When I got my 360, the first demo I downloaded was for Burnout Paradise. I hated it. I hated that it was open-world, I hated that I couldn't just pick whatever race I wanted to, I hated that there was no crash mode.
Having come back years later, I fear that I may have misjudged it. Perhaps it was a poor demo, perhaps I was just too impatient.
There's something to be said for the world of Burnout Paradise. The world is not that big, but it's packed to the brim with things to do; races, chases, time trials, and of course stuff to destroy. The pulse-pounding almost faster than you can react races are glorious, perhaps even more glorious than 3's, partly due to the graphics and partly because you have to decide which route to take in moments. This has lead me to crash into many corners having decided just a fraction too late.
One of my only beefs with the game these days is that it's frustrating to have to drive all the way back to the start point if you fail to win the race. I get that this is a deliberate design choice to avoid menus, but sometimes you make a mistake on the last corner on a race that spans the entire width of the map and getting back to the start is salt on the wound.
But it's fine. I can deal with that. Paradise is so fun that I can forgive it, and if you have a car roaming the streets it will often appear so you can take it down to add it to your garage in the meantime. I love this game. It's lovingly crafted and I think that you should probably play it.
Oh, and be aware that Paradise City plays every single time you turn the game on - that's my other complaint.