Generally favorable reviews - based on 55 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 53 out of 55
  2. Negative: 0 out of 55
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  1. 100
    Give it a chance and you may find yourself having the most fun you've ever had in a virtual car. [Feb 2008, p.70]
  2. Playstation: The Official Magazine (US)
    The group co-op challenges alone are some of the most fun we've had playing online in years. [Feb 2008, p.76]
  3. 100
    The City is enormous and beautiful, the cars are amazingly detailed, and the control is divine.
  4. 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.
  5. Play Magazine
    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]
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. The vehicles look fantastic, the crashes painful. All round the graphics are stupendous and never falter.
  9. An absolute blast to play, Paradise is the benchmark for sandbox racing titles on the PS3. The crashes are spectacular, the challenge is definitely there, and the game abounds with eye candy and easter eggs. This is, arguably, the best Burnout to date and certainly one of the best racing games on the PS3.
  10. Paradise would have received an even higher score had they included legacy Burnout crash-mode events for those devoted to them.
  11. Burnout Paradise is the epitome of the entire franchise. It offers so much to the gamer, all without cutting corners or making any sacrifices in gameplay. It's online component can be added up to nearly half of the game's value, and the amount of things you can do in the single-player seems almost never-ending.
  12. Playstation Official Magazine UK
    Scarily deep. It demands you play it: there's so much to find it's incredible. [Jan 2008, p.88]
  13. Official Playstation 2 Magazine UK
    A truly superb racer; fast, vast and there's plenty to do under that super-slick surface. [Jan 2008, p.118]
  14. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    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]
  15. Games Master UK
    Provides some of the fastest, most thrilling and spectacular racing you'll find. It may not be as accessible as before but it now has more substance, more content and more depth. [Feb 2008, p.70]
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. Edge Magazine
    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]
  20. Burnout Paradise is the best Burnout game yet. The only issues are minor ones, and the online play delivers better than I ever expected. It's a must-own for racing fans, and at least a must-play for everyone else.
  21. The fact that there's no custom soundtrack support is odd, considering every PS3 comes with a hard drive.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. Burnout Paradise is the first great game of 2008. It has all the makings of one of the best the Burnout series has seen, and if improved upon for next year could be the best Burnout yet.
  25. 90
    This sort of incidental fun has historically been the preserve of childhood matchbox cars and track, and it's therefore great to find a videogame that encourages such imaginative play. For me this more than compensates for any shortfall in 'directed' experience, and I'd suggest is an opportunity for the gamer to play a greater part in creating their own fun.
  26. 90
    Burnout Paradise has taken several huge gambles in altering the already-winning formula of the franchise. For the most part, Criterion and EA have a winner on their hands.
  27. By doing what they do best Criterion has made Burnout Paradise one of the most accessible and wildly entertaining arcade racers ever created.
  28. Paradise is a wonderful game: it's inventive, confident and brilliantly produced and just shows what's possible when developers make the PS3 the lead console. If you're even remotely into racing games, this is one you can't afford to miss out on.
  29. Burnout Paradise is everything we could desire, kudos to Criterion. The design and game flow are astounding, giving a great sense of freedom. A technically remarkable game and one of the most fun racing games this generation.
  30. Flawed in structure, but magnificent to play, Paradise is within touching distance of vital. [Feb 2008, p.62]
  31. Overall, Burnout Paradise is smashing title (sorry, again). With a lengthy game life and its near on perfect gameplay, it will take you days or even weeks to find all of the hidden routes, billboards and fences located around the city, as well as building up your licence, collecting cars and winning all the events.
  32. 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.
  33. 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.
  34. 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.
  35. Maxi Consolas (Portugal)
    With its new and open structure, it can be a shock at the beginning. But the gameplay is as addictive as ever and with its vertiginous speed, excellent framerate and, mainly, the new online multiplayer, the new Burnout is still a great game for any arcade racing fan. [Jan 2008]
  36. What's here is nothing short of amazing, but I can't help but wonder what could have been. [Feb 2008, p.94]
  37. 85
    Burnout Paradise isn't a typical update, but the decision to move the game to an open world can generally be considered a good one. There are still a few annoying flaws (the lack of a try again option, the less enjoyable crash options) but the great presentation, incredible online implementation and wealth of things to do in Paradise City will please even the most cynical Burnout fan.
  38. 85
    Fans of the series will no doubt hate the lack of traditional modes from previous games and consider it a crime that Crash Mode was omitted altogether. However, everything about Paradise screams quality and in turn delivers one of the best driving games released in quite a while.
  39. Just like that, Criterion has really changed the way you’ll look at the structure of racing games. While other racers have tried open worlds (Test Drive Unlimited, for instance), there have been none that have offered the same sense of freedom, ease of use, and level of polish. Criterion has finally taken off your training wheels, and after playing Burnout Paradise, there's little doubt that you'll never want them back on.
  40. These minor hitches notwithstanding, Burnout Paradise is an excellent, solid ride for both solo and online gamers, with superb control, high production values, complete freedom, and so much obsessive, secret-hunting, gotta-catch-‘em-all lasting gameplay incentive that it’s almost ridiculous.
  41. A fine racing game indeed. I only wish there were more Road Rage modes and other varieties spread along the map as I would say a good 65% of the modes are races. While this is fine and certainly fun, I don’t buy Burnout titles to race, I buy them for the carnage.
  42. Paradise isn’t my favorite Burnout game, but it is well worth playing; the only major aggravation is being forced to listen to Guns N’ Roses’ intolerable song “Paradise City” every time you start playing. Couldn’t they have named it Burnout Suffragette?
  43. Paradise has its frustrations, such as the lack of a Crash mode (Showtime just can't compete) and the inability to instantly restart an event you recently lost.
  44. If you're an obsessive fan of the series who's played all the other Burnout games to death and you need a new challenge, then you'll probably still enjoy this one (although you're also likely to be very disappointed).
  45. In truth, I would have preferred to select events on the fly, change vehicles on a whim, and restart failed events when I choose, but nor is it a deal-breaker that these features have been omitted. Once you (reluctantly) adapt to the demands of the game, a massive amount of fun awaits.
  46. Criterion has made a major mistake removing crash junctions and replacing them with the rather poor red-headed stepchild showtime. But the racing events and seamless online integration mean that Burnout Paradise remains a game that I can still highly recommend.
  47. 80
    There’s definitely enough gameplay gold here to make it worth a look for fans of the series, but it’s a real pity that Criterion made the decision to make the game less user-friendly than it could have been.
  48. The visceral thrill and sheer, white-knuckle intensity of Burnout remains untouched. The game looks, sounds and controls as well as it ever has. Online play is excellent, if currently somewhat limited. There are only two real downers (the lack of event restarts and Crash mode) and we’re big fans of the open city design, though it does have a learning curve.
  49. 80
    Burnout Paradise is a superb title that offers a glimpse into how the racing genre is evolving. While not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, what it offers is sublime entertainment.
  50. 80
    The game looks and sounds fantastic, but plays even better. There’s so much to do in Paradise City that you’ll spend hours exploring every nook. Even after the single player game dulls down, the multiplayer should provide even more fun.
  51. AceGamez
    An excellent game and if you have the capability to play online and the time to learn the city inside out, it may well prove to be a title that keeps you enthralled for many months to come.
  52. In many ways, yes this is a definitive improvement over previous Burnout games, the online mode is fantastic and the open world environment has many perks that reward players who make the effort to learn its small nuances. The game is let down by the lack of a proper Crash modem, the irritating sat nav and the lack of a retry button.
  53. Pelit (Finland)
    Having a big wide open playing area is a nice addition in many ways but unfortunately in the current form the pros don’t outweight the cons. Having to find your own route doesn’t quite fit the series and the dreadful car navigation system doesn’t help either. Also having to drive back to the starting line to restart a race is a big flaw and the decission to replace Crash with boring Showtime is bizarre. Still the basis of the game is so strong that even with obvious flaws the game is still quite fun especially in multiplayer. [Jan 2008]
  54. Play UK
    A polished, high-quality product, but its repetitiveness makes it less than compelling. Criterion seems to have lost sight of the high-adrenaline dynamic that makes Burnout exciting. [Issue#162, p.74]
  55. games(TM)
    The question of how much an open city suits Burnout is soon replaced by how well Criterion makes the game work within one. And, thanks to a number of odd decisions on how players progress, the answer is: sloppily. [Feb 2008, p.114]
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 540 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 57 out of 540
  1. MrX
    Jan 25, 2008
    Stop whining about not being able to restart the race! Just start another one close by. The whole idea is to keep things different and fluid Stop whining about not being able to restart the race! Just start another one close by. The whole idea is to keep things different and fluid and learn the city. Just because you suck at the game and have to redo a race a thousand times doesnt mean the game is bad. The open city is awesome and really gives a sense of freedom. It also adds to the replay value because you can take a different route every time you do a race and find all the shortcuts. I thought Crash in the previous Burnouts was boring and overated, so I don't miss it here either. The graphics, responsiveness and sense of speed are amazing, and a definite improvement on previous versions. Brilliant. Full Review »
  2. Oct 9, 2017
    In short, Burnout Paradise does extremely well for itself considering its success as a franchise and the constant need to be original yet fitIn short, Burnout Paradise does extremely well for itself considering its success as a franchise and the constant need to be original yet fit with the Burnout theme.

    Paradise manages to fuse newer gameplay options and crash mechanics all into an open world setting in an urban environment while minimising the restrictions of roads by creating inventive dirt tracks, ramps and shortcuts throughout the map. The controls are all mostly intuitive, with the standard driving setup with only a few deviations to incorporate ‘Boost’ and ‘Drift’ options however it doesn't take the player long to get reasonable comfortable with the layout.

    One downside to Paradise is its severe lack of plot or storyline, with no characters, antagonist, protagonist or overall goal. This may seem to be a problem until you look at the Burnout franchise and understand the target demographic and the intended gameplay. Burnout is a franchise fully based on progression by repetition and involves many crashes in many cars in many races. A plot in a burnout game would be completely out of place due to the multitude of crashes and when there are so many collisions in a game it is difficult to maintain the suspension of belief simply to involve characters and a story.

    The overall graphics of Paradise are pretty good, considering it is a game involving said designed cars to be completely destroyed by the player, however these crashes are the pinnacle of the games graphical capability for the developers have been able to accurately recreates, procedurally generated crashes and they look fantastic. The use of slow motion in crash scenes are nothing new in the Burnout franchise however the accuracy and the detail involved in Paradise makes it feel like a movie scene. The way the glass shatters, the metal folds and the car moves from the momentum is captivating.

    The world design is worthy of its own section all together. As mentioned before, the developers have truly found the excellent balance of accurate roads, challenging jumps and stunts and all-round excellent world design. The map is full of hidden routes and fun tracks to try out when you find them, the developers also found an excellent way of marking the tracks you have already driven. This is done by small wooden billboards standing on the entrance to a track that are so tempting to smash, most of the time you find yourself in an entirely new area simply by swerving into said billboard. The entire world design is excellent with towering buildings, winding tunnels and countless shortcuts throughout the city of which when you have mastered, you can be the king of the streets.

    The music used in the soundtrack really brought the game to life. The use of ‘Paradise City’ as the main tune was obviously a win however the ability to use real music on various radio channels truly made the game feel just slightly closer to real than game. The music really fit with the theme of destruction and chaos and embodied the city the game was set in.

    The game is definitely worth every penny spent on it. Due to it being released in 2008, almost 10 years ago, the price of the game has lowered significantly however the adrenaline of winning races by gently nudging cars off the road in the game: that has definitely not lowered at all since the release. The game may age in terms of graphics however the gameplay, the maps design, the races, the feeling of progression when you win your next car, the stunts and the overall excitement definitely make a timeless game to any who enjoy the Burnout franchise.

    DLCs are present in Paradise however they don’t impact the gameplay of the base game. Paradise is not a Pay-To-Win game and that is a good thing. This means there is much more strategy involved in the gameplay and it means there are consequences when you lose a race. DLCs are excellently implemented by allowing various other cars into the game while also adding an entire area tio explore with newly implemented, stunt cars.

    In a game of this age and open world design there are bound to be a few bugs, most of which have been patched over time however since the development of other games takes priority it is no surprise some have been left out. The bugs in Paradise are pretty minor in context of the scale of the overall game however no bugs truly affects the gameplay to a noticeable extent.

    Overall the game is a must buy. The game completely fits within the theme of a Burnout game however it bring the franchise new life with an innovative and creative map and dynamic new gameplay and options to expand the world you play to destroy.
    Full Review »
  3. NikoB.
    Apr 26, 2008
    Best racing game ever. takedown was fun for like two days, and paradise is a great turn for the series.