The Gran Turismo Mode has a reorganized layout, with a more structured and progressive arrangement of races and challenges. Races vary from short beginner events to multi-hour endurance races and also rallying events against an opponent. In addition, the car shops are now organized by country and then by manufacturer, which some find to be more intuitive than the East/West City method used in it's predecessor. On the downside, far fewer vehicles are available in GT3 (just over 150 in total) than GT2 (around 650). This is attributed largely to the work needed for the more detailed graphics, providing detailed statistics for all the cars and the game's release being early in the PlayStation 2's lifespan.
Another new feature is the ability to win Formula 1 cars (labeled as the Polyphony 001 and 002 as opposed to being named after actual F1 car manufacturers) from endurance races. As expected, they perform significantly better than the other vehicles featured in the game. The only liability of the two is that they wear out the tires in a matter of laps. Players cannot buy harder tire compounds to fit on them.
The basic aim of the game (like GT1 and GT2), is to win all the provided races, championships, complete license tests and achieve 100% game completion. Every 25% of the game completed results in the player being awarded a car as a special prize.
The developers collaborated with computer and game peripheral maker Logitech for the game, which resulted in the GT Force steering wheel, which featured force feedback and was highly fitted to the game.
As of April 30 2008, the game has shipped 1.89 million copies in Japan, 7.14 million in North America, 5.85 million in Europe, and 10,000 in Southeast Asia for a total of 14.89 million copies. It is a part of the PlayStation 2's Greatest Hits.