This game is near perfect racing experience that takes the quality you have come to expect from the Forza series and mixes in some street racing elements. If you loved previous Forza you are sure to like this. What's nice is that it breaks from the confines of the standard racing simulation that it has mastered and gives you a new arena to take off into, while using that fabulous engine.
The sim aspects are refined and simplified for this game which works out well because this game is more of an open world racing game than a simulation. There is constantly something new and interesting to do within the beautiful Colorado landscape. So you'll spend very little time rifling through menus and more time diving into races, challenges, stunts and time based challenges. Just roll with it. The game is deep and fun and a nice change of pace from the standard Forza sim. It also avoids being over the top like many of the Need for Speed games and its brethren. It seems like the game runs at 30fps which some may scoff at but when you see how smooth it runs and how the frame rate never buckles you'll see why.
Also, if you have played previous Forza games and have a save file in your system you get gifted a bunch of cars when you start the game which is always nice. This is also a keeper because of its depth, a rental is not enough.
Being a big Forza fan i was worried that this game wouldn't live up to the name. Although this game is open world it still feels great. Its a little more arcade-ish than i would've liked, but all in all this is still a really fun and really addictive game.
The cars look amazing and the scenery is a nice change of pace from racetracks. the only reason I didn't give it a 10 was because of the loss of realism in the physics.
To answer the question, yeeeeees! This game is way beyond what I expected. This is like TDU2 but on major steroids (Way better than TDU2). The world could be bigger but this is there first open world racer so I'll let it slide. The direction they went with Horizon is perfect, an open world racing game with Forza 4 mechanics. Although Horizon does not have nearly as many cars as Forza this was a big let down, but this would be my only complaint. Anybody who has played Forza 4 knows that Turn 10 knows what they are doing when it comes to a racer. The customization of the driving mechanics are not as robust as Forza either. I will say that cars may handle more easily in Horizon than in Forza 4 but that's ok. Other than those minor defaults, Horizon in my book will be the best racing game for a long time, unless some one makes something similar but it won't come close to Horizon. I hope they keep this in the Forza family. Anybody who is a racer, this game is an absolutely must have with out a doubt.