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The Best And Worst Tony Hawk Games

Earlier this year, fans of extreme skateboarding action rejoiced at the surprise reveal of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2. Now that the game is out, this remastered edition of the first two entries in the Pro Skater franchise has been met with resounding approval from critics, as well. While there were some qualms about the game's limited customization and multiplayer options, everyone seems to be rather impressed with how far the series has come. It's also clear that there is a lot of love attached to Tony Hawk's name, considering these games are still getting people excited after over 20 years.


Since fans are currently revisiting the punk rock-fueled roots of the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater franchise, this seems like the best time to revisit some awesome highs and dramatic lows for Tony Hawk's video game career. Not every game with Tony Hawk's name attached to it has turned out to be a stellar product. Strap on your knee pads and crank up The Vandals; things might get a little radical.

Best: Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3

Yes, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 came out all the way back in 2001, but it has yet to be rivaled in terms of sheer fun. Pro Skater 3 offered several innovations to the series, including the introduction of Reverts. These tricks allowed players to create insane combos out of a mix of vertical and grounded moves. They proved so popular that they've become a staple of the franchise, even being added into the new remaster of 1+2 via DLC, along with several Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 maps. If that isn't a marker for how beloved this game is, then what is?


This entry also introduced the Park Edit feature that allowed players to build their own wild ramps and obstacles. Later games in the series would add new features and advance graphically, but this was the entry where the series hit its stride. IGN once called it "the greatest skateboarding game of all time." While plenty of time has passed since then, Pro Skater 3 is still considered a high point of the series, if not the single highest point. 

Worst: Tony Hawk: Ride

So what went wrong with Tony Hawk: Ride? An easier answer would be to tell you what went right with this unfortunate game. In an interview with Game Informer, Tony Hawk himself admitted that this spin-off title suffered from a "rushed" production schedule. Most of the development cycle for the game was spent designing and testing the skateboard peripheral that came with the game.


That's right; Ride shipped with a big plastic skateboard controller. The idea was that the board would respond to the player standing on it, allowing them to pull off some sweet tricks through their own movements. Unfortunately, the skateboard peripheral barely worked the way it was supposed to.

Critics lashed out at the game for its poor graphics and uninspired gameplay, but it was the wonky board that got the most attention. Eurogamer's Ellie Gibson may have put it best when she concluded in her review, "It's fun for half an hour, but that's an awfully expensive 30 minutes. Don't buy RIDE unless you want to be taken for one."