Five reasons to play Forza Horizon 5 if you haven't already

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Forza Horizon 5 is the latest and greatest edition of the Xbox and PC open-world racing franchise. It's the racing game everybody is talking about right now. We've been exploring Mexico and gathering accolades, but not everybody has given this game a go yet.

The in-game Hall of Fame shows the title is approaching 7.5 million players already. These numbers are no doubt bolstered by Game Pass subscribers who had day-one access. We're sure many new Forza players will become racing game converts after playing Forza Horizon 5!

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But if you haven't yet given this one a go, here are our top five reasons to play.

Mexico is a stunning location

You don't get scenery like this in every game. The Playground Games team have exposed the beauty of Mexico in a way that many haven't really experienced before. It's a rich and varied country, with so much to see. Historic monuments are hidden at the end of jungle tracks, exquisite waterfalls carve into the landscape, and yes, there's many a cactus to smash through.

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Exploring a hidden jungle temple and disturbing the wildlife in a Subaru 22B

While we loved the Great Britain of Forza Horizon 4, Mexico is a very different choice of location and one we've enjoyed exploring already. There are the most roads of any Horizon game, the longest highway, the highest altitude, and the most diversity. It's everything we've enjoyed from previous Horizon festivals, and more.

There's something for everybody

Forza Horizon 5 might feel like the least racing-focused racing game in a while. But maybe that's just because there's so much else to do! You only have to search Instagram for Forza Horizon 5 to see how many people specialise in in-game photography. Other players like to design car liveries, get on to stunt leaderboards, fill out their car collection, or just explore the world!

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You probably can't splash through the surf in a Lamborghini in real life, but you can in Forza Horizon 5

There's always something new to do in the Horizon world, with the seasonal challenges and the Horizon Arcade multiplayer events. Okay, you can't lap the Nürburgring in Forza Horizon, but you can live out your fantasies of owning hundreds of cars and driving and racing them without consequence.

Forza Horizon 5 probably has your favourite road car

Your dream road car is probably already in Forza Horizon 5. The car list is huge and ranges from the 1920s to the as-yet unreleased Mercedes-AMG ONE. Chances are, your ultimate drive is among the 534 cars so far included.

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The Mercedes-AMG ONE. Even billionaires can't get their hands on this machine in real life yet

If 534 doesn't already sound like a whole lot of vehicles, remember that Forza Horizon 4 started with fewer cars at launch and ended up with 752 playable vehicles by the time the Vuhl 05RR was added. If Forza Horizon 5 follows the same trajectory, we're going to have plenty more to collect over the next couple of years.

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It gets the best out of your hardware

Forza Horizon 5 is a stunning game. There's the odd glitch and issue in its current form, but we're expecting fixes over the coming days to resolve these problems. One thing is for certain, even on the last generation of Xbox and on PC hardware that isn't the very latest and greatest, this game looks great.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F9-TnAN7R_w

Xbox Series X players, whether opting for Performance or Quality mode, won't find another game as spectacular to show off the latest console. The audio is a big step up from the previous Horizon game too, with car sounds and ambient noise both upgraded heavily. I've played with headphones and a 5.1 surround system, and the changes are remarkable.

There are new events every week

You'll never be bored in the world of Forza Horizon 5, as every series introduces new championships and challenges. The weather is different each season, so one week to the next the world is never quite the same. This also gives the developers the opportunity to make changes in the world of Mexico to suit the real-world seasons. For example, the next series is the Holiday Special:

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The Forza Horizon 5 Holiday Special in Series 2

Even the seasonal PR stunts have been updated in this new game to make them more varied. Instead of just having to beat a tougher target than usual to earn a wheelspin, now we're also limited to particular cars in each season. It's this sort of thing that keeps players coming back week after week.