I'll always have a massive soft spot for the down under delights of Forza Horizon 3, but open-world racing has never looked as good as it does in Forza Horizon 4. It combines a beautiful world that's really four hugely distinct maps in one with a constantly rewarding and self-renewing racing experience and I really can't tear myself away from it. Playground Games hasn't just upped the ante once again; it's blown the bloody doors off.
Forza Horizon 3 is a masterclass in open-world racing and bigger and better than its excellent predecessor across the board. It looks fantastic, the car selection and customisation is second to none, and the size and variety of the sprawling Australian outback is magnificent. Above all, Horizon 3 never loses sight of the fact that tearing through postcard-perfect locations should be fun, and it puts the tools in our hands to keep it that way, always. This is the racing game I’ve been waiting for, and it's officially my favourite thing on four wheels. A fair dinkum triumph, mates.
Microsoft pitched Forza Motorsport 7 as the ultimate automotive playset, and it's hard to argue otherwise. With enough cars to fill a dozen museums and the most generous selection of tracks to date in the series, the amount of driving, experimenting, and racing here is absolutely mammoth. Accessible as always for beginners but crammed with content targeted at lifelong car junkies, Forza Motorsport 7 is Turn 10's finest love letter to speed and style this generation, no matter what language you speak.
Project CARS 2 plays like a pumped-up version of the classic TOCA Race Driver 3 from 2006, redressing many of the complaints levelled at the original. The handling has been tuned to a T, the content is excellently curated, and the amount of variety and racing available in it is delightfully daunting.
Back in 2011, pro racer, stunt driver, and X-Games gold medallist Travis Pastrana successfully launched his Team Hot Wheels trophy truck further than any other four-wheeled vehicle in history. He did it from a giant jump assembled at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, built to appear like a life-sized length of bright orange Hot Wheels track. Forza Horizon 3: Hot Wheels is Pastrana's enormous toy ramp surrounded by a city-sized network of equally insane stunt tracks: a bedroom floor on an unlimited budget. What's not to love? A delightful, daring, and different expansion that reinforces Forza Horizon 3's reputation as one of the best racing games ever made.