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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Amazon Price: $49.99 (as of November 21, 2017 6:30 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

Pro Tip: If you are not sure about Horizon 3, check out how I get games, save money, and avoid getting stuck with bad games. Click Here.

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


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


  • 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


  • 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

Fun game, wish it was cheaper.

2 people found this helpful.
 on April 14, 2017
By tastygrapes
Kids loved it, you’ll want to get blizzard mountain expansion though, but keep in mind you have to unlock that area with progression even if you own it already. Lots of cars to choose from, great controls, lots of fun for all ages. Even the adults find ourselves racing each other when the minions aren’t around.

I’m A Girl & Want My Pink Girly Car !

2 people found this helpful.
 on December 10, 2016
By Ultra Feminine Rebecca
Super beautiful racing game for any age. You can see the time they took to make it great! A game I will play for a long time from now. Really makes your Xbox One shine. 5 out of 5 Racing 🏁 Stars ! 👠👠

Incredible Game!

 on April 7, 2017
By Conman956
This game is amazing. Such a large open map, such a fast quantity of cars, and multiplayer! I’ve spent hours playing this game alone, and hours playing this game with others. It’s not too heavy on the bandwidth usage, and multiplayer is endless fun. I highly recommend this game to people who love cars, car modification, and vast open explorable worlds.


2 people found this helpful.
 on February 4, 2017
By N. Hayes
This game is more fun that actually driving — buy it now! Bring food and water you will not want to stop driving the Outback of Australia.

Five Stars

3 people found this helpful.
 on January 10, 2017
By Jimmy Newton
Graphics are great, game is challenging.

Five Stars

2 people found this helpful.
 on January 8, 2017
By Camie
Everyone enjoys it.

like this game alot nice to just drive around without …

One person found this helpful.
 on March 26, 2017
By sensi420
like this game alot nice to just drive around without doing anything

what a blast.

 on May 10, 2017
By tyler reynolds
great game to play.. loved the online play with friends.. also loved the cars and the ability to modify the car in such great detail. i play this all of the time and recently bought forza 6.. highly reccomend

and probrably one of the best racing games

 on March 10, 2017
By garrett sweet
this game is unreal in 4k, and probrably one of the best racing games. what a great series. hate that i need to buy dlc packs for more cars but hey, how else are they gonna get more money from me lol

Drive fast

One person found this helpful.
 on March 17, 2017
By troy b.gulley
Hot the best I have all the forza games this is the best one buy it play it love it.

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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