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 24, 2012
    90
    Forza Horizon is made of pure, unadulterated open world racing fun, and I can't take off points for that.
  2. Oct 24, 2012
    70
    I'm disappointed with the new Forza, but not because it's a poor game or one that doesn't meet my expectations. It's a really good game, but there's no big ambition. You play it and you put it away. The first admiration fades away quickly and later on it is evident, that the developers lacked ideas for filling an open world with content. It looks as if the new Forza is a framework that will be filled by the means of DLC. How else can you think about it, when all the game's secrets can be revealed by using real money? It can be done using the game's virtual currency as well, but it will take more time. Playground's new game is a technological gem and nothing more.
  3. 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.
  4. Oct 23, 2012
    90
    Dare I say it, Forza Horizon is arguably the most attractive and all-encompassing racer of the generation.
  5. Oct 23, 2012
    85
    It has a few quirks that come with the franchise's first attempt at an open-world game, but at its heart, it's still a solid Forza title. I can see Horizon being the start of a continuing bold new direction for the franchise, and with a bit more polish, I can even see it becoming the Forza standard. If you're a Forza fan, this is definitely worth checking out.
  6. Oct 23, 2012
    100
    It's hard to find negative things to write about Forza Horizon. It certainly is a different experience compared to Forza Motorsport 4, but that doesn't mean it's not as good. The spotless presentation and the enormous amount of things to do makes this one of the finest racing games I've ever played.
  7. Oct 23, 2012
    85
    A great arcade racing game, with a lot of content and nice visuals.
  8. 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.
  9. Oct 22, 2012
    95
    Entertaining, fulfilling and never frustrating, Forza Horizon manages to mix the series' well known realism with the light-hearted enjoyment only a free-roaming racer can deliver, becoming probably the best game in the genre so far.
  10. Oct 22, 2012
    88
    It is tremendous fun to cruise through a breathtaking virtual Colorado, explore and listen to the fantastic soundtrack. On top of that the brilliant driving physics show that the Forza-DNA is still intact and working. But AI problems, a missing split-screen and the reduction to a maximum of eight players online eventually show that there is still room for improvement.
  11. 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.
  12. Oct 21, 2012
    90
    The last time I had this much fun with a similar racing set-up, I was playing Project Gotham Racing 2. Fans of the genre should definitely keep an eye on whatever Playground Games decides to invest their considerable talents in next.
  13. 90
    At the end of the day Forza Horizon is the racing game I have been wanting for quite some time and Playground Games should be commended. With a good mix of simulation and accessibility, new open road exploration, the freedom to get away from closed tracks, and some great visuals and sound, I found I could not stop playing and neither will you.
  14. 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.
  15. 80
    Forza Horizon impresses, and not just with the high quality of almost all its facets or the sheer amount of content in the package. Where it really wins us over is in the pure driving bliss that too few racing games remember to include these days.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. Oct 18, 2012
    90
    A breath of fresh air for the series and one that should appeal to fans old and new, Forza Horizon may have toned down on the realism but the open world environment and host of quirky ideas more than make up for any discrepancies. This is a racing game that has plenty under the hood, and leaves you wanting one more shot at racing glory.
  19. Oct 18, 2012
    90
    Taking a new turn, the new Forza game delivers an immense world to explore packed with superb graphics and an incredible sense of freedom. It's not a "Forza Motorsport" game per se, but it's a great game in any respect.
  20. Oct 18, 2012
    85
    Forza Horizon is a complete driving experience. Its great music, its magnificent scenery, freedom and the Horizon Festival is the perfect place to drive around for days and days.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. Oct 17, 2012
    80
    It will be interesting to see how Forza Horizon fares against Need for Speed: Most Wanted, Criterion's new open world racer that is out next month. But in the absence of that review, it is clear that Playground Games has seriously raised the bar in all areas for the non-linear racing genre with Forza Horizon, and others will now have to play catchup.
  24. Oct 17, 2012
    90
    Not only is Forza Horizon a worthy addition to the series, but one of the most comprehensive racing experiences this generation.
  25. Oct 17, 2012
    90
    While Forza Horizon does have room to grow, it's fantastic for anyone who wants to take to the open road with more authentic driving and car customization.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. Oct 16, 2012
    70
    Thanks to a sloppy handling model, it lacks the precision required of its predecessor, so sim racers will probably struggle with the controls. Meanwhile arcade racers will struggle with more advanced driving techniques such as counter steering and throttle feathering. If you can get your mind into the right headspace for the game, approaching it as an arcade game with complex controls, there's definitely fun to be had here. It's just not up there with the likes of games dedicated to arcade or sim, but not both, such as Hot Pursuit or Forza 4.
  29. Oct 16, 2012
    80
    The game's most compelling aspect is its almost RPG-like popularity engine, which encourages you to see every slight kink in the road as a means to show off. If driving like a hooligan without having to face any consequences – in cars you'll never be able to afford – sounds appealing, then you'll love Forza Horizon. Whether by accident or design, Microsoft has hit upon a format that gives its flagship driving franchise the credibility it previously lacked.
  30. 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.
User Score
8.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 357 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 73 out of 89
  2. Negative: 9 out of 89
  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! LightingJust 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. ThisFeels 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 andWhat 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 »