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Game of the Year 2016 #8 (Tie): Forza Horizon 3

Shacknews has seriously considered awarding a game a score of 10/10 only a handful of times. Forza Horizon 3 was one of those times. 

As penned by Daniel Perez, our Forza Horizon 3 review makes a strong case for this most recent entrant in series. The gorgeous, open-world presentation of Australia with a wide variety of rich environments to explore makes it easy to lose hours roaming the outback. Being the boss of the Horizon festival gives the player unmatched freedom to customize the experience to their liking, setting the race type, determining locations, and more. When it comes time to pick a vehicle, players have a wide array of options, and plenty of fine-tuning of particular attributes to suit their particular style.

In fact, the sheer mass of customization options available could have made the game too daunting for casual, non-gearhead players. Horizon 3 deftly dodges that particular pitfall by keeping the interface light and easy to use. The result is a game that's shockingly accessible while retaining a great degree of depth for players who are more attuned to its intricacies. It's a cliche to say "fans of the genre" will enjoy a particular game, but this is one rare racing title that crosses the boundary. Even if you haven't touched a racer since Burnout Paradise, you'll find something to love in Forza Horizon 3.

Our high praise for the game was echoed by Chatty member, Crabs Jarrard, in our GOTY thread. The game "looks as good or better than anything I've seen this year, including some of the best motion blur I've seen outside of a Crytek game. The detail of the car models is second to none. The first person in-car camera is delightful to use and the interiors are very lifelike."

Crabs went on to say that he loves "the freedom of being able to drive anywhere with anything. It feels like Burnout Paradise with less restrictions and a driving model that's actually fun and rewards skill. This is simply the best driving game to come along in years and deserves to be mentioned along with the all time greats of arcade driving."

For its easy-to-learn, hard-to-master balance, attention to fine details, and beautiful vistas, Forza Horizon 3 ties for our #8 Game of the Year.

2016 Game of the Year Countdown: 

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