Forza Motorsport 3 (Xbox 360)
Whereas the "Gran Turismo" series was always considered the greatest racing game on the Sony Playstation, following two excellent releases on Microsoft's Xbox (including 360), "Forza Motorsport" has garnered itself an equaly glowingl reputation.
The third game in the series promised more better graphics, more tracks, more cars, and more customisation, and indeed it delivers in buckets. At least until Gran Turismo 5 is released next year on PS3, this is THE racing game of this console generation.
The graphics, for one, are stunning. Forza 2 provided a nice graphical layout, but in this game, the detail of the cars, the courses, and even the scenery are phenomenal. On one track, it was hard to concentrate on the road given the beautiful views, including large waterfalls and other foliage. With over 100 of these tracks and 400 cars to work your way through, there's a lot of play in this edition of the game.
Though the speeds of the virtual cars haven't changed much, the speed of the gameplay certainly has. Controlling the most powerful R1 car at top speed is certainly no easy feat, with the lightest push of the controller having a considerable effect on your direction. Driving one of those cars feels like operating a roller coaster, tremendous fun all the same.
As with Forza 2, the most fun you can have with the game is online. There, you can join a public lobby of like-minded players, racing any class of cars, on any track, with almost any stipulation. There are also private lobbies just for you and your friends, adding to the fun of the competition.
That said, there have been drastic improvements to the single-player mode of the game, which now doesn't do so much to alienate the non-car enthusiast. Instead, competing in races gives the player points that can be used to buy cars or custom paint jobs from the auction house or other players' store-fronts. There are also varying driver levels which are fairly easy to pass, and with each one, you are sent a new car. Upgrading those cars is just one click away if you aren't interested in getting into the nuts and bolts under the hood.
Overall, Forza Motorsport 3 is a game that both the non-enthusiast and the automobile-o-phile can pick up and enjoying on varying levels. With its fantastic levels of customisation, it's a game you'll be playing until we see Forza 4.