Every Burnout Game, Ranked

Sit back, relax and tune in to Crash FM as we rank every Burnout game
Every Burnout Game, Ranked

They just don’t make arcade racing games like they used to, do they? All these live-service, festival-style racers like Forza Horizon and The Crew are great but there’s a sore absence of ridiculous, destruction-heavy street racing games that the ‘00s did so well.

None did them better than Burnout, quite frankly. The series is sadly dormant - if not yet completely dead - but is still remembered as one of the pillars of racing game history. As we wait for its hopeful revival, we’ve taken on the job of ranking each entry.

8. Burnout Crash

Every Burnout Game, Ranked

Burnout Crash wasn’t a bad game as such and holds the title as the most recent new entry to the series, but it was sparse.

This spin-off title took Burnout’s ‘crash’ mode, which gave you the sole objective of causing as much destruction as physically possible, and made a whole game of it. It was fun for a little while, but very quickly grew tiresome with very little variety in its gameplay. That said, a modern-day mobile re-release could be good fun.

7. Burnout

Every Burnout Game, Ranked

There’s a very special place in our hearts for the original Burnout – after all, we wouldn’t have the legendary series without it. However, it hasn’t aged especially well - not really doing anything any game in the series since hasn’t done better.

It was a pretty simple game, with a relatively small amount of locations, game modes and tracks. The handling was quite tricky to master though, plus lots of traffic to navigate and a timer that required you to go through checkpoints to top up can make it hard to play these days. What a legacy it started, though.

6. Burnout Legends

Every Burnout Game, Ranked

Burnout Legends is the closest thing the series ever came to a ‘Greatest Hits’ compilation. Designed for handheld consoles - namely the PSP and Nintendo DS - it effectively ripped the gameplay mechanics of Burnout 3 with tracks and cars taken from other games in the series.

The result was a mixed bag, reviewing nicely for the PSP version but appalling for the drastically different DS version. In the case of the former, it did the job of providing a fun on-the-go Burnout experience, if doing nothing new.

5. Burnout Dominator

Every Burnout Game, Ranked

Burnout Dominator was only ever meant to fill as a stop-gap in the series, developed by EA UK and released on PS2 and PSP to keep interest in the series alive while Criterion Games was busy working away on Paradise.

That stop-gap nature showed, with Crash mode absent from the series along with the ability to traffic-check your opponents by pushing civilian cars into them.

Despite all that, it turned out to be a solid entry - if not quite offering the full experience. Focusing on ‘Burnout Chains’ - draining your boost from full to empty while attempting to pull off an insane manner of moves to make sure it refills again - gave it a unique edge.

4. Burnout 2: Point of Impact

Every Burnout Game, Ranked

As far as sequels go, Burnout 2: Point of Impact did everything you’d hope. It took Burnout, kept the core gameplay fans had come to love and just threw more content in the mix. The result felt like a much more complete experience than the game that kicked the series off.

It was also the first Burnout to introduce Crash mode, which would go on to become a staple of the series and even spawn its own spin-off game that sits as the ‘worst’ on this list.

3. Burnout Revenge

Every Burnout Game, Ranked

We’re approaching controversial territory here. While none of the titles prior to this point in the list are widely considered the best, hardcore Burnout fans most likely have a strong opinion on any of these top three.

For us, Burnout Revenge takes the first spot on the podium. As the final Criterion-developed entry in the series before Paradise took to an open world, Revenge also ended as the most feature-complete title of all.

It took every game mode that had come before it, added more ways to take your opponents down, and generally upped the ante. The Xbox 360 version still holds up wonderfully today.

2. Burnout 3: Takedown

Every Burnout Game, Ranked

If Burnout 2 was an evolution, Burnout 3: Takedown was a dramatic revolution. Although still focusing on the high-octane arcade carnage the series had established itself for, Takedown looked and felt so much more polished than the two games before it, making the leap from cult favourite to AAA racer.

As you might figure from the name, it was the first to introduce takedowns - the ability to wreck your opponents in races in a variety of ridiculous ways. We’d go as far to argue that it’s the best arcade racing game ever made if it wasn’t for one more game…

1. Burnout Paradise

Every Burnout Game, Ranked

Whoever decided Burnout needed to move to an open world may have been the greatest genius of our time. Released in 2008, Burnout Paradise remains the last proper entry into the series and - if you’d deciphered our opinion from the Takedown summary - possibly the greatest arcade racing game full stop.

It took the high-octane, destruction-heavy action to the beautiful Paradise City with an emphasis on blasting around the city, finding a heap of hiding routes and smashing through everything in sight while you’re doing it.

While its single-player was addictive, Paradise’s crown jewel was its online multiplayer, allowing you to ‘Freeburn’ in its open world, either against them or teaming up to take on challenges.

We’re not certain we’ll ever see a new Burnout game, but if Paradise ultimately proves to be the series’ swansong, what a way to go out. 


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