Universal acclaim - based on 52 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 52 out of 52
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 52
  3. Negative: 0 out of 52
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  1. Damn near flawless in almost every way shape and form. Brilliant visuals, ear pleasing audio, highly addictive game play, and enough modes and tracks to keep you busy for months on end.
  2. Entertainment Weekly
    The combo of racing and combat is brilliantly addictive. [17 Sept 2004, p.25]
  3. The focus on opponent "takedowns" was a smart, natural evolution for the series. The gorgeous environments and detailed cars whiz past at amazing velocity, and the fender-bending carnage is spectacular.
  4. It's a game that combines gut-churning speed and beyond-recognition wreckage to make road kill out of all others in the driving genre.
  5. The speed of the game is incredible and as the roads and lights blur past you, it feels more like you're flying in the Millennium Falcon than some street machine dodging through traffic.
  6. 100
    You should buy it even if driving games rank somewhere between stepping on Legos barefoot and Saddam on your list of dislikes.
  7. Official U.S. Playstation Magazine
    If you don't like Burnout 3: Takedown, there's something wrong with you...It has completely spoiled me, making it near impossible to enjoy other games in the genre. [Oct 2004, p.102]
  8. 100
    The new king of arcade racers. Think about everything that was brilliant about its predecessors -- the whimsical take on the laws of physics, the gorgeous graphics, and the completely insane emphasis on crashing -- and multiply it by ten thousand.
  9. What is so amazing about Burnout 3 is not so much its excellent modes but instead its amazing gameplay.
  10. The track designs are really what make this game worth playing. It reminds me of "Rush 2049" on crack with little details such as close calls and drifting that make the game a joy to watch.
  11. 100
    Don’t buy this one and you’re probably passing up the most fun you’re going to have on your PS2 this season.
  12. AceGamez
    I have rarely, if ever, found a driving game that made my adrenaline pump, caused me to break out in a cold sweat and had me swearing violently at the screen while still gagging for more of the same - until now.
  13. games(TM)
    Burnout 3 is special. It's not just another racing game, and despite lacking certain features car enthusiasts hold dear (such as customisation and ultra realism) it's easily the most fun we've ever had with any racing game. [Oct 2004, p.96]
  14. Takedown is nearly flawless, with crisp graphics, a rousing punk-rock soundtrack and smart level design that keeps you on the edge of your seat. It is not just the best driving game I have ever played, but one of the best games of any genre this year.
  15. The most exciting and terrifying arcade racer in a good long while. The insane sense of speed, incredible depth, and constant feeling of accomplishment via unlocking stuff every time you turn around really adds to the addictive quality of Burnout 3: Takedown.
  16. Without a shadow of a doubt the best in the series and arguably the best arcade racer in history.
    Burnout 3 is as pure a gaming experience as we have had the pleasure of kneeling before for longer than we can remember and we've been doing this for a long time.
  18. A strong candidate for the coveted Game of the Year award, Burnout 3: Takedown is one of the best arcade racing games to come out in years.
  19. Everything it does, it does with aplomb, from kicking out graphics that just should'nt exist in this generation -- let alone on the PS2 -- to delivering a sense of speed, yet offering controls that allow you to keep up with the increasingly brilliant level design, to offering an suite of online modes that will make you fall to your knees in thanks of broadband. This is the very definition of a must-have game.
  20. Even if driving games aren't normally your thing, Burnout 3 is still right for you. It's that good. It ranks among the best racing games ever made...An amazing achievement that anyone with a pulse will probably love.
  21. A wild, edge of your seat, white knuckle ride that fulfills any speed freak’s cravings. What’s more, it’s also one of the best games that’s been released this entire year.
  22. We’ve been driving computerised cars around virtual racetracks for years now, but in Burnout 3 you do it so fast, and the enjoyment from going so fast comes so easily, that playing another racer is going to feel like driving a bus after taking a spin in a Ferrari.
  23. Put simply, this is one of the best racing games of all time.
  24. 95
    Criterion's Render ware engine is hardcore, with a draw distance which is jaw dropping. The frame rate in the game stays solid through out and provides a brilliant feeling of speed you can’t get in any other game.
  25. Single-player alone is so magnetic you'll be constantly drawn back. However, all the rewards, plus the technical feat of 2-8 player online really opens it up for endless replay value.
  26. PSM Magazine
    A masterpiece that every racing game fan must own. [Nov 2004, p.80]
  27. 94
    Burnout 3 will remind you why you started playing games – not because of the competition, or to enter into some fifty hour experience grinding session online, but because of an experience that constitutes such pure fun that it’s impossible to stop a grin breaking out on your face.
  28. May very well go down in the books as the finest arcade racing game of all time, and one of the best titles the racing genre has ever seen.
  29. 94
    Offers up insane speed, unequaled crash sequences, and a truly new style of gameplay. It has reinvented the wheel, so to speak....Burnout 3 is astonishing.
  30. The type of game that appeals to the very basic of collective human subconscious. It isn't just a game, it fulfills a very basic need – the need to destroy – in the same way that we need food and water.
  31. This game does for the arcade racing genre what "Rallisport Challenge 2" does for the rally section. It's just that good.
  32. 94
    Perhaps one of the most enjoyable racing games we’ve ever been given the chance to play, mainly owing to the immense rush you get from the sheer velocity of game play.
  33. With incredibly realistic damage modelling transforming every crash into a work of art fit to be framed and hung on the walls of Paris' Louvre museum, Burnout 3 is a visual dynamo that will floor players with its speed and gorgeous vistas. [Oct 2004, p.122]
  34. Even without the car crashes, Burnout 3: Takedown would have been a superb arcade-style racing game. But the incredible vehicular carnage makes it a thing of profound destructive beauty.
  35. Great graphics and jaw-dropping speed, and includes impeccable interactive crash sequences that you won’t find in any other game.
  36. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    The speed is staggering, and the smashes spectacular...Burnout 3 blows the doors off its predecessors with bliteringly fast online play, a massive single-player mode lousy with unlockables, and all the right gameplay tweaks. [Oct 2004, p.100]
  37. 91
    The most intense online racing experience? You'd better believe it.
  38. Cheat Code Central
    I absolutely hate the music which is a mix of cheap-sounding alternative and punk.
  39. Edge Magazine
    It still possesses the series’ trademark ability to deliver Tempest-like ‘in the zone’ moments of remarkable intensity unlike any of its contemporaries, but now comes with a confidently revised dynamic, marking this as Criterion Games’ finest hour. [Oct 2004, p.100]
  40. The only missteps are a super class of cars that are almost too fast for the courses, an abundance of loading screens, and a mostly terrible soundtrack--the latter two problems solved by the Xbox version. [Oct 2004, p.111]
  41. 90
    An eye-opening, awe-inspiring psychotic arcade racer with addictive, high-energy and often hysterical gameplay. EA and Criterion really hit it out of the parking lot with this one.
  42. It feels good to turn something as hopeless as a wreck into something at least slightly useful. I’m surprised other racing games haven’t tried to employ something like this before!
  43. Every aspect comes together to create a gaming experience that is one of the most polished and perfected we’ve ever seen, regardless of genre – you simply need Burnout 3: Takedown now.
  44. GamePro
    To say that this game is "fast" is an understatement - it absolutely blazes, so much so that blinking becomes a liability. [Nov 2004, p.96]
  45. 90
    The Takedown system is what makes the already pretty good Burnout series amazing... Burnout 3 delivers the purest hit of awesome so far this year.
  46. This game takes the tried and true racing game formula and refreshes it with a system that rewards you for bad driving and poor sportsmanship. You can drive into oncoming traffic, cause accidents on purpose, and mess with anything that tries to get in your way.
  47. netjak
    If your first Takedown doesn't get your blood pumping, then find a job as a bomb squad technician or try and get a spot on the Olympic Air Rifle team, because apparently nothing affects you.
  48. The game’s controls are simplistic and some of the tightest out there.
  49. At the end of the day, Burnout 3 is a little too simplified for our tastes.
  50. With outstanding physics, an unmatched sense of speed and a wealth of game types, it easily blows the doors off the competition. And that’s all the realism I need.
  51. The graphics are sublime — smooth and detailed even on the increasingly humble PS2, yet with enough gimmickry to make the replays delicious feasts.
  52. Play Magazine
    A dose of high-quality gaming fast food that tastes fine but leaves you wanting something that sticks. [Oct 2004, p.77]

Awards & Rankings

#4 Most Discussed PS2 Game of 2004
#4 Most Shared PS2 Game of 2004
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 461 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 21 out of 461
  1. JamieR.
    Jun 10, 2007
    Absolutely stunning. One of the best games there are on the PS2. It gives you a real sense of speed (even the slowest cars) and the fastest Absolutely stunning. One of the best games there are on the PS2. It gives you a real sense of speed (even the slowest cars) and the fastest cars make you feel like they're doing 300! I don't see how you could improve on this game...but still let them try. Full Review »
  2. Sep 13, 2016
    If 2004 weren't such a stellar year in gaming (MGS3, GTA: San Andreas, Half-Life 2, etc.), this would be my Game of the Year for 2004.

    If 2004 weren't such a stellar year in gaming (MGS3, GTA: San Andreas, Half-Life 2, etc.), this would be my Game of the Year for 2004.

    It's better than anything that came out in 2013 or 2014, which were both pretty mediocre years in gaming overall.
    Full Review »
  3. BrynH.
    Sep 13, 2004
    Best game i have ever played, Amazing graphics and the crashes are out of this world. But it has a crappy soundtrack.