Generally favorable reviews - based on 68 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 68 out of 68
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 68
  3. Negative: 0 out of 68
  1. 100
    Burnout Paradise offers one of the most intense racing experiences around. It won't wow you with a high degree of realism like Gran Turismo will but for pure racing action, it is one of the best titles ever produced.
  2. 100
    The City is enormous and beautiful, the cars are amazingly detailed, and the control is divine.
  3. The team at Criterion took a big chance and it’s paid off very well. The game revamps the stock formula in major ways without losing most of the high-speed racing flavor that you hope to see from something with Burnout in the title.
  4. Both of these racers are flawless examples of perfect game design, creativity, fun, and enduring gameplay that will keep you glued to your 360 until the next installment arrives.
  5. If you are a fan of fun you need Burnout Paradise.
  6. Instead of a series of self-contained challenges, Paradise offers up an open world where players are free to explore their inner vehicular homocidal maniac to their hearts' content. [Mar 2008, p.56]
  7. While Burnout Paradise is certainly an addictive game that offers a ton of value for anyone to enjoy, it definitely won’t please everyone that gives it a shot.
  8. Other than the lack of waypoints and some AI-balancing complaints, there's not much to find fault with when it comes to Burnout Paradise.
  9. Overall the gameplay of Burnout Paradise is spot on and great fun.
  10. The vehicles look fantastic, the crashes painful. All round the graphics are stupendous and never falter.
  11. Whether you are for or against the major changes in Burnout Paradise, there’s no arguing with the fact that Criterion has once again figured out how to create an extreme racing game that, quite simply, has no rivals.
  12. So if you’re a skeptical Burnout fan, there’s nothing to fear. Burnout Paradise is another great edition in an already fantastic series.
  13. Don't be afraid of the different route this sequel took, Burnout Paradise is every bit as exhilarating as you could hope for.
  14. While the new found liberty is costly, in that there are some issues with the new ‘open nature' of the game, they're only minor, and If you're a fan of arcade racers, or the Burnout series, you won't want to look past this.
  15. Burnout Paradise is pretty huge, and hugely pretty. It doesn’t have the diversity in appearance of some open-ended games, but the previously mindless racing of past Burnout games has been brought into sharp and very satisfying focus.
  16. If you’re in the market for a fun racing game that’ll keep you busy for quite some time, this is your game.
  17. As someone who's closely followed Criterion's racing series for the last seven years, it warms my heart to see it evolve into something as innovative, satisfying, and polished as Paradise. [Feb 2008, p.74]
  18. As long as you're willing to explore the city's nooks and crannies, drive offensively, and take a hell of a lot of risks, you'll find it supremely rewarding. [Feb 2008, p.70]
  19. 90
    Whether you're careening through desolate urban alleys or rocketing across a rickety railroad trestle, the game looks nearly flawless and runs at a buttery-smooth clip.
  20. 90
    It's not a flawless package; some of Paradise City's terrain could be easier to navigate with do-it-yourself waypoints, and the inability to restart a race is irritating. However, there's so much to do and wreck that you'll invest tens of hours in single-player before you even tap the d-pad to jump into the online experience. Paradise is undoubtedly the first must-own racing game of 2008.
  21. Paradise is without a single doubt the best game in the Burnout franchise. Criterion cleverly grasped the best elements and tailored them to the free roaming style. Production values are superb, and fans of the series shouldn't miss this fabulous chapter.
  22. Paradise loops its action into an endless rush, the possibilities, for arcade racing and battle enthusiasts alike, increasing with every hour. It’s hard not to see it as the birth of a new era, but in truth it might be the last Burnout you ever need. [Feb 2008, p.86]
  23. Burnout Paradise delivers as a fantastic racing game any racing fan should own, and that even non-racing fans will likely get some enjoyment out of it.
  24. Going back to the standard menu-driven system of the past was pretty jarring after spending days cruising from event to event in Paradise. I was simply having more fun in Criterion's latest racer.
  25. Paradise is certainly the most ambitious Burnout title yet, with a full sandbox city to explore and the great racing mechanics and smooth controls that has been the series’ bread and butter.
  26. 90
    Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Burnout Paradise is that the barrier between online and offline play is almost invisible. You can be playing along by yourself, and then with a click of a button, you can invite another friend to join you in an event. It's one of the most organic transitions I've seen yet, and Criteron is definitely a pioneer in how online gaming will continue to evolve.
  27. Burnout Paradise includes all the fast-driving, hard-wrecking action you'd expect from a Burnout game, but with a fantastic new open-world design that gives it its own stand-alone flavor.
  28. Paradise breaks the mold of its previous franchise games, and pulls it off in a big way. Its rare that a developer can make large scale changes and still put out a winning product.
  29. Paradise cherry-picks the best features from the past games - cars which have both the one-bar Burnout 3 boost bar, cars which have multiplying Burnout 2 boost bars, cars which can traffic check and cars which can't, the best of the events and the best ramps and shortcuts. It's not quite so gleefully mindless as the previous games, but with loading times stripped out and the best online modes we've yet seen in any racer on any system, it feels like a truly next generation Burnout game.
  30. 90
    In the end, Burnout Paradise is as close to paradise as you're going to get.
  31. 90
    Overall, the direction is very solid and I applaud Criterion's bravery for getting out of their comfort zone to explore a new horizon, instead of pondering what could have been.
  32. Repetitive and relatively simple perhaps, but when it's fundamental gratification you're after, Burnout Paradise doesn't go far wrong. A worthy challenger to the likes of "Forza 2," "PGR 4" and "ProStreet." [Issue#29, p.82]
  33. A fully conceived, brilliantly designed, incredibly gorgeous and intricately varied city is yours to roam around at leisure, discovering shortcuts, taking down billboards and landing super jumps, shutting down rival vehicles to own them, revving your engine at junctions to enter a range of challenging events and hopping online for furious racing and co-op challenges with friends and strangers alike, all at the push of a button.
  34. By doing what they do best Criterion has made Burnout Paradise one of the most accessible and wildly entertaining arcade racers ever created.
  35. 90
    The car models are fantastic, essentially moving the graphics of the arcade racer into the realm of the driving sims.
  36. Burnout Paradise is an excellent game, but there are one or two blemishes that do tarnish it somewhat. Still, there's something for every Burnout fan here and it will no doubt spark continued debate over whether it's the best in the series.
  37. Despite a somewhat-less-satisfying replacement for previous crash modes, fans of the franchise will find this Burnout to be their idea of paradise, with red-hot racing in a large environment that provides plenty of asphalt-burning events to keep gamers putting the pedal to the metal for mile after scorching mile.
  38. Purists may argue that Forza Motorsport 2 and Dirt are more realistic and offer better customization, but when it comes to being the most complete package with the most polished gameplay; Paradise is a true revolution.
  39. Although there are some good racing titles on the Xbox 360, Burnout Paradise entertained me the most.
  40. The phenomenal feeling of speed and the freedom to pretty much do what you like has once again taken the Burnout series to another level.
  41. The free world seems great but quickly gets annoying, but it's not long after that players will start to get why EA and Criterion did it this way.
  42. Overall, Paradise City is a great arcade racer in spite of some annoying navigational issues. The open world play fits the Burnout series perfectly, and Paradise City takes the series in a new and exciting direction.
  43. Criterion should be commended for trying to try something different in Burnout Paradise.
  44. 88
    Criterion has once again delivered a racing experience that can best be described as controlled chaos, one where even crashing is immensely rewarding. If you're even a remote fan of racing games, be sure to check this out.
  45. Controls are perfectly forgiving. I love the arcade feel of the title that is extremely well recreated through either of the 360 or PS3 controllers.
  46. The way the vehicles crumple, windshields shatter, and pieces of debris go flying in every direction is second to none, making you appreciate each and every impact. The only quibbles we have with the presentation are the absence of a driver, and one of the most annoying announcers ever.
  47. While this game is pretty shallow in terms of content, it still becomes a great pickup for some mindless fun and destruction.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 259 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 45 out of 94
  2. Negative: 26 out of 94
  1. CMay
    Jan 26, 2009
    This is one of the best racing games ever made, and all these low scorers are just being unfair by comparing it to a game it isn't, This is one of the best racing games ever made, and all these low scorers are just being unfair by comparing it to a game it isn't, because their feelings were hurt. Well get over it, this game is amazing by any standard and it's only getting better as Criterion is still releasing big updates to the game a year after it was released, and will probably continue to do so for another year or two. Some of these updates address reasonable complaints people had, while others add totally new ways to play the game. In fact, some of these low score comments will be outdated and won't apply any more as some of their disappointments get addressed over the next year. Try the demo or rent it and see how good this game is for yourself! Full Review »
  2. Kayc
    Feb 2, 2008
    For me, Burnout games were too good to bother changing the whole style, the gameplay mechanics were nearly flawless. It seems to have lostFor me, Burnout games were too good to bother changing the whole style, the gameplay mechanics were nearly flawless. It seems to have lost that edge now. Instead of jumping straight into Crash mode or a Race, you have to find one, which slows down the progress of the game. Some reviewers say driving around looking at the scenery is amazing. I for one do not care of the scenery, I want to race and crash, not look for billboards to jump into. Crash mode was much better than showtime because in crash mode they set out crashes on a plate ready for you to gorge. That brings me to another point... WHERE IS SPLIT SCREEN!!!! Am I one of the few guys who still have friends to come over and play video games? Am I the only one who still remembers how fun multiplayer on one screen is? The online is great but when friends come over you don't want to play 1 by 1, games like this and Motorstorm are set-up for split screen, but it isn't there. The gameplay itself isn't rubbish but the game doesn't know what it wants to be, Midnight Club? Need for Speed? or Burnout? Though the gameplay is quite good, it is missing out on some things that would make the game universal. Such as, having the option of choosing a level on the menu screen, restarting a race, split screen. Good, but there was no need to change it so much, the game was close to perfect, not a big step back, but a step back nethertheless. Full Review »
  3. JJ
    Aug 25, 2009
    I just bought the game about 6 months ago, and it worth every penny. The fact that the game is free roaming is a great feature added to the I just bought the game about 6 months ago, and it worth every penny. The fact that the game is free roaming is a great feature added to the series. You have many options on the game such as get a license each license brings new perks cars Game Achievements. They also various offline and online events such as racing, marked man, road rage and stun run (not my favoruite) also online they are various events for 2-8 players. You can restart these events by pressing D on your directional pad (not that hard guys) also they is extra content on DLC such as Boost Special Cars Hot Rod Extreme & Hawker Mech, Legendary Cars P12 Speciall 88 (The Delorean from Back to the Furture) Carson Nighthawk the New Nightrider and General Lee Hunter Calavary Bootlegger, Hunter Matthan Ghost Busters Echo1, Toys, Cops & Robbers and my all time favourite BSI Big Surf Island. Full Review »