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 Takeaways
  • 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 than Forza Horizon 5. 

Here are all the key differences summarized: 

AspectNFS UnboundForza Horizon 5
RealismCartoonish animations, not realisticEmphasizes realism and simulation
Setting and EnvironmentFictional locationsRealistic settings, locations
Story Length15-18 hours for main story, 25 hours for completion20 hours for main story, 105 hours for 100% completion
ProgressionExtensive car customization, detailed progressionLimited customization options, simpler progression
Starting CarsBegins with slower cars, encourages progressionStarts with high-powered cars, minimal progression
Money SystemBalanced economic systemMoney less significant due to free cars
Car ListCompact, features fan-favorite carsMassive car list with some redundancy
Better CarsIncludes special and fan-favorite carsFeatures many cars with similar stats
CustomizationAbundant customization optionsLimited customization options
StorylineEngaging story with cinematic cut scenesNo prominent storyline, minimal cutscenes
MissionsDiverse and engaging missionsRepetitive and less engaging missions
SpeedOffers a sense of speed with animationsEmphasizes realism, slower pace
MapDense, restricted mapLarge, open map with unused areas
AtmosphereFlashy and immersive environmentBland atmosphere with festival areas
Traffic AIBetter traffic AILess advanced traffic AI

Realism 

When it comes to realism, Forza Horizon 5 outshines NFS Unbound. Forza Horizon 5 boasts nonfiction settings, such as the Rocky Mountains and The Crew locations, providing an immersive experience closer to real-life environments. In contrast, NFS Unbound mostly features fictional locations.

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

For Racing Genre enthusiasts seeking realism, Forza Horizon 5 offers a more authentic experience compared to NFS Unbound. While NFS Unbound leans towards flashy elements, Forza Horizon 5 prioritizes realism in its setting and environment, setting a benchmark for NFS to learn from.

style
Animation Style of NFS Unbound (Image Credits: eXputer)

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

In NFS Unbound, completionists will face the challenge of owning 260 collectibles and completing 160 activities alongside story missions for full achievement. Expect significant time investment for completion due to the sheer volume of tasks.

Forza Horizon 5 offers a lengthier experience, with the main story alone requiring around 20 hours. Achieving 100% completion, including trophies and achievements, demands approximately 105 hours. Even focusing solely on story and side missions amounts to about 39 hours of gameplay.

Comparatively, Forza Horizon 5 offers a longer and more extensive gameplay experience, necessitating substantial in-game hours for full completion.

Progression

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

In NFS Unbound, players start with low-powered cars like the Lamborghini Countach 25, Dodge Charger 69, or Nissan Silvia K’s 98. This sets the stage for enjoyable progression through racing and grinding.

In contrast, Forza Horizon 5 starts players off with very high-powered cars, denying them the experience of progressing from low to high-powered vehicles. This can detract from the sense of achievement and progression in the game.

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)

In contrast, Forza Horizon 5 features an extensive car list, presenting players with numerous options, albeit with some redundancy and inflation issues. While Forza Horizon 5 includes a wide variety of cars, not all may appeal to players or contribute significantly to gameplay.

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

The cars featured in NFS Unbound are predominantly fan favorites, with each car serving a purpose in story progression. Despite the absence of certain brands like Audi, NFS Unbound’s car selection emphasizes quality over quantity, with each car offering exceptional handling and traction.

In comparison, Forza Horizon 5’s car list includes a mix of vehicles, with some additions feeling unnecessary or lacking in relevance to players. For example, cars like the Morris Mini Traveler and Austin Healey Sprite may not resonate with fans, leading to questioning their inclusion in the game.

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.

Despite NFS Unbound falling short of meeting gameplay expectations, its impressive array of cars surpassed many racing titles. Forza fans expressed longing for the diverse and powerful cars featured in NFS Unbound, such as the AR Guilia Quadrifoglio 2016, which was notably absent from Forza Horizon 5.

This sentiment was echoed on platforms like Reddit, where users lamented Forza’s inclusion of “random Chinese knockoffs” and recycled cars from previous titles instead of introducing new and exciting vehicles. The anticipation for upcoming racing titles often centers around the cars they will offer, with players eager to experience new and iconic rides, particularly those featured prominently in the racing world.

Customization 

Forza Horizon 5 offers limited customization options compared to NFS Unbound, where every car boasts extensive customization features. While Forza Horizon 5 provides some cars with wide body kits allowing changes to wheels, bonnets, rear wings, and spoilers, it falls short in variety compared to NFS Unbound.

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

In NFS Unbound, customization options include swapping bumpers, a wide array of wheels with unique designs, various wheel setups, brake rotors, brake calipers, and the ability to change headlight colors. Additionally, players can customize wing mirror colors, exhaust sounds, and apply different window stickers, underglow, tags, and tire smoke.

This comprehensive customization in NFS Unbound outshines Forza Horizon 5, offering players greater creative freedom and personalization for their vehicles. Forza Horizon 5 could improve its customization options by taking cues from NFS Unbound’s extensive features.

Customization
Customization Options in NFS Unbound (Image Credits: eXputer)

Storyline 

Forza Horizon 5 lacks a storyline, unlike some previous titles in the series, while NFS Unbound excels in this aspect. Need For Speed titles are renowned for their engaging storylines, drawing inspiration from Fast And Furious and emphasizing underground and underdog culture.

The storyline in NFS Unbound is compelling, featuring engaging characters and a cinematic atmosphere reminiscent of a movie. Despite occasional forced and unrealistic moments, the storyline remains engaging, with well-executed cinematic cutscenes and camera angles.

In contrast, Forza Horizon 5’s lack of synced audio in cutscenes and minimal close-up shots detract from its storytelling experience. However, player preferences vary regarding the importance of a storyline in a racing game. Nonetheless, a well-crafted storyline enhances engagement beyond racing and police chases.

Missions 

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. 

Speed 

When comparing the sense of speed between NFS Unbound and Forza, Need For Speed surpasses the latter. However, opinions on the speed vary among players. NFS Unbound lacks realism, with its cartoonish animations blending with real-life cars, which may deter some players seeking authenticity.

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

Forza Horizon 5 prioritizes realism, resulting in slower cars and less perceived speed. Despite this, it delivers a high-speed experience through animations, albeit divisive among players. While Forza Horizon 5 lacks some visual cues for speed, such as wind trails, it compensates with other factors.

NFS Unbound incorporates camera-shaking action and motion blur during speed boosts, enhancing the sensation of speed but not without imperfections. Ultimately, both games offer distinct approaches to speed, catering to different player preferences.

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

Map 

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. 

Atmosphere 

The atmosphere comparison between the two titles is crucial. Need For Speed (NFS) is known for its flashy and immersive environments, while Forza Horizon 5 falls short in this aspect, appearing boring and lackluster in comparison.

graphics
Bland atmosphere of NFS Unbound (Image Credits: eXputer)

NFS Unbound offers some festival areas that inject life into the game, but overall, its atmosphere remains bland compared to NFS Unbound. A notable feature in NFS Unbound is the presence of pedestrians walking on pavements. When cars approach them, they react by jumping out of the way, adding a small yet pleasant detail. This feature is missing in Forza Horizon 5, along with the absence of pedestrians in recent titles, including Forza Horizon 5. Additionally, the traffic AI in NFS Unbound surpasses that of Forza Horizon 5.

atmosphere
Vibrant graphics of NFS Unbound (Image Credits: eXputer)

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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Huzaifa is eXputer's Review Editor, who’s all about RPG games. He’s got several years of experience critically judging games and writing his unbiased thoughts on them. You can also find his content published on sites like Twinfinite & GearNuke. Huzaifa has been gaming for 23+ years, during which he managed to amass 400+ hours on Elden Ring! You can follow his gaming activity on his Xbox and Steam Profiles.

Experience: 5+ years || Previously Worked At GearNuke & Twinfinite || Mainly Covers RPG Guides & Latest Games Reviews

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