentage was 98.2%. The other glitch was that no matter what, even if a player saves the game, cars can disappear from their garage.
At the time of its release, GT2 featured one of the largest lists of then new and historic cars available in a single computer game, tallied at nearly 650 cars. GT2 contained 36 manufacturers, ranging from Acura (NTSC-U version only; other versions used the Honda brand name), BMW, Peugeot to Venturi. In comparison, the original Gran Turismo and GT3 A-Spec had less than 200 each. Certain notable manufacturers, such as Ferrari and Porsche, were not featured since the required licenses could not be obtained. Ruf, included in GT2 and in later installments, was added as an alternative to Porsche. However, the two are not to be mistaken as one entity. Ruf is a separate manufacturer from Porsche under U.S. and German law.
Gran Turismo 2 was the first game of the series to feature the Vauxhall/Opel brands. In the NTSC-U (Americas) and NTSC-J (Japan/Hong Kong) versions, the Opel brand was used, whilst the PAL (Europe) version featured Vauxhall when the game is set to use English language (the Opels became available when the game is set to other language)
See also: Music of the Gran Turismo series
The opening song for the North American and PAL versions is "My Favourite Game" by The Cardigans. The PAL version has the Faithless Remix of the song. In some introductions of the North American releases, the song was cut such that it played differently after one minute. The opening song for the Japanese version is "Moon Over the Castle" (the Gran Turismo series theme).
The game further increased the number of tracks on-disc by separating Arcade Mode and Simulation Mode (Gran Turismo Mode for the PAL and Japanese versions) onto two discs. This allowed for more space to place audio. The PAL version has a different soundtrack, and has songs that the American version doesn't, such as "Illin' in Heaven" by Fatboy Slim. The American version has songs like "I Think I'm Paranoid" by Garbage, and "Now is the Time" by The Crystal Method, whereas the PAL version did not.
Gran Turismo 2 received critical acclaim. It received a score of 92.42% on GameRankings and 93/100 on Metacritic.
GameSpot rated it 8.5 out of 10, recommending it to any gamer, car enthusiast or not, while IGN rated the game a 9.8/10. In Japan, Famitsu gave it a score of 34 out of 40. Gran Turismo 2 was a bestseller for two months in Japan, and for two months in the UK, and has sold 9.37 million copies worldwide. Official UK PlayStation Magazine listed the game as the 4th best of all time.