For many gamers, the Burnout series is the best racing game series ever made. It stands above all other racing games. Many people have felt nostalgic for the game for a long time because of the combination of fast cars, arcade-style and drift-heavy physics, and great soundtracks. There are a lot of Burnout games out there, and we want to tell you which ones are the best. We’re going to give you the best rankings for each one.
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Eight games spread over a decade made a big impression in a short amount of time. Since then, there has been a noticeable break in the Burnout games (one remaster not included). Hopefully, this will make Criterion (or another developer if EA wants to let them use the Burnout name) come up with the ninth game. We’re going to rank all the Burnout games from worst to best.
Platform(s): Xbox 360, PS3, iOS
There are a lot of people who think this is sad because the last Burnout game ever made (again, not including the remaster) isn’t even a Burnout game at all. It has the name “Burnout,” and the gameplay is based on a mode from the series. But for the most part, Burnout Crash is a complete break from what made the Burnout series unique, which led to the series’ death or hiatus as a result.
In the main Burnout series, there was a game mode called Crash that let players launch cars into busy highways at high speeds. Burnout Crash was based on that game mode. Take this idea and apply it to a top-down party game called Crash. It has a few different maps and modes.
Fun can be had with Crash, but it’s a long way from the rest of the games.
Platform(s): PS2, GameCube, Xbox
It’s not that the first Burnout game was bad, but it was very basic and didn’t have the “in your face” personality that the Burnout games became known for later on. In the first game, there were fast cars, nitrous boosts, and crash cameras. The formula was there, but it needed to be polished and made better.
During championships, players would race on tracks in the United States and Europe with cars that got faster as you progressed. There aren’t many surprises in this game, which is why it’s at the bottom of this list. Adding bells and whistles to Burnout in later versions of the game helped it become a success. Burnout isn’t like any other game.
Burnout Chains, on the other hand, is a way for skilled players to keep getting better. At least that’s fun.
Platform(s): PS2, PSP
Dominator is often overlooked in the series because it came out a year after another Burnout game on this list.
This is the only game in the series that wasn’t made by Criterion. EA UK is in charge of this new one. As well as being released on the PSP, Dominator would be released on the PS2 in the same month that the PS3 was released in the UK, making it almost impossible to remember.
Dominator was, for lack of a better term, a smaller version of Burnout Revenge. There was no Crash mode, no online play, and no support for steering wheel controllers, which were all supported by other Criterion Burnout games. Dominator did not have a Crash mode. In the game, players would drive different types of cars, travel around the world, and compete in a lot of different races and other events. If Criterion was not in charge of the game, it didn’t meet the same high standards as its predecessors. The reviews showed that, and it was all the same Burnout stuff.
Platform(s): PSP, DS
As it stands, the DS version of Burnout Legends isn’t as good as the PSP version, so it should be at the bottom of this list.
Burnout Legends is basically a collection of the first three games for the PSP. It includes a lot of the best cars, songs, tracks, and Crash mode levels from the first three games. If you own a PSP, Burnout Legends was a must-have game because it condensed all of the great gameplay from the series into bite-sized chunks.
Even though Legends was a great Burnout game, its success is based on the work that was done in other games that came before it. Because Burnout 2 and 3 are so good, Legends is only good because it’s a good game. Legends doesn’t really build on those games as much as it repackages them and sells them again as new games.
Burnout 2: Point of Impact
Platform(s): PS2, GameCube, Xbox
When Acclaim went bankrupt, Burnout 2: Point of Impact was the last Burnout game they made before they went out of business. It was a big improvement over the original game, and it finally had one of Burnout’s best features: the Crash Mode. A game would be complete when people could go through busy intersections without a care in the world and get points for it. So it’s the same as in real life, except that Burnout points won’t go on your licence.
As good as Burnout 2: Point of Impact is as a follow-up to the first game, it isn’t quite as good as the game that came after it. While Point of Impact may have been more fun for people who played in person, it could be said that it was more fun for people who played in person because boosting was more about skill than who got the fluky takedown.
Maybe the show’s best moment, but it’s not the last or biggest one.
Platform(s): PS2, Xbox, Xbox 360 (360 version also backwards compatible)
In the middle of two of the most popular and long-lasting games in the series (Dominator and Legends, of course), Burnout Revenge seems to have fallen by the wayside. This is a shame, because it was a great game. To be honest, Burnout Revenge could have been the best Burnout game ever. There are some flaws, but this version of the game has a lot to love about it.
This is one of the most detailed additions made to Burnout Revenge. Traffic checking allowed you to rear-end small cars without any consequences. Aftertouch, on the other hand, lets crashed players control their cars after a pile-up to try and smash into other racers. If you’re a fan of Burnout, this game is just as fun as you’d expect it to be. The extra features and some bad track design made the game a little too hectic at times.
Also, the Crash Mode was changed, and it wasn’t very good. These are just small complaints, though, because Revenge is still a great racing game.
Dangerous Driving – 2019 (PC/PS4/Xbox)
Wait…what? Aren’t these games called Burnout? What is this person doing here?
Dangerous Driving is, in fact, a Burnout title that doesn’t even have the name of a game. Dangerous Driving was made by Three Fields Entertainment, a development team led by three members of the original Burnout team. The last Burnout game, Burnout Paradise, was released in 2008. It was remastered in 2018 and released on the Switch in 2020.
This is a great example of how going back to basics worked out well for the Burnout series, which kept adding things to the basic and addictive arcade racing formula. Dangerous Driving was made on a much smaller budget than most other Burnout games, which means it doesn’t even have in-game music.
Dangerous Driving lets you race against AI or other people online, and it even has Takedowns that give you more Nitro boosts. This makes it feel like a lost Burnout game from a simpler time. Though the game doesn’t have a lot of features, it has a lot of arcade simplicity that the later Burnout games didn’t have as much of.
Burnout Paradise – 2008 (PC/PS3/Xbox 360)
Burnout Paradise was a game that was way ahead of its time. It set the stage for games like Forza Horizon, which are huge, non-linear open world racers.
Burnout Paradise did away with the event-based stage structure of its predecessors, allowing players to explore the fictional city of Paradise City at their own pace. They could enter a variety of events at junctions in the city whenever they felt like it.
For open world racing games, Burnout Paradise was close to being the perfect model. It had a lot of secrets to find, vehicles to buy, and events to master. Because of its lifeless, often bland and samey open world, annoying in-game DJ, and lack of instant restarts for its events, it didn’t live up to its hype (this was patched into the game despite initial pushback from the developers).
It’s impossible to argue that Burnout Paradise wasn’t a hugely important game, even though there were some minor flaws. There was also a remastered version that came out a decade after the original game, which had all of the DLC vehicles (motorbikes, too) and an extra island area.