Is Forza Horizon 5 Worth It? An In-Depth Review Of The Open World Racing Game

As the latest entry in the critically acclaimed Forza Horizon series, Forza Horizon 5 brings open world racing excitement to vibrant Mexican landscapes and cities. With unparalleled graphics, revolutionary weather effects, and endlessly customizable gameplay, Horizon 5 looks to be the most ambitious Horizon game yet.

But with a premium price tag, is the new open world racer worth picking up?

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: Absolutely. Forza Horizon 5 is well worth the cost for racing fans, offering best-in-class graphics and driving physics, a huge open world, and nearly limitless customization that provide endless fun.

Overview of Forza Horizon 5’s Setting and Gameplay

Forza Horizon 5, the highly anticipated open world racing game developed by Playground Games, takes a bold step by setting its horizon outside of Europe for the first time. This time, players will be transported to the vibrant and diverse landscapes of Mexico.

From the sun-soaked beaches of Baja California to the towering peaks of the Sierra Madre Occidental, the game offers a stunning and immersive open world that is sure to captivate players.

First Horizon Set Outside Europe, in Vibrant Mexico

Mexico provides a fresh and exciting backdrop for Forza Horizon 5. The game captures the essence of the country’s rich culture, breathtaking natural beauty, and diverse environments. Players can explore bustling cities, picturesque rural towns, dense jungles, and arid deserts, all meticulously recreated with stunning attention to detail.

The diversity of Mexico’s landscapes not only adds visual variety but also presents unique challenges and opportunities for players.

From racing through narrow city streets to conquering treacherous off-road trails, Forza Horizon 5 offers a wide range of experiences that cater to different playstyles. Whether you prefer the thrill of high-speed street races or the adrenaline-pumping off-road adventures, the game has something for everyone.

Same Core Open World Racing Gameplay Perfected

While Forza Horizon 5 introduces a new setting, it retains the core open world racing gameplay that has made the series so beloved. Players can expect a seamless blend of arcade-style racing and realistic physics, creating an accessible yet satisfying driving experience.

The game offers a wide variety of vehicles to choose from, ranging from exotic supercars to rugged off-road machines, each with its own unique handling characteristics.

One of the standout features of Forza Horizon 5 is its dynamic and ever-changing world. The game’s dynamic weather system and day-night cycle create a dynamic and immersive experience, with races and events adapting to the current conditions.

This adds an extra layer of strategy and excitement to the gameplay, as players must adjust their driving style and vehicle selection to suit the ever-changing environment.

Furthermore, Forza Horizon 5 introduces a deep and robust progression system. As players participate in races and events, they earn experience points and unlock new content such as cars, customization options, and race types.

This sense of progression and reward keeps players engaged and motivated to explore all that the game has to offer.

Stunning Visuals and Attention to Detail

When it comes to stunning visuals and attention to detail, Forza Horizon 5 truly stands out in the open-world racing genre. The game’s graphics are powered by the ForzaTech Engine, which delivers photorealistic visuals that will leave players in awe.

Every detail, from the shimmering reflections on the cars to the breathtaking landscapes, is meticulously crafted to create an immersive gaming experience.

Photorealistic Graphics Powered by ForzaTech Engine

The ForzaTech Engine has been hailed as one of the most advanced game engines in the industry, and Forza Horizon 5 takes full advantage of its capabilities. The game’s graphics are so realistic that it’s easy to mistake them for actual photographs.

The lighting effects, weather conditions, and attention to detail make every race feel like a cinematic experience. The developers have put a great deal of effort into creating a visually stunning game that pushes the boundaries of what is possible in terms of graphics.

Realistic Vehicle Models and Damage

Forza Horizon 5 is known for its realistic vehicle models and damage system. Each car in the game is meticulously recreated with attention to detail, capturing even the smallest nuances of their real-life counterparts.

From the sleek curves of a sports car to the ruggedness of an off-road vehicle, players will feel like they are driving the real thing.

Furthermore, the game’s damage system adds another layer of realism. Crashes and collisions will result in visible damage to the vehicles, including dented bumpers, shattered windows, and even detached parts.

This attention to detail not only enhances the immersion but also adds a strategic element to the gameplay, as players will need to consider the consequences of their actions on their vehicle’s performance.

Authentic Representation of Mexican Landscapes

Forza Horizon 5 takes place in a fictionalized version of Mexico, and the developers have gone to great lengths to create an authentic representation of the country’s landscapes. From the bustling streets of vibrant cities to the serene beauty of rural areas, the game captures the essence of Mexico’s diverse geography.

The attention to detail in recreating Mexican landscapes is truly commendable. Players will find themselves racing through dense jungles, picturesque coastal roads, and awe-inspiring mountain ranges. The game also features famous landmarks and iconic locations, further immersing players in the vibrant culture of Mexico.

Massive Open World with Diverse Biomes

Forza Horizon 5 offers players a massive open world to explore, filled with a diverse range of biomes. From lush rainforests to scorching deserts and bustling cities, the game provides a visually stunning and immersive experience.

Each biome offers its own unique challenges and opportunities, ensuring that players never get bored as they navigate through the world.

Rainforests, Deserts, Cities, and More

One of the highlights of Forza Horizon 5 is its wide range of biomes. Players can race through dense rainforests, tackling winding roads and maneuvering through tight corners. The attention to detail in the rainforest biome is incredible, with lush vegetation, realistic weather effects, and stunning scenery.

On the other hand, the desert biome offers a completely different experience. Players will have to contend with sandy terrain, extreme heat, and challenging off-road sections. The vast expanse of the desert provides a sense of freedom and adventure as players explore its hidden secrets.

The game also features vibrant cities that are bustling with activity. From neon-lit streets to iconic landmarks, racing through the cityscape is a thrilling experience. The urban environment adds an additional layer of excitement, as players navigate through tight streets and dodge oncoming traffic.

Dynamic Weather Effects

Forza Horizon 5 takes weather effects to a whole new level. The game features dynamic weather that can change on the fly, adding an extra layer of challenge and immersion. Players may start a race on a sunny day, only to find themselves battling through a sudden rainstorm or navigating through thick fog.

The dynamic weather system not only adds visual variety but also affects gameplay. Rainy conditions can make roads slippery, requiring players to adjust their driving style to maintain control. Weather changes also add a strategic element to races, as players may need to make split-second decisions based on the current conditions.

Horizon Life Online Social Play

In addition to the massive open world and diverse biomes, Forza Horizon 5 offers an engaging online social play experience called “Horizon Life.” This feature allows players to connect with friends and other players from around the world, participating in races, challenges, and other activities together.

Horizon Life encourages collaboration and friendly competition, as players can form car clubs, organize events, and share their achievements. Whether it’s cruising together in a convoy or competing in intense races, the online multiplayer aspect adds a new dimension to the game and ensures that there’s always something to do.

Hundreds of Cars to Collect and Customize

Forza Horizon 5 offers an impressive selection of cars that will surely satisfy any racing enthusiast. With the largest car list in any Horizon game to date, players have the opportunity to collect and drive their favorite vehicles from a wide range of manufacturers.

Largest Car List in Any Horizon Game

With over 600 cars available to choose from, Forza Horizon 5 boasts the largest car list in any Horizon game. From classic muscle cars to modern supercars, there is something for everyone. Whether you prefer the raw power of a V8 engine or the sleek design of a sports car, you’ll find it in Forza Horizon 5.

Not only does the game feature a diverse range of cars, but it also includes vehicles from various eras and regions. From iconic American muscle cars to Japanese imports, the car list in Forza Horizon 5 is a true celebration of automotive culture.

Extensive Customization Options

One of the highlights of Forza Horizon 5 is its extensive customization options. Players have the ability to personalize their cars with a wide range of aftermarket parts, including body kits, spoilers, and exhaust systems.

Whether you want to create a sleek and aerodynamic racing machine or a flashy head-turner, the customization options in Forza Horizon 5 allow you to express your unique style.

In addition to visual customization, players can also tune their cars to improve performance. From adjusting tire pressure to upgrading engine components, there are countless ways to fine-tune your vehicle for optimal performance on the open roads of Forza Horizon 5.

Car Mastery Tree

The introduction of the Car Mastery Tree in Forza Horizon 5 adds another layer of depth to the game. By earning skill points through various in-game activities, players can unlock upgrades and bonuses for their cars.

Whether it’s improving acceleration, top speed, or handling, the Car Mastery Tree allows players to further enhance their favorite vehicles and tailor them to their specific driving style.

The Car Mastery Tree also provides a sense of progression and achievement as players work their way through the different branches and unlock new abilities for their cars. It adds a strategic element to the game, as players must decide which upgrades to prioritize based on their individual playstyle.

Exciting Racing Modes for Every Style

Forza Horizon 5 offers a wide range of exciting racing modes that cater to every style of gameplay. Whether you prefer a thrilling story campaign, competitive online multiplayer, or customizable difficulty settings, this game has something for everyone.

Story Campaign with Race Events

The story campaign in Forza Horizon 5 is a fantastic way to immerse yourself in the game’s world. You’ll embark on a captivating journey filled with thrilling race events that will test your skills and push your limits.

From adrenaline-pumping street races to off-road challenges through rugged terrains, the story campaign offers a diverse range of race events that will keep you engaged for hours on end.

Each race event in the story campaign is carefully designed to provide a unique and exhilarating experience. You’ll race against AI-controlled opponents who are as competitive as they come, making every victory feel incredibly rewarding.

Additionally, the story campaign features a captivating narrative that adds depth to the game’s world, making it more than just a racing game.

Online Adventure, Playground Games, and More

For those who enjoy the thrill of racing against real players, Forza Horizon 5 offers an exhilarating online adventure mode. This mode allows you to compete against other players in a vast open-world map, where you can explore, race, and complete challenges together.

It’s a great way to test your skills against the best and show off your car collection to the world.

Playground Games is another exciting racing mode that adds a unique twist to the gameplay. In this mode, you’ll participate in various fun-filled mini-games, such as infected, tag, and king, where you’ll need to outsmart your opponents and come out on top.

It’s a refreshing change of pace from traditional racing and offers endless hours of entertainment.

Customizable Difficulty Settings

Forza Horizon 5 understands that not every player has the same level of experience or skill when it comes to racing games. That’s why the game offers customizable difficulty settings that allow you to tailor the gameplay to your liking.

Whether you’re a seasoned racing veteran looking for a challenge or a casual player who wants to enjoy the game at their own pace, Forza Horizon 5 has got you covered.

The customizable difficulty settings in Forza Horizon 5 allow you to adjust various aspects of the gameplay, such as AI difficulty, driving assists, and more. This ensures that you can find the perfect balance between challenge and enjoyment, making the game accessible to players of all skill levels.

So whether you’re a racing pro or a beginner, you’ll be able to enjoy the game to its fullest.

Worthwhile Improvements Over Horizon 4

Forza Horizon 5 has taken the racing game genre to new heights with its array of impressive improvements over its predecessor, Horizon 4. From enhanced driving physics to improved performance on next-generation consoles, this latest installment has left players in awe.

Additionally, the game offers a wider variety of content, ensuring that players will never tire of the exhilarating racing experience.

Better Driving Physics

One of the standout improvements in Forza Horizon 5 is its enhanced driving physics. The developers have put great effort into making the cars feel more realistic and responsive on the road. The handling of each vehicle has been meticulously fine-tuned, providing a more immersive and satisfying driving experience.

Whether you’re drifting around tight corners or speeding down long straightaways, the improved physics engine adds a level of authenticity that truly sets this game apart.

New Gen Console Performance

For players lucky enough to own a next-generation console, the performance of Forza Horizon 5 is truly something to behold. With the power of these consoles, the game runs smoother than ever before, allowing for stunning visuals and seamless gameplay.

The graphics are incredibly detailed, with vibrant environments and lifelike car models that will leave you in awe. The fast load times and improved frame rates further enhance the overall experience, making it a joy to jump into the game and start racing.

More Content Variety

Forza Horizon 5 offers an impressive amount of content variety, ensuring that there is always something new to discover. The game features a vast open world map, filled with diverse landscapes and exciting race events.

From bustling cities to scenic countryside, there is a wide range of environments to explore. Additionally, the game includes a plethora of cars to choose from, with each vehicle offering its own unique characteristics.

Whether you prefer classic muscle cars or sleek supercars, there is something for every racing enthusiast.

In addition to the main campaign, Forza Horizon 5 also offers various multiplayer modes and community challenges, adding even more depth and replayability to the game. The developers have truly gone above and beyond to provide a comprehensive and immersive racing experience that will keep players entertained for hours on end.


With its jaw-dropping visuals, enormous open world, limitless customization, and exhilarating moment-to-moment racing, Forza Horizon 5 represents the pinnacle of the beloved arcade racing franchise. Minor bugs aside, Playground Games has delivered the definitive Horizon experience that racing fans dream of.

Unless you absolutely hate the genre, Forza Horizon 5 is easily worth the price for countless hours of automotive enjoyment.

Forza Horizon 5 goes above and beyond expectations with its addictive open world formula polished to a brilliant shine. A visual masterpiece overflowing with exciting content, it’s the racing game of a generation.

For any fan of cars, speed, and freedom, Forza Horizon 5 is an essential experience well worth the cost.

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