Gran Turismo
Image: Sony Computer Entertainment

25 years ago today, Polyphony Digital's Gran Turismo raced onto the Sony PlayStation in Japan, and it's no exaggeration to say that it changed everything.

It took Polys Entertainment (as Polyphony was then known) five years to create the game; development began in 1992, using the physics engine of the studio's previous racing game, Motor Toon Grand Prix 2, as a starting point. Led by producer Kazunori Yamauchi – who still oversees the series today – the Gran Turismo team was small and compact; according to Yamauchi, it was as small as seven people at one point and never became larger than fifteen staff.

"It took five years," Yamauchi told AutoWeek Magazine in 2009. "In those five years, we could not see the end. I would wake up at work, go to sleep at work. It was getting cold, so I knew it must be winter. I estimate I was home only four days a year."

Gran Turismo was impressive in that it boasted a host of real-world cars to obtain and featured a surprisingly deep career mode, too. The car physics were also incredible, and, thanks to the PlayStation's newly-released DualShock controller, the game felt as close to 'real' racing as you could get on a console at that point.

However, it is perhaps best known for offering a visual experience that was unmatched on any console at the time; Yamauchi and his team pushed the host hardware to its limits using special 'performance analyzer' software; he later stated that Gran Turismo utilised around 75% of the PlayStation’s maximum performance (the sequel would apparently push that up to 85%).

The original game was a tremendous critical and commercial success, selling in excess of 10 million units worldwide and spawning a series which continues to set boundaries for the racing genre even to this day; the recently-released Gran Turismo 7 is a testament to that. However, for those of you old enough to remember, the arrival of the first game was a truly magical moment.

And here's the introduction sequence to the European version of the game – which is the best one because it features The Chemical Brothers' remix of The Manic Streets Preachers' Everything Must Go. We will hear no argument on this matter.