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North American PlayStation 2 cover art
Developer(s) Criterion Games
Publisher(s) Acclaim Entertainment
Engine RenderWare
Native resolution 480p (EDTV), 480i (SDTV)
Platform(s) Nintendo GameCube, PlayStation 2, Xbox
Release date(s) GameCube
NA April 29, 2002
PAL May 3, 2002
NA April 30, 2002
PAL May 5, 2002
PlayStation 2
NA November 1, 2001
PAL November 16, 2001
Genre(s) Racing
Mode(s) Single-player
Rating(s) ELSPA: 11+
OFLC: M15+
Media DVD, Nintendo optical disc

Burnout, under the working title Shiny Red Car,[1] is a 2001 racing game developed by Criterion Games and published by Acclaim on the PlayStation 2, Xbox and GameCube. The PlayStation 2 version was released in North America on November 1, 2001 and Europe on November 16, 2001.[2] The GameCube version was released in North America on April 29, 2002 and Europe on May 3, 2002.[3] The Xbox version was released in North America on April 30, 2002 and in Europe on May 5, 2002.[1]

Burnout was the first in a series of high-speed racing games noted for over the top crashes and high risk gameplay mechanics. The game's success led to several sequels.



The main gameplay mode in Burnout is the Championship mode, which is a selection of events with three or four races in each. Here the player competes against three other cars on various courses. Each event gets harder and requires the player to use faster cars to reach first place. After completing each event, a Face Off challenge is unlocked which in turn unlocks a new car if won. Other modes include single race, time attack, and multiplayer. Single race is a mode where the player races against three opponents. In time attack, the player must finish a lap in a certain amount of time.

Tracks and cars

Each track is based on a real-world location:

Area Track Name Real-Life equivalent
USA Interstate U.S. Route 66
USA Gridlock USA New York City, New York
Europe River City Paris, France
Europe Harbour Town Costa del Sol, Spain
USA Hillside Pass Napa County, California

Each location is connected in "Sprints", so hypothetically one could drive from River City (Paris) and end up in Harbor Town (the Costa del Sol) in a matter of seconds. Each location has a distinct collection of traffic that distinguishes one continent from the next; e.g. American taxi cabs versus European taxi cabs and so forth.

Burnout features a small collection of cars, including the small Compact, the Sedan, the Pickup and the Muscle.


Review scores
Publication Score
GC PS2 Xbox
GameSpot 7.3 out of 10[4] 8.0 out of 10[5] 7.3 out of 10[6]
GameSpy 3/5 stars[7]
IGN 7.8 out of 10[8] 8.6 out of 10[9] 7.6 out of 10[10]
Aggregate scores
GameRankings 78.9% (44 reviews)[11] 80.1% (47 reviews)[12] 78.4% (38 reviews)[13]
Metacritic 78% (18 reviews)[14] 79% (25 reviews)[15] 75% (13 reviews)[16]

Burnout was received positively by critics, especially praising for its impressive graphics and its gameplay. Shahed Ahmed at GameSpot claimed that Burnout is one of the most intense and entertaining racing games on the PlayStation 2, complete with tight controls and impressive graphics. GamePro claimed that the game offers a great mix of easy accessibility, straightforward style, and pants-wetting excitement. The July 2002 issue of Electronic Monthly Gaming claimed that Burnout has an incredible sense of speed.

This game was often criticized for its music, replays, and its difficulty. claimed that Burnout is the worst example to date as you can be in first place yet still run out of time, a facet which is both infuriating, common to several courses and, considering the likelihood of at least a few collisions, utterly predictable.


  1. ^ a b "Burnout (xbox)". IGN. Retrieved 2008-05-01.  
  2. ^ "Burnout Release Summary (PS2)". GameSpot. Retrieved 2008-05-01.  
  3. ^ "Burnout Release Summary (GC)". GameSpot. Retrieved 2008-05-01.  
  4. ^ "GameCube review". Gamespot.  
  5. ^ "PlayStation 2 review". Gamespot.  
  6. ^ "Xbox review". Gamespot.  
  7. ^ "GameCube review". GameSpy.  
  8. ^ "GameCube review". IGN.  
  9. ^ "PlayStation 2 review". IGN.  
  10. ^ "Xbox review". IGN.  
  11. ^ "Aggregate score for GameCube". Game Rankings.  
  12. ^ "Aggregate score for PlayStation 2". Game Rankings.  
  13. ^ "Aggregate score for Xbox". Game Rankings.  
  14. ^ "Aggregate score for GameCube". Metacritic.  
  15. ^ "Aggregate score for PlayStation 2". Metacritic.  
  16. ^ "Aggregate score for Xbox". Metacritic.  

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