|EA Games (PS2, Xbox)
You have been warned: playing Burnout: Revenge will make you a bad driver. It's the latest in a franchise founded on speedometer-bleeding velocity, balls-to-the-wall traffic dodging, and collisions that put NASCAR's little mashups to shame.
Here, getting behind the wheel is like living that epic chase in Ronin - only twice as fast, three times as dangerous, and infinitely more thrilling. With your foot glued to the pedal, your vision begins to blur. Then you boost, clocking 200 mph, streaking your line of sight. It's harrowing, like a roller coaster roaring off track. The bass-crammed whooshes of objects flying by give you goosebumps, then make you sweat. Next, the crème de la crash: you smash head-on with an 18-wheeler. The visuals break, halting to a sexy slow-mo, letting you count every shard of shrapnel. Sparks fly, speakers screech. Finally, the kicker - the ka-boom! - when fuel and fire collide, lighting up your widescreen, rattling your rib cage.
It's all digitized down to the last, demolished detail. And that's just the first 30 seconds - which, remarkably, never get old. Now, please, don't translate that rush to the real road.
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