NFS Unbound Vs Forza Horizon 5: Which Is Better?

Take a look at the detailed comparison of NFS Unbound vs Forza Horizon 5, including a detailed comparison of the story, progression, atmosphere, car list, and customization of both games.

The comparison or debate between NFS Unbound vs Forza Horizon 5 can never be settled without setting side-by-side parallels of cars, modifications, sound, graphics, story, realism, and much more. These elements, even though they are common in both games, are still different because of different teams of developers.  

Key Highlights

  • NFS unbound, and Forza Horizon 5 are popular titles in the racing genre. 
  • While Forza Horizon 5 is much more realistic than NFS unbound, there are certain things that NFS Unbound does better. 
  • The story, progression, speed, atmosphere, and customization are way better in NFS unbound as compared to Forza Horizon 5. 


When talking about realism in and comparing NFS Unbound Vs Forza Horizon 5, Forza Horizon 5 does it best. Talking about Need For Speed, there are a lot of locations inspired by real life. But most of the locations you will see in NFS Unbound are fictional.

Realism comparison NFS Unbound Vs Forza Horizon 5 
The realism of Forza Horizon 5 (Image Credits: eXputer)

Nonfiction settings are best suited to RPG, and most Racing Genre fans want an immersive and as close to the real-life environment as possible for the best experience.

This is where Forza Horizon 5 takes the crown from NFS Unbound. The Rocky Mountains and The Crew locations are some of the best ones in Forza Horizon that are far more realistic than the grounds NFS Unbound has to offer.

Animation Style of NFS Unbound (Image Credits: eXputer)

So if there is something that NFS needs to learn from Forza Horizon, it is definitely the setting and environment. Furthermore, Forza Horizon 5 follows a specific style of setting their characters and cars according to the environment. So what you need for speed is all about flashy elements; Forza Horizon 5 sticks to realism the best. 

Story Length 

The first comparison we will be made between both of these games is the Main Story length and how long it takes to beat both of these games. Regarding NFS Unbound, it will take roughly 15 to 18 hours to complete the main story.

However, it might take a lot of time to complete the game if you are looking to complete the story missions and side activities. If you’re one of the players who like to collect all the achievements and trophies, then you should expect around 25 hours of gameplay.

Your main goal in NFS Unbound is to win as many races as you can over the span of four weeks. These races will help you gather the money you need in order to compete in the qualifier races. 

Side Missions

You will be looking at 260 collectibles to own in NFS Unbound and 160 activities to complete. Most of these side activities will help you gather the collectibles available in the game. If you want to get the completionist title, you need to finish all the story missions in NFS Unbound.

Furthermore, you will also need to complete all the side activities until you get all the achievements and trophies in the game. Being a completionist in a game is not easy. Therefore, keep in mind the hours you will spend in NFS Unbound.

On the other hand, we have Forza Horizon 5. It will take at least 20 hours to complete just the main story and objectives in Forza Horizon 5. And if you are one of the gamers looking to complete the game and earn all trophies and achievements, then you should expect at least 105 hours for 100% completion.

If you just focus on the main story and sides, then you will we’re looking at a gameplay of around 39 hours. Even rushed gameplay of Forza Horizon 5 will require at least 14 hours. And that is only when you’re looking to complete the main objectives.

Therefore, when comparing the game length of NFS Unbound and Forza Horizon 5, the latter is much longer and requires a lot of in-game hours to be spent to get 100% completion. 


When it comes to customization and progression when comparing NFS Unbound Vs Forza Horizon 5, NFS Unbound understood the assignment. The customization that NFS Unbound offers is beyond perfect, which is something that Forza Horizon 5 needs to learn.

Even if the neon-infused streets don’t give that realistic experience that many fans need, customization options that come with the need for speed cars mix games worth having. NFS Unbound has executed the customization way better than Forza Horizon 5 ever could.

With so many options to choose from and having to tweak most parts of your car, it couldn’t get any better. Furthermore, you will also get an option to change the paint, choose from different body wraps, and give your guard up to give your car a personality. 

Starting Cars

Coming to progression, NFS Unbound executed it perfectly as you start off with a low-powered car in NFS Unbound. When starting off, you will get to choose between the Lamborghini Countach 25, Dodge Charger 69, and Nissan Silvia K’s 98.

Therefore, by starting off with a slow car, the players will have to grind their way through, making the progression essentially enjoyable. With racing, hustle and grind are the factors that should not be ignored. 

However, when it comes to Forza Horizon 5, it will start the game initially with a very high-powered car. Just like NFS bound, you will get to choose between 3 high-powered cars.

And for many fans, this is a huge problem as they don’t get to experience what moving on from low-powered cars to high-powered cars feels like. If players are already given the option to use high-powered cars from the get-go, they will essentially lose the fun of progression and grind. 

Money System

Also, another factor to think about NFS Unbound is that the economic system is quite balanced and optimal. In Forza Horizon 5, you will get to earn money pretty easily. Comparing it to another title like Gran Turismo, where you have to great a lot in order to get some bucks, NFS Unbound offers sort of a middle ground where it is neither hard nor easy to earn money.

In Forza Horizon 5, money is pretty pointless as you will get free cars from the start, thanks to the Super Wheelspin it offers. In NFS Unbound, however, money matters a lot, as you will need it to unlock new cars. 

Car List 

Our comparison of NFS Unbound vs Forza Horizon 5 will not be complete without mentioning the cars that both titles have to offer. The car list of NFS unbound is pretty compact, and as you are progressing through the story and earning bucks, there are always some cars in the back of your mind that you want to unlock.

Car comparison NFS Unbound Vs Forza Horizon 5 
Cars in Forza Horizon 5 (Image Credits: eXputer)

So you will know what cars you need to spend your money on. On the other hand, we have Forza Horizon 5 with its massive car list where there are so many cars with similar stats that just seem a lot to process for any player. Undoubtedly, everyone is aware of the massive car inflation problem in Forza. That is why NFS Unbound does justice to its car list. 

The best part about the cars featured in NFS Unbound is that they’re not they’re just for the purpose of some filler cars. Most of the cars in NFS Unbound are fan favorites and what they actually wanted to see in the series. Even though we don’t get to see cars like Audi, and there are a lot of supercars, and NFS inbound, each of the cars is special and can actually help you in story progression.

Car list NFS Unbound Vs Forza Horizon 5 
Cars in NFS Unbound (Image Credits: eXputer)

As compared to the several cars you see in Forza Horizon 5, more than half of these you won’t even be using; the cars in NFS Unbound just make sense. All of these cars have amazing statistics like handling and traction that you will want to buy them all. In Forza Horizon 5, it seems like some of the cars were added just to add them. 

For instance, we have cars like Morris Mini Traveler and Austin Healey Sprite that fans genuinely don’t see a point in.

Better Cars

Forza Horizon might be one of the most popular games in the racing genre right now, but NFS Unbound is the winner when it comes to cars. When the car list for NFS Unbound was first unveiled, Forza Horizon fans turned green with envy.

While the performance and gameplay experience that NFS Unbound promised was not up to par with the expectations of fans, it certainly left behind many racing titles when it released its impressive car list. Forza fans could not help but wish they could experience these cars that also packed a lot of firepower in their garage.

For instance, one user took to Reddit and pointed out how AR Guilia Quadrifoglio 2016 was a part of NFS Unbound and not Forza Horizon 5. In reply to that, a user pointed out how Microsoft could afford these if it wanted to.

Instead, they had to use some random Chinese knockoffs and cars featured in the previous Forza titles as well. It is no doubt that what players anticipate the most for an upcoming racing title is definitely the Cars it is going to have. Players want to experience new and powerful rides, especially some popular racing cars in the game. 


In Forza Horizon 5, you won’t get many customization options. Only some of the cars you see in Forza Horizon 5 have better customization options. Comparing it to the cars in NFS Unbound, every single car you will get to play in the game will have many customization options attached to them.

customization comparison NFS Unbound Vs Forza Horizon 5 
Customization Options in NFS Unbound (Image Credits: eXputer)

The cars in Forza Horizon 5, which have customization options, come with a wide body kit where you can change the wheels, the bonnet, the rear wings, and even the spoiler. So the customization options are not that poor but comparing it with NFS Unbound, you won’t get as many options to tweak your car. 

The front fenders come In one brand only, but the back fenders have a variety of brands for you to choose from. With the wide body kit, you have in NFS unbound, you will also be able to swap the bumpers. There is a large selection of different wheels with unique designs.

Furthermore, you will also get to choose between different wheel setups, brake rotors, and brake calipers. The best part about the customization in NFS Unbound is that you will also get to change the color of your headlights. You can tint the headlights to whatever color you want in the game, which is definitely a cool option.

Customization Options in NFS Unbound (Image Credits: eXputer)

But that is not all, and you will also get to choose the color of your wing mirrors as well. Furthermore, you will get to customize the exhaust sound of your car as well. There are different colors for you to choose from as well as different window stickers.

You will also get the option to customize your Under Glow. The Tags and Tire Smoke brings the cars to life, which is something you cannot do in Forza Horizon 5. So when it comes to customization, Forza Horizon 5 can actually learn a thing or two from NFS Unbound. 


While some of the previous Forza titles had a storyline, we don’t see a storyline in Forza Horizon 5. Even when comparing the storylines of both these titles, NFS Unbound executes the task fairly better than Forza. All Need For Speed titles is famous for their storylines.

Also, the storyline in Need For Speed Unbound is quite interesting. NFS takes most of its inspiration from Fast And Furious. The underground and underdog culture is what makes the storyline of NFS feel like home. The characters that you will get to meet in NFS Unbound are pretty engaging, and the whole atmosphere and character setting feel basically like a movie.

The art style is great but can be off-putting for some. At some points, the storyline might seem a bit forced and a bit unrealistic, but it is still pretty engaging. There are cinematic cut scenes, and the camera angles are very well executed. In Forza Horizon 5, the cutscenes or sometimes not even synced to the audio, which can be very off-putting.

There are little to no close-up shots, and they are not engaging at all. Then again, it all comes down to the preference of the players. Some players might not prefer a storyline in a racing game. However, it is no doubt that a storyline makes the game more engaging. After all, racing other players and police chases should not be all to look for in a racing game. 


Even when it comes to the missions, NFS Unbound has a lot of great missions to keep you engaged. Every single mission in an NFS Unbound is curated perfectly and is unique. The missions are action-packed, and racing against other players feels amazing.

Furthermore, in some other missions, you will also have to escape from police who will be chasing you throughout. But that is not all, and there are certain takeover missions as well where you will get to destroy and smash things in order to increase your multiplier count.

All of the game modes are fairly interesting, and the missions will keep you engaged throughout. You can also roam freely and mess with the cops to start police chases. On the other hand, we have Forza Horizon 5, which does not have much going on regarding missions. They are just races repeatedly, and most of the missions feel the same. 


Comparing the sense of speed of both NFS Unbound and Forza, Need For Speed definitely beats the latter. However, everyone has mixed reviews about the speed offered. When it comes to the sense of realism, NFS Unbound does not feel realistic at all.

Speed test NFS Unbound Vs Forza Horizon 5 
Speed Of NFS Unbound (Image Credits: eXputer)

The cartoonish animations blended with real-life cars can be off-putting for many. If you are one of the players that enjoy realism, then Forza Horizon 5 is the one to go for. However, keep in mind that in racing games, many players look for speed.

Since Forza Horizon 5 tries to stick to realism as much as possible, you won’t see much speed at all in the game. The cars are pretty slow in comparison to the cars we see in NFS Unbound. So when it comes to speed, the game does a great job.

The animations are an odd addition, so you will either hate it or love it. But they sure help in giving you a high-speed experience. Even if the cartoon animations look out of Place, they give the illusion of you moving fast.

Comparison of NFS Unbound Vs Forza Horizon 5 
Speed of Forza Horizon 5 (Image Credits: eXputer)

Forza Horizon 5 could at least use wind trails for the car. It has to give a similar boost of speed to the cars. However, there are some other factors that the players should consider as well. In NFS Unbound, you can expect some camera-shaking action and motion blur to happen especially when using a speed boost. So the speed that NFS bound has to offer is not exactly perfect. 


NFS Unbound it’s set in Lakeshore City. The map is quite dense and somewhat restricted as compared to Forza Horizon 5. If you are an enjoyer of bigger maps, then Forza Horizon 5 is the way to go. There are a lot of open roads to explore in Horizon 5.

Also, the roads are very spread out and sparse, so you will be able to master your drifting quite easily. However, when it comes to NFS Unbound, the map is equally beautiful. The city views and the nighttime are stunning, and there is a massive highway that you can utilize.

Forza Horizon 5 offers a huge map, but the con is that most of the area and the mob go unutilized. NFS Unbound opted for a restricted map, but its road network is optimal. Furthermore, you will also get to experience many off-road tracks if you are a fan of that. 


Last but not least, we have a comparison of the atmosphere both of the titles offer. Racing genre fans know that Need For Speed is popular for the flashy and immersive environment it offers. Comparing that to Forza Horizon 5, most there are just boring and lackluster.

Bland atmosphere of NFS Unbound (Image Credits: eXputer)

However, there are festival areas that kind of bring the game to life. Other than that, the atmosphere is pretty bland as compared to NFS Unbound. Also, a great addition to the game is the pedestrians walking on the pavement.

Vibrant graphics of NFS Unbound (Image Credits: eXputer)

When you bring your car close to them, they will jump out of the way, which is a pretty small but nice detail. While Forza Horizon 3 did have pedestrians, the latter titles, including Forza Horizon 5, did not. Moreover, the traffic AI NFS Unbound is much better than Forza Horizon 5. 

Summing It Up 

With this, we conclude or guide on NFS Unbound Vs Forza Horizon 5. Since the former has just been released, it will be too soon to say if it lacks or is better than Forza Horizon 5, given that there are still many elements in the game that are yet to be explored. Forza Horizon 3 can beat many NFS titles; the same could not be said about Horizon 5.

You won’t get the police chases that NFS Unbound offers in further reason five, along with crazy animations. However, it completely depends upon personal preference and your play style. If you are not a fan of flashy elements and enjoy something realistic, then FH5 is great. 

While you are at it don’t forget to check out our detailed guide on steering wheel support. We have also formulated a definitive guide on how to unlock Palace Edition cars. Also, take a look at all Licensed Clothing brands in NFS Unbound.

If you are looking for the Best Settings, check out our guide on it in order to improve the Performance and quality of the game. We have also answered how long to beat NFS Unbound in our guide, which you should definitely check out. 

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Huzaifah Durrani

As an RPG fanatic, Huzaifah is probably Immersed in yet another playthrough of Fallout: New Vegas or Elden Ring. He will also help you complete game quests, and stay familiar with the latest game releases. You can also find his articles on Gearnuke & Twinfinite.

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