Game Reviews from around the web

100

Nicer and more sophisticated, also we finally see the sequel trying to change the existing status quo. The third Horizon is doing the most to deserve your attention, and newly it is now available on PC too. [Issue #268]

LEVEL (Czech Republic)

100

Playground Games perfected the formula of the Forza Horizon series and with Forza Horizon 3 they delivered the most fun, beautiful and rich racing game of this console generation to date.

100

It’s graphically amazing, boasts perfect in-game mechanics and overall, the single-player and multiplayer components work on all levels. Yes, it’s pretty much perfect with a great open-world illusion set in beautiful Australia and the only thing is missing, is that smell of rubber!

100

That, really, is the fundamental value in Forza Horizon 3. It wants you to have fun. It will challenge you, it will ask you to improve as a driver and it will reward you for doing so. But first and foremost, it wants you to spend time in this ridiculous playground, with some of the best (and strangest) cars in the world, having an absolute blast.

100

If you’re looking for a game that will keep you playing throughout the year in a variety of creative, engaging and freeform ways, Forza Horizon 3 is definitely what you’re after.

100

A feast of driving that sets out to sate whatever vehicular desire you may have from minute-to-minute. It can’t be perfect, perhaps, but it is a real pleasure.

100

This game gets my heart rate going like no other racer. It captures the childish glee of playing with toy cars and combines it with the adrenaline of throwing yourself around in a very expensive hunk of metal.

100

Forza Horizon 3 is one of the best racing games I have ever played, and somehow continues to prove that this series just keeps getting better. How Playground Games continues to make what already feels like the definitive arcade racing experience even better is beyond my comprehension. If you have any interest in racing games at all, this is a can’t miss title.

100

As if it was in much doubt, Forza Horizon 3 is one of the finest games you’ll find on the Xbox One right now. It’s so incredible to look at, so beautifully crafted and so enjoyable to play that there are literally hundreds of hours of fun to be had here.

100

It’s difficult to imagine how Forza Horizon 3 could have been any better.

100

Not only is it absolutely stunning, it’s done a fantastic job of putting you at the centre of the racing in every way possible.

100

Seriously, I have no idea where Playground Games can go with Forza Horizon from here. The map is huge, yet well-populated with things to do. The car selection is vast, the controls are spot-on, the game looks gorgeous in all areas, the musical options are diverse, the online play is excellent, and the community tools are rock solid. I have little doubt that we’ll see a Forza Horizon 4 down the road, but I think you’ll find Forza Horizon 3 leaves little room for improvement. It’s an A+ game top to bottom, and absolutely one of the best games you’ll play all year.

100

Forza Horizon 3 feels familiar with its already-polished gameplay, but the new setting, cars, and incredible customization options opens the throttle on an already-fantastic platform. The team has built on an already stable platform, bringing entirely new ways to play. I struggled to find a single thing I didn’t love about Forza Horizon 3, and that’s a fantastic problem to have.

100

A truly great racing experience. The fact that the developers were able to combine their premier arcade racing with a new layer of depth and control is something definitely of note. It’s proof that an accessible game doesn’t have to be overly simple and can provide options to the full spectrum of fans, from those wanting to just drive around all the way to those who really want to fine-tune their own monstrous machines for the road.

100

A masterpiece that offers you an epic driving experience in an open world environment. It has been refined and greatly improved upon from the previous games especially when it comes to visuals.

100

Bigger and better than its predecessor in every way, Forza Horizon 3 features a beautiful, incredibly diverse landscape, an impressive roster of over 350 meticulously-detailed cars, and an absolute ton of driving activities and challenges. Forza Horizon 3 is without doubt the finest arcade racer yet seen, and it looks set to become one of this generation’s greatest games.

100

It’s probably as close to perfection as an arcade racer could possibly be. The visuals are simply phenomenal, the sound effects and soundtrack bring aural pleasure to your ears, and the gameplay is infectiously addictive.

100

The expansive roster of cars are all beautifully designed right down to the smallest detail. The setting is stunning with very few walls and boundaries to inhibit your freedom, and now you can experience all of the fun in four-player co-op with the added bonus of being able to customise almost every aspect of each race to your choosing. Quite simply put, Forza Horizon 3 is the pinnacle of open-world racers available on the Xbox One.

98

A real masterwork and definitely the best arcade racer yet, thanks to an incredibly balanced driving model, tons of contents both off and on-line, and an outstanding technical production. A must buy.

96

Forza Horizon 3 manages to capture much of the familiarity of the previous two games while adding a whole lot more to do, making it as close to a perfect racing experience than ever before.

96

Forza Horizon seems to get bigger and better with each new entry to the series, and Forza Horizon 3 is by far the biggest festival yet. It’s hard to imagine where developer Playground Games will go if they are given the green light for Forza Horizon 4. But there’s little need to worry about that, because we have been blessed right now with the must-have racing game of the current generation, so fun and addicting that it just begs you to take on one more event or cruise through one more gorgeous slice of Australia.

95

Forza Horizon 3 pulls out all the stops to provide one of most fluid and enjoyable racing experiences out there. A must have for casual car fans and hardcore gearheads alike, Forza Horizon 3 may even surpass the mainline series in terms of fun with this effort.

95

Forza Horizon 3 doesn’t reinvent the wheel in any way – but it does perfect it. Everything that worked about past games is better here. There’s more terrain to traverse, more variety, and the inclusion of off-road racing alone expands the game’s already-expansive replay value. If you have always wanted to enjoy a Forza game, but don’t like the idea of sim racers, the Horizon series makes for a great gateway.

95

Forza Horizon 3 is such a good game that it’s difficult to find a racing game that is more interesting, has more content and generates similar amounts of fun. The audiovisual portion of the game is excellent and makes the new NFS pale in comparison (and that applies beyond the graphics). Forza Horizon 3 sets the bar so high that right now it seems impossible to reach it.

95

Forza Horizon 3 is close to racing perfection, with stunning visuals, great Drivatar AI and enough content to keep you busy for months.

95

Forza Horizon 3 has everything you could possibly want from a modern racing game, and it just happens to be in the most stunning package we’ve ever seen.

95

Simply, the best arcade racing on the market. For content, gameplay and graphics.

95

Forza Horizon 3 is a masterclass in open-world racing and bigger and better than its excellent predecessor across the board. It looks fantastic, the car selection and customisation is second to none, and the size and variety of the sprawling Australian outback is magnificent. Above all, Horizon 3 never loses sight of the fact that tearing through postcard-perfect locations should be fun, and it puts the tools in our hands to keep it that way, always. This is the racing game I’ve been waiting for, and it’s officially my favourite thing on four wheels. A fair dinkum triumph, mates.

95

Forza Horizon 3 is a truly astonishing game and one that should not only be classified as one of the best driving games available right now, but one of the best games available, period.

95

In many ways, Forza Horizon 3 is the perfect sequel – it adds enough content to stay fresh, while retaining all the hallmarks that made the previous games so awesome.

94

It’s a wilder side of Forza where you’re free to tackle Australia in whatever way you feel is the most enjoyable, and it gives you all the tools you need to make the experience yours. I’ve always enjoyed the Motorsport side of the track, but Horizon 3 is where you go to have flat-out fun while still sharing the series’ strong racing pedigree.

94

Playground gives us, again, a huge and spectacular game with new features, like the 4 player cooperative campaign and the challenges creation. The control is almost perfect and it has enough events and races to keep us playing it for months. There aren’t many new gameplay mechanics but Forza Horizon 3 is, no doubt, the best open world racing game out there.

94

An epic and gorgeous drive through Oz scenery, and the best driving game this year.

93

Forza Horizon is overall a fun game, with excellent graphics, fantastic sound and tons of option and value. One of the best driving games you can find these days.

93

Forza Horizon 3 is a visual feast and an impressive entry into the Forza line-up. The Australian environment feels and looks realistic, with lush rainforests tapering away into the red and dusty outback. Whether you’re a casual racing player or a motorsport enthusiast, Forza Horizon 3 will meet your expectations of a non-simulator racing game. The handling of the vehicles is, as always, finely tuned like only a Forza game can deliver.

93

Forza Horizon 3 is a delight, and it’s one of those rare racing hybrids that should appeal to gearheads who want deep tuner options and people on the other end of the spectrum who just want exciting arcade-racing action. It’s this generation’s best racer, and my favorite Forza game to date.

93

Playground Games has mastered the Horizon formula to create one of the best racing games to date. A must-have you don’t want to miss, no matter whether you’ve played the series before or not.

93

Forza Horizon 3 may not be the most innovative racing game ever, but it’s a consistent improvement over the previous iteration in this outstanding sub-saga, which makes it one of the best racing games that we’ve seen in a while.

92

Forza Horizon 3 is an excellent arcade racer with interesting environments and a competent car lineup. Multiplayer needs races for slower cars. [Nov 2016]

Pelit (Finland)

92

Forza Horizon 3 is an evolution of the earlier games in the series. The graphics are better and these might be the best controls in a driving game I’ve ever come across. Overall, this is a fantastic experience.

92

Terrific gameplay, sublime level design and a beautiful open world set in Australia are some of the elements that makes Forza Horizon 3 one of the greatest racing games of recent years. A must-have.

92

I love the mix of exploring, racing and ancillary tasks, coupled with the great driving physics and the audiovisual fireworks (heaven!)

92

Forza Horizon 3 has become one of the best driving games of all time. Playground Games has delivered a unique experience that will make you play for hours and hours just to enjoy their driving feeling. This game continues with its previous style, but if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.

90

The new Forza Horizon is even more enjoyable than before and its only real fault is that it looks more like a large patch for Forza Horizon 2 than a full-blooded new entry in the series. [12/2016, p.54]

CD-Action

90

Horizon 3 is the best open world racer in years. [Issue#180, p.76]

90

This series has always felt like a breath of fresh air in a genre that grows ever more obsessed with the fidelity of its simulations. With Forza Horizon 3, Playground has flung open the biggest window in the building, then stuck on a few fans for good measure. [December 2016, p.106]

Edge Magazine

90

Fast, beautiful and fully featured, it’s not only the best Horizon, but the best Forza, too. [Dec 2016, p.81]

Official Xbox Magazine UK

90

Minor music service quibble aside, Forza Horizon 3 is a beautiful, immensely entertaining, joyous arcade racer that successfully builds on Playground Games’ already tremendous formula. As an open world racer Forza Horizon 3 is epic and diverse, as a racer it’s satisfying yet deep, and as a place to hang out it’s a whole heap of fun.

90

Forza Horizon 3 is an absolute masterpiece. You’ll be hard pressed to find an open-world racing game that is this visually stunning, sounds this phenomenal, has this much content, and most importantly; this fun to play.

90

The third game in the Forza Horizon series has far exceeded its status as a loud and brash spin-off, becoming a racing title that embodies the best of this generation. Beautiful visuals, pitch perfect gameplay and eternally rewarding, there are few racing games that have ever come close to what Playground Games have achieved with Forza Horizon 3.

90

The game feels like a Swiss knife among the arcade and racing games. Maybe it´s not very original, but still you will be pleased what it can offer in a compact, coherent and cohesive package. Forza Horizon 3 will hardly seek an adequate opponent among the competitors.

90

Really the only place Forza Horizon 3 skids out is in its lack of ingenuity. It’s packed, over delivering on what was already plenty of content in the previous game, but it comes up a little short in terms of innovation. Racing through a gorgeous field, foliage crumpling under your tires, the sun gleaming off your dented roof – it’s a sight, but one that I recall seeing countless times in Forza Horizon 2. Much of what you do in Forza Horizon 3, you have likely done before. Still, it’s never looked this good, been this big or done its job with as much confidence.

90

It’s the many smaller improvements and new features that make Forza Horizon 3 the best and most beautiful game in the series.

90

A beautifully crafted Australian locale combined with an amazing car collection take this entry to the next level. Forza Horizon 3 builds on the driving prowess and open world diversity of its predecessors, taking it to the top of the podium.

90

Forza Horizon 3 is as much fun as it is beautiful. Australia steals the show with its diverse landscapes, while there are loads of events to take part in. With minor improvements here and there, Forza Horizon 3 is a worthy successor to the older games.

90

Playground Games reminds us once again that a car can be nothing more than a huge, expensive toy. Breaking the law in the Australian outback and building a great festival is a lot of fun – the newest Forza Horizon is the best one yet.

90

The surroundings are a lot better than Forza Horizon 2, and it’s no longer necessary to go all the way to another city to start a new race. Every location feels like a game in itself and that makes the game much more sensational and swift.

90

Even more than other Forza Horizon games, with this one you’ll experience the awesome feeling of driving beautiful cars in a huge open world. There is more space for off-road racing, which is a nice feature on top of the strong concept of Forza Horizon.

90

The best Forza Horizon so far, and thanks to its huge open world and infectious sense of fun one of the best arcade racers of the current gen.

90

With this third installment, Playground has gathered the best of its previous work and delivered what they’ve always tried to provide: freedom.

90

Forza Horizon 3 is a huge game, a worthy evolution of a solid. Fun , varied and technically impeccable, the latest work by Playground Games succeeds in the difficult task of renewing, without distorting it, a structure that had already found its maturity in Forza Horizon 2.

90

Forza Horizon 3 is a fantastic racing game. It may look close to its predecessor, but its new features and new Australian open-world setting offer so much variety, and so much fun, it would be a huge mistake to miss it.

90

Forza Horizon 3 sets a new target for driving games. Australia is a beautiful region to run and is full of all kinds of activities. Discovering it on one of the 350 available autos is the best way to discover the pleasure of driving.

90

Forza Horizon 3 brings an incredible diverse open world in the Australian Outback that begs to be discovered. With a great soundtrack, a plethora of vehicles to unlock, and plenty of challenges varying in difficulty, Horizon 3 proves to be a must buy for racing fans.

90

Forza Horizon 2 has been my go-to racer for the last couple years. And now its position in my game library been handily usurped by its stellar successor.

90

After playing every game in the Forza series, I can say without any hesitation that this is, by far, the best Forza game to date.

90

The worst thing about Forza Horizon 3 is that it may have stolen me away from the ‘Forza Motorsport’ series for good. There’s an important freedom to be found in the Australian festival racing, and the land is a gorgeous one when alight or after the rain. For those of us on the HDR train, this is close to must-have demo material, but it’s tremendous fun on top of that. Playing casually or with a crazed glint in my eye, Forza Horizon ‘ is a fantastic playground.

90

It is one of the most feature-rich asynchronous multiplayer games I’ve ever played. I love having all of these ways of competing against my friends, and I think the Blueprint events are a smart way to make the game feel more personal and connected. I plan on making at least a few more missions and sending them to all of my friends after Horizon goes live later this month.

90

It’s a series that’s consistently enjoyable on an every-other-year cycle. Playground Games’ take on Australia falls right in line. It’s not quite the leap that the franchise made from the original Horizon to Horizon 2, but it’s not on cruise control, either. There’s enough variation here — from the feel of cars to the game modes to the radio stations — that this is another excellent installment in an always-excellent series. And, since variation is a key reason for Horizon 3’s success, well, Australia seems like it’s probably the most perfectly appropriate setting.

90

The still relatively young Forza Horizon series has been consistently great across its first two entries and Forza Horizon 3 continues that impressive trend with distinctive driving physics that are better than ever and a robust campaign full of different events that takes players across Australia.

90

Forza Horizon 3 retains everything we’ve come to love about the open world racer while incrementally improving upon its formula. The leap isn’t as significant as it was between the first two games, but Australia ends up being a highly appealing setting to drive through.

90

With Forza Horizon 3, Turn 10 and Playground Games affirm the series’ status as the driving game for everyone The new emphasis on off-road options isn’t at the expense of traditional races, thanks to the sheer volume of activities. All the while, Playground Games’ calculated kitchen-sink design philosophy and rich reward system persistently tempt you to explore beyond your comfort zone, whether it’s gifting your first Ariel Nomad buggy or reminding you that stunt races can impress thousands of fans. Enhancing your own brand might feel like a strange motivation to hit the road, but pulling off sick e-drifts on a mile-long series of curves makes the PR work worthwhile.

90

Superb graphics, HDR and Play Anywhere: thanks to Forza Horizon 3 the future of Xbox is closer than we thought.

89

The driving mechanics are an (arcade) dream come true, the visuals are fantastic and Australia as exotic location delivers a wide variety of environments, challenges and contest. It has its flaws like the still overly aggressive AI but nonetheless this is definitely the best game in this franchise so far.

89

Forza Horizon 3 is another stellar open world racing game that has a plethora of things to see and do. Some of it can get somewhat repetitive during prolonged sessions, but Playground Games has really gone to town in packing the game with a variety of events and some great online activities to keep you hooked. Hit the gas and set off on an Aussie racing odyssey. You won’t regret it.

88

Fuelled by a semi-simulator brain and arcade heart, Horizon 3 is a very g’day indeed. [Dec 2016, p.62]

Games Master UK

88

Tuned ever-so-slightly in “race trim” for more consistency doesn’t hinder the uproarious, maniacal wild side of free roam. In a vacuum, it plays just as well as the first two.

85

Forza Horizon 3 is one of the best iterations of the series, with awesome visuals and lots of content. It would have been perfect with a worthy cockpit view and few more new things.

85

Forza Horizon 3 brings back the fun into the Forza series. Doesn’t matter what kind of car you want to drive or where you want to drive it, it’s possible, plus the map is huge and filled with challenges, events, races and more.

85

Forza Horizon 3 is as much a driving game as a racing game. Through a superbly realized version of Australia as well as a wide variety of terrain, cars and challenges, this free-roaming car simulation offers a valuable playbox. But it also managed to muster “cor blimey” moments that made me feel a whooping rush of speed and liberation.

80

It’s a fantastic-looking game that takes some of the best simulation-style driving to be found on a console and plops it into a great open world.

80

It could be argued that this is more of an incremental improvement over the second Forza Horizon game because the overall formula is not drastically different from what has come before. However, almost every single aspect from the changing weather and gameplay tweaks provide an improved experience that makes the exploration of virtual Australia an absolute joy.

80

In the absence of other open-world racing series like Burnout Paradise and Test Drive Unlimited, the Forza Horizon series has steadily become a racing staple, and with Forza Horizon 3, it’s now on cruise control. With a revised skill system, a wealth of racing content, and a co-operative campaign, you’ll want to bend and curve around every corner in picturesque Australia landscape at least once, even if that’s the only time.

80

A superbly-produced, feature-rich racing game. Too much of it may feel like busywork and filler, but few other racers are this slick or feature-packed, and it certainly has moments of magic.

80

Forza Horizon 3 offers glorious graphics, big variation and clever online implementation. It might not be the perfect racing game, but if you are a fan of the previous games in the series, it’s a no-brainer.

80

Forza Horizon 3 is an invigorating open-world racer, although it may be a little too familiar to anyone who’s been down this road before.

80

Forza Horizon 3 is big, bold and beautiful. There’s always something new to see, do or drive, and the game’s mix of colorful, vivid graphics and an amazing soundtrack leaves the player with a constant, happy feeling. However, when compared to Horizon 2 there isn’t all that much new stuff here, and the game’s progression system is less than stellar, actively making huge parts of Australia feel empty and meaningless for hours upon hours.

79

Forza developers have formulated a recipe for driving game that’s sure to receive high scores, and now they’re exploiting it for all it’s worth. Those who played 2014’s Forza Horizon 2 won’t find anything new here, even though some areas could really use some improvements. [Issue#214, p.44]

Game World Navigator Magazine

70

Forza Horizon 3 doesn’t bring much new to the table, and it feels like I’ve now played the same game three times over. It’s still good, and fun for newcomers, but it’s definitely at the point of diminishing returns. Throw in a myriad of technical issues, and it’s ultimately a disappointing sequel.

40

Massive, full and with a list of things to do which borders upon incessant, Forza Horizon 3 is a driving game both without direction and made by a studio seemingly – understandably – bored with cars. It isn’t wholly different or worse than its predecessors, but after four years of these games, and with titles like DiRT Rally rediscovering the fundamental, basic thrills of racing simulations, Horizon 3 feels tired.

Game Reviews from around the web

The more hardcore sim fans might find things a little too arcade-ish for their liking. Although there are circuit races on street tracks, they’ll never compare to lapping Spa or the Nordschleife, and the off-road driving isn’t the same test of skill that you’ll get from DiRT Rally. But for fans of previous Horizon games or the Project Gotham series, this sequel will probably tick all your boxes.

Playground Games has created a beautiful open world filled with awe-inspiring sights and driving game based on finely tuned systems. But sometimes when I’m cruising within splashing distance of Byron Bay’s emerald waters and an assistant’s voice blares over the radio to remind me of an abandoned Bugatti inside a nearby barn or to pester me about a championship still left unfinished, I can’t help but ask: Is a little peace to enjoy the view too much to ask?

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