FENIX Bazaar tries the impossible: judging one of the most popular franchises of all time. Tony Hawk games ranked, from worst to best.
Anyone who grew up playing video games in the late-’90s and early-’00s surely tried their hand at a Tony Hawk game. The Pro Skater series, arguably the defining sports game of a generation and certainly the pinnacle of the PS2 era, put Tony Hawk on the map for the non-skating crowd and helped propel the sport to new heights and new-found levels of respect. Unfortunately, while those first few games set high standards, the Tony Hawk games brand was pummeled into the ground by annualisation, leading to rushed and glitchy games, horrible gimmicks, and disappointing reboots.
Fascinatingly, the older and better Tony Hawk games stand the test of time. Their soundtracks, ageless as they are, help form a timeless aesthetic alongside the accessible, simple gameplay mechanics that made those early games truly “pick up and play” experiences, with a pinch of that “hard to master” flavour that all the best games have.
So wgooghere did it all go wrong? Well, an overzealous publisher, keen to exploit a sizeable audience, saturated the market with decent at best and deplorable at worst games, essentially ruining the Tony Hawk game brand. That’s why we have to go back and look over the best the series had to offer, because when it was at its peak, it was among the best game franchises on the market.
Let’s take a look back at the best and absolute worst the Tony Hawk games have offered over the years.