Burnout Paradise Remastered Review – Triumphant Return of a Legend

Criterion’s Burnout Paradise was released over 10 years ago and became the epitome of arcade racers for the previous generation of consoles. Burnout Paradise Remastered has been reworked for this generation of consoles, but is it ready for the next generation of gamers?

Read on to find out

Developer Criterion has been making Burnout games since 2001, creating a handful of fast and fun, linear story arcade racers that started out on the PS2, original XBOX and the Gamecube.  As consoles evolved, so did Burnout games, resulting in 2008 with the open-world racer Burnout Paradise for the PS3 and the Xbox 360.

The game was received very well and grabbed well earned review scores, averaging 88 on Metacritic, and took a major leap in the series by going for the open world model versus the linear storyline that previous releases used. For those that played the original game, this is the exact same game, with a bit of spit and polish here and there, and includes every piece of DLC except for the time savers packs. We are talking about a lot of content here for 40 bucks, and all of the DLC cars are ready to run.

For those of you that have never played the original, and are looking for some fun arcade racing action, you are in for a helluva ride (even those of us that played the original are in for a nostalgic treat). The game has no set story mode, and if you see a stop light anywhere in the open world, chances are there’s an event ready and waiting for you to take a shot at.

The events range from your standard race, where you are given a location on the map and have to get there first, Stunt Runs where you earn points by drifting, jumping, smashing, or almost crashing, the Marked Man event where other racers are trying to take you down, Road Rage events where it’s your job to take folks down, time trial events called Burning Routes, some of which are vehicle specific, and more.

The open world map is huge, and has so much stuff to do, you’ll be endlessly busy trying to get as many wins as you can, so you can continue upgrading your license class. Upgrading your license resets all of the events you may have already beaten, and amps up the difficulty. It also unlocks new vehicles for you which become available in one of the four garages stashed around town. You’ll also unlock other vehicles by taking them out as they become available in the open world, so keep an eye out for these vehicles while you cruise around.

The game isn’t without its problems, though, as some things that should have been updated stayed the same. Getting around is a bit of a pain due to the GPS system isn’t very user friendly. Maybe it’s just that we are all playing on larger screen TVs these days, but the only way to know where to turn is either to memorize the map, or take your eyes off the race long enough to look at the map in the bottom right. The game does flash the street signs at the top of the screen, but that’s not always easy to see either when you are traveling at top speed and the screen is speed blurred from a major dose of NoS. Back in 2008, these things were still fairly new to racing games, but here in 2018 things have evolved to be a little more convenient and a lot less dangerous.

Ten years ago developer Criterion took a chance by reinventing their Burnout franchise. Their risk paid off and we, the gamers, reaped the rewards by playing a game that was fast, fun, forgiving, and worth every penny. Fast forward to now and Criterion is showing the next generation of gamers that their title is just as much fun now as it was back then. Even those that previously played the hell out of the game back then will enjoy a return to Paradise City.


Burnout Paradise Remastered review code provided by publisher and reviewed on a PS4 Pro. For more information on scoring, please read: What our review scores really mean.