Bring It Back: Burnout 3 Takedown (2004)

Sony has unlocked Pandora’s Box by releasing some of its PS2 classics on the PS4 in 1080p with full feature support, including trophies. Sure, I could just as easily spend that $15 on a satisfying meal at Chipotle, but whereas Chipotle will only bring me temporary satisfaction, trophies last forever. So, the question now stands, what do we want to see them bring back? The PS2 had an enormous library, so every Friday (or, in this case, Saturday) I will make a case for the games that I think deserve the recognition. Some are beloved classics, others are deeper cuts. This week’s pick is:

BURNOUT 3: TAKEDOWN (2004)

Have you ever played a racing game that was predicated on causing as much dollar for dollar damage as possible with a single vehicle? Criterion Games asked players to do just that with what is indisputably the most beloved entry in their racing franchise. The devastation wasn’t limited to the race track, either. Takedown introduced “Crash” mode, which featured the sole objective of driving your automobile off of a ramp and scoring points based on the amount of chaos that ensued. It was like someone had taken your childhood collection of toy cars and had put all of the insanity going on inside that young mind onto a television screen.  

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It helps that even when you’re not driving straight into oncoming traffic, the game is one of the best arcade racers around. Easy to learn, hard to master, and always brutally fast, races in Burnout are notorious for their intensity and it is no different here. Every circuit is a ballet of flames, sparks, and bent metal. It is a modern technical wonder that, with everything going on in the average race, Burnout 3 looks as good as it does, runs as fast as it does, and plays as smooth as it does.

At the end of the day, Burnout 3 is everything an arcade game should be: visceral, addictive, and fast.