Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.
How have I not covered Burnout Paradise already in the HYP archives?! It’s been in my top five all-time games since its release in 2008, and remains my favourite driving game of all time. The game I’ve gone back to more than any other, apart from maybe Freecell.
Some were disappointed that Criterion’s Burnout Paradise didn’t focus on the epic crashes of the series’ previous editions, most especially Burnout 3: Takedown. And yes, it would have been an even better game of all time if it had. But forget DJ fucking Atomica, forget the way it plays that hateful GnR song every bloody time it starts (I probably didn’t have feelings about the song either way before the game came out). Focus on how it was an open-world game before they were a thing – a huge city to drive around, smashing barriers and advertising billboards.
I’m sure there’s other stuff to do in there too, races or something. But for me, it’s a game I load up once a year to smash all the yellow barriers, and drive through all the red boards, and then satisfied, continue with my life once more. It’s just a fiver on Steam now, and no, the ghastly menus are as bad as ever, and the online stuff is a complete disaster now, but who cares – just smash stuff!