Every Tony Hawk Video Game Ranked From Best To Worst

Every Tony Hawk Video Game Ranked From Best To Worst

The Tony Hawk franchise has become one of the most successful gaming franchises in history bringing skateboarding into the pop culture. The games for the most part feature memorable soundtracks unique to their time and have some of the most fun game play. It even inspired millions of people across the world to pick up a skateboard.

The series launched in 1999 and has received numerous sequels throughout it’s 20 year history. At the time, Tony Hawk happened to land the 900 live on-air at the X-Games, one of the most difficult tricks to be pulled off in skateboarding. This helped push the game resulting in millions of copies sold. That being said, the gameplay spoke for itself and has stood the test of time. While there are some incredible games throughout the series, there are also some below average games and even some titles to completely stay away from. It’s latest release Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 remaster has brought life back into the franchise giving hope for new games to come.

After playing through all the games plenty of times, we thought it would be fun to rank all the games from best to worst in the Tony Hawk franchise. While their are other one-off titles, we decided to stick to all the main-line Tony Hawk games and based our list off of playing them on the video game systems they were meant to be played on. For example, some titles like Tony Hawk’s Project 8 having completely different game play on the PlayStation 2 compared to the PlayStation 3, the system it was developed for. Check out our ranking of all mainline Tony Hawk games ranked from best to worst below:

 

#1: Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2

Release Date: September 20, 2000
Available on: PlayStation, Nintendo 64, PC, Dreamcast, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance

We have no choice but to give Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 the number one slot on this list. The most important reason being the fun factor to this game. It adds on to the first game in the series in every way and is well balanced in difficulty allowing for anyone to pick up and play. The game’s physics are also notable making the skater able to float in the air a little more to allow for more spins. The game also includes the addition of manuals starting the whole combo craze. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 also features iconic skateboarding spots throughout the maps including Venice Beach, CA. The game won numerous Game Of The Year awards and even though has aged, is still easy to pick up and play.

 

#2: Tony Hawk’s Underground

Released Date: October 27th, 2003(US)
Available on: PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube, PC, Game Boy Advance

Tony Hawk’s Underground is not only the first Tony Hawk game with a story, it is the best Tony Hawk game with a story. This game took the series into a whole different direction and it was all for the best. You start off as a skateboarder with big ambitions and embark on your journey with your “best friend” Eric Sparrow who eventually stabs you in the back. The re-play value is high. This game introduces different difficulties which will allow you to unlock secret characters unique for each difficulty.

“You wanted the best, you’ve got the best!” Even rock band Kiss is included in the game and have their own level which is unlocked following the games completion. One of the biggest additions to come from this Tony Hawk’s Underground is that you are finally able to get off your board and walk around. There is the also the addition of Wall Plants into the game as well. From McTwisting your way over helicopters to getting busted by cops in Tampa, this game is a must play by all gamers.

#3: Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater

Released Date: September 29th, 1999
Available on: PlayStation, Nintendo 64, Game Boy Color, Dreamcast, N-Gage

Ah yes, the game that started it all. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater. You know you were a 90’s kid when you have distinct memories of starting the first level of the game and Dead Kennedy’s “Police Truck” ques. This was not only the best skateboarding game to ever come out up until this point. It helped break skateboarding into pop-culture with even non-skaters put hours into this game. The game developed by Neversoft left an everlasting impact that leaves us nostalgic to this day. While it’s more stripped down in features than some of the games on this list, nothing beats finding a secret tape or collecting the S-K-A-T-E letters. It single handedly birthed a 20 plus year franchise.

#4: Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4

Released Date: October 23rd, 2002(US)
Available on: PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube, PlayStation, Game Boy Advance, PC, Mac, Tapwave, Zodiac

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4 took the series in a different direction for the first time straying away from the 2 minute time limit on levels in Career mode. You could now free roam on a map and then find a mission to do by talking to someone. This was great because if you were someone that liked to play in Free Skate mode, you didn’t have to leave career mode to get past the 2-minute limit. The game also introduced manual combos for the first time to allow for building up points fast. The unlockables were great in this game as you could purchase additional levels and skateboarding videos with the cash you earned throughout career mode. The secret characters were also memorable which included Jango Fett, Eddie(Iron Maiden’s Mascot) and Mike Vallely just to name a few.

#5: Tony Hawk’s Underground 2

Released Date: October 4th, 2004(US)
Available on: PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube, PlayStation Portable(Remix), Game Boy Advance, PC

The reason why we put this game in our top 5 is because of how much content is included on the disc. Tony Hawk’s Underground 2 had very similar game play to the first Tony Hawk’s Underground but this time with a new story. In THUG 2, your character embarks on the “World Destruction Tour” with “Team Bam” and “Team Tony.” You travel across the world racking up points and complete your checklists as pro skaters get cut from the team after each round. This tour of chaos is secretly being followed by a goofy filmmaker Nigel Beaverhausen who is making bootleg tapes of the “World Destruction Tour.” Let’s just say you get your sweet revenge.

Tony Hawk’s Underground 2 features iconic maps including Skatetopia and also features a whole new mode called “Classic Mode” which basically is traditional style gameplay from the first three Tony Hawk games. This mode also features levels unique to the mode which can only be unlocked by completing them which includes the return of memorable maps from past Tony Hawk games. The game also features most unlockable characters in the series which even includes Shrek! All in all, this game is a great follow up to THUG and pays homage to the series as a whole.

#6: Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3

Released Date: October 30th, 2001
Available on: PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube, PlayStation, Game Boy Color, Mac, Game Boy Advance, PC, Nintendo 64

Next up is Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3 which perfects the formula that both the first two games of the series present. The game also featured major graphical upgrades due to the release of the PlayStation 2, Xbox and GameCube platforms. The game has a memorable soundtrack including Motorhead’s “Ace of Spades” and features unlockable levels from the first game in the franchise. This was the first game to allow for online play. It also refines the mechanics and physics creating for some of the best gameplay throughout the whole series. Notable unlockable characters include Darth Maul, Wolverine and a Skeleton. Til’ this day, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3 still holds up.

#7: Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 Remastered

Released Date: September 4th, 2020
Available on: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One

What we love most about the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 remaster is that it captures the nostalgic feel that these first two monumental games presented. Vicarious Visions developed very detailed versions of each map and completely refined the gameplay once again. It also added trick abilites that were introduced later in the series to this version, so if you still want to be that guy who does all the manual combos, have at it. The series’ graphics also received a major boost which are even more eye-popping on the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5. The game features the original cast of professional skateboarders from the first two games and also modern pros including Tyshawn Jones and Nyjah Houston. This is a must have game on the modern video game systems and will bring back so many memories. Don’t sleep on this!

#8: Tony Hawk’s American Wasteland

Released Date: October 18, 2005(US)
Available on: Xbox 360, PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube, Windows, PlayStation Portable(American Sk8land)

Tony Hawk’s American Wasteland took things to an even wackier place, Los Angeles, CA. That being said this game features a massive map with tons of goals. We would even go as far as saying that the game’s story is second to Tony Hawk’s Underground. It features all the same great game play from Tony Hawk’s Underground 2 and also adds backflips, front flips and rolls to the trick list. Without spoiling the story too much, your character travels from Kentucky to Los Angeles making an attempt at becoming a pro skater and meets Mindy, a key character in the game who helps you take over all the areas of Los Angeles. Tony Hawk’s American Wasteland was the last of it’s kind as the game play and feel would eventually lose it’s touch in later titles, specifically in the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 era.

#9: Tony Hawk’s Proving Ground

Released Date: October 15, 2007(US)
Available on: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 2, Nintendo DS

As of today, Tony Hawk’s Proving Ground remains as the last legitimate full game in the franchise. It is not regarded as one of the better games in the stacked series but improves on the previous year’s game Tony Hawk’s Project 8 by adding additional “Nail the Trick” modes and features a more in depth story. The game has the biggest open world map in the series which includes nearly 10 levels located within Baltimore, Philadelphia and Washington D.C. This game often gets overlooked since it released the same year as EA’s brand new skateboarding game skate. which took the idea of what a skateboarding game is in a refreshing direction having a more realistic approach. The skate. franchise was what ultimately led to the start of the demise of the Tony Hawk series. Regardless, we still recommend giving Tony Hawk’s Proving Ground a try at least once.

#10: Tony Hawk’s Project 8

Released Date: November 7, 2006(US)
Available on: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 2, Nintendo DS

Tony Hawk’s Project 8 received the first major graphical update since Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3 due to the release of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. While the update was very nice, the gameplay just didn’t seem to as fun as previous releases. It felt like it was missing something. It did add a new unique feature called “Nail the Trick” mode which allowed you to slow down time and move your joysticks around to do different motions of flips and spins. However, this gameplay became repetitive fast. Even though this was an open world game, the space for objects were poorly utilized and ultimately felt small. You would think that the series would have taken the opportunity to utilize the power these new video game systems presented to expand on it’s size, but again it focused more on the graphics.

#11: Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2X

Released Date: November 15, 2001(US)
Available on: Xbox

With Microsoft about to drop their brand new video game system Xbox, Activision brought the first two Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater games to the system which received a graphical update with all the same great levels and objectives. What we feel this game is missing is an identity and soul. While featuring everything from the first two games, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2x feels empty and over time becomes boring to play. While we respect Activision bringing the first two games to the Xbox, It would have been nice if they had more time with the game to make it stand out giving the franchise deserves.

#12: Tony Hawk’s Downhill Jam

Released Date: October 24, 2006(US)
Available on: Nintendo DS, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 2

Tony Hawk’s Downhill Jam is not a typical Tony Hawk game as it focuses on racing down hill racking up points along the way. It was released on the older generation of video game systems at the time which included the PlayStation 2 since game development focus was shifting more towards the new hardware, the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. This game was aimed at young kids having more of a cartoony feel. It also was released on the Nintendo Wii as a launch game taking advantage of the systems’ groundbreaking motion features. Activision never made a follow up to the game as it was poorly received across the board, it’s okay if you skip this one.

#13: Tony Hawk Ride

Released Date: November 17, 2009(US)
Available on: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii

Tony Hawk Ride was the franchise’s attempt at trying to do something different with the new added pressure and competition that was created due to the skate. franchise. It forced the Tony Hawk series to try something new and unfortunately chose a horrible direction to go in. The game came with a electronic skateboarding controller which you stood on and moved it in certain directions to emulate skateboarding in real life. The peripheral was not responsive at times and wasn’t fully thought through which created frustrating gameplay and had no replay value what so ever. Aside from the Skate. series becoming the new go-to skateboarding video game, Tony Hawk Ride ultimately was what killed the franchise.

#14: Tony Hawk Shred

Released Date: October 26, 2010(US)
Available on: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii

It’s safe to say that if this game wasn’t under your Christmas tree for the holidays, your parents were doing you a solid favor as Tony Hawk Shred was a complete waste of your time. This was the series last real ditch effort to keep the Tony Hawk franchise afloat and make things right after the release of Tony Hawk Ride but failed in every way. Once again using the new skateboard peripheral, the game was even more broken than before and introduced snowboarding into the game. It received so much negative reception that the Tony Hawk franchise was eventually put on hold.

#15: Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5

Released Date: September 29, 2015(US)
Available on: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

We have made it to the worst Tony Hawk game of all time, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5. This game is so glitchy and underdeveloped that it is barely playable. Who know’s what went wrong. This game is a complete slap in the face to the legacy of the title “Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater.” It would have been cool to see Activision blend the gameplay of the first 4 Tony Hawk games and continued on where the series left off before the release of Tony Hawk’s Underground, but one can only wish. This left a huge void in the series resulting in distrust among fans of the series. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 was eventually taken off Sony and Microsoft’s online stores making the game only playable on disc. What a waste of a game.

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