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 19, 2012
    89
    If you love cars, fasten your seat belt and start your engines. One of the biggest racing games in recent years.
  2. 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.
  3. Oct 12, 2012
    90
    There's nothing really like Forza Horizon out there right now, as the wide-open world to explore and solid handling of the Forza franchise come together beautifully. Yes, Playground and Turn 10 had to compromise on what feels like a rather hefty list of features and selling points in order to make Horizon a reality on Xbox 360, but the relatively few new things this game includes add up to a massive impact on how it's played and enjoyed.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Oct 24, 2012
    90
    The only thing I regret is that Forza Horizon is only available on X360, a platform that doesn't have a decent steering wheel. Still if I had to choose three games to take with me to desert island, two of them would be Forzas – the latest Motorstorm and the new boundless Horizon. [12/2012, p.64]
  7. Oct 24, 2012
    90
    Forza Horizon is made of pure, unadulterated open world racing fun, and I can't take off points for that.
  8. Nov 10, 2012
    85
    DLC nagging aside, Forza Horizon is a solid arcade racer, if not the hardcore open world sim some were hoping for. There are plenty of challenging and enjoyable game hours here to be had, not just across the single-player mode, but in terms of leaderboard chasing and online racing, so long as the lobbies remain populated. It is great fun exploring what Colorado has to offer and a worthy driving game to sport the Forza name.
  9. Nov 5, 2012
    70
    Get beyond the cynical positioning of Forza Horizon and you'll find a racer that is, ironically, as efficient and refined as it's older, more mature, siblings. Whether it can build a community as effectively as the Motorsport games is unlikely, but Horizon, for all its familiarity and reluctance to experiment, is still a fine addition to the Xbox 360's roster.
  10. Nov 2, 2012
    95
    For all the accessibility issues the original game had, Forza Horizon truly does offer something for everyone, down to the individual race options before each competition.
  11. Feb 28, 2013
    90
    Forza Horizon is not simply a great racing game; it’s a great game in general. From the handling to the visuals and sound, from the tweaking to the reward system, Horizon has everything it needs to be an enjoyable time. It may lack the challenge and depth that fans of the core Forza series know and love but if you’ve admired the Forza Motorsport games from a distance (like me) then do yourself a favor and play this amazing game.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. Oct 26, 2012
    90
    With Forza Horizon, Turn 10 was able to truly innovate and create a game that is on a higher level than any other proposal.
  20. Oct 30, 2012
    90
    It would be a mistake to treat Horizon as just a spin-off of Forza because it's an excellent game with its own personality and great ideas.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. Oct 27, 2012
    70
    With Forza Horizon, Microsoft Games succeeds in blending the Forza spirit with open-world gameplay. It's an all-new atmosphere for racers to discover, with miles and miles of roads to race on with a true driving experience and sensations. But this new open-world philosophy could have been better exploited with more variety and fun, especially in multiplayer ; as is, it feels a little incomplete.
  28. Oct 28, 2012
    89
    While it doesn't exactly innovate, there's nothing that could really keep me from recommending this game.
  29. 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.
  30. Nov 12, 2012
    80
    Most gamers should find many solid hours of entertainment in this title, and most racing game fans will probably wish they could live in it.
User Score
8.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 344 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 70 out of 86
  2. Negative: 9 out of 86
  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 »