How could i animate a crater?

I’ve got some big ideas flowin’ lately.

Anyway i’m wondering if something were to break the ground (first example i think of is in the movie Cars when Mc’queen is dragging a statue behind him the ground cracks as it’s being dragged), or impact it hard to make a crater, is there a way to do that besides model every bit of the broken pieces and animate them?

I imagine there is a particle way or maybe even BGE, but i wouldn’t really know what a good procedure for that would be like.

So… any advice is appreciated : )

Thank you : )