Forza Horizon 3 – Review
Follow Genre: Racing, Arcade
Developer: Playground Games
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Platform: PC, Xbox One,
Tested on: Xbox One

Forza Horizon 3 – Review

Site Score
Good: All tastes are catered for, Great game for newcomers and veterans alike
Bad: Nothing worth mentioning outside of the DLC
User Score
(5 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.8/10 (5 votes cast)

Forza Horizon has had a very successful start on the Xbox 360 and did not lose any of its popularity when the second iteration was released on the Xbox One. While the previous title hasn’t been out for all that long, Microsoft decided it was time to go spice up Forza’s little brother by heading down under for the next Horizon Festival. Familiar mechanics, fancy cars, kangaroos and lots of off-road racing will be the driving point of this game. It’s time to expand your horizon once more.

Forza Horizon 3


If you’re planning on buying Forza Horizon 3 in order to race through an elaborate plot, it’s probably best you stop reading right now. However, if you’re looking for a racing title that actually has a fairly attractive background that offers a minimum of story content, then you’ll probably love the offset of Microsoft’s exclusive title.

Just like in the previous games, everything will be about the Horizon Festival, but for some reason it seems you have moved up from being a simple competitor, to becoming the poster-boy/girl who will make the tournament big by winning races and in return, gaining followers who will grant you the necessary funds to expand the different festival stages. Simple, yet satisfying to see how you go from a small tent in the middle of nowhere, to a grand stage that is worthy of being called a ‘festival’.


There are hardly any bad comments to make about the visual presentation of Forza Horizon 3, as pretty much everything has been worked out ranging from the beautiful regions of Australia, to the small details on the dashboard of one of the many vehicles. The glossy paint of your supercar(s) or the sturdy frame of one of your buggies looks top notch making it clear that we have left the previous generation behind completely. Overall things don’t get that much better, at least considering the hardware the Xbox One is currently packing.

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While all is good on the horizon, some items feel a bit underwhelming compared to all the rest. The characters in the cars, as well as those moving around at the festival look a bit simplistic and lack details. Same can be said about the trees and the bushes when you are gazing at the landscape, or taking a shortcut through fields and grassy areas, as sometimes it looks and feels like the developers copy-pasted the same set of trees and shrubberies over and over again.


All tastes are catered for in Forza Horizon 3 as you’ll have plenty of radio channels to choose from, allowing you to turn on the channel that suits your fancy. Many tracks are well-known famous hits mixing in older and newer tunes, pleasing young and old. Other than that, you’ll be treated to convincing engine sounds, the SFX that accompany crashes and of course, the crackling of wood and other obstacles as you run them over.

Last but not least, the game has sufficient voice acting to give it all a personal touch, especially when you get to choose from a predetermined database of nicknames before you start playing. Afterwards, the commentator will say your chosen name out loud every time, which certainly boosts your ego. Overall, the game does a flawless job in this compartment.

Forza Horizon 3 - 2


Forza Horizon 3 diverges itself from the normal Forza franchise, which is known as a rather diehard simulation game. The Horizon side series is more arcade than it is a sim, and this Horizon installment is no exception to that rule. This means  you’ll have fun driving around the landscape in Australia, all while attending events, hopefully winning races, doing street duels, rack up your fan base and last but not least, expand the Horizon Festival into something big down under.

As was the case with the previous titles in the Horizon franchise, the handling is very accessible to new players and more experienced players alike. You’ll feel more in control than you would in a simulation title, as the game tends to be more forgiving. That being said, the forgiving part tends to fade when you start racking up the difficulty settings, slowly turning the game into a simulation type of game, rather than the original arcade experience. Nonetheless, the game is accessible for all audiences allowing casual racing fans to blow off some steam, rather than be forced to become a grease monkey and mess around with all the settings.

Even though the map may look dauntingly big at first, driving from edge to edge is actually quite manageable, not taking away you have a reasonably big playing field to set up many different events. Tossing the quick travel function aside (which will cost you credits) or the fact that you can switch cars whenever you like (only those you own, which still costs credits to deliver it to your current location, if you’re not in your garage) the map offers a lot of exploring opportunities. You’ll be able to come across Drivatars from befriended players, bash billboards that grant you experience or fast travel spots and so on, or even unlock sightseeing locations in case you want to ponder about life or just take a nap after a tiresome day of breaking all the speed limits.

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After driving around for a while you’ll unlock new cars by credits, or simply by leveling up and opening up new events. Every level you gain, you will also be allowed to spin a reward wheel, which either grants you money or cars. Overall you’ll experience a rather clear progressing curve, making the game feel light and fun, as you’ll be able to stock up your garage at a reasonably fast pace.

Fans who are more into the simulation experience found in the normal Forza series, will still have a bit of fun messing around with the tuning setting of their car, allowing them to customize a fair amount of things for a more arcade inspired title. You can also ‘blueprint’ events, allowing you to choose the weather conditions and in some cases even the car restrictions, granting you a certain sense of power to create disciplines that are right up your alley. The latter proves to be a fun new feature if you truly hate certain car types.

Cars are plentiful on Forza Horizon, and as stated above, the game progresses rapidly and rewards you accordingly. That being said, it would have been nice if there were a bit more options at the beginning, and if there were less DLC options and more content readily available. Nonetheless, there are sufficient cars for you to try out, and they all handle differently, so it might take you a while to explore the different options and find the right car for the right event.


Forza Horizon 3 is a great addition to the Forza franchise, aiming to please both simulation fans, as well as those who love an arcade-ish racing game on the side. There’s ample change of pace thanks to the difference in sceneries and terrain, all while building up fame and fortune as the face of the new Horizon Festival. If you liked the previous two iterations, you’ll love this one and probably love the added quirks. We hope to see you at the finish line.

Forza Horizon 3 - 4

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Rating: 9.8/10 (5 votes cast)
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Forza Horizon 3 - Review, 9.8 out of 10 based on 5 ratings

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