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While battles ensue between Call of Duty and Battlefield fandoms or those of FIFA and PES, every avid Xbox owner will tell you that Forza is by far the best racer available on the platform. It’s also one of the best-selling game series of all time. Forza Motorsport was the pinnacle of racing simulators when the first title released in 2005, giving Gran Turismo’s then 4th installment a run for its money.
Fast forward to today and Motorsport is on its 7th iteration while the mass appeal of the Horizon series has resulted in three releases thus far, with plans to continue the series in the future. It’s clear that this racing series has won the hearts of petrol heads, newcomers, and pros alike. But what made it so popular in the first place, and how did it continue to push sales figures up through the years?
With funding and technological prowess courtesy of large developers and tech giants such as Microsoft themselves, it’s only natural to expect Forza to have world-class physics, mechanics, graphics, and online integration. Starting with the first installment, Xbox Live allowed players to race each other online and the third title allowed them to share their livery designs and sell them for in-game currency.
Pair the mass appeal of online integration with great visuals and an endless roster of cars, and you have a recipe for success. Each title has undeniably outclassed its Japanese competitor in both visuals and customization. Of course, Forza isn’t without its shortcomings when compared to Gran Turismo.
Polyphony’s racer has more cars and tracks while offering a more realistic driving engine (until you hit a wall.) But Gran Turismo’s somewhat lazy and unfinished feeling is what puts most players off. Forza, on the other hand. focuses on quality over quantity, resulting in an overall more polished feel.
No Strong Competition
Gran Turismo is often absent from most gaming conventions and Polyphony takes their sweet time in releasing sequels, contrary to the game’s undeniable massive success. EA’s Need For Speed series has seemingly lost its unique flair and appeal that made the series so popular during the days of Carbon and Most Wanted. Installments are now wildly inconsistent and don’t follow any particular theme.
Forza, on the other hand, has remained consistent and has continued to relentlessly provide everything gamers want in a racer. Fans of realistic sims can expect a new Motorsport release often enough, while those who enjoy a more arcade-like approach to racing games can rely on a new Horizon title to quench their thirst.
Because what is a racing game without good cars? Whether it’s the ultra-luxurious Lamborghinis and Ferraris that every boy puts on their wall or the highly tunable basic rides that you can turn from racers to twin turbo 6.0 monsters. Classics, trucks, go-karts, family cars – there’s something for every kind of driver.
It’s clear that the Forza team have perfected the art of creating solid, world-class racing games. With Microsoft moving the Forza series onto Windows, the future of racing sims is more exciting than ever for both Xbox and PC gamers.