Forza Horizon

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
Forza Horizon Game Poster Image
Deep, compelling car game glamorizes illicit street racing.
Popular with kids

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 17 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Educational value

Forza Horizon wasn't created with educational intent, and we don't recommend it for learning.

Positive messages

This game glamorizes illicit street racing while depicting minimal consequences. No one gets arrested, and no one gets hurt, even after head-on collisions at 200 miles-per-hour. Combined with other aspects of the experience, which deliver extraordinary driving realism, this game could give younger players the impression that reckless driving isn't as dangerous as it really is. 

Positive role models & representations

The game's drivers are all illicit street racers prone to taunting each other, showing off, and driving with abandon. They have few traits young drivers should aspire to emulate.

Ease of play

Standard controller-based driving controls apply. Optional driving assists, such as automated braking, mean players can make the game as easy or as hard as they like.

Violence

Cars crash frequently and spectacularly (fins and fenders fly through the air), but the drivers are never hurt.

Sex

Many women can be seen in heels, short shorts, and tight, low-cut tank tops. Dialogue makes reference to "half-naked" women, and the female race organizer flirts lightly with the player's avatar.

Language

Infrequent cuss words, including "ass" and "s--t."

Consumerism

The cars featured in the game are all real-world vehicles from recognizable brands. In-game billboards advertise actual products, like Rockstar energy drink. Plus, players are occasionally prompted to buy tokens that will make certain parts of the game easier.

Drinking, drugs & smoking

Dialogue makes vague and infrequent reference to narcotics, as when one character says "drug-fuelled jerks."

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Forza Horizon is a game about illicit street racing. It places players in the shoes of a driver who regularly get into races with rivals on the open road, resulting in high-speed chases and a lot of civilian car wrecks. Police never show up, drivers are never injured, and cars usually keep on going. This might have an impact on younger players who are still learning about the sort of consequences that result from mishandling vehicles. Parents should also note that this game facilitates open voice communication with strangers.

User Reviews

Parent of a 5 year old Written byDyas January 5, 2013

Isn't as innocent as you might think.

I rate this at a later age for these reasons: Speed traps: You are encouraged to drive as fast as you can past a speed camera. Until a child understands this i... Continue reading
Parent of a 13 year old Written bystaradar5. July 24, 2015

Great game lots of fun

This game is great fun and only swears twice if you really listen and don't skip the dialogue. If your kid knows not to swear and wont repeat it this game... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byBigSilverN February 5, 2013

Forza Horizon

If you pay attention to the dialouge at the begging of the game, it clearly advises ALL drivers (non-racers who are just innocently driving on the road), that t... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byTurf October 28, 2012

Forza Horizon is the best Forza to date.

If you think this game is a 13+ game there is something wrong with you, This game does not "glorify" illicit street racing, you race on closed courses... Continue reading

What's it about?

The fifth game in Turn 10's acclaimed racing series, FORZA HORIZON steers the series in a new direction by marrying the franchise's authentic driving physics and realistic vehicles based on actual cars with the action-packed design of an open-world arcade racer. Players are part of a street racing festival set in the backcountry roads of Colorado, and spend much of their time freely roaming hundreds of miles of open road, challenging other racers on their way to official festival events. Players earn scores of cars as the game progresses, as well as credits used to upgrade vehicles and skill points for completing a wide array of challenges ranging from driving on two tires to narrowly avoiding head-on collisions. An online mode filled with standard races (circuit, point-to-point) and novel objectives (cat and mouse, king of the road) gives players plenty of ways to race against friends and other people from around the world.

Is it any good?

Forza Horizon is among the very best racing games of this generation. Equally appealing to players who crave a realistic driving simulation and those who enjoy the more game-like qualities of an arcade experience, it keeps players glued to the screen by offering up cars that feel great to drive and creating a terrific sense of progression. Its open roads offer unparalleled freedom to play and experiment with satisfyingly authentic cars -- something sim fans aren't used to. And arcade-racing fans can enjoy a sense of precision and realism to which they're unaccustomed without giving up the spectacle and thrill of action-packed street racing. It tries to be the best of both worlds and succeeds admirably. This is a great racing game to add to a library of the best video games.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about online safety. What precautions do you take when playing games with strangers over the Internet? How can you tell if they mean you harm? Have you considered playing online with voice communication disabled?

  • Families can also discuss responsible driving. Parents who have teens learning to drive may want to consider studies that suggest playing some racing games can lead to taking more driving risks in real life and share it with their children.

Game details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love racing and fast action

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