Mixed or average reviews - based on 39 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 39
  2. Negative: 3 out of 39
  1. If you're looking to check out a racing game that features some intense game play, gorgeous graphics, incredible physics, as well as some of the most entertaining mini games seen in a while, then Flat Out is definitely the way you'll want to go.
  2. I say "incredibly destructible", simply because it is. Should you plough into a tyre wall, the tyres will roll all over the track, making navigation treacherous when you find out that your car reacts somewhat realistically when you try to drive through them as if they aren't there on the next lap, and you inevitably end up rolling the car.
  3. The handling is remarkable, and the fact the tracks are littered with obstacles that bounce and crash realistically makes it all the more fun. Throw in excellent damage modelling and it's plain to see that this game has nailed the core mechanics of an addictive racer perfectly.
  4. And most important, who doesn't love a good crash where the driver flies out the window into a tree? There is a little of something here for everyone who is just looking for a little fun. Definitely worth the purchase.
  5. What FlatOut does it does exceptionally well. It offers hours and hours of extremely solid racing action with excellent physics and handling that is very enjoyable, offline and online.
  6. A solid bit of destruction derby/road racing hybrid madness that's well worth picking up. Bugbear has the tools and talent to make the next game even better and I'll definitely be along for that ride.
  7. 81
    A little more work here and there, especially with the graphics and the sub-par soundtrack features would have had this game scraping a nine instead of just making an eight.
  8. An excellent package. Honestly, Flatout is a hairbreadth away from a 9, and legendary status.
  9. Empire's release slips under the radar, but manages to surprise us with its incredible ragdoll physics and smashing damage system.
  10. The 'instant gratification' test from Flatout is very high which is always a good marker. Flatout does not profess to be anything but an out and out 'revving foot on the pedal and try to waste the opposition' game.
  11. It's hard to compare FlatOut to the other extreme games on the market, but that's a good thing since it feels fresh in many aspects.
  12. You could say FlatOut is a bit like your favourite page three girl. Great to look at, boasting accentuated physical attributes that sometimes defy gravity, yet underneath is a filthy minx who loves to get dirty with a group of mates. Fun, enjoyable and instantly playable. [Official UK Xbox Magazine]
  13. 80
    Sure, the graphics aren't that great, the soundtrack isn't exactly memorable but most important of all is the game play, and that is spot on.
  14. 80
    The inclusion of the ridiculously over-the-top mini-games instantly helps this game move ahead of the pack, and the online action is highly entertaining.
  15. The truly suicidal, meanwhile, will be in awe of the driver's ability to launch himself fatally through the windscreen, screaming, while the rest of us will love the game's easy and responsive controls, and the authentic feel of the cars.
  16. For those who just want to race fast, wreck hard, and look good doing it, FlatOut fits the bill.
  17. The use of physics brings a genuine uniqueness to the title, but it ends up feeling more like a gimmick than anything else. Without these physics, FlatOut would fail on all fronts to be memorable.
  18. 75
    In stark contrast to racing proper, the developers at Bugbear have neglected to take FlatOut's bonus mode far enough. I don't think they knew what they had with this extra mode until it was too late.
  19. It would've been nice to see more cars, deeper customization, or tighter controls, but FlatOut gets the job done. It's solid with friends, but falls pretty short for solo fun.
  20. Featuring 45 tracks in one of 16 fully upgradeable cars FlatOut offers a great fun racer combined with the car tuning although this is not as extensive as say "Forza Motorsport."
  21. Mixing the party-friendly mini-games with Xbox Live and offline multiplayer may be enough to warrant a purchase, provided you're able to temper your single-player expectations. [Aug 2005, p.84]
  22. This is a game that's as riotously entertaining as it is viciously random... It's gleeful automobile slapstick, but not for anyone who values skill and achievement more than taking a wrecking ball to their opponents' racing lines. [Dec 2005, p.114]
  23. Despite its flaws, and perhaps a slight over-reliance on gravitational nuance in order to bolster sales, Flat Out is not entirely a 'flat' racing experience; it's always entertaining, and never less than appealing.
  24. Despite the flaws, and perhaps the slight over reliance on the "extreme physics" in order to gain a few more sales, Flatout is a quite solid, if never spectacular racing title. If you can work your way through the slow start, once the faster, more powerful cars become available to you, you'll be a very happy man (or woman).
  25. Upgrades on the variety of cars gradually up the speeds and intensity. [Aug 2005, p.50]
  26. FlatOut has its strong points, but some annoying features and an overall lack of presentation keep it from keeping it together until the finish line.
  27. Mini-games aside, however, the game seems to be lacking due to slipshod controls that can't really piece together when needed, and questionable physics that will put your driver and your windshield into a long-term relationship.
  28. 68
    Flatout has the basics down pat for a decent racing game, but with its core gameplay aspects still a bit rusty, this is definite rental material, through and through.
  29. FlatOut desperately wants to be the trailer park version of EA's slicker racer, but without the polish, it succeeds in being only a pale imitation. [Aug 2005, p.98]
  30. 65
    Like a late-night hookup with the town floozy, this game might look promising when you take it home, but trust us, the next morning you're going to wonder why this disc is snuggled up inside your Xbox. Rent.
  31. 65
    If you really want your derby racer fix on the Xbox that I highly recommend going with "Eve of Destruction" or "Crash 'n Burn" instead.
  32. A respectable weekend time-waster. It's got enough going on to fill a late night or two, and not so much that many gamers will pine for it when it's gone.
  33. 60
    FlatOut basically feels like a slightly more frustrating successor to the original "Destruction Derby" series on the PlayStation 1 (well, the first two games).
  34. 60
    Like a miniature fashion model: short, quite pretty, and as insubstantial as it is fun.
  35. FlatOut wants to be a cool racing and rallying game with an arcade edge, but it ends up being a routine disappointment. [XBM]
  36. If Flatout were only a $20 title, I'd heartily recommend it. But $50 is a lot of money to pay to turn yourself into road splatter over and over again. It's flawed, though fun.
  37. When a racing game's gimmick relies on un-seat-belted drivers forcibly ejected through windshields during crashes, you know you're in trouble. [Aug 2005, p.110]
  38. FlatOut has all the makings of a great budget games, except that it's not great and that it's not budget priced.
  39. Unfortunately, when it comes to actual racing, FlatOut is about as interesting as a public service announcement for seatbelts.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 20 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 18
  2. Negative: 1 out of 18
  1. BuckmanB.
    Mar 27, 2009
    If you like crashes, get this game. The damage is very realistic and what this game offers that no other racing game does, is your driver If you like crashes, get this game. The damage is very realistic and what this game offers that no other racing game does, is your driver will actually fly out the front window if you crash into something hard enough. This also happens in GTA IV but that is not a racing game. A very fun game to play, with lots of things to run into. Virtually everything on the track can move, so if you crash into it, it goes flying. Full Review »
  2. KarlN.
    Sep 21, 2007
    Everyone has their own reasons for liking different games but this one is my favorite (though I haven't played Flatout 2 yet). I grew up Everyone has their own reasons for liking different games but this one is my favorite (though I haven't played Flatout 2 yet). I grew up on a farm driving these kinds of cars around the fields and this game takes me back there. I also love the physics in this game. I can feel each tire and the response of the suspension when a tire catches a ditch or other object. I like how there are consequences after crashes, leading to tangible changes in the suspension performance. The races are pretty crazy and fun to play multiplayer. The ragdoll mini-games are hilarious but it would be good to have the option of turning ragdoll off during races. It gets tedious. The two faults of this game are: not being able to drive multiplayer in the demolition derby and only being able to drive one car at a time. (When you switch cars, you lose the value of all the upgrades to your existing car.) I can understand, given a number of faults, why the game is rated lower but, in my opinion, it's still more fun than Burnout. That's why I gave it a 9. Full Review »
  3. CiaranG.
    Jun 20, 2006
    Lots and lots and lots of fun to be had with this game. A challenging and fun career mode. In-game damage and physics are excellent. If you Lots and lots and lots of fun to be had with this game. A challenging and fun career mode. In-game damage and physics are excellent. If you love destruction, destruction derby's, stunt cars, destructive racing etc. you will LOVE this. However, you'll find few people online and you can't play multiplayer destruction derby's and 2-4 player normal mutiplayer racing is a bit boring. As a 1 player game though I'd highly recommend it. Full Review »