- Choose from over 500 real-world cars including more than 100 cars new to Forza Motorsport across 20 tracks with fan-favorite locations and multiple track layouts.
- Race alongside your friends or compete against cutting-edge AI opponents with customizable racing events – from single races to an ongoing career mode.
- Forza Motorsport is out now for Xbox Series X|S and Windows PC, plus it is included with Game Pass
Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to visit one of the largest private automobile collections in the world, and as you might expect, the biggest names in the industry were on display – everything from Ferrari and Lamborghini to Jaguar and Bugatti. It even included some of the earliest and rarest American muscle cars like the Yenko Camaro and Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda convertible. The experience was a bit overwhelming, standing there amidst such pristine and treasured cars, knowing most of them were built with a similar purpose – to go fast, but ultimately sharing the same fate – they never would.
As a car enthusiast, that is what makes Forza Motorsport so special to me. I know realistically speaking I will never sit behind the wheel of a Bugatti Chiron or Jaguar XJ220, much less drive one. On a racetrack. At 200+ miles per hour. In the rain. But with Forza Motorsport, I can! I love fast cars as much as I do fun games, so today is one that I have been looking forward to all year as Forza Motorsport, my most anticipated game of 2023, races onto Game Pass for Xbox Series X|S and Windows PC.
Cars, Cars, and More Cars
I don’t know what is more impressive, the fact Forza Motorsport shipped with 500 cars, that 100 of them are new to the series, or that Turn 10 Studios will continue to regularly add more. Nearly 100 years of automotive history is represented in this extraordinary collection, with the oldest car in Forza Motorsport being the 1926 Bugatti Type 35 and the newest being the 2024 Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray, which is one of this year’s cover cars.
With the Free Play mode, you can rent any car and take it for a drive (free of charge, but you will not earn Car XP). So, if you want to test drive a 1981 Ford Fiesta XR2, you can. Or you can get behind the wheel of the most expensive car (currently) in the game, the 2020 Koenigsegg Jesko. To start out, I chose something I have a little bit of real-world experience with, the 2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat, before switching over to the 2021 Rimac Nevera, the electric hypercar often billeted as the fastest car in the world. It is indeed fast, and with no gas-powered engine noise, it is also a little eerie, as you race down the track at 200 mph and the only thing you hear is your heart beating in your chest (that might be a slight exaggeration). If you love cars as much as I do, you will have no problem finding a car you love in Forza Motorsport. I can’t guarantee you will have an easy time settling on which one to purchase first.
Let’s Go Racing
You can’t have a great racing game without having great places to go racing, and Forza Motorsport features some of the most iconic locations in all of motorsports, with more tracks on the way. The iconic Grand Prix Nürburgring circuit is included, as is the ever-popular Weathertech Raceway Laguna Seca. One of my personal favorites is Lime Rock Park. I just like the layout and how you can let out of the throttle and roll through most of the turns without having to get on the brakes too hard (and it doesn’t have any of those deceptive turns that sneak up on you).
The tracks all feel so real, you will want to grab a hotdog from the concession stand and a t-shirt from one of the merch trailers before heading to the pits. Adding to the realism is the dynamic time-of-day with weather and unique driving conditions feature. Obviously, I knew the game was going to include this, but what I did not expect was the range of possibilities. There are ten Time of Day options ranging from sunrise to midnight, and even more weather options. Would you like your rain to be a drizzle, all out thunderstorm, or something in between, because that is the level of detail you can choose from. These variables will impact how the tracks look and feel, and ultimately how you and the other racers will perform. During several rainy training sessions, I would pull over and just listen to the pitter patter of rain drops on the windshield as I contemplated the meaning of life (okay, really I was just looking for the windshield wiper button).
Race How You Want With Who You Want
Turn 10 Studios has always placed accessibility at the forefront of Forza Motorsport’s design and is already receiving high praise for it being one of the most accessible games ever made. But the team also deserves recognition for how approachable they have made Forza Motorsport for players of all skill levels by creating a competitive racing platform that caters to rookie racecar drivers all the way up to those wanting the most realistic, immersive racing experience possible. By fine tuning the difficulty and driving assist settings to your skill level, you can create a racing experience that is both challenging and rewarding. And with the new Risk vs Reward feature, you can even select your starting grid position, which will show your projected finish and podium bonus. I was starting out in the 10th position on most races but found I was catching the leader within a few laps, so each race I try to go a spot or two deeper in the field to earn even more Car XP.
As you race, you will earn Car XP, and you can use this to upgrade and tune your car by selecting from more than 800 performance upgrades – including fuel and air systems, engine, platform and handling, tires and wheels, and drivetrain. Using Car XP instead of purchasing the parts allows you to try different setups without further expense. And if you would rather race than tinker, you can opt for the Quick Upgrade and let the game handle tuning your car with a balanced setup.
If you want to race alone, in a single-player free play or career mode, those options are available. Or you can join any number of online multiplayer games, including your own private matches, and race against others. For those seeking a combination of the two, you will want to check out the Rivals mode, which allows you to compete against ghost cars to post the fastest lap times on tracked leaderboards. You will see how you stack up against the fastest racers without having to race against them. I really enjoyed the Rivals mode because it’s not only a fun and competitive experience, but it is also a great learning aid to see the cars and settings the faster drivers are using and what line they are taking through the turns.
Let’s Have a Clean Race
Surely, I am not the only one who has (accidentally) taken a shortcut off track, used the retaining wall to slingshot through turns, and pinballed off other cars on my race to the front of the field. Forza Motorsport implements new features and even incentivizes skillful driving to assist you in becoming the best racecar driver you can be…and it is working because I find myself looking at this feedback each lap to improve the next.
Each track is divided into Track Segments and your performance through each of these scoring loops is evaluated and displayed on screen providing you with immediate feedback. Plus, you are rewarded with Car XP based on your performance, so there is an extra incentive to do well. You will also receive Car XP for regular on-track activities like passing cars and improving on previous Track Segment times. Additionally, you can be penalized with time penalties for illegal passes and running off the track for an extended period.
Don’t worry, you will still have “pass in the grass” moments like Dale Earnhardt did at Charlotte Motor Speedway All-Star Race back in 1987 and you can still lean on cars and trade a little paint as you navigate those tight turns, but I applaud Turn 10 for implementing creative ways to inspire clean, competitive racing.
Turn 10 Studios has crafted an innovative racing simulation with iconic cars, incredible photorealistic visuals, realistic physics, and lifelike AI racers, but even more than that, they have created a live, connected, immersive, accessible, and ever-changing competitive racing platform that will evolve and grow with the Forza community.