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Forza Motorsport Vs Forza Horizon



Turn 10 Studios and Playground Games’ Forza Motorsport and Forza Horizon are hands down some of Xbox’s most iconic racing series on the planet. There’s a debate, even, that Forza is the all-round better version of Gran Turismo—an argument that has been volleying back and forth for the best part of a decade or so now. Needless to say that, regardless of the platform you choose to defend, both racing sagas offer tons of high-octane sprints, sleek vehicles, and custom liveries to boot. Question is, which of the two Forza divisions is the better choice, in general — Motorsport, or Horizon?

It’s safe to say that there’s a lot to unpack here, particularly when it comes to each of the two’s gameplay styles and overall progression system. However, for the sake of pointing you in the right direction and aiding your decision over which series to side with, we’ll go ahead and break it down into smaller sections. To cut to the question: which of the two is better, Forza Motorsport or Forza Horizon?  Let’s discuss it.

What Is Forza?

Let’s get straight to the point. Forza Motorsport — what is it, and how is it any different from Horizon? Well, to put it straight, Forza Motorsport is entirely circuit-based, whereas Horizon is considered to be more an open world sandbox sort of deal. And while both subsidiaries offer an extensive range of vehicles, tracks, and game modes, the one thing that separates the two, really, is the format. Gameplay-wise, both offer an enormous collection of activities to partake in, with rivalries and seasonal events both making an appearance in each division. But more on that shortly.

Forza Motorsport is, of course, the more seasoned of the two series, with a total of seven mainline instalments under its belt and an eighth on the horizon. Not that this leaves Horizon shortchanged, however, what with Playground Games having five of its own in the open world saga since 2012. Knowing this, and how popular the Horizon extension has become since making its debut over a decade ago, it’s safe to say that the two will be driving for that bottleneck slot come 2025. As for which of the two will wind up having more entries than the other is anybody’s guess. Either way, one thing is clear: Forza Horizon is certainly giving Turn 10 Studios a run for its money right about now.

The Circuit

The thing that truly wedges a divide between Motorsport and Horizon is its progression system. On one hand, Motorsport offers you a series of levels—episodes, if you like, that can be accessed directly from a central hub area between events. As far as Horizon goes, events are presented in an open world format, which means races can only be accessed by travelling across the map and signing up on the spot. Question is, which of these two formats work best, and which offers more freedom and replay value?

Sure enough, the one dividing factor here is the linearity; Forza Motorsport sticks to it like ice on asphalt. And while this does remove the sense of freedom ever so slightly, it does eliminate the feeling of confusion in the process. More to the point — it offers a pre-made selection of chapters that you can work through at your own pace, without the added activities and questionably placed subplots. It’s very A to B, to be honest, and it goes above and beyond to be everything it set out to be — a racing game, nothing more, nothing less.

And the Open World?

Forza Horizon is different, in the fact that it crams an abundance of events into four shifting seasons over an open world playground. These events, which roll under the banner of the ever-popular Horizon Festival, offer the freedom to choose which episodes you experience first, and as a result, don’t hold back on giving you the tools navigate the story at your own pace. And so, while it is a matter of preference, it is fair to say that, while Motorsport does offer a bread and butter racing simulation experience right off the bat, Horizon certainly does offer a few additional incentives—features that also happen to accommodate a larger player base, no less.

As far as map sizes go, Forza Horizon is basically known for having some of the largest, most visually impressive open worlds in the racing division to date. Matter of fact, its latest entry, Forza Horizon 5, actually wound up being just shy of 107 square kilometres in size, making it the series’ most ambitious and lifelike setting to date. And with just about every kilometre having an event or trope of some sort to boot, this actually ended up generating dozens, perhaps even hundreds of hours of play time.

Vehicles, Liveries & Customization

The liveries aren’t exactly small in either of the two Forza series, that much is true. However, where Motorsport opts for something a little more traditional and to the letter, Horizon favours something else entirely—outlandish and modded vehicles, mainly to keep them in line with the series’ wild and wonderful theme. On that note, Motorsport is a perfect choice for the inner car enthusiast, more so for those seeking to get their hands on upwards of 800 vehicles from a myriad of signature brands. For everything else—both vibrant and slightly different—Forza Horizon fits the description, tenfold.


When all’s said and done, both Forza Motorsport and Forza Horizon are absolute credits to themselves. Fact is, they’re a lot like Yin and Yang, in the fact that they balance each other out remarkably well. To this end, we can’t fault either of the two, as one hand brings a classic racing simulation experience to the table, and the other dares to push the boundaries and conjure up additional material on a separate platter. It’s a two-for-one, truly, and both Turn 10 and Playground Games have every reason to keep chucking out entries in the franchise for as long as the Xbox Series X|S drifts on.

Anyway, to answer the question of which of the two is the better choice — we’ll have to stand by our guns and say Forza Motorsport. It’s sleek, smooth, and about as close to being behind the wheel in a high-speed pursuit as you’ll probably ever get. For everything else, though, Forza Horizon is another powerhouse on its own—a vessel in which freedom and diversity is celebrated in some of the most creative ways imaginable. It’s merely the case of asking yourself the question of which of the two you would prefer — traditional, or experimental?


So, what’s your take? Do you agree with our verdict? Let us know your thoughts over on our socials here.

Jord is acting Team Leader at If he isn't blabbering on in his daily listicles, then he's probably out writing fantasy novels or scraping Game Pass of all its slept on indies.