Best Tony Hawk Games – Pro Skater 3, Hawk’s Underground, Pro Skater 2, and More
Best Tony Hawk Games: From Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 to Tony Hawk’s Underground
It’s hard to pick the Best Tony Hawk games, but with the man himself making his way back to the gaming world this September as part of a superb remastering of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2, we said it was time. To choose our favorites.
So what’s so special about Tony Hawk? Well, along with creator Neversoft, Tony Hawk sent skateboarding into the stratosphere in 1999 when hundreds of children donned knee pads, wrist guards, and helmets in an attempt to emulate their heroes. Millions more curved on the Hawk brand of track-focused skateboarding (and discovered some truly fantastic punk rock bands in the process).
There has never been an improved time to jump onto your virtual board and hit the half pipes. So with that in mind, we’ve round up the best Tony Hawk games for you to play.
Oh, and if you’re wondering why entrances like Tony Hawk’s Ride and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 don’t appear on this list, it’s because they’re definitely where they belong – wallowing in the depths of mediocrity, they will never talk about again.
1. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3 (2001)
By the pinnacle of the Pro Skater series, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3 tops the list outstanding to a game-changing trick addition: Reversals. That lone word may not sound like much, but it completely reverses the way a Tony Hawk game worked, as players could now chain multiple combos without having to slow down.
Earlier, players would lose their combo once they landed a series of tricks after exiting a half pipe. However, with this change, you can revert directly to a manual and keep your combo chain going for insanely high scores.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3 would continue to garner unbelievable critical acclaim, earning an average score of 97%. That kind it one of the highest-rated PS2 games of all time, and it still grasps up remarkably well today. Take a bow, Tony.
2. Tony Hawk’s Underground (2003)
Skaters were able to get off their board for the first time at Tony Hawk’s Underground (or THUG), which released a new element to the proven THPS formula. You might start a combo, jump off your skateboard, and finish it in a reformed location as long as you keep it within a specific time limit.
THUG was admired for its suite of editing tools, as players could edit almost anything in the game and share content thru other users online. Unfortunately for THUG, this excellent sharing feature was ahead of its time, as online was still in its infancy on PlayStation 2.
3. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 (2000)
An excellent sequel that broke new ground, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 improved upon its predecessor several ways. It had more graphics, a level editor, character customization options, and other manuals, making chaining combos much more accessible.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 doesn’t grasp up as well due to the humble fact that once you’ve enjoyed yourself the third game in the series, it’s hard to go back without being able to reverse. Hopefully, the upcoming Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater and Pro Skater 2 remaster will fix that pesky problem by retroactively adding rollbacks to games.
4. Tony Hawk’s Underground 2 (2004)
Tony Hawk’s Underground 2 twisted out to be a nice modification on the excellent THUG. The game turns around Jackass star Bam Margera, an excellent skater. And successfully simulates the ridiculous formula of the MTV show with fantastic results.
THUG 2 is possibly the most technically accomplished. And feature-packed game in the series and could almost be considered the “best of” fun in the franchise. However, it didn’t move the needle as plentiful as other entries in the Tony Hawk series, hence its position to break the mold.
5. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater (1999)
It might be the oldest game on the list. But Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater asks for an enthusiastic fist bump for putting skateboarding definitely on the map. If it wasn’t for the achievement of the first PlayStation game, publisher Activision force has turned its attention away. Besides, the match that saved Neversoft as a company close to successful out of business before its association with Tony Hawk turned its fortunes around.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater also recognized one essential feature that would continue in every future game: a fantastic soundtrack. From punk rockers, Dead Kennedys to Goldfinger’s suddenly recognizable ‘Superman,’ Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater games are home to everlasting soundtracks which capture the heady days of so many older players.
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