Gran Turismo 5 in a miniscule fraction of the time it took to create, game critics find themselves in disagreement over the franchise's longstanding expression and adoration of driving. Some find the experience sterile and cluttered, while others see an unrivaled level of love and dedication. Even so, it seems fans will know exactly what they're getting into, and reviewers seem to agree that things are especially good once you get behind the steering wheel.
- Destructoid (100/100): "Even beyond the 1,000 cars, dozens of track variations, countless modes, gorgeous visuals and mountains of options, Gran Turismo 5 has something more that speaks to the world's car lovers and racing fans. The level of care taken by the people at Polyphony Digital shines in every aspect of this title, and this makes for a racing game that truly has no parallel."
- Eurogamer (90/100): "You see, the heart of the game has moved. It's no longer in the GT Mode, despite its improved pace, nor the tuning screen or parts shop. It's certainly not in the vestigial licence tests which are still there but no longer serve much purpose, Polyphony finally having given in and implemented a simple, sensible levelling system to unlock cars and events instead. The game's heart is in those Special Events."
- IGN (85/100): "Gran Turismo 5 is a 10/10 simulator wrapped up in a 5/10 game – driving is as exhilarating as anything that's gone before, and slavish obsession with the minutiae of many of its cars ensure it's an encyclopaedia of automotive delights. Its brilliance on the track, however is matched by its sloppiness off of it, and there's a lack of polish that would at one time have seemed sacrilegious to the series."
- Videogamer (80/100): "The actual driving in Gran Turismo 5 is brilliant. If driving cars is all you care about, Sony and Polyphony Digital have you covered. These days, I want more. I want a streamlined career mode, an exhaustive set of online features, cutting-edge visuals, and above all else, a spark – the something that turns a game from good to really special."
- Guardian (no score): "At times it feels less like playing a game and more like indulging in a hobby. Clearly it's no longer the sole pretender to the title of Best Racing Game; competitors snap at its heels in terms of graphical pyrotechnics, driving feel and immersion, and there are certainly better multiplayer experiences out there. But there's nothing with this much charm. If you want simply to bask in a deep love for cars, then there is still no better franchise."