Unlike most other sports games, there is no feeling that if you don't like racing in real life, then you probably won't enjoy this simulated version. We've had fun and twisted versions of the racing games over the years – remember Micro Machines? Or WipEout? – but Forza is here to bring the realism. Opening with a love letter monologue from Jeremy Clarkson, with input from the rest of the Top Gear lads throughout, this is an immaculately presented racer, if a little lacking in choice.
While 200 plus cars might seem initially overwhelming, it's actually less than half than Forza 4's car roster line-up, and then there's the circuits. Gone are some of the fan favorites from previous instalments – say goodbye to Suzuka and The Nordschleife Nurburgring, among others – and in their place we're left with not much choice, and out of those choices, not many quality choices.
Playing the game is, as always, a lot of fun, with the high level of realism in both the handling and the visuals. Taking impossible corners on impossibly beautiful roads in impossibly beautiful cars is always a joy, and whether you're playing a quick online lap or settling in for a long round in the Career Mode, the racing part of Forza was never the problem.
However, what is a problem is the amount of time you've got to put in in order to actually get anywhere. To purchase some of the more advanced machines, you're going to need a lot of money. Like, A LOT a lot. Ten hours of playtime might get you virtual wide packed just enough to upgrade to the next vehicle, but having to do that over and over again in the same tracks can get a little tedious.
With the marketplace already bloating with a number of other new racing games (Gran Turismo 5, Need For Speed Rivals), Forza 5 really need to have something to make it stand out from the crowd. And while it does have that from a technical standpoint, the amount of fun you can have does feel relatively limited.
Developer: Turn 10 Studios
Platforms: X-Box One
Presentation: 5 out of 5
Gameplay: 4 out of 5
Replay: 2 out of 5
Overall: 3.5 out of 5