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"Welcome to Paradise City, the home of Burnout driving. From the winding trails of White Mountain, to the grid network of Downtown Paradise. The city has miles of open road. Explore everything at your leisure. This is unlike any driving experience you've ever had. [...] The world is full of surprises. We'll keep you updated as you drive. What happens next is completely up to you."
Jules de Jongh in the FMV intro to Burnout Paradise

"This is Crash FM and I'm DJ Atomika, fresh from Radio Big to be your guide to the streets of Paradise City."
DJ Atomika (Mark Hildreth) at the beginning of Burnout Paradise in-game immediately following the FMV.

Burnout Paradise is an arcade-styled Racing Game developed by Criterion Games and published by Electronic Arts. Released for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in January 2008 and later for Microsoft Windows on 5 February 2009, it is the fifth and most recent main title (and seventh title overall) in Criterion's Burnout series.

Unlike past games in the Burnout series, Paradise shifts the game into a Wide-Open Sandbox setting called Paradise City, a coastal city containing three urban districts (a northern mostly high-residential district named Palm Bay Heights, a southern naval harbor district called Harbor Town, and the Downtown district to the southeast) and its nearby rural area to the west surrounding a large reservoir named Silver Lake, with said rural area bordered by the White Mountain region. A later DLC packnote  would also provide access to a small, urbanized island called Big Surf Island off the east coast of the city, connected via a semi-completed suspension bridge called the Paradise Keys Bridge. Within this very nonlinear open world environment, Paradise gave players a lot of things to do:

  • Races, Road Rage events, and Burning Routes returned, along with takedowns, though Aftertouch Takedowns were unfortunately removed and traffic checking can only be done by the heaviest vehicles. Burning Routes in particular allow players to win improved versions of various cars.
  • Stunt Run events, in which players have to do various tricks and stunts to gain high scores. In other words, it's skate using cars.
  • Marked Man events are Burning Routes with a dangerous twist; rather than trying to get to the finish before time runs out, players have to make it to their destination without being taken down by enemy armored cars.
  • Showtime mode replaced Crash mode, turning any street into a crash junction where players crash their heap of junk that used to be a car into other traffic, especially those multiplier-boosting buses.
  • Road Rules are time trials and Showtime scores for each street in the game. Players can try to set the best times or high scores for their friends to beat, offline or online.

There are also smash gates, smashable billboards, parking garages, and super jumps for players to find all over the city, which unlock special cars and achievements should players find them all. Several drive-through shops also allow players to have their vehicles repaired, repainted, or have their boost meters refilled. Another innovation added to the game was Online Freeburn, where players could go straight into an online session with up to eight players. In Online Freeburn, players can roam around Paradise City like in single-player, doing just as many things with friends and strangers as they could do alone. They can:

  • Race, using either a pre-made route or a route custom-made by a player.
  • Complete co-op challenges, and there are a lot of them to do (it started at three-hundred fifty challenges, but over time it was increased to five hundred challenges). Each of them (except the ten Island Challenges) require a certain amount of players, so cooperation is crucial.
  • Compete in online events including:
    • Online Stunt Run, which players try to get the most points from stunts. Players can also takedown one another to cause them to lose their combos and (if the initial two minutes were up and it was their final combo) be eliminated from further scoring. After a player is eliminated, their icon on the map will disappear and they can try to takedown the remaining players.
    • Online Road Rage, where a blue team has to reach a checkpoint and then a finish line, while a red team tries to eliminate them. If a member of the blue team reaches the finish, they win. Otherwise, if they are all taken down by the red team, that team wins.
    • Online Marked Man, where players take turns getting chased by the others. The marked man (who loses their boosting ability or some speed) has ninety seconds to avoid crashing or being taken down by the chasers (who have unlimited boosting).
    • Cops and Robbers, which was also added in a DLC pack, has a team of red-colored robbers from the naval yard going against a squad of police cars from the country club to bring bars of gold to their bases. Once a player grabs the gold, they have to avoid being taken down by the opposing players or else the gold will be taken from them. Basically, it's Capture the Flag.
  • Or just roam around the city taking down players, trying to reach the top of session leaderboards for different things (such as drifting or air time), beating Road Rules, or just going out for a cruise.

Burnout Paradise received rave reviews from critics, including some driving game of the year awards. Even though Criterion could have just made the game and called it a day afterwards, they gave the game numerous updates and Downloadable Content, which went on for over a year. Said updates and DLC included motorbikes, controllable time of day, several fun car packs, a share-the-controller Party mode, and the aforementioned Cops and Robbers game mode and Big Surf Island area.

The Xbox 360 version of the game was added to the Xbox One's backwards compatibility program on 22 November 2016, over a year after Criterion announced they would do so. In addition, that version was available for free via Xbox Live's Games with Gold program from 16—31 December 2016.note 

A remastered version of the game, Burnout Paradise Remastered, was released for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 on 16 March 2018 to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the original. Handled by Stellar Entertainment Software in cooperation with Criterion, it supports 4K resolution at 60 FPS on Xbox One X and PS4 Pro,note  with native 1080p at 60 FPS for the standard models. Remastered contains all DLC included except for the unlock-all-in-game-content-immediately Time Savers Pack. EA Access subscribers on Xbox One got to play the game a week early on 9 March for up to ten hours. A Windows PC version of Remastered was released on Origin on 21 August 2018,note  which means that PC gamers finally get to drive on Big Surf Island officially (no mods required) and play Cops and Robbers. A port of Remastered for the Nintendo Switch was released on 19 June 2020, supporting 1080p resolution docked and 720p resolution handheld, but still running at 60 FPS like every other release.

The online servers for the original Burnout Paradise (on PS3, Xbox 360, and PC) were shut down on 1 August 2019 after 11½ years of operation. The offline modes and DLC for that version, as well as the online servers for Remastered, are unaffected.

Crash FM would like to remind you to look out for these tropes when cruising through Paradise City:

  • Always Night: One of the options for the In-Universe Game Clock allows you to set it so that it's always a certain time, including midnight, allowing the player to enforce this.
  • Artifact Title: The "Paradise Keys Bridge" to Big Surf Island retains the name of a discarded idea that originally spawned Big Surf Island where the DLC would have included several islands instead of just one.
  • The Announcer: DJ Atomika at the beginning of events.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: A patch made the collectibles glow in the dark, which makes them stick out like a sore thumb if you set the in-game clock to Always Night; Billboards are red, smash gates are yellow and super jumps have blue cones near the jump. That said, they still aren't exactly easy to find, and the darkness means you'll have less overall visibility and thus more prone to crashing into things.
  • Automatic New Game: Paradise drops you straight into an unskippable intro FMV, then into the city in your first car. Like Grand Theft Auto, it also auto-loads your most recent autosave if one is found.
  • A Winner Is You: Completed your Burnout or Elite License? Congratulations, you won! Enjoy the credits, have some paint jobs, and get back out there on the streets and do some Online Freeburn!
  • Badass Adorable: The Toy vehicles. They are tiny little versions of existing vehicles (eight cars and one bike in the initial Toys collection, plus the four later Toy Legendary cars in Big Surf Island) in the game. They can take on bigger vehicles just as easily as their full-size counterparts (although their racing prowess is diminished by rather low stats in Speed and Boost). Wrecking them via a crash is virtually impossible in some cases.
  • Benevolent Architecture: Ramps everywhere, highways with gaps in the walls, a rail system that is never used and seems to exist solely as a shortcut... Paradise City has it all. It's even lampshaded by the game's DJ, who every so often thanks the "lazy Public Works Department" for not fixing the bridges and highways.
    • Not to mention that almost all of the shortcuts are laid out in such a way that they can be navigated both forwards and backwards, like they were deliberately intended to be taken in either direction.
  • Better than a Bare Bulb: One of DJ Atomika's jobs is to lampshade classic racing game tropes and Acceptable Breaks from Reality.
  • Bowdlerise: Swears and illicit things have been removed from several songs.
    • The main theme "Paradise City" replaces a few words in the darkest verse in the song; "gas chamber" in the line "Strapped in the chair of the city's gas chamber" is replaced with "the street" (taken from the line, "Just a urchin livin' under the street"), and "cigarette" in the line "I'd have another cigarette but I can't see" is a bit clumsily replaced with a repetition of "'nother" (from the line "I'll pay you at another time").
    • Bromheads Jacket's "Fight Music for the Fight" replaces the lyric "he's dosed up on the steroids" with a repetition of "Muhammad Ali or m[aybe Prince Naseem]" from earlier in the song, and replaces "backbones cracking" with "you'll catch him", a lyric from shortly after this line.
    • "Fake It"'s chorus removes the "fuckin'" in "You're such a fuckin' hypocrite". Notably, because nothing replaces the "fuckin'", the song drops a single beat at the end of each chorus repetition.
    • Brain Failure's "Coming Down to Beijing" replaces "Marlboro cigarettes" with an echo of the "free" from "duty-free" and replaces "goddamn smokes" with a repetition of "[Beiji]ng for a while".
    • Airbourne's "Too Much, Too Young, Too Fast" replaces "drink" in the chorus with "tear" from the later half of the chorus, as well as swapping "glass" for "lasts".
    • Avril Lavigne's "Girlfriend" replaces "damn" in "Don't pretend I think you know I'm damn precious" with an echo of "you know" and "I'm" shifted to between that and "precious". The following line, "And hell yeah, I'm the motherfuckin' princess," mutes "And hell" and repeats "I'm the" in an echo to replace "motherfuckin'".
  • Bragging Rights Reward:
    • The Jansen P12 Diamond, a car earned for completing every single Freeburn Challenge in the game (including the ones that come with Big Surf Island), which total 500.
    • In some ways the Carbon cars as well (earned for finding all the collectibles or, in the case of the Krieger Carbon Uberschall 8, completing two categories of Freeburn Challenges online).
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Signs in the White Mountain region dissuade rock climbing as it's a health hazard. These signs have additional text stating "If you can read this then the texture is too high res Blah blah blah".
  • Color-Coded Multiplayer:
    • Eight colors are used for players in Online Freeburn, given to players who join in the following order: yellow, red, blue, green, pink, orange, purple, and cyan. These are used to color their name in Today's Best, as well as for their arrow on the map. The colors will shift to retain the aforementioned order if anyone leaves.
    • In Cops and Robbers mode, the Cop team is blue, while the Robbers are red.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Downplayed in Marked Man events. Your hunters are driving customized Hunter Civilian cars which can keep up with almost anything you drive, apart from top-end Speed cars with the boost held down. However, the Hunter Civilian you can drive really is that fast if you lean on its Aggression-type boost as well. The cheating comes from the "customized" part, which means they handle MUCH better than the player one, and the game will shamelessly respawn them close to you to keep the pressure on all route - you aren't allowed to build up a lead and coast.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • A significant amount of the cars are taken from every previous Burnout game, including the non-Criterion Burnout Dominator. An older example includes the Hunter Manhattan, which first appeared in Burnout 2 as the Classic, as well as the Kitano Hydros Techno which also appeared in 2 as the Custom Coupe and in successive installments as the Custom Coupe Ultimate.
    • On the same note, many years-old traffic vehicle meshes are also given the HD treatment. There's a sedan that appears in Burnout: Revenge at the earliest, and a minivan that can be traced all the way back to Burnout 2.
    • All of the districts in the game are taken from past titles, and those have sub-districts that do the same thing. These are Harbor Town for 1, Palm Bay Heights and Big Surf Island for 2, Downtown Paradise and Silver Lake for 3 and White Mountain for Revengenote .
    • There is a small section on Big Surf Island that was taken from the Big Surf Shores course from Burnout 2. The area with the two tunnels on different elevations is a nod to the course that gave the island its name.
  • Conveniently Empty Roads: Can be set up by the player by disabling traffic in a multiplayer lobby you're hosting, or by exploiting a bug to carry the change over into single-player.
  • Cool Cars: Still not licensed as per the series' norm, but there's a kickass car for everyone in the game. Heavy-hitting trucks, fast stock cars and Formula One-styled racers, Badass Adorable toy cars, cars that can fly and leave flame trails when boosting, Badass Adorable flying toy cars that leave flame trails when boosting, you name it!
    • Cool Bikes: Motorcycles were added in a free update in September 2008, making Paradise the only game in the Burnout series to have them.
  • Defeat Means Playable: Roughly half of the non-DLC cars are unlocked this way. After winning a set amount of events, a certain car appears on random intervals in the open world and you have to take it down to unlock it.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: A black-and-white filter was used for Picture Paradise until it was removed in the fourth update.
  • Difficult, but Awesome:
    • The Boost Specials cars introduce new boost types exclusive to them that need the player to completely re-adapt, but are among the best cars in the game once mastered.
      • The Carson Extreme Hot Rod features Locked boost: once it's activated the car keeps boosting indefinitely unless the player crashes or manages to stop the car. Because of this, it can be potentially uncontrollable for less expert drivers. However, once you get acclimatised to the overwhelming speed and acceleration, it's easily one of the fastest cars in the game, and can even pull off the most barrel rolls in a single jump out of all the cars available. If you keep control of this car at high speeds, it gains even enough momentum to take down more durable cars such as the Hunter Takedown 4x4 and the Carson Inferno Van.
      • Montgomery Hawker Mech is the only car in the game to feature Switchable boost: at the press of a button,note  the car switches between Stunt, Aggression, and Speed boosts. That however also changes the car's behavior to make it better suited to the Boost type it's usingnote . If you can understand and tame these handling changes, this car truly becomes a force to be reckoned with in almost every area.
    • The Jansen X12. To quote the game's description, "It's fast. It's a bit mental. And it doesn't like you very much. But if you've got the skills to tame it, there aren't many cars faster." Sure enough, despite being unlocked in the midgame, it's one of the fastest cars in the game while leaning on the boost. The downside is its fragility and eccentric handling - it requires downforce for grip, meaning it flails all over the road at low speed and oversteers at the slightest provocation - but it's capable of winning any race in the game. Similarly, its stunt-boost-equipped carbon variant's high speed and light frame makes it fantastic at barrel rolls and jumps, but it retains its twitchy handling and wrecks very easily at those speeds.
  • Disc-One Nuke:
    • It's possible to get all of the smash gates, billboards, and super jumps with the first car you get. Getting every single one of each awards a heavily souped-up, carbon fibre version of one of the game's cars. Have fun.
    • The 2018 remaster comes with all the original's DLC and its cars for free, with the exception being all cars unlocked through the Big Surf Island license; you're still gonna have to finish that. You also cannot use the Cop Cars to do Burning Routes.note  Otherwise, there are no restrictions or unlocks required for the DLC, so you can quickly trade in the starting junker and its low stats for something that can easily plow through the early parts of the game.
  • Downloadable Content: Burnout Paradise had a ton made for it. There were over twenty new cars, motorcycles, and an entire island added to the game. For point of reference, the game first came out in January 2008. It continued getting DLC all the way through June of 2009, and only the more recent expansions started charging money. Supposedly, all the free updates were meant to be shipped on release but Criterion ran out of time.
  • Drives Like Crazy: It wouldn't be a Burnout game if it didn't reflect this trope.
  • Endless Daytime: One of the options for the In-Universe Game Clock allows you to set it so that it's always a certain time, including sunrise, midday, and sunset, allowing the player to enforce this.
  • Expy: Almost every vehicle in the game has clear similarities to real ones, and are given appropriate fake manufacturers as well. This also influences the choice of vehicle for the Legendary Cars.
    • Although most cars in the game can be traced to a real-life counterpart, the game's tamer menagerie of traffic vehicles is far less intentional in this regard. They aren't even given brand names. This probably isn't much of an issue since, in the vast majority of player interactions in which further scrutiny is demanded, these cars and trucks will either whiz by or be reduced to shreds.
  • Fake Longevity: A double-edged sword of the progression system in Paradise. Each license requires X amount of wins to get to the next one, with the penultimate tier being 40 event wins (out of 120 available) to advance from a Class A License to a Burnout License. Upon each upgrade, the non-Burning Route event wins are wiped clean to allow the player freedom to stick to their preferred events. The trope comes into play, however, when trying to go from the Burnout License to the Elite License; once again, all the non-BR events are wiped clean, but now the player must clear all events aside from completed Burning Routes including all the prior wins from the Class A License.
  • Fragile Speedster:
    • Speed boost cars are overall faster but usually more fragile than the other cars. The fastest standard cars in the game, the Krieger Überschall 8 and Racing WTR (and their variants), are also the weakest cars in the game.
    • The online-only Nakamura Rai-Jin Turbo isn't equipped with a Boost bar, but it's the fastest car in the game, being fully capable of outrunning the Racing WTR and the Überschall with relative ease. However, it's quite unstable at high speeds, its poor weight balance makes drifting with this car a difficult task, and its mediocre strength rating of 4 won't make it survive through most brawls.
    • The bikes, especially Nakamura Firehawk bikes, are also quick but weak. The Nakamura Firehawk GP Competition in particular is also the absolute weakest vehicle in the game with a strength stat of zero, as in rubbing against the wall at lower speeds can potentially cause it to crash.
  • Goomba Stomp: Driving off a ramp or ledge and landing on a rival car nets you a "Vertical Takedown".
  • Gratuitous Latin: The motto of Paradise City:
    Loco Pedal ut Metal, Ledo isTranslation 
  • Guide Dang It!: The 2018 remaster does not include a manual, so some of the game's mechanics aren't explained at all unless one goes elsewhere to look for it (such as activating Showtime), on top of features that were patched in after the original 2008 release (the vanilla version initially did not have a "retry event" option; it was patched in later and can be brought up by pressing right on the D-pad, which again will be tough to find unless you already know about it).
    • The infamous Trophy/Achievement of eight players meeting up in the Wildcat Stadium can be completed offline through a Road Rage. Doing a Road Rage with a target of a dozen-plus takedowns, and then hitting the target, will spawn enough AI cars on the player trying to take you out that driving into the stadium will have seven cars pursue you inside and trigger the achievement.
  • Have a Nice Crash: The wrecks look good of course, though, in the original console versions, the game drops to thirty frames per second in crashes since the game adds extra details of bits of pieces falling off the vehicles. Criterion made sure these wrecks were given the cinematic treatment so they could get away with this in the game. Thankfully, the PC and Remastered versions just go all out with sixty frames per second.
  • In-Universe Game Clock: The game defaults to an in-game day lasting 24 real-time minutes (i.e. one real-life second equals one in-game minute). However, you can actually change the passage of time in the Under the Hood menu. Other available settings include a 48 minute day,note  a 2 hour day,note  a 24 hour day,note  a time of day matching the time of the console you're playing on,note  and a setting that lets you make it constantly sunrise (6:00 a.m.), midday (12:00 p.m. or noon), sunset (8:00 p.m.), or midnight (12:00 a.m. or... midnight). Since certain challenges are only available at certain times of day, this can also be exploited to make it whatever time of day you need.
  • Jack of All Stats: Stunt boost cars. Not as fast as speed cars, but usually more durable and definitely easier to boost.
  • Joe Sent Me: One of Atomika's various ramblings has him bring up a restaurant that serves really good burgers. He seems to be held in good graces there, as you'll get a bonus to your meal if you tell them the DJ sent you there.
    DJ Atomika: One of my favorite places in Paradise is Waterfront Plaza. That big flag guy, the Rayfield Hotel - did you know they serve a tremendous burger in the restaurant there? Next time you finish an event at the Waterfront you should go in and try it. Tell 'em Atomika sent you - they'll give you extra onion rings.
  • Last Lousy Point: The Smash Gates, Billboards, and Super Jumps can become this, as your only hints are a section in the menu telling you how many you've found in each of the 5 areas. DJ Atomika sometimes discusses it as well:
    DJ Atomika: Is it just me or are there other drivers out there with one Smash Gate left to find? Just one - just one little row of yellow gates? Focus, Atomika... it'll be worth it!
  • Lethal Joke Character: All of the Toy Cars easily qualify, but the Toy Hunter Takedown 4x4 takes the cake. It can plow through traffic with reckless abandon and not even hitting a bus head-on is enough to total it. The only downside is that it shares its full-size version's lack of agility.
  • Letting the Air out of the Band: Blowing the General Lee horn of the Hunter Calvary Bootlegger and its toy counterpart and then crashing it while the horn still plays, it dies.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Half the Aggression boost cars, including the Hunter Racing Oval Champ and the Carson Thunder Custom, the two fastest cars in Paradise City with the Aggression boost type. The Hunter Citizen police car, and - on a more controversial note - the Carson GT Nighthawk, also qualify for this trope.
  • Loads and Loads of Loading:
    • Note to Criterion: When it takes over five seconds to load every car you so much as put the cursor over in the Junkyard in Burnout Paradise, your dynamic loading isn't working very well. Even worse is that it takes just as long to load a different paint job. Thankfully, the rest of the game is much better about this.
    • In fact, Criterion's initial goal with Paradise was to avert this as much as they could (the previous games were criticized for this trope due to its menu-heavy interface), which is why the idea of restarts and "warp-to" functions were not included (as they would generate a load time). Restarts were later added to the game (and their load times are not bad).
  • Made of Indestructium: One of the things that make the Toy Cars Lethal Joke Characters is their sheer toughness in comparison to their bigger counterparts; the more durable ones can even ram a bus head-on and not wreck.
  • Mechanically Unusual Fighter: The Boost Specials and the online-only cars either feature an exclusive type of Boost (for the former) or no Boost at all (for the latter).
  • Mighty Glacier:
    • The other half of the Aggression boost cars. The Carson Inferno Van and Hunter Takedown 4X4 are the two slowest cars in terms of acceleration and top speed, and also the two heaviest, meaning a collision with them will deal the pain. Useless in races or stunt runs, near-godlike in Marked Man or Road Rage events.
    • The Hunter Olympus, an unholy hybrid of a Range Rover and a Hummer, is the slowest, heaviest, and strongest vehicle in the entire game. It's one of the two vehicles that can only be used online and has no boost but can toss traffic cars like ants and take down other players just by punting them. The Big Surf Island DLC introduces the Olympus Governor, the same vehicle but with Stunt boost and you can use it offline. Road Rage and Marked Man events are absolute cakewalks with this thing.
  • Minimalist Cast: Aside from DJ Atomika, no other characters are in the game.
  • Multiplayer Difficulty Spike: The enemy racers in offline events rarely ever use shortcuts, and can typically be taken down with a light tap to their side. Online Freeburn requires more effort for these sorts of things.
  • Nerf:
    • Road Rage's rules were revamped after one of the patches. No longer could one have an unlimited timer in Road Rage. The timer now stops counting up after you hit the takedown target.
    • Also, in another patch the beginner cars were made slower for more inexperienced drivers, and most of the previously awesome cars (like the Hunter Manhattan, an extremely useful all-around car found early on) had their stats whittled down a few notches.
  • Nitro Boost: It wouldn't be a Burnout game without this trope as well. There are a few types of boosts that are Colour-Coded for Your Convenience.
    • Stunt boost (green) is a new boost type for Paradise and is filled-up quicker through stunts (so jumps, barrel rolls, and flat spins). Players can use this at any time provided they have some in their boost meter.
    • Speed boost (orange) is the classic boost system from the first two games of the series (Burnout and Point of Impact) and can only be used when it's full. Likewise, the most effective way to earn boost is to drive as you did in those games (via driving skills such as oncoming traffic, near misses, and drifts). Driving skillfully enough to earn another full boost meter while boosting will begin a Burnout Boost Chain.
    • Aggression boost (red) descends from the third (Takedown) and fourth (Revenge) Burnout games where scoring takedowns extends the meter. These cars earn the most boost via traffic checking and general destruction (as well as slapping around rival cars). The boost bar only goes up to x3 now (rather than x4 as in 3 and Revenge) but you can earn an extra segment by smashing a billboard or taking someone down, and it's harder to lose segments in this game.
    • There are two online-only boostless cars in the game, the Nakamura Rai-Jin Turbo RWD and the Hunter Olympus, though they make up for it with their respective quickness and toughness. If either of them are used for Showtime, a white/grey boost bar will appear. Also, in Online Marked Man, a Marked Man driving one of these two cars will go slower than they normally do. All of the bikes also lack boost. (The Vanity Pack mod for the PC version does allow you to add boosts to them, however.)
    • The Boost Specials pack added two cars with unique boosts; the Montgomery Hawker Mech can switch between the three main boosts with the press of a button while the Carson Extreme Hotrod has a unique locked boost (blue) that, once it's used, goes on until the player slams the brakes or crashes.
  • No Fair Cheating: While Remastered's inclusion of the Cops and Robbers Mode means you have nearly instant access to almost every base Paradise Car in the game via the Cop Cars, you still need to unlock those Paradise Cars by completing events in Offline, including the Hunter Citizen and Kreiger PCPD Special, the two Cop Cars that were already in the base game. Plus, you cannot do Burning Events in the Cop Cars apart from the Citizen and PCPD Special, the latter being the prize for the Racing WTR Burning Route.
  • No One Could Survive That!: As with any other Burnout game, the crashes. The bikes make this egregious with the riders vanishing as soon as their bike wrecks — no ragdolls allowed.
  • No Plot? No Problem!: A female voice will introduce you to a general overview of the map when you first start the game and DJ Atomika often chimes in with some thoughts while you're driving around but there is no story at all (or any other characters, for that matter).
  • Obvious Rule Patch: Takedowns don't trigger the dramatic camera angles in Marked Man events. They'll still count if you can wreck your aggressors (though the only sign they do is the boost infusion Aggression cars get from it), but you don't get to benefit from several seconds of invincibility.
  • Only a Flesh Wound: Your car can crash, flip, have the roof crushed, dented, bruised, and otherwise wrecked, but your car can still keep on revving. These are called Driveaways.
  • Optional Traffic Laws: Optional? Try none. No matter how much you speed, race, or crash, the Paradise City Police Department won't do a thing about it. Even the cops (in Cops and Robbers mode) don't care what happens to the traffic!
  • Over 100% Completion: For both cars and bikes, finishing all the events and two sets of Freeburn Challenges as well as the Road Rules bumps up your license completion to 101%. Completing all 420 original Freeburn Challenges bumps it up to 102%.
  • Product Placement: Lots of ads in Paradise: Gilette, nVidia, Vizio, Diesel... The last onenote  is quite unfortunate: as Clarkson would say, "Diesel" is not a word petrolheads want to hear. This game even holds the distinction for being the first video game with political in-game advertising, with ads calling for votes for Barack Obama on Paradise City's billboards in some earlier Xbox 360 versions. The Remastered version does away with this and only includes billboards for fictional sponsors (such as in-game cars like the Hawker Mech or Hunter Citizen, fictional products, or developers Criterion and Stellar Entertainment).
  • Pun-Based Title: Paradise has this along with Shout-Out Names: "Angus Wharfare", "Go West", "River City Rampage", etc.
  • Readings Are Off the Scale: Downplayed as the number to attain it is quite low, but Burnout Chains longer than 99 times are displayed as simply Burnout Wow!
  • Random Encounters: Occasionally upon completing a certain number of events, you get told that there's a car roaming around Paradise City and you can earn it by shutting it down. This manifests as the car in question randomly appearing near you on the road at any point in Offline Freeburn.
  • Rubber-Band A.I.: Considering the series's fame for this trope, this is surprisingly averted. The game's AI opponents rarely if ever rubberband, especially in normal Race events; this is justified by the fact that the game lets you take any road you want to get to the finish line, thereby making rubberbanding likely almost impossible to implement. The only exception is with the AI in Marked Man events, where the chasers indulge in this trope as much as possible to keep the player on their toes.
  • Scenery Porn: While later arcade racing games have since beaten it in the graphics department, Paradise City surprisingly holds up well today. It helps that Paradise (pretty much the last game to run Criterion's RenderWare engine) runs at a crisp sixty frames per second throughout. Picture Paradise in single-player emphasizes this with classical music playing in the background.
  • Shared Universe: By way of DJ Atomika, who hosts EA Radio Big in SSX and Crash FM in this game.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The Hunter Citizen, a police car, and the Hunter Civilian, its civilian variant, reference Starship Troopers' caste-like difference between a citizen (military/police service) and a civilian.
    • The Krieger 616 Sport's livery somewhat refers to that of the custom BMW E46 M3 GTR in Need for Speed: Most Wanted, although the vehicle is modelled after the E46's successor, the E92.
    • The "Legendary Cars" pack has expies of the DMC DeLorean Time Machine from Back to the Future (Jansen P12 88 Special), the Dodge Charger General Lee from The Dukes of Hazzard (Hunter Cavalry Bootlegger), the Pontiac Firebird KITT from Knight Rider (Carson GT Nighthawk, since there's no Firebird clone), and the Cadillac Ambulance Ecto-1 from Ghostbusters (Hunter Manhattan Spirit). You get trophies/achievements for doing specific things in the cars, in particular, driving off a cliff with the horns blaring in the Cavalry Bootlegger, much like the General Lee.
      • BttF has already been subtly referenced by the Interstate 88 before the Legendary Pack.
    • Speaking of expies, the Carson GT Concept, a muscle car based on the Chevrolet Camaro, comes with Bee Yellow as its default colour.
    • The inclusion of the song "Rusty Cage" by Soundgarden is an homage to the 3DO version of Road Rash, which featured the song in the intro movie. This was confirmed in an interview in 2008.
    • The Kitano Hydros Techno, the latest incarnation of the Burnout 2 Custom Coupe (which also appeared in 3, Dominator, and Legends as the "Custom Coupe Ultimate"), likely takes inspiration for its paintjob from The Fast and the Furious, particularly the neon green Mitsubishi Eclipse driven by Brian O'Connor (the only major difference being the hood matches the green paint of the body instead of being black).
    • Bordering on a literal example, nailing the Nakamura SI-7 earns you the message "Yatta!"note 
    • Nailing the Carson Inferno van gets the message "You just hired the B-Team." (No, not the MythBusters...) Sadly there is no livery option to make the Inferno look more like the iconic GMC Vandura. It also doubles as a Continuity Nod, as Takedown had a GMC Vandura lookalike named the "B-Team Van".
  • Sliding Scale of Linearity vs. Openness: Most definitely a Level 6.
  • Slo-Mo Big Air: Whenever you hit one of the specially marked jumps. Which gets annoying and then just stupid after you hit one at 20 mph, or reverse into one, or hit one at such an angle that the slo-mo highlights your car smashing bumper-first into a cliff or falling into a ravine, etc.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Pounding your foes into the pavement in Road Rage or Marked Man to the sound of Vivaldi's "Four Seasons" or Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata", although initially you couldn't have been able to listen to the game's classical music offerings outside of Picture Paradise until after the Cagney update.
  • Super Prototype: The special Carbon cars unlocked after completing a certain set of collectibles are heavily souped up (except for the Carbon Uberschall 8, which is downgraded from the original) versions of other cars in the game, and also feature a different boost type.
  • Wacky Racing: True to the series' form.
  • Wearing a Flag on Your Head: The Nakamura Firehawk GP Competition has various paint jobs where riders and their bikes can wear fire suits and liveries that reflect a nationality, although initially it was only the United Kingdom (Criterion's home country).
  • Wide-Open Sandbox: Paradise makes the actual races work with the "go anywhere" feature still on. Your car's blinkers and the flashing signs at the top of the screen indicate recommended turns, but knowledge of the streets is still necessary to accomplish anything.
  • You Break It, You Profit: Showtime has a similar scoring system to Crash mode in the earlier titles. Also, road signs give out a small bonus, and hitting a bus will add a multiplier to your final score.