Forza Horizon 3 Xbox One Review – Best Open World Racing Game

Forza Horizon 3  Xbox One Review – Best Open World Racing Game

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  • Forza Horizon 3 Official Launch Trailer
  • Forza Horizon 3 Gameplay | Racing Across Open World Australia in 4k | Livestream
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Rating: 
Amazon Price: $59.99 (as of May 26, 2017 5:36 pm – Details). Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the Amazon site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

You don’t need to be an avid racing game fan of games like Forza Motorsport or Assetto Corsa to enjoy exotic cars cruising at high speeds through brilliant landscapes. Playground games and Turn 10 deliver a perfect game for the casual racer, but doesn’t neglect its Motorsport roots in awesome handling physics and pristine looking machines.

Forza Horizon 3 is a perfect hybrid of a simulated racing experience with all of the insane fun of an arcade racer. Whats even better is that it is built to be customizable to steer the gameplay towards your preferences…wanna just go fast and whip a car through the Australian Outback, just pick a car and get in, but for gamers who want to ratchet up the difficulty you can tweak all the vehicle tuning from differentials to aero.

Horizon 3 is an open world racer set in Australia. The map is huge and feels much bigger than Horizon 2, but not quite as big as the US map in The Crew. FH3 truly captures the beauty of the Australian Continent and is one of the most visually stunning racing games ever made. You get to race through cities, open roads, beaches, rain forest jungles, and many other terrains under a awesome blanket of blue and pink skies and clouds.

FH3 Skyline

Forza Horizon 3 City Skyline

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Forza Horizon 3 Cars

FH3 boasts 350 cars at launch and there is regularly scheduled DLC car packs coming. For an open world racer this is the largest amount of cars I ever rember being available in a title like this.

FH3 Cars

The one thing that stands out about the car selection is the variety. From exotic super cars like Mclaren’ to classics like the Aston Martin DB5, or from the Alumi craft 2015 Class 10 Dune Buggy Race Car to the Baldwin Motorsports 2015 #97 Monster Energy Trophy Truck. There are also a great number of Australian cars in the game the likes of which I had never experienced before like the 2014 FPV Limited Edition Pursuit Ute.

Each car you drive handles unique and the Forza handling physics seem well represented even in this hybrid sim-arcade style racer.




No Rules Racing

As an avid sim racer I tend to like rules about clean driving and corner cutting etc, but all of that gets thrown out for the sake of fun in Horzon 3. No matter how you drive there are no penalties, which I am learning to appreciate. The point is not to drive perfect, the point is to have fun. You can choose to stick to the map navigation or simply ignore it and make your own way towards whatever destination you want. Nothing is off limits, driving through jungle, racing through water, or launching your car off huge cliffs.

Horizon 3 dune buggy

The game also tends to give you praise no matter what you do. If you drive clean you get rewarded with points and if you flip the car and smash into someone’s house the game tells you fantastic wreck. As is with all Forza games, you do have the ability to rewind if you want to correct your mistakes.

FH3 Story Line

If you are not familiar with the Forza Horizon series, all of the games revolve around a racing festival. The festival is a series of events focused around music and racing that put you in competitions set all over the map.

What Horizon 3 does different than previous titles is that you are no longer just a participant in the festival you are the host. This sets you up for customizing the events and making the game play how you want it. You can even choose from a variety of avatars and find pick your name from a huge list of choices. For example I set my name as “James” and that is what the game calls me. Another cool feature is the ability to customize your license plate.

I think what Playground games was going for in Horizon 3 was choice. By making you the festival host you can decide any way you want to race…all you have to do is choose the type of cars you want, time of day, and weather for each race. Hosting the festival is no work at all and really that game tries to get you out on the road as fast as possible.

The game has lots of challenges and races to attend, but the real fun can be found in the showcase events where you can race against cars that are air lifted onto the track or even race against a freight train.

Forza-Horizon 3

CHECK OUT FORZA HORIZON 3 AT AMAZON

The Game Has a Social Element

I am the type of driver who races offline, but for those who are looking for the community racing experience FH3 has a lot to offer. Like previous Forza titles the game features drivitars of your friends and other gamers. The drivitars are programmed to emulate their driving styles and tenancies. This makes for a nice competitive atmosphere because its always fun to beat your friends or wreck them to make sure they dont finish in front of you.

If drivitars aren’t your thing and you want real human interaction Horizon 3 thrives on it’s seemless online component. You can quickly go from offline to online with no lag or drop outs. There is a lot of different online event types to choose from sprint races to team races and there even silly online race modes like capture the flag. Of course to race online, you don’t even need to be in an event you can just enjoy driving through the open world with other gamers online.

Incredible Sights and Sounds

While the game does run at 30 FPS it looks great on the Xbox One with no frame drops or tears. Horizon 3 is easily one of the best visually pleasing racing games of this generation much attributed to the dynamic lighting engine which makes fantastic glares from the pristine sky reflect perfectly off the shiny metal on your car.

All the cars are beautifully done and show good wear and tear from as you kick up dirt from the outback and brush your fender into a tree. The car interiors from the cockpit view really capture the essence of what these cars look and feel like.

Horizon 3 cockpit view

Everything about this game looks great, but what makes it so outstanding is the detail of the sky. From the clouds to the richness of the blue to fading sunsets and the darkness of the nights the way Plaground games captured the sky is unlike anything you have seen in a game before.

From a sound perspective, this game sounds noticeably better than Horizon 2. The cars really have a nice roar to the engines and everything seems bigger and louder. I would go as far as to say this is the best sounding Forza game to date, even better than Forza Motorsport 6.

How is Forza Horzon 3 with a Steering Wheel and Pedals?

FH3 is a lot of fun with a steering wheel and pedal setup on Xbox One or on PC, but the force feedback isn’t quite as good as Horzion 2. It seems that the amount of FFB was downgraded and the best way to get a bit more out of your wheel resistance is to tweak your settings by lowering the DOR. I get that this is an aracde style racer, but I certainly would of liked a bit more out of my wheel with the game

I’ve been racing with the Thrustmaster TX and my racing setup, but have tried the TMX, Logitech G920, and Fanatec Clubsport. If you are in the market for a wheel, you can see my best steering wheel suggestion for Horizon 3 here.

Pros vs Cons

Pros:

  • Huge open world map with pristine graphics
  • Lots of cars to choose and customize
  • Customizable events
  • Varied terrain which keeps gameplay interesting
  • Fun online gameplay modes
  • Custom livery designs
  • The music is fun and customizable to your playlist

Cons

  • Force Feedback is much weaker than Horizon 2

Forza Horizon 3 Review Wrap Up

Aside from the lack of Force feedback Horizon 3 has the game is a lot of fun. If you are sim racing fan this is still a good game to take for a spin and not take yourself so seriously. There are plenty of moments in the game that will get your heart beating and raise your adrenaline levels as you try to navigate your way through trees back onto the road.

The game has a lot of variety and more DLC content to come so I am expecting this game to be fun for a long time. After all I still like Horion 2 which came out in 2014. Playground games did a nice job of building on what they already had…a fun open world racer with a bigger map, more customization options, a better social experience, and more cars than you can wrap your head around.

FH3 is easily the best open world racing game I have ever played.

Official XRP Rating 4.5
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Customer Reviews

Husband loves it!

6 people found this helpful.
 on January 11, 2017
By Quiltmama
The game was for my husband and he seems to love this game. He got his Xbox system for Christmas a year ago with some war game, tried it once and then never touched it again. I suggested this game, since he likes driving games, and so he got it and loves it. I enjoy watching him play it, as the scenery is amazingly real and interesting.

Waited for it, opened it, waited some more. Finally got to play and was impressed.

12 people found this helpful.
 on November 3, 2016
By RyaninBoston
I’m just getting back into video games after a long hiatus. This was my first racing game in many years. I’m really impressed with the graphics. I love how the force feedback translates to the triggers on the controller during the off-road sections. Took awhile to update, so give yourself an hour or two after unboxing before you actually get to play.

Horizon 3

2 people found this helpful.
 on February 18, 2017
By Sharkmarina
Super fun game. One of my favorites. Not complicated but challenging and multi faceted. The game makes you drive an array of different cars and winning the races takes skill. Fun searching for the “barn finds” where you are rewarded with special cars that are later restored for you to drive. With all cars acquired, you pick the paint jobs and modifications. There is also the auto-tune route you can go if you know nothing about modifying cars for racing. Its way fun.

Pure Fun

2 people found this helpful.
 on February 28, 2017
By josh
This is a great game that you can pick up and play without having to devote hours to, even though you may want to. Lots of races and challenges to keep things interesting, but the open world play will let you take that multimillion dollar car of your dreams and run full speed through the desert with no consequences. I wish they had more “regular cars”, however. I think it would be fun to take a digital representation of my Honda Element and race it through the outback.

Must have game

2 people found this helpful.
 on January 6, 2017
By Peter B.
Well done and very fun. i’m playing it with my 9 year old and we are having a blast with it. The cars included are amazing, all the new stuff he likes and all the “old’ histories I love. Customization of cars and the “barn finds” are a great part of this game.

The Most Realistic Horizon!!

29 people found this helpful.
 on September 28, 2016
By G. Ralph
I’ve only put a few hours into this game, but I can already tell that it is much more realistic than the first two Horizons. I have played every single Forza game, and this will be another to enjoy. The physics are similar to Forza 6, unlike Horizon 2 to Forza 5 (if that makes sense), so new Forza players may not like it as much as previous Horizons.

Great open world driving game.

One person found this helpful.
 on March 1, 2017
By Cole E
I have always loved the Forza horizon series, although it may be dying. The game play is amazing, physics are spot on, cars and customization are one of the best. The only problem most gamers have are the microtransactions. They are pushed on you in multiple instances. Overall a great game but the microtransactions are hurting the credibility of the Forza horizon series.

Solid racing experience

13 people found this helpful.
 on October 30, 2016
By AVAEMPIRE
I don’t like long reviews, so here it is: Great graphics, sound, mechanics, options, multiplayer, single player……..everything is great. I think this is the forza horizon everyone really wanted. The forza series team are masters at racing and giving the players the best experience and immersion possible. If you like racing, you will like this game.

Love it

One person found this helpful.
 on January 16, 2017
By Jessica Friend
This game is awesome. Love the forza games. My husband and I both play. I think I like the set up of the map on horizon 2 better but maybe I just need to get used to it. Graphics are awesome. I like that it still has barn finds. Good game for the forza fans.

Have you tried Fh3 yet, do you agree this is the best open-world racing game? Let me know in the comments below.

Forza Horizon 3 Xbox One

Rated 4.5/5 based on 1 review

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