Forza Motorsport Review

Forza Motorsport Review
The OMG Review
Our review format is not your usual fare and we’ve broken it down into 3 very simple ratings!

“Buy it!” means that the game deserves a place in your collection. Be it day 1 or a slightly delayed purchase, it’s hard to go wrong with this title. In numbers, this is around an 8/10 and above.

“Wait for it…” means that while the game is good, it probably isn’t worth it at its day 1 price point. We suggest you wait for a sale before jumping in. In numbers, this is around a 5 – 7/10.

“Ignore it!” means that the game is not something we’d recommend playing, whether it be now or in the near future. Maybe ever. Let’s not even go to the numbers for this one.

Sneak Peek
  • Release Date: October 10, 2023
  • Platforms: Xbox Series, PC
  • Genre: Racing Sim
  • Similar Games: Gran Turismo
  • Price: starts at $69.99

Forza Motorsport has been, for quite a while now, one of the great racing sim series’ out there. The game constantly featured stellar visuals, great gameplay, and most of all, a Gran Turismo counterpart that Xbox-centric players can enjoy that isn’t just a run-of-the-mill clone. This is, for all intents and purposes, one of Xbox’s premiere IPs and it has proven to be such year in and year out.

Despite Forza Horizon launching back in 2021, the Motorsport series has been dormant ever since the release of Forza Motorsport 7 back in 2017. Fans are hungrier than ever for the latest installment, and Xbox has not been shy to show off what the team at Turn 10 has been working on for the longest time.

Does Forza Motorsport have what it takes to take the crown back again after a long hiatus?

First off, and most importantly, gameplay. How does Forza Motorsport gameplay stack up?

Good! Very good, in fact, and it is what longtime fans of the series can expect from this latest entry. Players will be thrust into the Builder’s Cup, which is basically the starting point for wannabe racers that eventually opens up to host the various offerings the game has in store.

Similar to other sim racers, Forza Motorsport will see players take on challenge after challenge in the form of Tours. These tours will feature certain themes (modern, power, legacy, etc.) and playlists that will test players based on specific cars and restrictions, rewarding them after successful completion. Personally, I didn’t mind trying out the different types of cars, but I can understand that this might be a point of friction for others who would prefer to continuously improve and upgrade one ride throughout the campaign.

Whatever the case may be, driving in Forza Motorsport is fantastic. While I’m not personally a car enthusiast by nature, the game translates controls pretty well, feeling grippy when needed and giving players the illusion of control just enough to see them race through some of the simpler tracks. The sense of speed and car weight feels great, and it’s very safe to say that Turn 10 has captured one of the more important aspects of a racing title and nailed it to near perfection.

forza motorsport screenshot 6

Just like in real life, the performance of a vehicle is dependent on tuning, and Forza Motorsport has enough of it to slightly challenge newcomers while pleasing series veterans, albeit feeling a little bit familiar.

Tuning will always be a contentious feature, especially for newcomers who just want to enjoy a good racing game, but that’s what Forza Horizon is for. Motorsport, as the name implies, will take you through the paces of educating players with Brakes, Chassis, Dampers, and much more. It can get a bit intimidating, but the game does well in communicating these things, and players can simply choose to have the game auto-optimize tuning if they just want to race.

There’s a copious amount of information to take in here as it is a racing sim by heart, and players can choose to tone down (or increase) the difficulty if they choose to. There are numerous sliders and assists at play, and they vary enough to make players feel as if they can change up each one as they feel comfortable with taking the training wheels off and increasing rewards, eventually.

Players will have to deal with a “CarPG” mechanic in Forza Motorsport, where the more the car is used, car levels will be unlocked which will allow players to customize cars a little bit more each time. While in essence, this feels the same as locking car upgrades behind a currency wall that promotes grinding, it doesn’t quite sit well with me that you’re hindered by level (Camshaft unlocks at level XX, Valves unlock at level XX, and so on). It’s hard to stomach that you’ll need to play each car up to a certain level to unlock a certain upgrade even if you already have the currency to purchase the said upgrade. I get the logic behind it, but I wish it was done differently.

Turn 10 has implemented machine learning for its AI drivers that can make races feel more alive. It’s ironic to see “AI” and “alive” in the same breath, and while it might be too early to say if the machine learning aspect of it all may have already evolved, I did notice the AI make some mistakes where I thought that I would have made them as well. The general races still feel sweaty, maybe too sweaty for my skill level, but it’s nice to see that races just don’t normally go the way of a set of cars running at different speeds but still staying within the racing line.

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It’s been too long to remember accurately since the last release was around six years ago, but one thing immediately noticeable from starting the game is its visual quality. The series has always looked and played well ever since past installments, and it’s no different this time around as Forza Motorsport leverages the upgraded Xbox hardware and puts it to good use. At some point, it’s not too strange to find someone asking you if it’s real or not, especially when the lighting hits the vehicles at certain moments while running down the track.

In particular, the developers have been touting the addition of ray tracing even during gameplay. For the most part, Forza Motorsport looks absolutely brilliant, and it really goes to show that the developers really know how to make these vehicles look sleek and sexy. This extends to the 20 launch tracks as well, with impressive details like the crowds and other flourishes that really up the immersion factor if you look closely enough. It may not sound like much, but in a racing game, these small things add up to offer a grand time.

Of course, ray tracing comes at a cost, and Turn 10 has introduced a number of performance modes that players can choose from.

While quality mode will give players the best in terms of visual quality, playing a racing game at 30fps isn’t exactly something that screams next-gen, Forza Motorsport included. After experiencing 60fps, it’s definitely the way to go despite the lower-quality visuals, something you wouldn’t really notice when you’re blazing down the track at over 100mph. Personally, I stuck with Performance RT, which gives me a good mix of visual quality and frame rates that did not disappoint because it performs undeniably well and I can hardly tell the difference between 40 and 60fps.

forza motorsport screenshot 5

While playing in single-player mode gets tiring despite a free play mode that can be customized to an extreme extent (weather conditions, number of laps, etc), players can go online to test their worth against other racers. Forza Motorsport implements a schedule approach to online multiplayer, where racers head into a somewhat F1 race weekend feeling of sorts that will have practice, qualifiers, and up to the actual race day. It’s a great touch that I liked, and despite the slim multiplayer offerings, was pretty enjoyable.

What’s not slim is the vast selection of cars, with over 500 stunning vehicles to choose from. There’s a lot here, and the list is pretty impressive, with a mix of returning favorites and new ones that keep the lineup fresh. From the Acura NSX, the 2016 Aston Martin Vulcan, the 2023 Lotus Emira, and even a Koenigsegg Jesko 2020, there’s a wide variety to choose from that will have racers salivating from the get-go.

Not only do these cars look good, but they sound absolutely superb as well. Forza Motorsport has delivered a game with splendid audio design that really makes a huge difference when playing. While I can’t definitively say that they sound just like their real-life counterparts, the engine roars and the screeching wheels are very nicely done.

forza motorsport screenshot 9

Apart from the bare necessities, I found Forza Motorsport to be lacking in some of the trimmings that add a little bit of extra to the experience. It would be unfair to compare it to another hotly-discussed sim racing game that has a cafe and an utterly sublime scapes feature, but these are just some of the small extras that can be appreciated by more casual racing enjoyers such as myself.

What we liked:

  • Superb audio and visual quality
  • Sound design is top-notch
  • Great racing feel and handling
  • Vast and interesting car selection

What we didn’t like:

  • Launch features are a bit weak
  • Slim offerings outside of the campaign and online races
  • Leveling per car might be a sore spot for some players

Verdict: Buy it!


Forza Motorsport is unmatched when it comes to Xbox racers. The driving feel is superb, and the audio-visual presentation is an absolute standout that enhances the experience by a mile. With a plethora of cars to choose from, there’s always that next vehicle to look forward to.

Admittedly, the overall amount of features that the game has at this point is slim compared to others out there. This will vary from player to player and will depend on what they value, but there’s no denying that the game could use a bump in this category. Thankfully, the developers are committed to improving the game throughout its life cycle, so we can expect only better things from here on out for Forza Motorsport.

*Forza Motorsport was reviewed on an Xbox Series X with a review code provided by the publisher.

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