When I initially played Burnout Paradise Remastered on PlayStation 4 in late 2018, I spent no small part of my time with the game wishing that it could have been on Switch. A classic open-world racing game that thrives off of scores of bite-sized challenges and hidden stuff to discover, Burnout Paradise Remastered is a theoretically perfect game to pick up and play on a portable console. Luckily, a strong port job turns that theory into reality.
The Switch handles high-octane racing across a massive island with good looks and a smooth 60 frames per second, a necessity in a high-speed racer. Because of this porting handiwork, the core experience arrives on Switch quite intact. That experience largely holds up quite well, but if you aren’t down with repetition and frequent gratuitous crash montages, then the game might not be for you even in its glorious portable form.
The incredible port work beautifully translates the blistering gameplay of Burnout Paradise Remastered. High frame rates are important in high-octane games like this one, and thankfully, you’ll very rarely notice any dips below 60 FPS (both in docked and handheld modes) while wrecking cars and charging down city blocks. While the game obviously does not look as good here as it does on PS4 and Xbox One, the 720p handheld and 1080p docked resolutions make for quite a pretty game.
Given its age, you most likely already know what there is to know about Burnout Paradise Remastered, but in case you don’t, it’s a game that any racing fan should familiarize themselves with. Paradise Island is huge and a joy to explore, setting an epic stage for open-world racing action. Burnout Paradise Remastered thrives by throwing you into its wide-open world and letting you just have at it while making your own way through the game’s many challenges, including finding hidden items, different types of races and time trials, taking down as many cars as possible within a set time, stunt runs, and more. With awesome rock music, tons of breakable billboards and exhilarating jumps, and loads of different events to play through and cars to unlock, you’re in for a great time.
Burnout Paradise Remastered is an arcade racer that emphasizes speedy, risky racing. Driving feels good and fast, leading to plenty of breathtaking finishes and fun moment-to-moment gameplay. For races, the game doesn’t use defined tracks with lap counts — instead, you start at Point A and have to get to Point B. How you make that happen is up to you. The daredevils among us make for the most successful racers, winning events when they successfully take down enemy cars, find claustrophobic shortcuts and long jumps, and go as fast as possible along winding mountain roads and crowded city streets. Final stretches in races are fantastically heart-pounding, often resulting in a mad rush to the finish line as multiple cars close in from multiple directions after each making their own route through the map.
Flying past adversaries is awesome, but rack up too many dings and dents, though, and you’ll be punished with a brutal several-second crash cutscene before magically rejoining the race. Some mistakes are more costly than others: While you can handle several bumps and bruises from sidescraping your adversaries, even slightly clipping a guardrail at high speed is enough to sideline your vehicle and ruin your performance.
If you can handle the consequence of watching your most embarrassing crashes over and over, then the only real problem with Burnout Paradise Remastered is repetition. The objective of the game is to upgrade your license through multiple classes. You do that by winning races and completing events. Every time your license advances a class, those events reset and can be completed once again to work towards the next upgrade. As a result, your playthrough is likely to feature a few events several times. Redoing events has never been much of a problem for me in racing games, and it certainly wasn’t a huge gripe in Burnout Paradise Remastered, but do consider whether or not that’s up your alley before driving down the same one seven times on your quest through the game.
Ultimately, Burnout Paradise Remastered brings a strong open-world racing playground to Switch. The game holds up quite well — as many of us learned in 2018 upon the remaster’s initial release — and luckily, the smart port job means that you can play the game on Switch without any notable technical compromise. The repetitive design might be a bother for some, but the open world’s pick-up-and-play nature is so perfect on a portable system that it’s hard to get annoyed. Even if you are (understandably) turned off at the notion of paying $49.99 for an old title that is frequently available for $10 on other platforms, keep Burnout Paradise Remastered on your radar if you like racing games, because you’ll probably love it.
A review code was provided by the publisher.