Rather than getting bogged down with technical details and over-elaborate management modes, Forza Horizon 5 goes back to the basics to make racing games feel fun again. But should you invest in this new edition of the much-loved franchise? To find out, let’s play Forza Horizon 5.
For this latest Forza Horizon offering, the franchise has moved to the sun-soaked beaches and lush jungles of Mexico — it’s an exciting change of scenery that provides the series’ most dynamic and diverse tracks and routes to date. Whether your street race turns into a dash across the beach, or your 4×4 jungle battle turns into a downhill drift into a volcano, there’s always gorgeous scenery to marvel at and something new to challenge your reaction time.
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Like previous Horizon entries, this rendition is not a hardcore racing sim, but rather, a fun-packed fantasy of what high-end racing could be. Cars are all fully licensed and reflect their real-life counterparts, but steering is loose and drifty, the highest of speed limits are easy to hit, and taking a Lamborghini on an offroad shortcut is the norm. The game offers an approachable arcade feel, but still has loads of depth to it too, ensuring it still appeals to those who love the finer appreciation of timing drifts and planning meticulous overtakes.
The fifth entry in the franchise also ups the ante on the graphical front. The racing is silky smooth, and you won’t see a framerate hiccup anywhere (at least not in our experience). In addition to the meticulously detailed cars, the particle effects — whether mud flying or shooting-gravel — always looks superb and add a tangibility to the racing, making you feel like your car’s wheels are firmly planted in the game world.
The Forza Horizon series has been setting the benchmark of an open-world arcade racer for quite some time now, and with Forza Horizon 5, the team at Playground Games are leaving little room for anyone to catch up. It’s one of the best-looking, best-feeling, and overall best racing games you’ll have the pleasure of getting your hands on this year.
Forza Horizon 5 is available on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and PC.
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