|Gran Turismo took the PlayStation to new graphical standards. It also advanced the racing genre with its inclusion of full Arcade and Simulation modes. Along with the two modes of play, players also found themselves with an abundance of cars (new and used), tracks and car settings. Gran Turismo 2 takes everything in the original and adds to it with more cars, more tracks, more car manufacturers and even rally racing. Replays can be saved to a memory card and unlike the original, viewed from camera angles selected by the user.
Arcade mode has players racing each track on a variety of difficulty settings. Winning on each setting will release new cars and tracks. Every car featured in the complete game will not be found in this mode, but instead only a select group. However, this time around players are now allowed to use the cars that have been purchased and modified in Simulation mode. Simulation mode has another connection to Arcade mode as well: obtaining licenses will unlock tracks in Arcade mode. Time Trial, Ghost Car, Replay Theater and Rally modes are also included in Arcade mode, however rally mode exists only as a time trial here. In order to race against opponents on rally tracks, players will have to purchase a rally car in Simulation mode.
After trying out the Arcade mode, users can pop the second disc into their PlayStation and try out Simulation mode. Simulation mode starts players off with a set number of credits (Gran Turismo's money system) with which to purchase a car and car parts. There are a few new cars that can be purchased with the starting credits, but the majority of cars that fall in this price range are used. After choosing a car and/or upgrading it, players cannot necessarily enter a race. First they will have to obtain at least one of the six licenses (only five are available from the beginning). Players of the original Gran Turismo can avoid the license tests if they have a memory card containing their saved data from the original game. Gran Turismo 2 can read the data from the first game and automatically award you the licenses that were obtained.
License tests typically place players on a stretch of track and give them a goal that must be met. Goals include such challenges as coming to a complete stop in a designated area before the time limit expires, and completing a full lap of a track within a time limit. Demonstrations of each license test have been included for those drivers who have difficulty passing the tests. Each individual license allows players to enter particular races. The highest license level will in turn open up the races with the largest credit prizes. Plus, as a bonus, if a player earns gold standing in all of the tests of a single license, a special car will be awarded.
Gran Turismo 2 features over 400 cars. Many of the cars are simply different models of the same type of car but there is still a large variety due to the inclusion of more than 35 car manufacturers. Also, while taking the cars for a spin users will be treated to music by such artists as Garbage, Foo Fighters, Soul Coughing, The Cardigans and Beck.