Mixed or average reviews - based on 43 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 43
  2. Negative: 1 out of 43
Buy On
  1. The true disaster here is the likelihood that nobody will really play Enthusia. "Gran Turismo 4's" massive popularity is destined to overshadow it even though both games rank at the top of the genre.
  2. Pelit (Finland)
    A solid, enjoyable driving game with great graphics. The controls are good and the RPG-ish level system makes the experience feel fresh. [July 05]
  3. Play Magazine
    A very nice alternative to "GT4." Though its physics engine provides a proper challenge, the game itself is simpler and easier to pick up and make make progress. If you haven't got time for "GT4," play this instead. [May 2005, p.40]
  4. Built for those who want a bit more 'pick up and play' in their racing simulations, and it does that fairly well.
  5. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    The concentration required to go six or so laps without hitting walls or A.I. cars is incredible but also really rewarding. [June 2005, p.100]
  6. Is Enthusia the Gran Turismo killer? Nah, but it is a nice standby for those who want something more after playing it, or are just sick of the GT series and want something fresh.
  7. While it’s an excellent entry in the crowded racing genre, your overall enjoyment of Enthusia Professional Racing is dependent on a number of things: patience, persistence, and practice being the three most pressing.
  8. There are some shortcomings, but Konami can take pride in its realistic physics model. It's the heart of the game, and the main source of challenge, satisfaction, and fun.
  9. 80
    The most obvious problem is that the system is far too forgiving of dragging a wheel or two off-track. Do that in real life, and you'll easily lose control almost instantly. In Enthusia, you'll barely even feel the car pull in that direction.
  10. Thankfully, you can turn off the VGS display completely and never see it again. Manabu Akita's system is a clever one, certainly, but did the developers really need to find the most annoying place on the race screen for it to live in? I don't think so. Rant over.
  11. Game Informer
    This isn't a game for the faint of heart or the heavy of foot. [June 2005, p.129]
  12. Computer Games Magazine
    Brilliant career mode. [July 2005, p.85]
  13. While the game's touchy driving model and overly complex career mode won't appeal to everyone, Enthusia is a worthy game for those looking for something different in the four-wheel genre.
  14. Weekly Famitsu
    8 / 7 / 7 / 7 - 29 [Vol 849]
  15. It does one thing well and that is teach you a new way to take turns and drive.
  16. 72
    If the driving had been left alone with just a focus on racing the different courses and scrapped the calendar and the Enthu Points this would have been an easier title to digest. With a fully analog control scheme it could've even been quite good.
  17. While the customization is very limited, there is still a plethora of cars to select from, each with their own specific feel.
  18. The sound is unremarkable. You’ve got your engine sounds, your squealing tires, and other sound effects that all sound like you’ve heard them before.
  19. PSM Magazine
    Even hardcore racers will find Enthusia's default difficulty setting is soul-crushingly hard, with absurdly demanding physics and cars that feel heavier than battleships, yet spin out at the slightest provocation. [June 2005, p.76]
  20. 70
    Rather than the car being the star, Enthusia puts the driving first -- it's a shame that the rest of the game can't quite keep up.
  21. 70
    For all it does with innovations in HUD, career mode, and vehicle unlocking, multiplayer is a bit underwhelming.
  22. Pelaaja (Finland)
    With its first game, Konami’s franchise-hope doesn’t quite match up to the game it is trying to challenge, "Gran Turismo 4." Still, the more realistic driving model and extremely well balanced challenge level bodes well for the sequel. [May 2005, p.68]
  23. Personally I find it annoying that I lose points when my opponents hit me and not the other way around, but I still like the idea.
  24. Konami’s handful of ideas to make driving sims better (VGS displays, Enthusia Life mode, etc.) are worth sampling despite a handful of odd decisions by the programmers (losing Enthu points to a rear end crasher??!!).
  25. AceGamez
    Without the hulking form of GT4 on the shelves next to it, Enthusia Professional Racing would be a worthwhile purchase. Unfortunately however, it falls short of the behemoth in almost every aspect, leaving you with little choice but to dismiss it as a capable but ultimately second-best title.
  26. It's a solid racer, sure, but in the world of killer sims and arcade racers alike, solid just isn't enough these days. Hopefully the follow-up will iron out the rough spots, because if they can, Konami has a really good racer on their hands.
  27. A quite decent and demanding racer.
  28. As it stands now, it’s really a game for the most serious driving enthusiast.
  29. Bad weather conditions are unnecessary for Enthusia. The controls are either stiff and awkward, or overly slippery.
  30. Sadly for Konami, Enthusia is here, slightly queer, and we just can't get used to it.
  31. 65
    But can someone please explain why we lose Enthu points when aggressive opponents tag us in the ass-end? Only a cloven-hoofed Enron accountant would think this was OK.
  32. 60
    Though the many tracks on offer (which amusingly take inspiration both from reality as well as other racing games), varying weather conditions and racing styles (including rallying, desert-crossing and touge racing) offer a lot of variety, the Enthusia Life format itself proves to be a little too simple and short, as reaching higher ranks does not involve as long a road as possibly it ought to. [JPN Import]
  33. It simply doesn't really do anywhere near enough to unseat Polyphony's great monolith of a game. In some ways it's a whole lot more accessible (if you can be bothered to wade through the somewhat daunting layers of formulae that get you up the pecking order), but in others it lets itself down with appalling presentation, rank front end, awful music, and visuals which while perfectly serviceable won't have you gawping in awe if you saw it on a nearby demo pod.
  34. We’d love to see a sequel with a beefed up handling engine, some damage models and online play, but as it stands, Enthusia is only recommendable to the more hardcore Japophiles with a penchant for motoring action.
  35. I honestly believe that it will have a tough time stealing track hours from GT4 and Forza on most gamers' consoles.
  36. 60
    A good-looking, challenging game with a nice collection of cars to win and race. You'll also get the steep learning curve that some gamers thrive on.
  37. The ideas are well thought out, but implemented poorly, and nothing can excuse the total lack of speed in a racing game.
  38. One of the least user-friendly gaming experiences I've had in a long time.
  39. Edge Magazine
    Yes, there’s a good sense of speed, but the dreariness of racing against brainless AI opponents who combine little awareness of their surroundings with a remarkably lethargic and lifeless approach to a supposedly exciting activity soon has that counterbalanced. [May 2005, p.85]
  40. Cheat Code Central
    With the VGS system, the demerits and the odds, you are forced into a style of racing that is neither sim nor arcade. It's a hybrid that is more challenging than fun, though some might want the word "challenging" changed to "frustrating."
  41. The overly complex ranking system has some inherent problems, and the limited car options hinder the joy of progression.
  42. Most gamers don't want to play something out of a driver's-ed simulator, which is what Enthusia plays like.
  43. The simple fact is Enthusia is simply a simulation of life, but has little life itself.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 20 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 20
  2. Negative: 3 out of 20
  1. Jan 29, 2017
    Vaya un decente simulador de carreras, graficos promedio, música genial, plantilla de vehículos muy buena, sensación de conducción muy bienVaya un decente simulador de carreras, graficos promedio, música genial, plantilla de vehículos muy buena, sensación de conducción muy bien lograda que lamentablemente palidece al lado de gran turismo o forza. un juego decente, una propuesta digna de jugar para los amantes de los juegos de carreras Full Review »
  2. Jan 13, 2017
    This is not a game about graphics and casual racing fun. Only hardcore racing game fans will appreciate this hidden gem of a game. NothingThis is not a game about graphics and casual racing fun. Only hardcore racing game fans will appreciate this hidden gem of a game. Nothing comes close to its driving realism and physics (on consoles at least) even to this day. Make sure to have a racing wheel before trying it,it's almost unplayable with the controller. It has a huge roster of cars (211 to be specific.and every single one of them handles and feels unique),many tracks to choose from,both fantasy and real life ones(including Tsukuba and Nordschleife) and most of them have rain weather-night driving and mirrored versions. AI is pretty good too. Savage if you play with a controller,easy most of the time with a steering wheel (crank the difficulty up to hard if you find normal easy with a steering wheel,it really is a whole new level,you'll have epic races if you are good enough). Career mode is also a good experience which would be an amazing one with a few additions. Enthusia's career mode (Enthusia Life) is an innovative experience which focuses more on actual driving skill and winning races than fiddling with menus or cheesing your way through tournaments with an 1500HP OP Nissan Skyline. At first the game gives you a garage with 12 starting cars and you are free to choose anyone of them at anytime. There are only single race events to choose from in your career which consist of 6 car circuit racing-1on1 duels and offroad racing duels. There is also a number of different skill groups in which you progress by earning ranking points in races. Every skill group has a different opponent car level (higher skill group=faster opponent cars) and you are free to enter any race with any car you fancy (you can race against Nissas Micras with a Dodge Viper for instance), however every race gives you a standard amount of ranking points (a very small one) which gets multiplied according to odds. If you enter a race with an equal or slower car than the average level of your opponent's cars you will get a big multiplier and score many ranking points by winning. If you enter a race with a faster car than the average level of your opponent's cars you get much less ranking points. This way the game pretty much forces you to really earn your wins and be competitive rather than picking the fastest car you own and cheesing every race. The game also has a "collector's" type of car acquiring system rather than the "classic" earn money-buy cars formula. There's no economy system in the game. Every time you finish 3rd or better in a race you enter a random pink slip lottery in which you get a chance to earn one of your opponent's cars. There's also a chance to earn nothing if the marker stops outside the car grid. This system keeps the career mode fresh everytime you go through it because you end up with a different roster of cars in every playthrough. Also,in case you are a completionist the game doesn't end your career when reaching rank 1 so you can stick with your main playthrough until you earn them all. Career mode also features a car improving system in which your cars get improved by earning XP points the more you use them. If you stick with a car for long and win many races with it it gets automatically improved to a higher tuning level which consists of 3 categories (weight-power-tyres). And of course,you can also tune your cars to your liking adjusting everything from ride height and tyre pressure to gearbox and downforce. In the end career mode is a very good experience but unfortunately gets a bit repetitive with its single races only formula. Adding more variety to the events such as multitrack tournaments or thematic races such as specific manufacturer races or "only 90s cars" restricted races for example would have made it an amazing experience. There's also a challenge mode called driving revolution in which you compete in certain car challenges much like Gran Turismo's license tests. There are only 3 downsides in this game which make it not earn the 10/10 rank.
    1) The sound is mediocre. Game music consists of pretty much 4 original instrumental songs (drum&bass and smooth jazz) that play on a loop in menus. And also the car engine sounds are mediocre too. Much better than Gran Turismo's vacuum cleaner engines that's for sure but still not great. Although props for using a different engine sound in every car. Every car sounds different.
    2) Career mode gets a bit repetitive after a while because of its "only single races" formula.
    3) Graphics are not the best in it's category. The car models are great and every car looks 100% like it's real life counterpart but the overall style of the game has the "japanese game" trademark on it with graphics being both photorealistic and a slight bit cartoonish.
    If you love driving simulation games fan like me I 100% recommend to try this game if you haven't. It's a remarkable realistic experience even for today's standards. + by far the most realistic racing game on the PS2. A proper simulator.
    Full Review »
  3. JamesE.
    Jan 1, 2006
    Amazingly addictive and stunningly fresh, this game is easily as good as every Gran Turismo, if not better. Unfortunately, this game is Amazingly addictive and stunningly fresh, this game is easily as good as every Gran Turismo, if not better. Unfortunately, this game is destined for oblivion, as very few people who hear of it will bother to try it. And most of the people who DO try it will play it for five minutes, and being used to the controls of other racing sims, they will jump to the conclusion that this game is way too hard when it really isn't. It's too bad really, as this game could have had a future, if it weren't for Gran Turismo 4. As I play this game, I pray that Konami will make a sequel, but I am fairly sure that they won't. It's a shame. Full Review »