Forza Motorsport (Xbox Series X/S) Review

By Sandy Kirchner-Wilson 27.04.2024

Review for Forza Motorsport on Xbox Series X/S

Forza has been a key series for the Xbox consoles since the beginning. Turn10's seminal racing experience featured as a keen entry of Xbox catalogues through the years, from simulation to open worlds it has explored pretty much every facet of racing games. Microsoft has talked about Forza Motorsport since the launch of the Xbox Series consoles and it's finally released. Before release, however, they did mention that local multiplayer was not part of this new title…does it have enough horsepower in single-player and online modes to push past that omission?

Most will know what to expect jumping into an enthusiast car video game, an atmosphere of pomp, flowery narration and music that meanders on the menus and lobbies in the title itself. Forza Motorsport's 2023 release continues this trend. The intro sequence gently explains racing mentality and sets the scene before dropping gamers into the seat of a couple of racing cars to do a short stint of racing ahead of letting them loose with their own vehicles. It's an interesting if slow entry to the game but the style harkens back to how they introduce players to earlier Forza Horizon games. This dreamlike atmosphere is present for all the menus and showrooms but luckily not in the races themselves.

Players are given an introductory cup to take part in where a car is picked and some practice laps participated in. This provides an opportunity for tuning and performance experience; all elements crucial to the enjoyment of the experience, then it's time to hit the track for the first real race. Multiple difficulties are offered, all of which can be tweaked further in the settings meaning an old-school gamer like this reviewer can turn off the visual assists and loosen the control up a little to improve the game feel. This adjustability is available in almost all of the other features too. With a mix of visual design and controls, this is possibly the best feeling Forza Motorsport title right out of the gate. It is also probably the largest single-player career of any Forza Motorsport game as well!

Screenshot for Forza Motorsport on Xbox Series X/S

Blasting through a whole grid of cars avoiding collisions and trying not to get any off-track penalties is properly invigorating at high speed, it lends the game a viscerality that was lacking from some of the previous titles. Obviously being Forza crashing results in car damage which can be either cosmetic or simulation resulting in realistic control changes if say a suspension spring breaks or the engine fails. Surprisingly this game also has wear and tear effects such as fuel and tires that will only last so long in a race and that must be managed at all times. For the first few races this is not an issue, but longer ones really need planning and pit stops to ensure victory.

There are a multitude of modes available to play but sadly, as mentioned earlier, no split-screen co-op, dropping a great feature for the first time on somewhat disingenuous-sounding pretences. Online racing is here in force and any of the game's hundreds of cars can be driven, a mode that was also enhanced by local play previously. The main advantage of playing online is racing against real people, something that is a truly unpredictable experience and regularly outdoes the AI racers. However, the AI racers are pretty good here. They weave in and out, brake and move unpredictably but somehow they just aren't challenging enough early on. The initial races are plagued by slow AI racers who too easily back off and don't block the player.

Screenshot for Forza Motorsport on Xbox Series X/S

The cars handle excellently, look great and the variety is simply astounding. Building a garage full of favourites is a fulfilling experience especially once players dip in and tweak each aspect of the vehicle tuning and paint it a crazy colour. In fact, visual customisation is excellent here, the livery designer is spectacular allowing for thousands of layers of decals to be added to each vehicle. This also has a community feature that allows for creators to share their decal groups so there are all sorts of things like real brands, anime and video game characters that can be dropped onto an automobile very easily.

Obviously a huge part of Forza Motorsport 2023's marketing has focused on the visual fidelity on show. The game has several performance profiles with a focus on Ray-tracing. Fidelity sacrifices 60 frames per second for 30 frames per second meaning there is a little bit of sluggishness in the controls but in terms of visuals, it has an incredible suite of features. From a high resolution to 3D people in crowds the game really pleases. Track environments are lit fantastically and now benefit from a much higher detail than the previous entries meaning they capture more of the real-world details seen at each track. Cars themselves are by far the highlight with extremely detailed interior and exterior models all of which (in fidelity mode) are fully ray-traced, beautiful crisp reflections of the track and other vehicles dance over the custom paintwork and windows adding a realism that just wasn't really seen in other racers, even in the current generation. It's genuinely a beautiful game to behold with a small caveat; cars are crudely modelled underneath, presumably for when they roll, but they look really awful in comparison to the rest of the visual makeup.

Screenshot for Forza Motorsport on Xbox Series X/S

Sound design is also excellent, both ambient and car engine noises have a nice 3D feeling to them. Car sound effects also morph based on whether the player is inside or outside the vehicle which sounds great through a surround sound system. The big "but" moment is in the music. The soundtrack here is utterly dire, frilly but repetitive music tries to strike up a feeling of pomp but it falls laughably flat in that regard. this reviewer highly recommends muting the music and instead enjoying the raw sound design of the cars and environments, it is far more immersive.

Lastly, there were a small number of visual bugs present during the review. These were things like track elements disappearing and reappearing in close proximity to the player and (assuming it may be broken) the muddy texture underneath of the cars. It's a shame as it lends the game a feeling of instability when actually there were no game-breaking bugs or issues at all.

Screenshot for Forza Motorsport on Xbox Series X/S

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Forza: Motorsport 2023 is both a fantastic racing experience and an example of everything wrong in the genre at the moment. the driving is better than ever and the visual design is fantastic but the soundtrack, lack of local play and the small number of bugs did detract from the overall experience. It's got a ton of amazing content that makes up for the issues, however, so it is a hearty recommendation to all motor nuts.


Turn 10 Studios


Xbox Game Studios





C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


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