Review: Forza Horizon 5

Forza Horizon 5 is racing onto the Xbox Series X and PC, does it finish in pole position or crash out?

Amy Haslam
30th November 2021
Image: Microsoft
Forza Horizon 5 is the latest entry in Microsoft's flagship racing series. Set in Mexico, it showcases how just beautiful and diverse the country is.
Image: sportskeeda.com / Xbox Game Studios

The map is massive and has ruins, jungles, deserts, countryside, an active volcano, mountains, beaches, and the most beautiful city ever. It makes you question how all of this can fit into one country, while 90 percent of the UK is just fields (as shown by the previous game in the series set here). The environments are just jaw-droppingly beautiful. It's like a free holiday as well as a game. 

Even for someone whose knowledge of cars doesn't go beyond the names of characters in the Pixar movie Cars, the game didn't feel too overwhelming. 

It definitely has features for those with a poster of Jeremy Clarkson on their wall and knowledge of what the word horsepower means. For example, an advanced car tuning system with an extreme level of detail for those who want to fiddle with your car's “bump stiffness”. 

The Horizon Festival seems to be more immersive than ever before.

If you're new to the game you will definitely crash into walls at first, and that's a good thing. There is no Bullet Bill in this game to boost you out of 8th. Grinding out a race until you win with a stubbornness against lowering the difficulty is very rewarding. 

The Horizon Festival seems to be more immersive than ever before, the world feels busy with festivities and other cars attending with the shared multiplayer. Sorry, I can't do my coursework for a few days, I'm attending the world's biggest racing festival in Mexico.

It's not afraid to be completely ridiculous, cars can parachute themselves and physicists can’t say otherwise. The variety of races and activities are so large that if you get bored you probably prefer the slow lane. There's even a battle royale mode!

Forza Horizon 5: Horizon Festival Playlist tasks and rewards guide
Image: PC Invasion / Xbox Game Studios

The game’s soundtrack completely fits and immerses you into the races. Seriously, I want access to the Spotify playlists of whoever picked these songs. 

The cringey dialogue from previous games is still here. While I don't think anyone wants an in your face story in a game like this, it seems unnecessary for characters to radio in and say everything overenthusiastically as if you’re part of The Truman Show. What if there was a rival racer enemy who has a bit more edge to them? 

This mild criticism doesn't stop this game from (probably) being the greatest racing game ever released and definitely the best in the series. I'll keep playing Forza games until they run out of countries and have to release "Forza Horizon Beyond" set in space. 

9/10

Forza Horizon 5 is out now on the Xbox Series X, Xbox One, and PCs running Microsoft Windows.

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