If you know me you know that the Tony Hawk series is one of my favorite video games of all time. I never was good at skating but the games themselves got me into the skating culture for a while.

During the 2000s, Tony Hawk combined skating and gaming with a successful run of titles. With that being said, there have been a few bad releases here and there with some older titles having a lot more success than the newer ones.

I decided to rank every single Tony Hawk game from worst to first. I looked at the gameplay, level design, soundtrack and of course, the replayability. The reviews here will be simple, given that this is a long list. Down the line, I will be doing more in-depth reviews on these games and see if they hold up today, but for now, let’s get this started.

Honorable Mention: THUGPRO

An honorable mention here to start off. THUGPRO is a mod for PC and Mac where hardcore fans of the series combined all the levels from the Tony Hawk games into one mod. All you need is a copy of Tony Hawk’s Underground 2 installed into your computer, download the mod and you are good to go.

I never got a chance to play it yet but shoutout to the fan base for keeping the series alive and well. I will definitely have to play it in the future.

18. Motion

 

  • System: Nintendo DS
  • Date released: November 18, 2008
  • Developer: Creat Studios
  • Publisher: Activision
  • Metacritic score: 39

We start with a handheld game in the series that most people forget about. The problem here was that there were only 20 missions in the game and you could beat it fairly quickly. The few levels in the game felt repetitive and the addition of snowboarding did not help the variety.

17. Pro Skater 5

  • Systems: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360,
  • Dates released: September 29, 2015 (PS4, XOne), December 15, 2015 (PS3, X360)
  • Developers: Robomodo, Disruptive Games, Fun Labs
  • Publisher: Activision
  • Metacritic score (averaged across all platforms): 35.5

What could have been? Back when I heard that the series was making a comeback, I was excited about it. The previous installments were not great so bringing back the simple skating with levels and goals had the potential to bring back positivity in the series.

From day one, the game had problems. Online-Only gameplay had a lot of glitches and crashes that are still there to this day. In addition, the game was bland. The levels were boring and the created characters were gone, rather you just unlocked certain heads or body types for the pro skaters in the game.

I just recently picked up this game and I can see why a lot of fans were disappointed in what is the final installment in the Tony Hawk series.

16. Ride

  • Systems: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii
  • Date released: November 17, 2009
  • Developers: Robomodo (PS3, X360), Buzz Monkey (Wii)
  • Publisher: Activision
  • Metacritic score (averaged across all platforms): 46

The Tony Hawk series went in a new direction here. With the rise of Kinect for the Xbox and the Wii at the height of popularity, adding a realistic skateboard at the time seemed like innovation but sadly it fell apart fast.

With the board not responding to controls and slow-paced gameplay, it failed quickly.

15. Shred

  • Systems: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii
  • Date released: October 26, 2010
  • Developer: Robomodo
  • Publisher: Activision
  • Metacritic score (averaged across all platforms): 54.5

Shred was an improvement to its Ride successor but that is not saying much. The board was easier to control but still felt clunky at times.

Much like the previously mentioned games, this was a low-point in the series.

14. American Sk8land

  • Systems: Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS
  • Dates released: October 18, 2005 (GBA), November 16, 2005 (NDS)
  • Developer: Vicarious Visions
  • Publisher: Activision
  • Metacritic score (averaged across all platforms): 74

Unlike the previous Motion handheld, American Sk8land was a bigger improvement for the Tony Hawk handheld series.

Released at the same time American Wasteland, Tony Hawk’s American Sk8land was a well-made Nintendo DS game. A fun game with a lot of variety despite is being on a handheld port.

13. Pro Skater HD

  • Systems: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows
  • Dates released: July 18, 2012 (Xbox Live Arcade), August 28, 2012 (PSN), September 18, 2012 (Windows)
  • Developer: Robomodo
  • Publisher: Activision
  • Metacritic score (averaged across all platforms): 66

With Neversoft out of the picture, this was Robomodo’s first chance to bring back the series. While it was a good idea, it lacked the connection us fans felt we had in the series in the early 2000s.

There was not a lot of levels to choose from and the gameplay felt stiff when riding around on your board. In addition, creating your character and park was completely removed and the game was easy to beat. A good idea but failed to capture what made the series so great in the first place.

12. Downhill Jam

  • Systems: Nintendo DS, Game Boy Advance, Wii, PlayStation 2
  • Dates released: October 24, 2006 (DS), November 7, 2006 (GBA), November 14, 2006 (Wii), May 8, 2007 (PS2)
  • Developer: Toy’s For Bob
  • Publisher: Activision
  • Metacritic score (averaged across all platforms)68

A spin-off in the series, Downhill Jam combines skating and racing into one. The tricks are still there but the main focus was getting from point A to B the fastest on a downhill course.

A fun game to play once in a while, but not one of its best titles in the series.

11. Pro Skater 2x

  • System: Xbox
  • Date released: November 15, 2001
  • Developer: Neversoft, Treyarch
  • Publisher: Activision O2
  • Metacritic score: 78

Released only for the Original Xbox, Pro Skater 2x was simply a combination of Pro Skater 1 and 2 with slightly improved graphics.

Not a bad game really, just a carbon-copy of the first two pro skater games.

10. Proving Ground

  • Systems: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 2, Wii, Nintendo DS
  • Dates released: October 15, 2007
  • Developers: Neversoft, Pag 44 Studios (PS2, Wii), Vicarious Visions (DS)
  • Publisher: Activision
  • Metacritic score (averaged across all platforms): 69.2

The last Tony Hawk game developed by Neversoft, Proving Ground has been one of the more forgotten games in the series.

Proving Ground lacked its own identity and while it is a decent game to play, this showed to be the nail in the coffin for Neversoft.

9. Pro Skater

  • Systems: PlayStation, Nintendo 64, Game Boy Color, Dreamcast, N-Gage
  • Dates released: August 31, 1999 (PS), February 29, 2000 (N64), March 22, 2000 (GBC), May 22, 2000 (Dreamcast), October 10, 2003 (N-Gage)
  • Developer: Neversoft
  • Publisher: Activision
  • Metacritic score (averaged across all platforms): 92

The game that started it all. Yes, it should be way higher on the list but given how the far the series had come in later installments Pro Skater is lower here.

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater was a hit from the start. It had tight and responsive controls that made you want to play for hours on end. It was a revolutionary title that was the starting point for what was to come.

8. American Wasteland

  • Systems: PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube, Xbox 360, Microsoft Windows
  • Dates released: October 18, 2005 (PS2, Xbox, GC), November 22, 2005 (X360), February 6, 2006 (Windows)
  • Developers: Neversoft (PS2, Xbox, GC, X360), Aspyr (Windows)
  • Publisher: Activision
  • Metacritic score (averaged across all platforms): 74.8

American Wasteland’s big selling point that there was no loading screen, rather the story mode was just one giant map where you went through certain tunnels to go to the next area.

The main story here was that you needed to collect various pieces to build the ultimate skatepark which was a cool idea. The problem I had here was the majority of the story felt like a giant tutorial on how to play the game and having limited movesets from the start. Classic Mode makes a return here, but it is seemingly short and could be beaten in just a few short hours.

A fun game at the time but I am not sure if it holds up today as one of the best Tony Hawk games of all time.

7. Pro Skater 2

  • Systems: PlayStation, Microsoft Windows, Game Boy Color, Dreamcast, Game Boy Advance, Mac OS, Nintendo 64, iOS
  • Dates released: September 20, 2000 (PS), October 25, 2000 (Windows), November 7, 2000 (GBC, Dreamcast), May 29, 2001 (GBA), June 14, 2001 (Mac OS), August 21, 2001 (N64), April 1, 2010 (iOS)
  • Developer: Neversoft
  • Publisher: Activision
  • Metacritic score (averaged across all platforms): 91.5

After the original Pro Skater took off, Pro Skater 2 took to take the series to a whole other level.

This game improved with smoother gameplay, a great even better soundtrack and more levels. Neversoft realized how much the first Pro Skater worked and they did everything they could to make a better sequel and simply put, it worked.

6. Pro Skater 3

  • Systems: PlayStation, PlayStation 2, Game Boy Color, GameCube, Xbox, Game Boy Advance, Microsoft Windows, Nintendo 64, Mac OS
  • Dates released: October 30, 2001 (PS, PS2), November 15, 2001 (GBC), November 18, 2001 (GC), March 4, 2002 (Xbox, GBA), March 28, 2002 (Windows), August 20, 2002 (N64), January 1, 2003 (Mac OS)
  • Developer: Neversoft
  • Publisher: Activision O2
  • Metacritic score (averaged across all platforms): 91.3

Some will argue that this was the best game in the series. Combine all of the great qualities in the first two Pro Skater games with improved graphics and mechanics and you have Pro Skater 3. The addition of the revert trick was huge here, allowing you to continue your combo for a high score.

The level design was the best of the series up to that point and the soundtrack was one of the best ever.

5. Project 8

  • Systems: PlayStation 2, Xbox, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable,
  • Dates released: November 7, 2006 (PS2, Xbox, X360), November 17, 2006 (PS3), November 21, 2006 (PSP)
  • Developer: Neversoft
  • Publisher: Activision
  • Metacritic score (averaged across all platforms): 72.2

This was where a lot of fans felt that the series was going downhill but Tony Hawk’s Project 8 was a solid addition to the series.

With the upgrade to the then next-gen console PS3 and Xbox 360 systems, Project 8 completely revamped the graphics and mechanics in a solid one level map. What I liked about this game was that as you progressed further in the game, it got challenging. You had to work and put in many hours if you wanted to complete the game at 100%.

The drawback here was there was nothing else to do besides the story mode. The Classic Mode seemed like an afterthought in the story mode and the creation of your character was watered down. In addition, there was no creating your own park or even creating your own trick. Still, the story had a lot of depth but there seemed nothing else to do after that.

4. Underground 2 Remix

  • System: PlayStation Portable
  • Date released: March 24, 2005
  • Developers: Neversoft, Shabba Games
  • Publisher: Activision
  • Metacritic score: 83

This was the best Tony Hawk game in the handheld series and is in the conversation as one of the PSP games of all time.

The Remix added more levels and expanded the story mode from its console version of the game, Underground 2 Remix had a lot of variety and depth to the game that left you playing it for hours on end. I would have liked the expanded story mode to be added to the main console, in my opinion.

3. Pro Skater 4

  • Systems: PlayStation, PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube, Game Boy Advance, Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows
  • Dates released: October 23, 2002 (PS, PS2, Xbox, GC), October 28, 2002 (GBA), August 20, 2003 (Mac OS X), August 27, 2003 (Windows)
  • Developer: Neversoft
  • Publisher: Activision O2
  • Metacritic score (averaged across all platforms): 89.6

Not a lot of people bring up Pro Skater 4 but I think it is one of the more underrated games of the series. It is the most complete of one of the Pro Skater games.

By this point, the gameplay had been tweaked to perfection and the level designs were much bigger and fun to use. The two-minute 10 goal stipulation was taken away, rather you explore the area, go up to a non-playable character and complete one goal in a certain amount of time.

2. Underground 2

  • Systems: GameCube, PlayStation 2, Xbox, Game Boy Advance, Microsoft Windows,
  • Date released: October 4, 2004
  • Developer: Neversoft
  • Publisher: Activision
  • Metacritic score (averaged across all platforms): 80.6

While Underground 2 was a “direct sequel” to Underground, there was no real connection between both games. That being said it is still one of my favorite games to play.

While skating was still a thing here, the main goal was to tour around the world and destroy everything in the process. With Bam Margera’s MTV show Jackass and Viva la Bam being at the height of popularity, that was the theme in Underground 2.

There was a lot to do here as the Story and Classic mode were very expansive and there are many levels to choose from. A fun game to play even today.

1. Underground

  • Systems: Game Boy Advance, GameCube, PlayStation 2, Xbox, Mobile, Microsoft Windows
  • Dates released: October 27, 2003 (GBA, GC, PS2, Xbox), January 2004 (Mobile, Windows)
  • Developer: Neversoft
  • Publisher: Activision
  • Metacritic score (averaged across all platforms): 87.5

Simply put, this is the best game in the entire Tony Hawk series. Underground completely scraped the two-minute timer goals and added an intriguing story as you go from local skater to pro skater, rags to riches type of feel.

Underground also added the ability to get off your board and explore the levels in those hard to reach places. While some felt that it took away from the skating aspect I believe it was a great addition to the series.

This was a unique game that had a lot of detailed levels and the story wanted to you keep playing. If there was ever a chance to remaster a Tony Hawk game, Underground should be at the top of the list.

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