I’ve played an awful lot of games this year. Mostly checking out loads of amazing and unique indie titles on Switch, Xbox One and PC, I’ve also checked out a lot more big budget, triple-A titles than I usually would, thanks to the Xbox’s Game Pass subscription service.

It’s one of these Game Pass titles that’s the best game I’ve played this year. It’s a bit of a cheat, because it came out last year – but it’s most definitely the best game I’ve played in 2019.

And that game is… Forza Horizon 4.

It’s a real novelty for me to find a racing game that interests me; even more so if it’s actually one that isn’t Mario Kart. The last non-Mario Kart racing game to truly capture my attention was Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, way back in 2012 – so it really is a rarity. Though I played the main story of The Crew to completion in 2014, I can’t say I was tempted to stick around in the game’s open world once the main quest line was done.

There’s a real feel of freedom to Forza Horizon 4 that’s completely intoxicating, however. Even aside from the large variety of in game tasks, the frankly overwhelming selection of cars (even before DLC cars are taken into consideration) and avatar customisation (which is admittedly very lacking when it comes to the physical look of your character, but positively overflowing with clothing and emotes to unlock), simply driving around at your leisure is a wonderfully open and chilled out experience.

The British setting is a refreshing one too, giving you a big slice of an idealised UK to mess about in.

I haven’t even mentioned the Lego Speed Champions DLC, which initially seems pretty overpriced – but in fact houses an astonishing volume of extra missions and some brilliantly implemented Lego content.

The fact that the base game is currently available via Game Pass is the icing on the cake (personally I’d recommend paying for the Lego DLC without hesitation too – I’ve absolutely loved it and, despite how long I’ve spent in Lego Valley, still have loads to do in it).

So there we are: Forza Horizon 4 takes the crown as the best game I’ve played this year. What’s yours? Is it old? New? Popular? Underrated? Feel free to let me know in the comments below!

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