Dirt Rally 2.0 and Forza Horizon 5 are both racing games, however, they couldn’t be more different.

Dirt Rally 2.0 is a rally-focused game that emphasizes realism.

Whereas Forza Horizon 5 is an open-world racing game that offers various racing disciplines.

In Dirt Rally 2.0, players can choose from a wide range of rally cars and compete in rally events. The two different race disciplines on offer are Special Stage Rally and Rallycross.

The game prides itself on realistic physics and damage models. This means that players need to find a balance between fast and safe driving. It’s a very unforgiving rally simulator.

Forza Horizon 5, on the other hand, offers a more relaxed and arcade-like experience.

Players can explore a large open world and participate in a variety of racing events. In the standalone game, you can race 5 different disciplines (none of which are rally).

However there is “off-road racing” and thanks to the new “Rally Adventure” DLC, there is now rallying.

The real question is, which is better? Dirt Rally 2.0 or FH5 Rally Adventure?

Both games have something unique to offer.

Whether you prefer the unforgiving simulation style, or the more casual approach Forza Horizon 5 offers.

Even the most hardcore rally enthusiast can enjoy playing FH5 Rally Adventure and vice versa.

Comparing Gameplay Mechanics

Dirt Rally Driving

Driving Physics

Dirt Rally 2.0 and Forza Horizon 5 have very different driving physics.

Dirt Rally 2.0 has a more “realistic” physics engine that requires a lot more concentration, skill, and experience. It’s also unforgiving in the way that if you crash and want to restart, you have to go right back to the beginning.

Forza Horizon 5, on the other hand, has a more arcade-like feel and is more forgiving when it comes to mistakes. Especially since you can just press the rewind button.

Both games have their own unique driving mechanics. Forza is a great game to pick up and play at any time. Whereas Dirt Rally 2.0 requires a lot more concentration.

Sometimes if I come home from a hard day at work, I want to race but don’t have the level of concentration needed for Dirt Rally. As a result, I’ll throw FH5 on and have just as much fun.

Players need to decide whether they want a simulator with a learning curve or an arcade racer that includes rallying

Car Customization

Forza Horizon 5 offers a lot more customization than Dirt Rally.

You’ve got to remember Dirt Rally is a simulator trying to keep the game as realistic as possible. Whereas FH5 offers a lot more customization, car modification, and so on.

If you’re someone who loves tinkering around with cars, decals and body kits, forza is the one for you.

That’s not to say you can’t customize cars on Dirt Rally. It’s just a lot less. The “upgrades” are more to prevent component degradation rather than performance upgrades.

The factor that swings car performance the most in Dirt Rally is the tuning and setup of a car.

Track Variety

Dirt Rally 2.0 and Forza Horizon 5 both offer a variety of tracks, but they differ in their approach.

Dirt Rally 2.0 focuses on rally racing and offers a variety of tracks that are based on real-life rally stages.

Forza Horizon 5, on the other hand, offers a more diverse range of tracks.

In the Rally Adventure DLC, they’re still on the open-world map. While they are point-to-point rally stages, they don’t feel that immersive as far as a rallying experience goes.

The other benefit of FH5 though is that you get to play a lot of other disciplines. However, if you’re looking for a rally game, that doesn’t really matter.

Dirt Rally vs Forza Horizon 5: Game Modes and Content

Forza Horizon 5 Game Modes

Career Mode

Dirt Rally 2.0 offers an immersive career mode where players work their way up from nothing.

As you progress, you’ll earn more money which can build your team members, buy parts, or buy new cars.

The events also start fairly short and progress into bigger tracks and 12-stage events.

For the most part, there’s a clear sense of progress and you have to work for it.

On the other hand, Forza Horizon 5’s career mode is more focused on open-world exploration and street racing.

FH5 is an open-world sandbox that leaves players to make their own fun and sense of progression.

While it does include some rally events, it lacks the depth and variety of Dirt Rally 2.0’s career mode.

You’re also pretty much given some of the best cars in the game, and a lot of money very very quickly.

Which looks better? Dirt Rally 2.0 or Forza Horizon 5

Forza Horizon 5 Graphics

Visual Fidelity

Both games look great.

I’d say Forza Horizon 5 looks better, but you’re not really playing Dirt Rally 2.0 for its graphics in my opinion.

Dirt Rally 2 is more gritty and realistic. You do get some nice locations but it’s nowhere near the graphical level of FH5.

FH5 is a lot more vibrant and colorful, this is very important for an open-world game. If your players are spending a lot of time paying attention to the world design, it must look good.

I tend to opt for better performance on Dirt Rally anyway. The game needs to be as smooth as possible.

Frame Rates and Resolution

When it comes to consoles, both of the games run very similarly with Dirt Rally running at 1080p 60FPS on Xbox One, One S, and PS4.

Xbox Series X does allow for 4K gameplay, however, I do believe there is dynamic resolution at play.

Forza on the other hand runs at 4K 30 FPS on Xbox Series X and 1080p 30 FPS on Series S.

Forza does offer a performance mode that lowers quality to allow for 60 FPS.

As you’d expect, when it comes to PC, both games run at 1080p, 4K, or 8K in 60 FPS if your hardware is capable.

When it comes down to the rallying, is Forza Horizon 5 even close to Dirt Rally?

I think yes, in terms of fun.

However, it’s nowhere near the level of simulation of Dirt Rally. This isn’t to say it’s not a great experience.

The rally stages could be a little more detailed, but it still gives you the feeling that you’re rallying.

Sometimes the co-driver calls are a little late and you can’t adjust the timing either.

As for the list of cars, while it does include the famous McRae/Grist Focus RS the rest of them are lackluster.

Who had the idea to release a rally DLC with vehicles that are mostly offroad trucks? It’s an odd decision.

Despite this, it’s still a good DLC and the customization options that Forza allows mean that it’s actually good for making your own rally cars.

For any of those who played Sega Rally back in the day, it gives them sort of vibes.