Forza Motorsport is Xbox's answer to PlayStation's celebrated Gran Turismo racing simulator series.
Into its 10th year and sixth edition, the Xbox One exclusive Forza Motorsport 6 (FM6) retains much of the depth, breadth and accessibility that the franchise is famed for.
Not everyone is able to play a driving simulator without some cursing, nor is every man on the street able to understand gear differentials or camber alignment.
Some just want to drive, and FM6 is able to cater to the needs of beginners as well as racing veterans.
It has over 450 cars and 26 tracks to choose from. There are also many game modes, including test drive, free play, leagues, rivals and career.
Test drive lets you drive in any track and free play lets you choose the rules and car for a race.
Career mode comprises Stories of Motorsport and Showcases.
In Stories of Motorsport, you create a driving avatar - a Drivatar - and start from racing in the streets before progressing to the pinnacle of motorsport.
Each time you race, your Drivatar will gain driver experience, affinity points (by being loyal to a car brand) and credits.
You can use these credits to purchase cars, mods and tune-ups.
Mods can give drivers an advantage. Your gear shift timing might be reduced, for instance.
Upon levelling up, you get a prize spin where you get the chance to win extra credits, new cars or new mods. It is a great way for gamers to keep on racing.
Showcases are special races that are triggered upon reaching certain career milestones. For instance, you get to race against The Stig of the BBC series Top Gear, or take part in endurance races.
The game stores and constantly updates details of the players' Drivatars. And every time you race, you are up against other gamers' Drivatars. This also means your Drivatar competes and earns credits even when you are not playing.
The good thing about this is every time you log in to the game, you are likely to find your credits have grown.
Multiplayer mode lets you participate in full 24-car races online.
Leagues mode lets you race against other Drivatars for points to be promoted to the next league.
Rivals mode pits you against gamers of similar skill levels.
The driving itself remains superb.
Different cars corner and sound differently. You will feel the drifting nature of the Toyota GT86, the rallying instinct of the Subaru Impreza WRX STI or the electrifying pace of a Lotus F1 car.
The game allows you to turn on driving assists or rewind feature to your liking. Disabling these assists will earn you extra credits.
You can also cut your opponents' aggression levels, though this makes the race a bit dull.
It all depends on your skill level.
The pulsating soundtrack adds to the adrenaline rush, and FM6's graphics and stunning lighting effects are just fantastic and stunning, especially so in the new rain and night races.
At some point, you will just want to hang out in the Forzavista, a mode that lets you explore the exterior and interior of a selected car. There, you can bask in your latest car makeover, like I did when my dream car, the Audi R8 V10, got a carbon fibre paint job and new decals.
PRICE: From $69.90 (Xbox One only)
Verdict: Forza Motorsport 6 is quite simply the best driving simulator this year with its engaging career mode, tons of cars and tracks, as well as accessible realistic driving.
This article was first published on September 30, 2015.
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