How Forza Horizon Has Evolved To Become The Best Car Game Today

Forza has been the flagship racing game for years now, and it wasn’t by accident, here’s how it has changed throughout the years

It’s not usual we see a masterpiece. Hang the game in the Louvre, do what you have to do, but Playground Games put out their version of the Mona Lisa. For over a decade now, Forza Horizon has been one of the best-selling games across any genre, leading the charts in the racing sector. The game, produced by Playground Games and marketed as an open-world arcade racer, has gained critical acclaim due to its collectible items, mini-games, and nonchalant plot. The franchise even includes more hardcore titles like the true simulator Forza Motorsport, a spinoff of the Forza franchise intended for hard core simmers.

While Forza Horizon is the more playful and amiable of the two titles, it still incorporates important features of a true racing simulator without all the drawbacks and fun of the serious setting. Instead, it features the Horizon Festival, an open world hub where players can collect cars, find races either with the CPU or online gamers, and even customize said vehicles into whatever their heart desires. It’s a true champion of everything great about the car community, just online. Its ability to appeal to every facet of the ever so diverse car world is its best feature, drawing fans from all over the globe.

Here’s How Forza Became A Global Phenomenon Among Gearheads

Forza Horizon 5 Gameplay

The first Forza Horizon title was released in 2012. Set in Colorado, the game was barebones compared to the Forza of today. Based off previous Forza Motorsport titles, the goal was to create a new version of racing games, one where the fun aspect of it comes first instead of the ultra-realistic simulation that was present and focused on in previous games. The game incorporates many different gameplay aspects from previous Forza Motorsport titles, like the large variety of cars, realistic physics and high definition graphics.

RELATED: Ranking The Fastest Cars In Forza Horizon 5

What drew so many people to the game was the lack of confinement to a certain purpose within the title. With Forza Horizon, a player didn’t have a set goal in mind, or at least they weren’t forced to follow it. It depended on the individual player. Whether their sense of fun was to collect the most cars which could be achieved in a numerous amount of ways or simply just to beat the game overall. The freedom was the early Forza titles’ main attraction, and to some sense still is.

Forza Horizon Has A Long List Of Collectible Cars

Forza Horizon 3 Gameplay

Even with Forza setting the precedent with the idea of an open world car racing game, gamers wanted something more. Despite the enormous amount of freedom, no racing game is complete without cars… and a whole lot of them. The newest title, Forza Horizon 5 has a whopping 534 cars, a number that is increasing every day. This enormous amount of vehicles give every single gearhead gamer something to write home about. From real life vehicles like the Dodge Viper or the Lamborghini Huracan to fictional cars like the Hot Wheels Boneshaker, Forza had it all, one of the first in the video game space to have so much freedom throughout the game.

RELATED: These Are The 10 Coolest Cars In Forza Horizon 5

The original Forza Horizon had only 200 vehicles, so throughout the span of a decade, the franchise has increased its car catalog twofold, an impressive feat for a game. Cars can be collected through simply buying the vehicles through a medium called “The Autoshow” or collected via winning races and side missions such as “Barn Finds”– scavenger hunts that require the player to venture off the beaten path in order to find a limited edition vehicle that can only be found at certain parts throughout the game’s storyline. The cars themselves can be customized with licensed body kits from known brands like Liberty Walk and painted and designed in any color. This customizability makes the game highly fun to play and mess around with, even during the dullest moments.

The Locations In Forza Horizon Are Simply Breathtaking

Forza Horizon 4 Gameplay

Maybe one of the biggest features of the Forza Horizon franchise that has developed throughout the years has been the locations where the festival is set in. Through 5 renditions of the game, the locations are unique and picked very selectively. All 5 locations are absolutely stunning with their graphics and the open world format does them justice by way of their in-game depth, including hidden roads, cool places, and important landmarks. The first game starts in Colorado, then moves onto Southern France and Italy, Australia, England, and finally– Horizon 5 is set in Mexico. All the locations have distinct landmarks such as Mexico’s Mayan pyramids, or England’s Edinburgh Castle. This adds a sense of exploration to the game which has only expanded throughout the franchise’s history.

The locations have also added extra elements in the game as well. Starting in Horizon 3, players could also purchase houses, clothing elements, and other materials in order to upgrade their character and interact with the surrounding environment. This makes Forza much more than a racing game, instead its a true open-world sandbox, with players from all around the world wanting to join.