Gran Turismo (1997)
Developed by Polyphony Digital in Tokyo and produced by Kazunori Yamauchi, the 1997 release of Gran Turismo changed the way people think about racing games forever. As a demonstration of what the original PlayStation was capable of, it was truly stunning, but more significantly, it reset expectations for racing games on every platform. It featured 140 different realistically modeled cars, simulated with accurate physics and believable handling characteristics on 11 faithfully recreated tracks. Yamauchi's passion for car culture and steadfast belief that realism is the core to a great driving game experience has since completely changed the landscape for racing games on both console and PC. Its impact is most obviously felt in Turn 10's Forza series for Xbox, but Gran Turismo's influence can be seen in Need for Speed, Test Drive, Project Cars, and dozens of others over the past 20 years.