Gran Turismo Sport Vs Forza Motorsport 7 – Which Is Best?

Joe Terrell
11/24/202024th November, 2020
Filed under Gaming Guides

Forza Motorsport 7 and Gran Turismo Sport have been the pinnacles of console sim racing games, but as we prepare for the next-gen, which was best? We’re putting them head-to-head in this guide.

gran turismo sport vs forza motorsport 7


Introduction

In recent months, both Forza and Gran Turismo have announced their next-gen games for the brand-new Xbox Series X and PS5 consoles, along with providing sneak previews of what’s to come.

We feel this provides the perfect opportunity to reflect on how Forza Motorsport 7 and Gran Turismo Sport have stacked against each other as the current generations come to an end.

It’s been more than three years since Microsoft launched Forza Motorsport 7 to the market, and Sony yet again fueled the fire with the on-going bitter rivalry just two weeks later with the PlayStation alternative - Gran Turismo Sport.

Although on the surface, these racing simulators appear to be the same product produced by two different companies, the reality is very different, and this is perhaps more prominent than ever.

As fanboys for each console were yelling about which game was superior from the rooftops (well, online forums.) It sometimes becomes hard to hear through the noise to decide the better of the two.

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For that reason, we’ve opted to provide our own unbiased opinion after years of owning both consoles and enjoying the best that both games have to offer to conclude which one we feel is the worthy winner.

So, start your engines, as it’s about to go down!

Many of us grew up playing Gran Turismo. In the early generations of the Playstation, before the Xbox had even reached the marketplace, there was no real contender when it came to sim racing.

I have a clear memory of physically shaking as I got my hands on Gran Turismo 2 for the PlayStation as a kid. After firing it up, and spending way too many hours glued to the screen, it certainly lived up to the hype and expectations as it unquestionably revolutionized console sim racing.

Gran Turismo 3 and 4 continued to blow the minds of racing gamers worldwide, and it continued to remain as the pinnacle, to the point where it was challenging to imagine it ever having any real risk of competition entering the market.

Just six months after the hugely successful launch of Gran Turismo 4, that all changed – enter Forza Motorsport.

Microsoft had got tired of seeing Sony’s absolute domination of the sim racing market, and they had arrived to take their piece of the pie, and they did so in style.

As the two have continued to battle it out over the years, with each pushing the boundaries with each generation, Forza Motorsport 7 and Gran Turismo Sport remain the most popular console sim racing games you can get your hands on in the present day.

After three years of maintaining the top spots of the four-wheel racing genre, we’ve arrived at the all-important question - which game is best?

Firstly, we’ll whet your appetite with this excellent comparison video from DigitalFoundry, where they’re able to show you both games in all their 4k, 60fps glory:

Although both games provide what they feel is the ultimate racing simulator, it’s clear that they each have a fascinatingly unique stance in their approach when it comes to the perfect racing simulator, which we’ll take an in-depth look at in this guide.

So, buckle up and enjoy our head-to-head battle between console gaming’s two most popular racing simulators - Forza Motorsport 7 and Gran Turismo Sport.


Forza Motorsport 7 vs Gran Turismo Sport: Graphics

We’ll start by saying that there’s no doubt that both games look incredible, and they both have their advantages for different reasons.

Both sides of the camp have undoubtedly invested a tremendous amount of hours perfecting each pixel to make the cars look as lifelike as possible while pushing each console’s benchmarks to the limit to ensure perfection.

If you’ve not seen them side-by-side, this video provides a great perspective on how things look behind the wheel.

If you’re an Xbox or a PlayStation fanboy, we hope that you’ll agree that both sides have done a fantastic job when it comes to visuals.

With each game finally capable of running 60 frames per second in glorious 4K resolution, this is as good as both your console and some of the highest-spec TV’s on the market are capable of achieving before the next-gen updates.

Forza fans also rejoiced at the addition of dynamic weather, which was undoubtedly worth the wait. As the rain crashes down on your car, making visibility almost impossible, you’re left with optimism that the sunlight will soon be beaming down on those rain droplets and track reflections in all its 4K-glory.

As the day turns to night with the lightning storm reflecting on the spectacular rain-drenched track, you realize that Turn10 has certainly gone out of its way to live up to the hype surrounding their dynamic weather update, providing a real game-changer to the genre.

Let’s not forget that before this, Gran Turismo was setting the standard when it comes to weather, and it certainly doesn’t disappoint this time around, either.

There’s no question about it, GT Sport’s lighting effects are truly stunning and a sight to behold.

We feel that they’ve hit the nail on the head when it comes to light illumination at night-time, particularly with a more realistic feel than the sometimes excessively-glossy visuals of Forza.

Despite rarely watching replays, we’ve found ourselves with a new-found appreciation for just taking in the visuals of the Gran Turismo replays in awe.

For us, GT is still lightyears ahead of Forza when it comes to replay appreciation.

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Let’s not forget that Forza has the upper-hand in achieving the full graphics potential that the game has to offer, thanks to its compatibility with Windows PCs. This allows you to push Forza beyond the Xbox One’s limits with the best gaming hardware on the market.

Curious to see how Forza Motorsport 7 looks with Ultra settings on a gaming PC? Check out this video:

Although Gran Turismo takes the lead for us when it comes to trees, crowds, and general foliage, we feel that Forza has taken the win in other vital aspects, such as rumble-strips and asphalt.

Many gamers felt that Gran Turismo 5 and 6 had slowly lagged behind Forza when it came to the intricate details, but GT pulled it out of the bag this time around, with graphics taking center stage.

Forza 7 is undoubtedly a beautiful creation, but GT Sport certainly takes things one step further in Polyphony’s quest for perfection.

But did Polyphony focus too much on providing the perfect visuals? Gran Turismo fans had been left questioning whether they’d perhaps spent too much time pixel-peeping rather than providing a large amount of in-game content that the fans craved. We’ll take a more in-depth look at this later in the guide.

There’s no doubt that they both provide some of the best graphics we’ve ever witnessed, but Gran Turismo Sports’ appreciation for the finer details, especially when it comes to the car models’ tiniest details, gives them a marginal victory this time around.

On top of that, the lighting effects, particularly during night racing, and the jaw-dropping replays confirm just how visually-impressive the game is.

With that said, Forza’s rain effects and dynamic weather add to a fantastic all-around package, which is still hugely impressive.

When it comes to graphics, we’re sure you won’t be disappointed with either game.


Forza Motorsport 7 vs Gran Turismo Sport: Gameplay & Physics

For many, the gameplay and physics are what will ultimately make or break a simulator game.

You could have the most outstanding graphics of all time, but if the physics are awful, then you’re likely to get hugely frustrated and end up with a broken controller (or wheel) rather than hours glued to the screen.

We feel that gameplay and physics, combined with the apparent content differences that we’ll soon be diving into, are the main factors that differentiate the two games and divide the gamers.

Firstly, Forza has an excellent, responsive feel as soon as you get the controller, or wheel, in your hand, and the customizable in-game driving assists make it easy (or hard) right out of the box no matter what your driving ability.

While Gran Turismo also features some assists, it’ll soon be clear that they’ve targeted the game with the more ‘hardcore’ racing, or drifting, enthusiasts in mind.

Although it’s more challenging from the start, Gran Turismo still features their legendary ‘driving school’, where the aim is to take the newbies to mastery.

On the other hand, Forza puts you straight into the driving seat and expects you to learn all for yourself.

For this reason, Gran Turismo is often the favored console platform for those with dreams and aspirations to learn how to become professional racing drivers in the real world.

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However, further down the line, Forza’s single-player mode offers a superior career progression platform for those that are just looking to drive as many cars as possible without the pure intention of being dedicated to shaving milliseconds off their lap times.

For this reason, we’d say that Forza secures the mass appeal of the average gamer, while Gran Turismo is more catered towards the dedicated driver that’s looking for serious competition to improve their skills behind the wheel.

With Gran Turismo Sports’ Driving Tests and Challenges, you’ll learn how to perfect your driving skills, when to and where to corner, brake, and accelerate for perfected performance.

GT Sport is often known as the “thinking person’s racer,” for those keen to learn every aspect of the cars they’re driving and motorsport itself.

Forza hands you the keys to just about every car you could ever want to get behind the wheel before pointing to the track and yelling, “Have fun!”

If you happen to smash head-on at 300mph, it’ll be there to give you a friendly reminder to activate the ‘Rewind’ feature, where you’ll be able to pretend it never happened.

Gran Turismo, on the other hand, will make you regret your mistakes.

Once you’ve had your fun on the track in your new ride on Forza, it’s time to head to the upgrade shop, where just about every aftermarket upgrade you can think of is waiting on the shelf for you to install to your ride.

If you decide you want to turn your FWD grocery-getter into a 1,200 AWD hypercar, you can count on Forza to hold your hand and encourage you to do so.

When it comes to the actual driving physics in the games, this seems to fall to a matter of taste, often with a sprinkle of fanboy-ism added into the mix.

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We hope that most will agree that GT Sport is typically the better choice for a realistic driving experience, especially on a wheel, even if you feel that iRacing or another PC simulator is superior.

GT Sport is lacking when it comes to the controller experience since the DualShock 4 controllers don’t have rumble triggers, making it challenging to have a precise feel of when the tires are about to lose their grip.

If you happen to go off-track in GT Sport, especially on a slippery surface in a braking zone, then you’re far more likely to struggle to recover from the situation, where Forza is likely to be more forgiving.

We found that this is also apparent with traction. In aspects such as drifting and encountering oversteer and understeer, we’ve found Forza much more lenient, allowing you to push the boundaries without such severe consequences.

While some like the ease of Forza, they perhaps find it too easy and prefer the real challenge that comes with GT Sport.

GT Sport wants you to take pride in your driving skills and continually strive to improve, where Forza wants you to get behind the wheel and feel free to push the car beyond its limits, often failing, without shame.

Put simply; we would say that Gran Turismo Sport targets the serious racer who wants to improve, while Forza Motorsport 7 is more for those looking to maximize the enjoyment potential that sim racing has to offer.

When it comes to pure driving entertainment, we give the win to Forza.

However, when it comes to improving yourself as a racer, we feel that GT Sport is the better choice.


Forza Motorsport 7 vs Gran Turismo Sport: Content

For the first time in these comparisons, we have a clear winner when it comes to content.

We praised the incredibly in-depth details of GT Sport’s cars in our graphics category, but the downside of this is that you’ll only be able to choose from 162 cars in the game.

If you’re new to gaming, you might be thinking, “that’s not so bad!”

Well, until you hear, Forza Motorsport 7 brought over 700 cars to the table on release day and have gone on to add many more since then with their expansion packs.

The lack of cars was the main gripe from GT fans. After being treated to over 1,000 variations of cars in Gran Turismo 6, it felt like a substantial step-down, even if the limited quantity did look insanely impressive.

It’s not only the quantity that’s lacking but the selection too. Where Forza 7 features the likes of racing trucks and F1 cars, there’s nothing too unique that stands out in the GT Sport roster, unfortunately.

You’re probably hoping they redeemed themselves when it came to tracks?

Nope. GT Sport provided just 17 circuits with 28 potential possibilities, where Forza brings 32 to the table, with 200 variations.

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Even if the vast majority of them are in the U.S., it’s still a substantial improvement when it comes to variety.

If track selection is your thing, then Project Cars 2 is also worth consideration, with 60 tracks and 130 individual layouts, which is more than three times what GT Sport has to offer.

Thankfully, Sony did eventually listen to the fans, and in 2020, you’re now able to choose from 334 cars in Gran Turismo Sport, thanks to their free updates.

On top of that, you’ll also be able to race on a selection of 31 tracks with 82 variations.

However, as you probably guessed, Turn10 didn’t stop with their content there, either.

After the initial 700, they later added 130 cars, making it the most extensive playable vehicle list of any Forza game to date, with a whopping selection of 830 cars, from legendary F1 racers to NASCAR, to your favorite JDM rides and drift cars.

Not only that, but you’ll also be able to add widebody kits, aftermarket aero from your favorite aftermarket tuning companies, and your favorite wheels. Not to mention the potential to carry out engine swaps, forced induction upgrades, and transmission conversions.

When it comes to variety, tuning, and upgradability, there’s no question that Forza 7 wipes the floor with GT Sport.

With this in mind, it echos our thoughts so far that Gran Turismo Sport has targeted the aspiring racecar driver, where Forza Motorsport 7 is for the driving enthusiast that wants to have some fun after a hard day at work or school.

Although let’s be honest, those at school are probably more likely to head for Forza Horizon.

To summarize - Forza opted for quantity, and Gran Turismo Sport opted for quality.

Who takes the win for us when it comes to content overall? Forza 7, without a doubt.


Forza Motorsport 7 vs Gran Turismo Sport: Online

Online playability is another category that sets the two games apart and could potentially be the deciding factor for some gamers.

When you first venture into a racing lobby on Forza Motorsport 7 online, chances are the race will be decided on whoever’s car hasn’t been destroyed in the 21-car pile-up on Turn 1 on the circuit.

Jokes aside, Forza has slacked with putting restrictions on malicious gamers, which makes things immensely frustrating, as we’ve all experienced in our e-careers.

On the other hand, Sony has opted to focus on their new sportsmanship rating feature during races, punishing those intentionally driving recklessly.

While it’s not perfect, it sure beats the 21-car pile-up scenario.

The GT Sport single-player campaign isn’t quite as extensive as Forza’s, but it does make up for it with the driving schools. They’re not as enjoyable as their license modes of the past, but they’re great for teaching you how to improve as a racer.

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On the other hand, online racing was Sony’s target this time around, and we feel that it’s the better game if you’re looking for an e-racing experience.

With the implementation of yellow flags, realistic pitstops, and safety cars, it’s clear that the e-racing element is far better thought through in Gran Turismo Sport than Forza.

With that said, if you’re planning to do drifting, we’ve found that the open lobbies of Forza 7 are far superior to what GT Sport has to offer, even if you are imminently awaiting flipping 50 times from someone ramming you with an F1 car mid-corner.

For racing, we prefer GT Sport’s online mode. For drifting, we like what Forza Motorsport 7 has to offer.

There’s still room for improvement, though, and we wish there were a little more punishment for the aggressive morons that insist on ruining the fun for everyone else.

We’d also love to see drift layouts with real clipping points and competitions in both the next-generation Forza Motorsport and Gran Turismo 7.


Forza Motorsport 7 vs Gran Turismo Sport: The Next Generation

The pitchforks are out, as the rivalry continues to the next generation!

Both Sony and Microsoft have recently given a sneak-peek of their upcoming hand, with Forza leaving more to the imagination this time around.

If you’ve somehow missed the official announcement trailers, here’s the PlayStation 5/PS5 Gran Turismo 7 trailer, which was released first:

With the GT7 trailer dropping first, it set the standard with what to expect from the next generation, and fans certainly weren’t left disappointed.

However, if there’s one thing we’ve learned from GT Sport – Sony certainly isn’t lacking when it comes to visuals.

They don’t reveal an awful lot, but they’ve provided a glimpse of what to expect from the upcoming career mode and also treated us to some tasty race footage, which is more than we would typically expect from an announcement trailer.

One of the main positives for GT fans is undoubtedly the return of Trial Mountain, which unsurprisingly created a buzz among the gaming community.

Forza, on the other hand, has opted to keep their cards closer to their chest, but they did seem to confirm the inclusion of Laguna Seca and Maple Valley Raceway.

Alongside these tracks, they also announced three cars – Apollo IE, BAC Mono, and the Mazda #70, along with a teaser for the Donkervoort D8 GTO.

Despite causing a massive surprise by reverting to the original name of the game, Forza Motorsport, rather than continuing with their typical numbering system, it’s left many fans curious as to what they have up their sleeve.

While Microsoft has announced that Forza Motorsport will feature 4K at 60fps, Sony has yet to confirm.

Although the PS5 is capable of 8K resolution, we’ve not yet seen that proven with gaming.

For those of you that are curious to see how GT7’s graphics stack up against GT Sport so far, we found this early 4K graphics comparison fascinating:

It’s too early to say which next-gen game is likely to be crowned the winner, but one thing that we do know for sure is that we’re excited to see what they both bring to the table!

With Microsoft taking longer than ever to produce the new Forza Motorsport game, combined with the significant name change, are we about to witness a potential game-changer in the console racing sim world?

We’ll have to wait and see!


Forza Motorsport 7 vs Gran Turismo Sport: Conclusion

Oh, boy, here we go.

We’re sure to ruffle a few feathers here either way, but hear us out!

In our opinion, content is the most significant deciding factor between the two games. They both have their positives and negatives, but Forza 7 is way ahead in the content department, which is a shame since GT6 featured such an extensive roster.

Polyphony’s quest for perfection did pay off in the graphics department, though, and there’s no denying that GT Sport looks stunning.

Microsoft counters that with their dynamic weather and various other impressive elements. However, the devil’s in the details, and visually, GT Sport takes the win.

When it comes to a realistic racing experience, they’re both fantastic, but GT Sport is undoubtedly the more serious-minded racer of the two for those looking to improve their lap times.

Forza, on the other hand, uses the content to its advantage and also promotes a more entertaining and forgiving driving experience.

Let’s not forget the power of tuning in FM7, either, which is undoubtedly one of the most impressive and exciting aspects of the game.

When it comes to serious racing in GT Sport vs Forza 7, we typically find ourselves opting for a steering wheel setup on GT Sport when we want to participate in some serious racing.

However, if we want to have some fun after a long, hard day at work, we typically reach for the controller and throw down some skids in Forza 7.

Although both are great simulators, we feel there are better options to consider for those genuinely considering going down the professional racing route.

PC sim gaming is evolving quicker than ever, and games like iRacing set the benchmark for realistic racing, especially with a full VR setup. Alternatively, if it’s drifting that you’re interested in, then you’ll want to check out Assetto Corsa, which is also insane in VR.

GT Sport is about loving and appreciating the more refined aspects that cars, racing, and motorsport have to offer. It’s well-crafted for the serious motorsport fans out there.

Forza 7 is about loving car games and having fun hooning and throwing it down at the tracks in hours of endless tandems with your buddies, with your favorite ride from the ridiculously comprehensive car selection.

For that reason, we feel that they both serve their unique place in the market, and we’re grateful to have them both co-existing alongside each other since they both provide their unique elements to the genre.

Whether you’re looking to have fun or kick-start your racing career, this guide should help you decide which game will be better for your needs.

If we owned an Xbox, would we be rushing out to get a PlayStation to get GT7? No. But, we wouldn’t be doing the opposite, either.

In our minds, there isn’t enough to set them apart to switch platforms. Therefore, if you already own one of the consoles, the tough decision has been made for you.

As for a conclusive winner?

We’d have to give it to Forza Motorsport 7 due to its vast array of content.

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We simply can’t ignore how much Polyphony removed from the game in favor of their ‘quality over quantity’ compromise.

As stunning as GT Sport is, there were so many cars missing from the game that we would’ve loved to enjoy.

On that note, with a potentially unpopular opinion, we also have one more thing to say.

It is worth considering that if you were willing to move away from consoles, then PC gaming opens a whole new realm of possibilities.

Not only are you able to mod the games with an unlimited number of your very favorite cars and tracks. You’ll also be able to enjoy Forza 7 and Forza Horizon, alongside the wealth of other racing simulators, such as iRacing and Assetto Corsa, in all their VR glory.

Ah, there’s one downside, though - you won’t be able to experience GT Sport or GT7!

So, there we have it! We hope that we’ve covered everything you could want to know about Forza Motorsport 7 vs Gran Turismo Sport in this guide.

Thank you for reading our Forza Motorsport 7 vs Gran Turismo Sport guide.

If you enjoyed this article, please share it with the buttons at the bottom of your screen. If you’ve found this information useful, then please take a moment to share it with other Forza, Gran Turismo, and other racing game enthusiasts. We appreciate your support.


Photography credits

We thank the following entities for the use of their photography in this article:

author avatar Written by Joe Terrell Drifted.com founder, motoring journalist and all-round car enthusiast. Read more about Joe and the Drifted team on our about us page.

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