The racing genre can be somewhat of a fickle beast. For many, it exists in a vacuum outside of the normal realm of the average gamer. At least that is what we think. In actuality, many of us have spent hours immersed in racing games. Games like the kart racing Mario Kart series and arcade racers like Daytona USA have become entrenched in the general gaming consciousness for a generation. Yet, when we think of racing, hardcore racing games like the Grand Turismo and Forza Motorsports series always seem to be relegated to a small (yet popular) niche of the gaming market. Since the series’ inception, Forza Horizon has sought to bridge the gap between the hardcore and the arcade. With the release of Forza Horizon 5, it has finally reached perfection.
The visuals for Forza Horizon 5, even while playing it on the last generation Xbox One are magnificent. The visual representation of the game’s setting of Mexico is impeccable. Landscapes vary from arid deserts prone to sandstorms, lush rainforests, quaint seaside towns, mountain peaks, Mayan pyramids, and so much more. Forza Horizon 5 provides an expansive world that entices you to drive just to discover more of what this world has to offer.
The controls of any racing game are key to whether the game is fun to play or not. One of the issues that I’ve had with hardcore racer is that the controls can be so precise that it takes all the enjoyment out of the play experience. This isn’t the case with Forza Horizon 5. The game offers tight but forgiving controls that strike the right balance, offering both the novice and hardcore gamer a rewarding experience.
The experience itself is simply amazing. I love the fact that the game isn’t just focused on winning races. Of course, you can enter races to further your progression in the game, but there is so much more than that. With the multitude of story challenges, 500 plus cars to be unlocked, and the online multiplayer, there is so much to do in this game without ever signing up for a race.
Arcade racers often dominate the conversation when it comes to who’s the best. Forza Horizon 5 is a game that will shift that conversation for years to come. Is Forza Horizon 5 the perfect racing game? Yes, yes, it is!