I know some people wanted a comparison between the two games. Well here it goes, Gran Turismo is still the ultimate driving game. But NFS4 comes very close.
The graphics in NFS4 are pretty good, but still second to GT. There are some neat things, such as during the replay, you can see the driver and the interior of the car. Ofcourse, car damage is always cool. Unless its for real and on your Z3. :-(
The user interface leaves much to be desired. GT has much better UI.
Controls. I don't like them! The feel and response to the controls is not as accurate as GT, but still pretty decent. But what really bothers me is that you can't customize the controls like you can in Gran Turismo. You only have 3 settings, and none of them match the analog settings I use in GT. That really bugs me!
What makes this game really cool are the cars and the accidents. First of all, NO RICE CARS! You get REAL sports cars like Z3, M5, police M5, Ferrari F-50, SLK (ok, ok but its german and its cool), MacLaren F-1, CLK-GTR, 911, and others. Second, the accidents are way cool. There is nothing like driving your nice shiny red M5 at 190 mph, chased by 5 police M5's. Then you hit a truck, fly up in the air, spin several times, then land again! CAOS RULES!!!!!!!!!!
Another cool thing is there is a race for upgraded Z3's ONLY! Ok, so there is a race for P-cars only too, but who cares as long as there is the Z3-only race. :-)
A funny thing about the game. It makes fun of rice cars and Gran Turismo. The demo video starts with a Honda Civic, with all the customary stickers, low suspention, and fat exhaust. Then a 911 pulls up next to the Civic. They both rev their engines. When the light turns green, the 911 flies off, and the Civic starts shaking and then farts a big cloud of smoke. :-)
About the Z3 in the game. The rendering is pretty good, the sound is good. The handling is ok, but then again this game is second in handling to GT. The colors available for the Z3 are white, bright red, black, violet, Montreal blue, silver. Then there are some funky colors that I only saw at the factory. There is Gumby green, hospital-scrubs green, Smurf blue. No Atlanta Blue, whats up with this?!!! Oh yeah! This is a '97 Z3 2.8! It has the black plastic sticker around the windshield and no roll bars.
So, if you had to have one and only one racing game, I'll go with Gran Turismo. But if you had to have a second racing game, NFS4 is not a bad choice at all. Specially because it has the Z3 and M5, and the cool accidents.
Happy virtual motoring.