Forza Horizon 5 Review

Forza Horizon 5 has crossed the finish line and the standard for open-world racing is once again raised. The map of Mexico is larger, more detailed, and more diverse than any Horizon game. Horizon 5 is now being presented at its best with a new approach to how the Horizon Festival is constructed. We now have the tools to create completely unique events that are not as easily copied from the ones created by developers.
A huge visual overhaul, particularly in lighting, tyre smoke and dust effects. There are hundreds and hundreds of new parts, rims and performance mods that will give your car more character. You will experience a dramatic improvement in sound quality, handling, and more options and preferences. It's amazing all around.


Forza Horizon 5, which is now the largest racing game, must be compared to Forza Horizon 4. This was a hugely successful racing game that exploded into a massive success in 2018. Playground Games took the best open-world racing from all Horizon games and added simulated seasons, shared-world multiplayer overhauls, and a shift to the way the team told their automotive stories. Playground Games spent three more years trying to find even more activities. Festival Playlist: New activities were added every week. The Eliminator, Horizons clever and efficient approach to bringing battle royale into a racing game. Super7 was where we could take part in custom-built driving, racing and stunt-based challenges created by others. We also had the opportunity to create and share our own.

This is all, and so much more.

It is remarkable that Forza Horizon 5 doesn't just fly to another part of the globe, it is all that and more.

Forza Horizon 4: What We Said Loading. I will always have a soft spot for Forza Horizon 3's down under adventures, but open-world racing has never looked so good as in Forza Horizon 4. You get a wonderful world with four distinct maps, and a rewarding, self-renewing racing experience. I can't stop enjoying it. Playground Games has not only upped the ante, but it's blown the doors off. Luke Reilly, September 25, 2018, Score: 9.6. Read the complete Forza Horizon 4 review

Mexico Pretty

Playgrounds vastly diverse map of Mexico is extraordinary. It offers a new and exciting way to explore the world after three years of living in Horizon 4's more uniform Britain. Horizon 5's tapestry with colourful backdrops and locations is more like Horizon 3, but it feels much more expansive than Playgrounds 2016 riff on Australia.

Mexico seems noticeably larger than Playgrounds 2016 riff on Australia.

Baja is where the sun-baked asphalt hugs the coastline as the sandy desert blends with the beach. Deep jungle, where muddy tracks cut through old temples, abandoned airstrips and thickets, is also available. The charming city of Guanajuato, with its maze-like network cobblestone streets, tunnels and streets, is contrasted against a quiet coastal town that is surrounded by the ocean and mangroves. You will find rolling green farmland covered in crops and windswept grass. There is also a beautiful gorge that looks straight out of a Western movie. The semi-arid desert in the maps interior is filled with stubborn shrubs and tall cacti. Gran Caldera, a volcanic peak, is high above the rest. Even a huge stadium is available for soccer shenanigans.

Forza Horizon 5 Biomes 11 IMAGES

Although it is not a perfect recreation, as with all Horizon Worlds, it does not ignore reality. Instead, it creates a stylised view of Mexico at its best. This map is by far the best in the series and it's the largest.

This volcano is the best place to see its size. It is the highest point in Horizon 3, but Playground Games has made it clear. But, you don't need to believe them. Just drive up there and see how it dwarfs Horizon 3's Blizzard Mountain expansions and Horizon 4's Fortune Island expansions. This massive elevation change is not only one of the most impressive roads in the series, but it's also a great display of Horizon 5's incredible draw distance. Horizon 5 is a great game that makes me feel small in an unfamiliar space.

This is a stunning display of Horizon 5's incredible draw distance.

The garage boasts over 500 vehicles and is as impressive as the map. Its selection still surpasses any Forza Horizons open world racing competitors. There aren't many cars that are new to the franchise, and those who have been collecting Forza Horizon 4 every week for the past few years will have seen most of them. However, Playground has added a lot more rim options and visual enhancements that could help bring new life to cars you may have seen before. The livery editor has been updated to support higher resolution graphics and designs... however, you can't put decals on the glass. This is still a shame.

Forza Horizon 5 is stunning on both the map and the cars. This is true for both the 4K/30FPS and 4K/60FPS quality modes on Xbox Series X. Since quality mode is the most stable, I have been using it a lot. The frame rate in both modes never drops and remains constant in all circumstances. However, I know that performance mode has small visual concessions. I must study freeze frames to see the differences. Horizon 5 has many visual elements that I love, but my favorite is the smoke and dust effects and how they interact with the particles in air. It is stunning.


Open-World Racing Dream

While Forza Horizon 5's stunning graphics draw most of the air out of the room with their jaw-dropping graphics, there are so many improvements to the Horizon formula that it is hard to know where else to start.

These handling improvements are impressively extensive. They include more authentic ABS braking, snappier steering, and suspension improvements that make the car feel more off-road. It is amazing how many cars now sound completely different from each other. The ability to rev the engine during upgrades is a great way to hear the performance changes I make to my cars.

It is difficult to know where to start when there have been so many improvements made to the Horizon formula.

The new event-building tools have already resulted in some amazing and unique courses, races and activities shared by early players, even before launch. Horizon 5 will have a lot more props and more options than Horizon 4. Some of the user-generated content is going to be amazing.


Playground has redesigned the way that career mode works. Now you can choose which event hubs or special races you wish to unlock first. Accolades are points that can be earned for major or minor achievements. They basically function as an expanded version of Brick Challenges in Forza Horizon 4's LEGO expansion. Playground has been able to add several additional curated drives, which it calls Expeditions. These Expeditions bring a bit of Horizon 5's spectacular but brief opening drive montages back to the main career. Playground stage manages the vehicles, weather, and time-of-day lighting for memorable journeys that show Horizon 5. One will have you racing through trees while lightning strikes the ground ahead. The other will see you racing up and down the rumbling volcano, as steam jets break through the ground.

One Expedition will have you racing through the trees as lightning strikes ahead.

Playground has made significant multiplayer massaging. This time Playground has dropped ranked play in favor of something that is less pressured and won't penalise players for bad racing etiquette. Horizon 5's PvP modes are now grouped together under one umbrella. They can be embraced by new players as championships progress.

Horizon 4's hourly Forzathon Live events have been abandoned in favor of the new Horizon Arcade. The events are still co-operative events, and everyone contributes to the common goal. However, there is a wider range of events. Although they are a great spectacle, especially when there are dozens upon dozens of piatas falling from the sky, I find them to be quite tedious after they have gone for 10 minutes.

Horizon Arcade functions in the same way as Forzathon Live, but offers more events.

There's also the little stuff that adds up. This car collection display is more intuitive and allows you to quickly purchase multiple cars for your garage without having to go through the lengthy menus at the dealership screens. This is a cute game where you hide cars from the garage and allow other players to locate them in barns that you have found around the map. You can now toggle between metric and power measurements. (Kilowatts refer to vacuum cleaners.