Is the Forza Horizon 5: Hot Wheels DLC expansion worth it?

Cover art for Forza Horizon 5: Hot Wheels.
(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

Is the Forza Horizon 5: Hot Wheels DLC expansion worth it?

Best answer: Yes, Forza Horizon 5: Hot Wheels is worth the cost of entry, whether you're purchasing it by itself or through a bundle like the Premium Add-Ons Bundle. FH5's first DLC expansion provides hours of pure, unfettered fun across a new, visually stunning area. There are plenty of new cars, races, and challenges, as well as dozens of miles of exciting tracks upon which to race.

Return of a legend

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Official screenshot of Forza Horizon 5: Hot Wheels.

(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

Forza Horizon, the long-running open-world arcade racing franchise from Playground Games and Xbox Game Studios, and Hot Wheels, the legendary toy franchise creating toy cars for decades, have teamed up in the past with Forza Horizon 3's Hot Wheels DLC. The dynamic duo has returned once again with the first DLC expansion for Forza Horizon 5, an expansion to the Mexico-inspired map that has players race among the clouds along exciting Hot Wheels tracks and circuits.

While the idea isn't original, Forza Horizon 5: Hot Wheels is certainly a departure from its predecessor, and features an all-new world with four incredibly diverse and unique biomes to explore, a new lineup of cars to collect, and a wide variety of Hot Wheels tracks that players can even use to build their own custom races with EventLab.

Forza Horizon 5 has long since proven itself as one of the best racing games you can play, but many players have been waiting for months for its first expansion to deliver fresh content and cars to the game.

Some of the headlining features of Forza Horizon 5: Hot Wheels include:

  • Four new biomes to explore in the Horizon Hot Wheels Park, all of which are available to explore immediately after completing the Initial Experience. Free Fast Travel will also be available to all players across the entire park from the beginning. The four biomes include:
    • Forest Falls, a gorgeous, vibrant green forest filled with stunning, grand waterfalls and water features
    • Giant's Canyon, a rugged and imposing rocky valley that dwarfs the base game's Copper Canyon with its depth and variety
    • Ice Cauldron, an intimidating juxtaposition between a frigid, frozen tundra and boiling lakes and rivers of molten lava
    • Horizon Nexus, a Festival Site that hangs suspended in the clouds, and that acts as a hub for the Horizon Hot Wheels Park
  • Over 100 miles of tracks inspired by Hot Wheels playsets. To be exact, Playground Games promises over 120 miles (200 kilometers) of Hot Wheels tracks, with multiple varieties that aim to make every race and experience entirely unique. The different track variants include:
    • Standard tracks, which will be most common throughout the Hot Wheels Park
    • Magnet tracks, which help players defy gravity with stomach-lurching loops, flips, and turns
    • Ice tracks, which test the traction of even the most capable off-roading vehicles with slick, frozen surfaces
    • Water flume tracks, which combine waterpark fun with high-speed racing by cascading water along the track
    • Rumble tracks, which will threaten to disrupt the control of even the most experienced racers with uneven, bumpy surfaces
    • Power boosters, which will catapult your cars to greater and greater speeds, enabling you to pull off even riskier stunts and jumps
    • Air tracks, which reduce drag on your car to help propel it to the greatest speeds it can achieve
  • A standalone campaign known simply as the Hot Wheels Academy, in which players will start off limited to B-Class cars, and slowly rise up the ranks to X-Class and the coveted Hot Wheels Legend championship title. Players can progress through the Horizon Academy by completing tailored events and activities.
  • New world and gameplay features for players to discover while they explore the Hot Wheels Park, including:
    • New Accolades for various Hot Wheels Parks actions, events, and accomplishments
    • New Bonus Boards to smash for various perks and bonuses
    • New Tank Balloon collectibles to find and smash
    • New PR Stunts to test your abilities
    • A new, five-part Horizon Story exploring the origin of Hot Wheels
    • Special Hot Wheels Heats events that can be unlocked by completing specific missions
    • Seasonal Hot Wheels events courtesy of the Forza Horizon 5 Festival Playlist
    • 28 new Achievements to earn, worth a combined total of 500 Gamerscore
  • A more connected experience that aims to bring players together, including:
    • Online co-op open from the very beginning and throughout the entirety of Forza Horizon 5: Hot Wheels, including the Horizon Academy
    • Horizon Open and Horizon Tour Events and races
    • A new Hot Wheels Creation Kit with over 80 pieces and props for EventLab, enabling players to design and build their own races and events that can be shared with the community
  • 10 new cars to collect that range from brand-new Hot Wheels additions to the Forza Horizon franchise, as well as other additions to the rapidly growing Forza Horizon 5 car list. The new cars we know of include:
    • 2000 Hot Wheels Deora II
    • 2006 Mosler MT900 GT3
    • 2012 Hot Wheels Bad to the Blade
    • 2013 Hot Wheels Baja Bone Shaker
    • 2018 Hot Wheels Chevrolet Camaro COPO
    • 2018 Subaru WRX STI ARX Supercar
    • 2019 Brabham BT62
    • 2020 SIERRA Cars ALPHA #23 Yokohama
    • 2021 Hennessey Venom F5

A stunning addition to Forza Horizon 5

Official screenshot of Forza Horizon 5: Hot Wheels.

(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

Playground Games already impressed with the announcement of Forza Horizon 5's initial DLC expansion, but the final product manages to be even more impressive. The sweeping curves, loops, and turns of the Hot Wheels tracks, combined with the sheer variety of different tracks and environments, provide some of the most uncomplicated fun you can have with a racing game.

This expansion offers hours of fresh content, but its replayability is undeniable when considering the expansive new area and the plethora of online modes that can be explored within it. On top of that, Forza Horizon 5: Hot Wheels accomplishes the impossible by somehow looking even more visually stunning than the base game, with the floating island of the Hot Wheels parks combining sci-fi tech with breathtaking vistas, biomes, and more.

Forza Horizon 5: Hot Wheels was officially released on July 19, 2022, and is available on Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and PC platforms. It's also available through Xbox Cloud Gaming for DLC owners, while Xbox Game Pass, PC Game Pass, and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers can enjoy discounts on purchasing the new DLC or any bundles in which it's included.

There are numerous ways to acquire Forza Horizon 5: Hot Wheels, including:

  • A standalone purchase, which only includes this DLC expansion and nothing else. The retail price is $20, and is available to purchase
  • The Forza Horizon 5 Expansions Bundle DLC, which includes Forza Horizon 5: Hot Wheels and one other, currently unannounced DLC expansion. The retail price is $35, and is available to purchase
  • The Forza Horizon 5 Premium Add-ons Bundle DLC, which includes the aforementioned Expansions Bundle, as well as various other DLC like the VIP Membership, Welcome Pack, and Car Pass DLCs. The retail price is $50, and is available to purchase
Buy from: Xbox

Forza Horizon 5: Hot Wheels

Explore four vibrant, diverse biomes along miles of Hot Wheels tracks, all behind the wheels of a plethora of new car additions. Forza Horizon 5: Hot Wheels is here, and gives players plenty of reasons to return to this epic open-world racing game.

Buy from: Xbox | Steam

Buy from: Xbox

Forza Horizon 5 Premium Add-ons Bundle

If you want to experience absolutely everything Forza Horizon 5 has to offer, the Premium Add-ons Bundle includes it all. Gain access to exclusive perks, cars, and two DLC expansions, starting with Forza Horizon 5: Hot Wheels.

Buy from: Xbox | Steam

Zachary Boddy
Staff Writer

Zachary Boddy (They / Them) is a Staff Writer for Windows Central, primarily focused on covering the latest news in tech and gaming, the best Xbox and PC games, and the most interesting Windows and Xbox hardware. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life starting with the original Xbox, and started out as a freelancer for Windows Central and its sister sites in 2019. Now a full-fledged Staff Writer, Zachary has expanded from only writing about all things Minecraft to covering practically everything on which Windows Central is an expert, especially when it comes to Microsoft. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.