When the Forza Horizon games franchise launched in 2012, it was an enjoyable spin-off of the highly successful simulation racer. A decade later, the Horizon series has overtaken Forza Motorsport series as one of, if not the, premiere driving video games of all time.
To honor that heritage, we’re going to go over the Forza Horizon games ranked from worst to best. Combining a mixture of critical responses and the author’s personal opinion, we’ll list the five games in the series. Though, to be honest, there is no “worst” game in the Forza Horizon franchise. They’re all really, really good and you can’t really go wrong with any of them.
As always, feel free to sound off in the comments below. You may agree with this list, you might disagree, just make sure to keep the conversation going. Ranking this list was hard because it’s like trying to rank your own children; you love them all! Just don’t ask me to rank each soundtrack because that’s absolutely impossible.
Despite Being Great, the Original Is the Worst of the Forza Horizon Games
The only entry in the franchise to appear strictly on the Xbox 360, Forza Horizon offered a new way to play Forza. Developer Playground Games crafted the concept of a hybrid music festival that doubles as a street racing extravaganza.
While more arcadey in nature compared to the simulation-based Motorsport franchise, Forza Horizon still delivers the same Forza racing we all know and love. The combination of street racing, scenic Colorado views, excellent music, and hidden cars to discover works wonders. It’s more than just a racing game, it’s an open-world playground.
The one drawback is the limitations of the Xbox 360 hardware. Despite its gorgeous environments, Forza Horizon feels smaller than the other Forza Horizon games. The shorter size and scope are definitely noticeable. It is the only real deterrent to an otherwise fantastic Forza Horizon game.
Forza Horizon 3
The third entry in the franchise took players to the land down under. The result is a beautiful drive through the wild and varied locales of Australia. This was the first time in the Forza Horizon games where it felt anything could become a race circuit.
It’s only fitting that the game which takes us to Australia features an expansion of off-road racing. Playground Games and Turn 10 truly give us the driving playground of our dreams. Nothing is off-limits and the game’s style shines through. Horizon 3 sets the foundation for the franchise’s best and most recent releases.
So why is it so far down on our list of every Forza Horizon game in the series? The top-tier games do what Horizon 3 set out to do, only better. Forza Horizon 3 walked so the giants could run. Also, the more structured approach to off-road racing took away some of the magic from the creative mayhem of its predecessor.
Forza Horizon 2
Releasing Forza Horizon 2 on both Xbox One and Xbox 360 leads to an admittedly mixed experience. 360 owners got the lesser version of the game, while those on Xbox One were shown a whole new world of racing possibilities. Out of all the Forza Horizon games, this is one where you’re experience will be 100% system-dependent.
Moving the Horizon festival from Colorado to the European countryside was a perfect choice. Its successor may have formally introduced the structure and foundation of off-road racing we all know and love today, Horizon 2 was the first to feature it. The result is the beautiful and chaotic joy of traversing through the European countryside.
Despite the lack of foundation with off-road racing, driving through farms, over grassy hills, and through shrubbery is an absolute blast. It feels like the holding thing that held Horizon 2 back was the hardware, something that’s evident the next time the series returned to Europe.
Plus, let’s be real; this is the one with “The Mother We Share.” It’s going to take genre-defining releases to top it.
Forza Horizon 5
The newest of the Forza Horizon games is an all-timer. In our Forza Horizon 5 review, we said the following:
“Forizon Horizon 5 is the near-perfection of the franchise. Everything from past titles has been built up to this moment. A memorable location, unforgettable set pieces, solid and addictive gameplay, a killer soundtrack, and gorgeous visuals. One of the best games of 2021.”
Horizon 5 may not always innovate, which prevents it from topping the list of Forza Horizon games we’ve ranked, but it absolutely perfects the franchise’s formula. Exploring Mexico is a dream come true; who needs to go on vacation when you have this?
Playground Games has crafted the perfect environment for open-world racing. Courses offer a wide variety of locales and the story missions love to one-up each other.
If there is one game I can recommend to anybody from 2021, it’s Forza Horizon 5.
Forza Horizon 4 barely edges out the other Forza Horizon games to be the best in the franchise
After a wonderful trip in the land down under, trading in the beautiful world of Australia for dreary ol’ Britain was a gamble. Sometimes, fortune favors the bold.
Exploring the four seasons of Britain offers an incredible gameplay experience. Replaying through old courses has never been so fun as the summer heat offers a greatly different experience compared to the freezing cold of a snowy winter.
In many ways, Forza Horizon 4 feels like the game that Forza Horizon 2 was supposed to be: a wide-open playground where the only thing holding you back is your own imagination. No longer hampered by the Xbox 360 hardware, the British countryside offers plenty of scenic locales and amazing race experiences.
If Forza Horizon 4 isn’t perfect, it’s pretty darn close to a perfect entry for the Forza franchise. It’s a no-brainer for being the best of all the Forza Horizon games.
14 CommentsLeave a Reply
I think the real winner is whichever entry has the LEGO DLC expansion! 😛
Bruh, thats fh4
Forza 4 is in Britain, not England. A key feature of the game is the city of Edinburgh, famously not part of England, and there’s definite chunks of Wales as well as the Scottish capital.
Woops, updated! My bad on that =)
Yeah this was the best forza horizon game ever, i still keep deleting it and starting again. U can’t beat it.
Le fait que vous avez mis le 4 en premier alors que tout le monde sait que c’est le 2 ou le 3 prouve bien que vous aviez a peine jouer
Vous me faite marrer la Map de FH4 est ennuyante a mort et FH5 devrait 3eme voire 4eme et FH4 5eme
Nathan I have played in 2, 3,4 and 5. If you thought 4 was boring then you didn’t play with the right people.
Forza horizon 1was best in my opinion. That let me go,spirit of the night,AMD iron deer chad valley remix made that game freaking awesome.
Forza Horizon 1 is such a nostalgic experience. Amazing game
Fh4 isn’t just england u know
Forza Horizon 4 had the best Playground games. So much more challenging. Also had ranked play which did well until people started cheating and the developers didn’t fix the problems.
Now we get to Forza Horizon 5. Nice map of Mexico, Seasonals ok, Open racing is good if that’s your thing. Playground games, no challenge in their locations. No ranked. Now the players are concentrating on make maps for King. We’re bored! Did you leaving ranked out was going help the game? Hardly anyone plays. Even though FH4 freezes I go back for matches. If you play private matches it don’t freeze. I’m an honest player. I’ve never cheated. But 5 is a real letdown. You should have had that Expansion out in February. Hot Wheels will not save 5. You developers need to get Playground Games back to the level of challenge that it was at in 4.
Come on guys. Get with it!!!!!!!
4 is the best? The 426 Hemi sounds like a V6. Tell me this is a joke list please…
this doesn’t make sense. the playground games in fh5 doesn’t work without playing with a convoy, and there’s never anyone playing in convoys! In fh3 you were automatically set with a convoy and it was always fun playing infected. Almost half the cars that were in fh4 are only being used for seasonal playlist, so you can’t even buy them! In my opinion, fh3 was the best game in the forts franchise.
Ok the fact that theu put FH2 before the original blows my mind. The first while yes was limited by the hardware, made me fall in love with the while series. I couldn’t stand FH2. I played the hell out of FH3 even FH4. Now that I downloaded the hot wheels dlc on FH5 I’m having a while new blast with the game.