Metascore
85

Generally favorable reviews - based on 83 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 75 out of 83
  2. Negative: 0 out of 83
  1. Oct 12, 2012
    90
    If you love Forza 4, this is the perfect companion. If you love cars, this is essential. The school of thought may be that it's hard to push racing games this late in a generation, but Playground Games hasn't just moved the needle here. It's buried it.
  2. Oct 12, 2012
    85
    Horizon's occasional missteps may clash with the machinelike precision of the Motorsport games that preceded it, but its ambition and untethered road map more than make up for those faults. This is a game that understands the thrill of the open road, and in delivering that thrill it's an unqualified success.
  3. Oct 24, 2012
    90
    Forza Horizon is made of pure, unadulterated open world racing fun, and I can't take off points for that.
  4. Oct 12, 2012
    85
    Forza Horizon is a well-crafted game that offers a fun racing experience that accommodates different approaches. It's not a complete experience, but it's a take on the Forza franchise that does the series proud.
  5. Oct 12, 2012
    90
    Forza Horizon is built on the best parts of the Motorsport games but delivers a strikingly different experience to them, and in many ways a better one. It has its own personality. It exchanges infinite laps and bottomless grind for an actual structure and a sense of adventure, while mastering its roads requires less practiced skill than it does courage and intuition.
  6. Oct 24, 2012
    90
    Forza Horizon does a splendid job of bridging together arcade-style and simulation racing into a package that feels like the best of both worlds.
  7. Oct 18, 2012
    91
    Forza Horizon manages to feel like something completely different, while retaining enough of Forza's core identity to make it fit really well into this established franchise. I'd highly suggest checking it out whether you're a Forza fan or just a racing fan in general; I doubt you'll be disappointed.
  8. Oct 15, 2012
    80
    Forza Horizon does more for the Forza franchise than it does for the open-world racing genre. It shows off the freer side of the series with high-production visuals and music, though it sometimes tries too hard to be cool and could have included a stronger range of content and weather effects. Still, as a casual departure, Forza Horizon deftly navigates the world between technical and casual racing, and is worth well more than the usual test drive.
  9. Nov 16, 2012
    92
    A thrilling, colorful racer that pushes the 360 to its absolute limits [Christmas 2012, p.75]
  10. Oct 22, 2012
    90
    Forza Horizon is a great spin-off for the series, great variety and gameplay, gorgeous landscapes, massive soundtrack and nice free-roaming structure. It's hard not to fall in love with. Those who love racing games can't go wrong with Playground Games effort.
  11. Oct 12, 2012
    80
    A great departure from the core Forza Motorsport titles. If you're blindly walking into the game without knowing that it's less sim-driven and far more of a fun arcade racer with many of Forza's trademark trappings--rewinds, color-coded tracking, and customization--you're likely in for a rude awakening. It's got its bumpy patches, but if you're interested in playing a long, deep, and rewarding racer, Forza Horizon is a game worth putting in the mileage on.
  12. Oct 19, 2012
    90
    A great game, full of details that make it shine every time we play. Forza Horizon needs many hours to make the most of it, but just a few minutes to start enjoying it. It also proves that an open-world title could be as deep, profound and interesting as any other game.
  13. Oct 16, 2012
    93
    If you've loved the Forza series before, you'll enjoy this, and if you thought it was a bit too stuffy but wanted to get into it, this is the perfect starting point for you. There's a ton of content here, and thanks to its lack of an online pass, it actually makes for a great rental as well.
  14. Oct 12, 2012
    90
    I'm the type of guy who actually goes for Sunday drives. Weird, I know, but it's true. As such, Forza Horizon felt like it was developed just for me. It may not be the perfect title for the F1 fans looking for a classic racing simulator, but for anyone who has ever turned their head as a Lamborghini whips past them on the interstate; this game needs to be played.
  15. Oct 18, 2012
    80
    Previous Forza entries showed glimmers of personality, hinting at a broader approach to accessibility, but were too shy and reserved to truly let loose. Horizon boldly goes there. It's a magpie game, assembled from pieces of other series, but it delivers a driving game precision engineered to offer all levels of player the best possible experience.
  16. 90
    Horizon may not be the natural successor to Forza 4, but it manages to steer the franchise in a fresh and entertaining new direction. Serious Xbox racers need a lot of room to properly stretch the legs of their Ferrari F-40s and Audi R8s, and Forza Horizon delivers that room - and those wonderfully responsive cars - in spades.
  17. Oct 16, 2012
    90
    Forza Horizon was definitely a great surprise. Not only does it carry the Forza name, it carries the quality, just in a different form.
  18. Oct 15, 2012
    90
    I find it easy to ignore Forza Horizon's traditional multiplayer when the single-player is so captivating and enriching.
  19. Oct 19, 2012
    89
    If you love cars, fasten your seat belt and start your engines. One of the biggest racing games in recent years.
  20. Oct 23, 2012
    85
    A great arcade racing game, with a lot of content and nice visuals.
  21. Oct 23, 2012
    89
    Forza: Horizon turns away from the down-in-the-weeds realism of previous versions to provide a more approachable ride. It's chock full of things to do and races to run, but even just driving through the spectacular countryside provides hours of enjoyment. While it's not strong in innovation in the genre, it does a respectable job of maintaining the status quo.
  22. Oct 15, 2012
    91
    But getting behind the wheel of one of the most realistic driving engines and booting around, challenging racers, and having all kinds of fun adds value to all cars – not just the ones that are ridiculously fast and expensive. I've played the game at numerous difficulty settings both with 360 controller and MS Force Feedback Racing Wheel, and have come away impressed.
  23. Oct 12, 2012
    90
    Playground Games took a humungous, beautiful world, packed it full of entertaining challenges and events, added in tons of personality and style, and built it all around the proven Forza tech, giving racing game fans an exceptional automotive experience that they didn't even know they wanted. For as much as I love Forza Motorsport, it's going to be hard to go back after this.
  24. Oct 30, 2012
    84
    Forza Horizon is a good first effort at an open world racer for the series, but it's not quite top-tier in the category yet. A decent story would be a good place to start.
  25. Nov 15, 2012
    82
    Forza Horizon tries to appeal to younger generations, fortunately that does not spoil it. Not bad, but previous Forzas are better. [Nov 2012]
  26. Oct 15, 2012
    92
    Forza Horizon in many aspects orients itself towards the predecessor. But the open world and the festival the game revolves around is incredibly entertaining. Brilliant graphics and the sound of roaring engines round out a great racing game.
  27. Oct 27, 2012
    90
    Forza Horizon is a game changer. A racing game that can be loved by both passionate drivers and lazy arcade gamers. One of this generation's masterpieces.
  28. Nov 20, 2012
    90
    Like a real party Forza Horizon can entertain you for hours. The game offers variation in both the singleplayer and multiplayer modes and looks fantastic. The soundtrack just completes it. Despite a few flaws the franchise took a turn that proves to be good for newcomers, but also great for the fanbase. You can't miss out on this party.
  29. Oct 19, 2012
    90
    Horizon represents a successful attempt to morph the notorious racing game into a street racer that could define a new future for the Forza Motorsport franchise.
  30. Oct 16, 2012
    80
    Had enough of the limitations of circuits? Looking for a fun party with lots of speed, hefty competition and loud thumping music? Enough reasons to delve into Forza Horizon. It's not the 'next best thing' regarding free roaming racing games, but it is a good step in a new direction for the franchise.
User Score
8.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 332 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 68 out of 83
  2. Negative: 9 out of 83
  1. Nov 3, 2012
    10
    Just played this game, very beautiful, very engaging, perfect usability design, excellent choice of music of various genres, love it! Lighting and overall presentation is gorgeous! Very fun to play, thanks for making this game M.S. you made my weeknights and weekends! Full Review »
  2. Oct 24, 2012
    7
    Feels a bit like need for speed, but this game is overall still a good effort by microsoft to keep their exclusive franchises going on. This is another good game to add to my racing collection. Still not better than FM:4. Full Review »
  3. Nov 28, 2012
    9
    What do you get when you take a bunch of Brits who worked on such game series like Project Gotham Racing,Colin Mcrae, DIRT, GRID, BLUR and others? You get a new British developer named Play Ground Games and a great game named Forza Horizon is what! I enjoyed previous Forza games but there was a lot that i didn't like about them...1.Driving round the same track for more than 3 laps bores me. 2.The backround graphics looked terrible,buildings and trees etc just looked poo! 3.The music in them was terrible. Forza Horizon ditches race tracks for a big open world set in Colorado US...now let me tell you...this game looks incredible, the backround graphics are much much better than previous Forzas and the whole game is not only one of the best graphical racing games, it's also one of the best graphical games out there on console.The closest thing to compare it to graphicaly is Criterion Games Need For Speed Hot Pursuit 2010 which also looks amazing.The locations are very varied and similar too,from deserts to forests to cities to small towns.The new day/night lighting cycle is very impressive,suns sets and rises with bursts of light from behind snowy mountains and through trees,as flocks of birds take to the skys and Autumn leaves gently fall from the trees,while the Horizon festival lights up the sky with lots of lights lasers and fireworks,it all looks impressive. There are around 140 cars on offer with many more to download, graphically the cars are all great but a mixed bunch, what i mean by this is some of the cars (The main big boys like the Ferrari 458 Italia etc) look just like in Forza 4, while others are around 85-95% as good looking as Forza 4's. Think of the cars in Need For Speed The Run and Forza 4...well their inbetween the 2, better looking than The Runs but not quite as good as Forza 4's...so the cars look great and the change doesnt stick out like a sore thumb at all,the whole thing blends real well.The traffic on the road looks very good just like it did in Need For Speed Hot Pursuit 2010,lots of real world traffic cars,vans and lorrys driving around the open world.Selecting cars in the show room look 90 to 95% as good as Forza 4, but the new lighting system looks better with light reflecting off the cars and even the lighting rigs on the shoowroom roof reflecting in the windscreen etc. Theres an overwhelming ammount to do in Forza Horizon, lots of varied events and things to do from racing on and off road,racing planes,hot air balloons,sprint races,track races,street races and more.Also every now and again 'Barn finds' will be announced over one of the radio stations, basically you have to find a barns that have old run down cars in them so an old guy can fix them up for you to keep or sell.Handling is very much like Forza 4 with just a dashing of Race Driver GRID in there + you get to select different modes like Simulator,assisted or customize your own just like in Forza 4, its all there the same as simulator upgrades takn straight from Forza 4, add turbos,suspension,body kits,decals,change the paint,wheels,everything from Forza 4 is in here to keep the simulator fans happy. There are many different road surfaces on and off road and all of them feel different and a pleaure to drive on. The music is much better than previous Forza games, this time the famous British Electro duo Chase & Status have put together over 60 different artists across 3 stations. Lots of house,dance,electro,dub step,drum and base which all the Europeans will love, It also has a diverse selection of Rock and lots of remixes of of indie festival favorites. The radio is alos alive with different radio DJ's talking about random funny stuff and giving you updates on all kinds of things from barn finds,to latest racing news,whos cool and whos not,whos challenging and inviting who to events and talk about random celebrities at the Horizon festival, so the radio stations feel alive the whole time and never get boring.For fans of the cheesie stories and high end custcenes in the Need For Speed Undergound and Most Wanted 2005 series, you will love Horizon as it has all these and a story to it,hot girls,other racers challenging you an smack talkin,weird an wonderfull celebrities,old wise men who fix up your cars while offering you advice and educating you a bit on the classic barn find cars, theres plenty of all that in Horizon and its all done well and looks great. Neat little touches where men and hot girls stand in the middle of the road with flares to start some street races or neon flares shooting up in the sky to start a race before landing in the middle of the road and fizzling out,and fireworks and conffetti as you cross the finish line. I think its the best Forza in the series as i love open world racers (and no im not a kid! Ive noticed simulator fans saying that Horizon is for kids,im 30),add that to its amazing graphics,great music and overwhelming content and you have one of the best racing games ever made. Full Review »