All Forza Motorsport and Horizon games, ranked

The Forza grid's front row.

When it comes to gaming franchises, Forza is one of the leading motorsport series in the business. The original Forza Motorsport drove onto our screens back in 2005 and has been going from strength to strength since. The Xbox franchise is well beyond double figures, with Forza games arriving on Microsoft consoles with varying degrees of success. Here we’ll rank all 12 of the Forza Motorsport and Horizon releases, as we wait for the arrival of the new Forza Motorsport.

12. Forza Motorsport 5

Image via Turn 10

Unfortunately, the game that had the chance to show the power of the Xbox One when it was released was a bit of a damp squib. First impressions were impressive, as the graphics and soundscape hinted at it being the best Forza title to date. But once you started to delve into the game, the impressive new features were overshadowed by a lack of track and car variety that soon had players forgetting they’d bought it at all. That said, despite being bottom of this list, it’s still a solid racing experience. (Xbox One, 2013)

Related: Forza Motorsport is pushing tech to the next level

11. Forza Horizon

Image via Turn 10

While the overall quality of the Horizon series has outstripped its Motorsport series rivals, the original Forza Horizon didn’t reach the heights of later games. It was a fun racer that offered something new, in this case, open-world exploration and non-track racing. But it’s never easy to be the first and the new elements were a little rough around the edges. But the handling had all the hallmarks of the main series, making it a solid title regardless. (Xbox 360, 2012)

10. Forza Motorsport

Image via Turn 10

It feels a little harsh to put the original Xbox Forza game this low on the list, as it was a lot of fun and still holds up as a good racer today. This Xbox title brought sim-style racing to the console while still being approachable for inexperienced players who just wanted to burn some rubber. It was taking on the all-conquering Gran Turismo series back then, so even getting a foothold was considered a success. Which it did, laying the groundwork for the titles below. (Xbox, 2005)

9. Forza Motorsport 2

Image via Turn 10

Forza Motorsport 2 took the series to the next level, featuring realistic handling while utilizing the superior hardware of the Xbox 360 to upgrade the graphics across the board. It also featured hundreds of different drivable cars and more game modes, making it a racing game you just kept coming back to. (Xbox 360, 2007)

Related: Everything we know about Forza Motorsport – Release Date, Game Pass, Platforms, & more

8. Forza Motorsport 3

Image via Turn 10

Without wanting to repeat ourselves, Forza Motorsport 3 took over from where Forza Motorsport 2 left off and improved things across the board. It is generally considered the game that really launched the series into the stratosphere, rivaling all-comers on both console and PC as the best racing series on the block. The great racing was embellished with new game modes (including team play), great online play, and an excellent soundtrack. (Xbox 360, 2009)

7. Forza Motorsport 6

Image via Turn 10

Considering the lowly position of its predecessor on this list, Forza Motorsport 6 deserves praise for pulling the series up by its bootstraps and back into the big leagues. There could’ve been a modicum of panic, but developer Turn 10 did the right thing and went back to basics. It was a really satisfying driving experience that looked and sounded brilliant. More cars and better tracks got everyone back behind the wheel, despite the game adding little in the way of new features. (Xbox One, 2015)

6. Forza Horizon 2    

Image via Playground Games

Some consider Forza Horizon 2 to be a little bit of a disappointment, as the version on the 360 was pretty poor. But it did a good job of showcasing the improved performance and graphics of the Xbox One, with the open terrain looking amazing even at full throttle. It didn’t do much to push the series forward otherwise but was worth playing purely to get behind the wheel of your dream supercar and hit the open road. (Xbox 360 and Xbox One, 2014)

5. Forza Motorsport 7

Image via Turn 10

Where Forza Motorsport 6 had righted a slightly wobbly ship, Motorsport 7 set about chasing down its racing rivals at the front of the grid once more. It’s generally considered to be the pinnacle of Xbox One track racing sims, pushing the graphics and sheer depth of content to the limit. The career mode kept you coming back for more, while the introduction of weather gave it the innovative edge that its predecessor had lacked. (Xbox One, 2017)

Related: Should I buy the Forza Horizon 5 Hot Wheels DLC? – Review

4. Forza Motorsport 4

Image via Turn 10

While if choosing one today you’d have to go for Motorsport 7, Forza Motorsport 4 has to be at the top of the Motorsport series pile if you take the time and hardware available into consideration. The fact it took three Xbox One games to get back to this peak from six years earlier tells you all you need to know about its genre-leading track and car variety, awesome driving feel, and general polish. (Xbox 360, 2011)

3. Forza Horizon 3    

Image via Playground Games

While coming in at number three on our list, you can pretty much throw a cap over the top three in terms of quality. If anything, Forza Horizon 3 can be seen as making the biggest leap forward for the series as it managed to produce the quality of the track-based Motorsport series in the much bigger, and more challenging sandbox real-world environment. Australia also proved a great setting to highlight a series of sun-drenched but varied environments. (Xbox One, Series X and PC, 2016)

2. Forza Horizon 4    

Image via Playground Games

A few years after the refreshingly open Australia experience, Forza Horizon 4 made gamer jaws drop with the UK experience. It wouldn’t have been Britain without ridiculous weather, and it didn’t disappoint there. Different seasons really affect the driving experience, while the varied British countryside gave the developers even more chances to show off the Forza engine’s capabilities. Throw in Drivatars and some fun events and they had a massive hit on their hands. (Xbox One and PC, 2018)

1. Forza Horizon 5    

Screenshot by Pro Game Guides

As tough acts to follow go, Forza Horizon 4 set the bar pretty high. But by 2021 the team had clearly had enough time to truly grasp the Series X’s potential and set about showing it off. It was roundly praised as one of the games of the year, with a huge, sumptuous map of Mexico and a massive selection of gorgeous cars to drive — it was the pinnacle of sandbox driving. What’s impressive is that, even with all the gameplay options available, many consider it to be the best at all of them. And that's even before you add in the Hot Wheels expansion. You owe it to yourself to give it a test drive. (Xbox One, Series X and PC, 2021)

Looking for more racing game guides? Check out All Forza Horizon 5 Hot Wheels DLC Minor Missions and Forza Horizon 5 vs. Gran Turismo 7 – Which is better? here at Pro Game Guides!

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About the Author

Chris Marling is a writer and editor with more than 20 years of experience across newspapers, magazines, and websites. Based in the UK, he has written professionally on everything from tech to tearooms. But his real passion is gaming, going right back to the Atari 2600 - and especially RPGs and MMOs. He cut his teeth on games such as The Realm and Anarchy Online. But 20 years on still gets excited about exploring each new world. When not online, you'll find him gaming analog-style around the table. Chris has had five of his own board games published, including Pioneer Days and Armageddon.

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All Forza Motorsport and Horizon games, ranked

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