As far as realistic racing games goes, the PS2 has Gran Turismo and the Xbox has ' . Up until now there really hasn't been anything on the Xbox the caliber of the Gran Turismo series but now that's all changed. Forza Motorsport finally breaks into the racing simulation game in a big way. Everything you would expect and more is available and although I admit it's not as polished as Gran Turismo 4, it's without a doubt the best game in its genre to appear on the Xbox.
So what makes Forza Motorsport a must have instead of a weekend rental? Well to start, it comes off with plenty of options that keep it interesting. There are five different modes including career, the Live on-line feature is strongly represented, heck you can even train an AI to run races for you. What really stands out however is the career mode which is loaded with possibilities. In addition to RPG elements like leveling up, there are plenty of cars and tracks to conquer and an inordinate amount of upgrading to be done both cosmetic and functional.
Without a solid control system however even the best looking racing game would get old quickly and Forza Motorsport steers well clear of this problem. The physics engine gives a realistic feel of the road and does a fantastic job of capturing a sense of speed. Actually driving is smooth as well with no problems related to oversteering or loose controls.
Without picking at small details, the graphics give a strong performance as well, again Gran Turismo 4 probably would win head-to-head, but Forza Motorsport without a doubt will meet most expectations easily. All the cars look impressive and the tracks are detailed and impressive.
Forza Motorsport definitely makes its mark on the Xbox and finally gives a strong challenge to the Gran Turismo series. Where it goes from here isn't known, but I'll bet we'll see Forza Motorsport 2 next year.