Forza Motorsport Review (2023) – A Powerful Return to Form! – Xbox Series X

Forza Motorsport Review (2023) – A Powerful Return to Form! – Xbox Series X

It feels like the developers of Forza Motorsport listened in on all my conversations from the last few years and decided to make a version of Forza that has all of the features I’ve always wanted – Just for me!

So is 2023’s Forza Motorsport finally the perfect Forza game? Not at launch it isn’t.

One of my favourite videos on the internet is one where this guy in a Porsche is trying to catch a Mustang while demonically shouting “NEMESIS” at his opponent as he works hard to hit all the right marks and catch him. The battle ends with– well, watch our video review or the original video to find out.

Why am I telling you this?

This is, at its core, the true track experience and one that I’ve experienced myself – and it’s not about ramming and crashing, and chucking cars into corners – it’s about falling into the groove, finding the speed, and inching your way closer to the rival ahead of you.


The Grand Rivalry

Despite its affinity for single-file racing trains and rolling starts, Gran Turismo has always been the benchmark when it comes to accessible sim racing, and Forza Motorsport finally offers this experience now as well – and backs it up with a wonderfully grounded new handling model, improved AI, practice modes that let you familiarise yourself with a track and your car before jumping into the race, and an online multiplayer safety rating system that motivates everyone to race cleanly.

If all of that sounds boring, Forza has you got you, err… fam. If I want a completely different experience for the next race, I can move from my wheel and pedal setup to my couch and controller, slap on some sport traction and stability, pick easy rules with a lower difficulty and then go barreling my way to the front from last place instead.

The new career mode focuses on a built-not-bought approach which helps you fall in love with each car a bit before moving onto the next. It’s a cool idea, but that means each car has to be levelled up to unlock upgrades one by one – even if you own the same car twice – and that’s just not great.

Find out what we thought about these other racing games:

I Meant Buggy, Like The Car

Speaking of not great. Forza Motorsport isn’t without its issues. While usually pretty rock solid, this is by far the buggiest Forza game I’ve ever played at launch – with occasional crashes to dashboard, video settings issues, broken multiplayer replays.

Heck – the game even decided I should just permanently have a mouse cursor visible on screen at one point, and I had to restart it to make it go away.

Not the Sharpest Tool…

While often stunning, the graphics can be a mixed bag. Like many others, I’m sticking to Performance RT mode for its blend of visual flare and smooth frame rates, and while on my 1440p monitor it looked pretty good, – however the graphics running on my 65 inch 4KTV look really soft, and lack the sharp, crisp quality I get when playing something like Forza Horizon 5 – even when I tried in the Performance mode that’s supposed to deliver a consistent 4K image.

Turn 10 are playing the long game with Forza Motorsport, so I have no doubts that it will see improvements over time – but that’s no excuse for the state it’s currently in, which while not all that terrible – is definitely not up to the standard that I’ve come to expect from a Turn 10 game – and incredibly frustrating for anyone who paid extra to get early access.

The More the Merrier

A quick mention has to be made for top-notch accessibility options that really open the game up to more players, even – and I’m not kidding – features for the blind to play as well. BRAVO.

I really do love the new Forza Motorsport and I can’t wait to spend many, many hours playing its single and multiplayer modes. Its launch issues are inexcusable, and really tarnish what is mostly a fantastic game – and another solid title for the Xbox and its Game Pass service.

Verdict: ✪✪ (Great)

 Poor (0-5) ✪✪ Mediocre (6-7) ✪✪✪ Good (8) ✪✪✪✪ Great (9) ✪✪✪✪✪ Must-play! (10)