Victoria state Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Hollingworth ordered Saeed Noori, 37, to serve 30 years behind bars before he is eligible for parole.
Hollingworth said it was "sheer good fortune" that more people were not killed or injured.
"Deliberately driving a vehicle into a crowd of people is a dreadful crime," the judge said. "Your actions have horrified and traumatized many people."
Noori drove his mother's SUV into pedestrians on Dec. 21, 2017, outside a train station in downtown Melbourne, Australia's second-largest city.
A woman identified as Noori's mother collapsed in court as her son was sentenced.
He pleaded guilty in December to the murder of 83-year-old Antonios Crocaris, who died in a hospital eight days after he was struck. Murder carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.
He also pleaded guilty to 11 counts of recklessly causing serious injury, which carries a maximum of 15 years in prison, and five counts of conduct endangering life, which carries up to 10 years in prison.
He came to Australia from Afghanistan as a refugee in 2004 and is an Australian citizen.
His lawyers told the court he suffered from schizophrenia and had fasted for a week before the attack.
Noori's computer and a USB stick contained images from international militant attacks and Islamic State movement videos.
Noori, who has three children, bowed his head during the entirety of his sentencing.
Hollingworth noted Noori's mental health issues, years of heavy drug use and gambling addiction.
"What happened was not due to a drug-induced psychosis. There is nothing specific in the days leading up that seems to have triggered your particular actions that day," she told Noori.
"The offending was entirely unprovoked, and displayed a callous disregard for the sanctity of human life," she added.
It was the second use of a car to attack pedestrians in downtown Melbourne in 2017. In January, six people were killed and more than 30 were injured when a car was driven in a pedestrian mall a few blocks from Noori's attack.
James Gargasoulas, 29, was sentenced last month to life in prison for what the judge described as "one of the worst examples of mass murder in Australian history."
Gargasoulas will spend at least 46 years in prison before he is eligible for parole.