XBOX ONE Forza Horizon 2

Last updated date: September 19, 2019

DWYM Score
8.9


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We looked at the top Racing Games and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Racing Game you should buy.

Overall Take

This sprawling open-world racer combines the best of simulation games and arcade games. The online races are easy to access, and there's plenty of off-road activities. You can also earn rewards based on quick finish times and completed tricks. In our analysis of 70 expert reviews, the XBOX ONE XBOX ONE Forza Horizon 2 placed 2nd when we looked at the top 10 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note September 20, 2019:
Checkout The Best Racing Game for a detailed review of all the top racing games.

Expert Summarized Score
8.1
5 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.2
420 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
Online races are easy to access and perhaps the biggest focus of the game. The map is full of free-roam events you can enter whenever you like, and Road Trips are developer-created playlists of events you and participating racers tackle and travel between in succession.
- Game Informer
September 26, 2014 | Full review
By virtue of Drivatar technology, the online integration in Forza Horizon 2 is seamless and deeply embedded.
- Game Revolution
September 25, 2014 | Full review
The Forza series is a tale of two different racing games. On the one hand, you have Forza Motorsport, the serious and sterile racing simulator. On the other, you have its Ecstasy-gobbling, Burning Man-attending hip racing cousin Forza Horizon. Apparently, Motorsport convinced Horizon to share some of its drugs, and the two have joined forces to give us Forza Horizon 2: a sprawling open-world racer that can be as arcadey or as sim-y as you want it to be, and is an excellent addition to the series.
- Games Radar
September 25, 2014 | Full review
There's a basic leveling system, with points awarded after each race and for other small activities around the game world, and each new level rewards you with ... a prize wheel spin, and that's about it. Performing "tricks" also fills a wheel over time which in turn rewards you with perk points once the meter is full. But these perks have little effect on the game. In fact, Forza Horizon 2's various means of "progression" rarely give any actual sense of progress.
- Polygon
September 25, 2014 | Full review
FH2 puts a surprisingly big emphasis on offroad action, which has you laying waste to crops, getting ridiculous amounts of air as you jump a hill at 130mph, and yes, occasionally drifting through a field of lavender in a $300,000 supercar.
- The Verge
September 25, 2014 | Full review
What experts didn't like
The cars feel a little like they're on a pivot
- Game Informer
September 26, 2014 | Full review
Could have some more tailoring for hardcore Forza players. No avatar customization.
- Game Revolution
September 25, 2014 | Full review
Eventually runs out of new stuff
- Games Radar
September 25, 2014 | Full review

From The Manufacturer

Race through a massive wide-open world featuring dramatic weather and day-tonight cycles. Instantly connect with friends in the ultimate celebration of speed, style, and action-packed driving. Explore beautiful and exotic locations in more than 200 of the world's greatest cars, all created with precise detail in stunning 1080p.

Overall Product Rankings

1. XBOX ONE Forza Horizon 4
Overall Score: 9.3
Expert Reviews: 7
2. XBOX ONE Forza Horizon 2
Overall Score: 8.9
Expert Reviews: 5
3. XBOX 360 Need For Speed Rivals
Overall Score: 8.8
Expert Reviews: 9
4. XBOX ONE Project Cars 2
Overall Score: 8.6
Expert Reviews: 5
5. XBOX ONE Forza Motorsport 7
Overall Score: 8.6
Expert Reviews: 7
6. XBOX ONE Forza Motorsport 5
Overall Score: 8.6
Expert Reviews: 7
7. XBOX ONE DiRT 4
Overall Score: 8.6
Expert Reviews: 5
8. XBOX ONE Forza Motorsport 6
Overall Score: 8.3
Expert Reviews: 6
9. XBOX ONE ONRUSH
Overall Score: 8.1
Expert Reviews: 6
10. PS4 DriveClub
Overall Score: 7.8
Expert Reviews: 8

An Overview On Racing Games

There’s no doubt that you’ve seen car commercials where the car moves at top speed through mountain roads or races through the desert. As the commercial ends, tiny print at the bottom of the screen appears: “Do not attempt.” 

Most of us would never try to drift around an airplane runway at night, but why should stunt drivers have all the fun? Racing video games can give you the same thrills and chills without the risk.

Today’s titles have unbelievable graphics that make you feel like you’re right there, speeding through gorgeous settings featuring British castles or rolling Irish hills. Realistic, dynamic weather and thoughtful soundtracks add an extra layer of shine on the latest games. 

There are two major sub-genres of racing games, and most players prefer one or the other. Simulation racers are designed to be as realistic as possible. The cars respond with physics that mimic real-life driving in an open-world setting. (Open world means that you’re not limited by a closed racetrack. You can drive off-road and you’ll never hit a wall where the graphics end.) Some people find these games more difficult to play, but diehard car and racing fans love them. The Forza Horizon series has some of the most popular simulation racing games

Arcade-style racing games put less emphasis on realistic controls and focus on creating the most enjoyable race possible for a general audience. You’re usually confined to a track, but the games are loaded with extras like weapons, boosters and ramps for trick jumps. The controls are usually easier to pick up. The Mario Kart series is one example of arcade-style games. 

Some games straddle the line between simulation and arcades, with ramps, missions and off-road activities hidden throughout an open-world environment. They usually have unlockable levels and fun extras to keep you playing. 

Both simulation games and arcade games have more options for cars, drivers and customization than ever before. You can choose from hundreds of vehicles, like Ferraris, Audis and Beamers. Online playing expands your gaming world, connecting you with friends and challenging players across the globe.

Now that you’ve got a solid grasp of racing games, zip on over to our Tips & Advice section to help you choose the perfect one.

DYWM Fun Fact

Racing games, or “racers,” have come a long way since they were first introduced in the 1970s.  The first car-based racing game was Atari’s “Gran Trak 10,” released in 1974. It was a single-player, black-and-white game where users raced a car around a dotted racetrack. 

The graphics weren’t much to look at, but players were wowed by the game’s included steering wheel, gear shift and pedals. You earned points by passing through certain parts of the course, and you played against a countdown timer. A black box in the center of the course represented an oil slick.

Despite the rudimentary graphics and sound effects, “Gran Trak 10” was tough to master. Spinning out and crashing into the side of the track were almost inevitable. The game was still an arcade favorite, and some lucky players across the globe still have the full arcade boxes as collectibles.

The Racing Game Buying Guide

  • First off, consider what gaming system you use before you buy. Most games are built to run on multiple systems, but there can be subtle differences between the controls and features from console to console. Make sure that you’re okay with any user differences on your console. 
  • Next, you’ll want to think about whether you’re looking for an arcade racer or a simulation racer. If you want to pull off high jumps, drifts and other tricks while you attack your fellow racers, look for an arcade racer. If you’re more concerned with realistic driving in gorgeous outdoor settings, a simulation racer is the right pick. 
  • The controls in some games are easier to pick up than in others. In general, arcade-style games have simpler controls and are friendlier to general interest players or kids. Simulation-style games rely on accurate physics, so their controls will be closer to an actual driving experience. They’re better for older players or serious racing game junkies.
  • Customization options abound in modern racing games. Some games let you modify every detail of a car down to the lug nut, while others just let you switch colors or models. Drivers can also be modified, or you can choose from a roster of professional racers. Pick a game with plenty of modification possibilities if that’s something you really want.
  • Today’s racing games offer far more than laps around a track. Face-off races, where you challenge other players online, can create a new challenge every time. You can also play against your old times in some games, or earn new cars or abilities if you master tricks or beat off-road challenges. Choose a game the type of add-ons that will keep you playing.
  • Racers take place almost entirely online. The type of server that each game has will affect how quickly it loads and how well it performs. For the fastest experience, look for a game that has a dedicated server. That means that the server is only used for gameplay and doesn’t waste bandwidth on other things like connected e-commerce stores. 
  • The speed of your home internet will also factor into how quickly your game loads and how smooth your experience is. Check out how much bandwidth each game requires and make sure your current Internet plan matches.