Review: Logitech's G923 Trueforce Racing Wheel gives Gran Turismo 7 an awesome realism boost

The Logitech G923 Trueforce steering wheel
Who knew that a simple steering wheel could be so damned magical? Photo credit: Newshub

I wasn't even old enough to drive the first time I sat in an arcade and played a racing game with a steering wheel.

Even now I still remember how much easier it was compared to using the joysticks and gamepads on my old tech computers and consoles.

Call it an itch requiring scratching, but with the launch of Gran Turismo 7 for the PlayStation 5, I was intrigued to see if the steering wheels on the market today would be mere nostalgia or a new gaming experience.

There's just no way that a steering wheel and a home console can replicate the fun of the arcade, is there?

I've been using the Logitech G923 Trueforce Racing Wheel along with Gran Turismo 7 for a couple of weeks now and here are my thoughts.

The good

The G923 combined with one of the two greatest racing simulators of all time (that's the Gran Turismo and Forza Horizon series, by the way) is truly a magnificent experience.

A large part of that comes from just how durable, comfortable and fun it is to play with.

The soft leather padded steering wheel puts my own car to shame. The racing pedals are equally as impressive and can take hard movements without fear of breaking (no pun intended).

Trueforce, supported by Gran Turismo 7 on the PlayStation 5 and a host of other games, is a force feedback mechanism that delivers as real a driving experience as I've ever had while virtual racing.

It's both more authentic and easier to succeed when you're using it instead of a controller.

The Logitech G923 Trueforce steering wheel
Photo credit: Newshub

The braking system also feels pressure-sensitive, adding a new dimension to taking corners with my feet on both the brake and the accelerator. At times it felt like I could be in a racing car on an actual racing track.

To see just how user friendly it was, I asked a couple of people who had never played on a new-generation console to try it out.

After a few minutes of getting to understand what they needed to do in Gran Turismo 7, both were up to speed and breaking lap records in no time with great smiles on their faces.

It's one thing for a hardened old gamer like me to enjoy the added dimension it gives to racing games, it's another thing entirely to do the same for those who just don't care about them.

One of those new gamers was my daughter. This past weekend I asked both her and my experienced gamer son if they wanted to play it.

Given their ages (19 and 17) I expected this to last about 15 minutes and for endless bickering to quickly kick off. Instead what I witnessed felt more like a miracle that sends shivers down my spine thinking about it now. 

Not only did they respect each other, making sure everyone got a fair share of the time, they also helped each other and encouraged each other to succeed.

The Logitech G923 Trueforce steering wheel
Photo credit: Newshub

I only see them every other weekend and sometimes it can be hard to relate to their experiences, given I'm nearly 30 years older.

As is befitting their ages they have their own interests and, as much as I've tried to get them to like Jimmy Buffett, 20km walks, learning to play the drums, and podcasts about idiotic conspiracy theorists I haven't succeeded yet.

I'd almost forgotten what it was like, cinema aside, for us all to spend so much time together doing the same activity.

Sunday turned into an afternoon of near-endless joy. Four hours passed and it made me feel both useful as a dad again and happy that they could both enjoy some downtime away from their university studies with me instead of on their phones.

Who knew that a simple steering wheel and set of pedals could be so damned magical?

The Logitech G923 Trueforce steering wheel
Photo credit: Newshub

The bad

The hardest thing about the whole setup was requiring a desk and carpet to be able to properly anchor both the wheel and pedals.

Without those, it's really not that great an experience and so I can't recommend it if that's not an option for you.

If you have some space and the ability to fix them, then you're opening up a whole new world of enjoyment.

In our house we have smooth floors and I found this made the pedals move too much when playing, particularly when I got a little overzealous with my braking.

Moving a rug temporarily helped. By flicking down a setting on the underside of the pedals, a forked bar appeared to dig into the carpet and stopped them moving from that point on.

The Logitech G923 Trueforce steering wheel
Photo credit: Newshub

It's not something I'd even considered I might have to do to get the best performance out of the pedals.

There's also a price to pay for the tremendous quality of the steering wheel set-up.

Depending on where you buy from and at what time, it can set you back somewhere between $499 and $699.

When I initially saw that, I winced - that's between four and six console games. However I quickly realised that was a price worth paying given the reaction to it.

Ultimately there were few things to dislike about the technology. When you're left with a smile on your face thinking about a piece of tech, that's usually a pretty good indication there aren't many flaws.

The Logitech G923 Trueforce steering wheel
Photo credit: Newshub

The verdict

I cannot emphasise enough just how much I loved playing with Logitech's G923 Trueforce Racing Wheel.

From the moment I plugged it in I was transported back to those old days of begging my mum for another 50p so I could play again in the arcades of our summer holidays.

But it's also much more than that.

Not only are games easier to play and more enjoyable, it's also a much more in-depth and engaging experience.  It's also more inclusive.

My eldest, to my recollection, has never held a PlayStation controller in her life. Not only did she want to play with the steering wheel, she excelled at it, learning quickly and confidently to become (almost) as good as her dad.

Seeing her and her younger brother bond over a whole Sunday afternoon, helping each other and laughing at every mistake was something that becomes rarer as they grow older.

In some aspects, forking out anywhere between $500 and $700 for a steering wheel and pedals seems a lot.

But when compared with the memories of that afternoon, of the smiles of my children and the sheer enjoyment I got out of their fun made me realise that would be a small price to pay.

I've always loved driving games, right from ATV Simulator on my ZX Spectrum, to Forza Horizon 5 on the Xbox Series X. Add Gran Turismo 7 to that list - but more importantly, add the Logitech G923 steering wheel as my controller of choice. 

Newshub was supplied with a G923 Trueforce Racing Wheel for this review.

The Logitech G923 Trueforce steering wheel
Photo credit: Newshub