Codemasters' Race Driver: GRiD is the Spiritual Successor to their TOCA Race Driver series. Half-arcade, half-realistic, it is most notable for one feature - the ability to rewind time. Although this mechanic had been used in games before, this is the first time it has appeared in a pure racing game, and the ability to do a short section of the track over instead of starting the race again after 5 minutes of driving made it hugely popular with critics and the public. The mechanic was later ported to Codemasters' other main series, DiRT.
The other notable addition to the familiar driving game formula is that the announcers (one your manager, the other the head of your pit crew) will speak to you on a First-Name Basis, as long as your name is common enough to be on the listnote .
Not only this, but you can also hire a team-mate after you reach a certain point in the career mode. Each team-mate has different strengths and weaknesses, and they all charge different fees accordingly.
GRID 2 was released at the end of May 2013. The reviews were positive, but suffered a huge backlash from the fandom because Codemasters didn't change the game in the way they wanted and the DLC pricing was highly questionable.
GRID Autosport was released at the end of June 2014, and brought back some content from the first game (eg. In-car views, San Francisco, and Ravenwest).
A reboot of the franchise simply titled GRID was announced on May 21st, 2019, and was released on October 11th that same year.
- Anti-Frustration Features: Flashbacks, which allow you to seamlessly rewind time by holding down a button and regain control by releasing it, Prince of Persia-style.
- Artistic License Geography:
- The Long Beach Street Circuit does not bear a lot of aesthetic resemblance to the real course. In addition, many portions of the track are not modeled very faithfully, even in its configuration most like the real course.
- Spa-Francorchamps, the Circuit de la Sarthe, and Nürburgring GP are far wider in GRID than they are in real-life.
- A Taste of Power:
- The very first race of the game puts you in a Dodge Viper SRT-10 provided by Ravenwest (as featured on the cover), who have kindly lent you this car for your licensing race at San Francisco. This also applies to some of the driver invites, which put you in cars from race classes that you otherwise may not be able to enter with your current reputation level (eg. Being invited to drive a Lamborghini Murcielago R-GT in a GT1-class event while the actual GT1-class events are still locked, while you're still raising funds to restore your starter car).
- GRID Autosport kicks it up a notch. The game puts you right into the 25th season opener at Hockenheim in an Audi RS5. And this time around, you're racing for Ravenwest.
- Attention Whore: This is practically the premise of the second game, to race for attention from race clubs and fans alike in order to advance the career mode.
- Boring, but Practical:
- The Saleen S7-R doesn't have as much acceleration compared to other GT1 race cars, but it contains the most grip and it's cheaper too.
- Similar to the Saleen, your starter muscle car, a 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302, has decent acceleration and grip but doesn't have the top speed compared to the Plymouth Cuda.
- Car Fu: Demolition derby, obviously.
- The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Collisions affect the computer cars and the player cars differently. Also, the AI cars get more grip in some places.
- Continuity Nod:
- One of the announcers in GRID 2019 was a veteran in GRID 2's World Series Racing.
- Patrick Callahan's son, Patrick Jr., appears as an opponent and later hirable teammate in the same game.
- Developers' Foresight:
- In GRID Autosport, if you haven't played the game in a while, the menu announcer will suggest that you do a practice cup to get back into the swing of things.
- Also in Autosport, the amount of spectators will vary depending on what you are currently doing. There are very few people in the stands in practice and qualifying. However, on race day, the stands are filled with people.
- Difficult, but Awesome:
- The Lamborghini Murcielago R-GT is this for GRID 1's GT1 class. It has very fast acceleration and is beaten only by the Koenigsegg CCGT in terms of raw top speed. However, its handling is a slippery mess at low speeds, and a heavy, almost boat-like nightmare when going fast. Those who master its handling however will be rewarded with much easier GT1 class wins at Le Mans.
- For drifters in GRID 1, the Mazda RX-7 is definitely one of these; while it is really good at holding a slide, getting into one without spinning or crashing is pretty difficult.
- The Tier 4 Koenigsegg Agera R in GRID 2 is a pretty good example, both in online and offline play; it's insanely powerful, can hit about 250 miles per hour stock, and can drift around corners at speeds only a few of the other cars in its tier can match. It's also incredibly difficult to handle.
- The Porsche 917/30 in GRID 2019. It's very difficult to control the car, but with high power and with the right tuning, you can blast away at over 450 km/h!
- Dream Team: No matter the category, Ravenwest features the smartest drivers every time they appear in, being almost guaranteed to dominate all team championships your team does not win. In Autosport, they can take it a step further by having you drive for them, as long as you've previously won the championship you are taking part in at least once.
- Engrish: The announcer in Japan drift events, despite speaking mostly in Japanese, is prone to it. DORIFUTO MASUTAAAAA! However, this is normal, and sort of expected from announcers for D1GP events (the guy voicing the announcer is, in fact, a D1GP announcer). It was also intentional, as that Japanese speaking announcer is American voice actor Yuri Lowenthal.
- Fragile Speedster:
- The Tier 3 Lightweight cars are this; they have great acceleration, relatively easy and nimble handling, but will absolutely get mauled in a tangle with the GT or Super Touring cars.
- Any vehicle in the open wheel class in Autosport or GRID 2019 counts as this. Even the slightest bump could cause terminal damage and leave you out of the race. Contact is avoided at all costs in this discipline.
- Genre Shift: Minor example: GRID 2 has a more drifty handling reminiscent of Ridge Racer but without nitrous and with real cars.
- Guest Fighter: GRID 2019 features two-time Formula One Champion Fernando Alonso. Though his face does not appear in-game.
- HeelFace Turn: Nathan McKane. A long time driver for Ravenwest did not show up in the GRID World Series in GRID 2019'. In return, he's a hireable teammate.
- Infinity +1 Sword:
- The Audi R10 is this in GRID 1. By far, it is the most expensive car at a whopping 20 million US dollars in-game, but it's also incredibly fast, handles almost like a dream, and is eligible for both the Le Mans 24 Hours race and the Global-level Prototype event. Funnily enough, Ravenwest does not run this car, partly to avoid overt frustration, preferring instead the next best car, the Mazda 787B (see below).
- In GRID 2019, Nathan McKane is the best teammate available for hiring, with all of his stats maxed out. However, you have to complete the Ravenwest Showdown at the end of the Career to unlock him.
- Infinity -1 Sword: The Mazda 787B in GRID 1 is this; it's nowhere near as expensive as the R10, is slightly slower, and it does suffer from very heavy steering at high speeds, but it's still easier (relatively speaking) to drive.
- Instant Web Hit: In GRID 2, a video of your performance in your first race gets uploaded on the game's in-universe YouTube and gets tons of views and likes, to the point that Patrick Callahan, a rich American entrepreneur, gets interested on you. Gameplay and Story Segregation applies - How well you do on the race doesn't matter in the slightest. Regardless of how badly you screw up; apparently you're still considered good enough for Patrick Callahan to want to fund you.
- Marathon Level: The 24 Hours of Le Mans, which you can race at the end of every season in the first game's career mode. It's a 12 minute (by default) race around the 8.47 mile Circuit de la Sarthe, and you only get the standard amount of flashbacks for the difficulty you're doing. You can also set up a 24 hour race around the circuit through quick race if you're feeling daring.
- New Game+: In Autosport, depending on how well you do in a championship, trying to play it again will show up offers from stronger teams than the ones you had at first. Win the championship, and one of the offers you get to defend the title is from Ravenwest.
- Opposing Sports Team:
- Subverted with Ravenwest, the player's biggest rival team. While they do possess many attributes common in a generic "evil" team (insane skill, dreaded reputation, all-black paint scheme, etc.), they don't cheat, drive especially aggressively, show any sort of hostility toward the player's team at any point during the story, or do much of anything to suggest they're anything other than a normal racing team. They're just really, really good at what they do. They're basically the game's Harlem Globetrotters.
- You, on the other hand, can drive as aggressive as you can (even against your team-mate nonetheless) and suffer no penalties as a result (unless you're in Pro Touge). This (Or at least cutting corners) is practically necessary in the 24 Hours of Le Mans outside of LMP1 because the opposing cars catch up really quickly around the five chicanes. In 2019, doing so will provoke your opponent as a "Nemesis" meaning they will drive as aggressive and will attempt to hunt you down for your actions.
- Real Is Brown: The first game has a yellow/brown filter laid over everything. GRID 2 has more varied colors.
- Rubber-Band A.I.: Watch the other cars catch up with you at about 400km/h when you've finally built up a decent lead in La Sarthe.
- Save Scumming: As there are no qualifying sessions in GRID 1, your starting position in a career mode race is always randomized. However, if you're dissatisfied with your starting position you can quit back to the main menu and retry in hopes of starting in a better position, or hell, have Ravenwest start behind you.
- Understatement: Your pit crew head will say that your car has "only a few scratches" even with the front end completely smashed if the "core" components (wheels, engine, suspensions) are untouched."Your car is a little banged up but it's nothing serious."
- The Rival: Ravenwest is the greatest threat to your championship aspirations in any competition in GRiD 1 or in Autosport. That is, unless you are racing for them in the latter case.
- Schizophrenic Difficulty: In the first game, the 24 Hours of Le Mans's difficulty fluctuates greatly depending on your class. GT2 races are moderately difficult due to low acceleration and mediocre handling. GT1 is considerably easier due to very fast cars with good cornering, especially the Chevrolet Corvette C5.R. Later, you get to LMP2, which is basically hell as you have faster cars than in GT1, with very powerful brakes but really bad cornering. The final class is LMP1, with the Audi R10 TDI in it - it's practically impossible to lose with said car, not even in difficulty settings that disable flashbacks or restarts.
- Skill Gate Character: The Tier 2 Touring Cars in GRID 2 are these compared to the rest of the cars; easy to drive, but slow both to accelerate and at reaching high speeds.
- Subsystem Damage: Very much a key mechanic in the entire series, though it can be turned off in GRID 2 and Autosport.
- In GRID 1 and Autosport, the damage display near your tachometer displays a variety of subsystems - engine, suspension, gearbox, and each of the four wheels. If these components take too much damage, it's race over.
- In GRID 2, the display was greatly simplified to an exclamation mark that represents overall damage to your car.
- Unnecessary Roughness:
- Online racing. Tracks and race classes are picked by majority vote, which almost always results in a combination of heavy closed wheel vehicles and narrow city courses, preferably the ones with a tight first corner for maximum carnage potential.
- In the sequel, playlists run a variety of tracks, cars cannot be totaled in a playlist race and there are matchmaking penalties for ramming. While this does reduce the impact of griefers, there are even more city tracks than before and the playlist system generates plenty of no-contact events with staggered starts that reduce your aggression rating, ensuring you can batter your way to the front in every actual race without consequences.
- Version-Exclusive Content: The Prestige Pack DLC for the first GRID title is exclusive to the PS3 and Macintosh versions of the game, though the PC version can obtain that DLC via converting the Mac version's files to work on PC. Some of the cars from said DLC pack are also selectable in the arcade version as well.