Welcome to our new, uber-comprehensive, and ultra-legit series! We're taking you along on a journey of skateboarding games: from classic video games, to free online games, to the game of S.K.A.T.E. and much much more. We can't wait to get started by spending today telling you all about our favorite classic skateboarding video games. Most of these games require older (read: AWESOME) gaming systems, so we’ve linked those for you here: XBox, Xbox360, XBoxONE, PlayStation, PS2, PS3, PS4, N64, Gameboy Advance. Now, without further ado, Let’s get roillin’!
Did you know that skateboarding video games are almost as old as the very concept of gaming on screen? With the invention of Atari in the early 1970s came a whole industry devoted to creating photorealistic and lifelike adventures that could be enjoyed from the comfort of your home. By 1985 the first skateboard had appeared on a gaming screen, and since then, demand has been ever-growing. Today we’re outlining our favorite classic skateboarding video games starting with our number one favorite…
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3 (2001)
While this is the third game in the ever-popular Tony Hawk series, it’s arguably the most beloved skateboarding video game by both skaters and gamers alike. The ranking website, Metacritic, still has it ranked as one of the best video games EVER across every genre. The ease of gameplay is a huge draw.
It’s arcade-like at all levels, allowing you to execute incredible tricks (900, anyone?) with simple button combos. The game is at times absurd/totally awesome, allowing you to choose a Jedi Knight as your skater, for example. But with the ability to string endless tricks, grinds, and vertical jumps together, it makes for a seriously good time. Its fun graphics, fantastic soundtrack, and user-friendliness make this our number one top pick, for sure.
*Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 is available for PS2, PS3, Xbox, N64, & GameboyAdvance*
SKATE aimed to take Tony Hawk’s simple skating world and make it more realistic. With the use of left and right joysticks, your thumbs would need to mimic the moves of your feet to accomplish each trick. No longer was skateboarding just a fun arcade game. SKATE took things to a new level, requiring more skill, and enveloping you in a free-form skateboarding world.
Unlike Tony Hawk’s games, these “levels,” aren’t task-specific. Entire landscapes exist just to allow your creativity to flow - how to skate them is entirely up to you. Want to master a 360 flip? Great! Want to cruise and check out the scenery? That’s fine too. SKATE earns our number two spot for creating a more realistic skateboarding video game that still pleases gamers and skaters to this day.
Here, epic storytelling comes to skateboarding video games. The premise of the game is crazy attractive: you’re a humble but skilled street skater with the chance to prove yourself and eventually go pro. What’s not to love? You can customize your skater to resemble yourself for the first time (who doesn't love a good sim?), and the settings for the levels range from parking garages to incredible fantasy sites like Area 51 – so cool!
The storyline and the personality of the game pull you in super quickly. So many people credit this game as the reason they started skating in the first place, and we don’t blame them! The graphics, music and story make you feel like you really COULD be a pro skater, so why not go outside and try?
The oldest game of the bunch, Thrasher debuted in the previous MILLENIUM. But it is way worthy of a mention. Thrasher had a bit of bad luck with this game, hitting the market at almost the same time as the debut of the Tony Hawk series. Nevertheless, it has gained a cult following, and we get why! This game is complicated; tricks seem as challenging to learn in the game as they are in real life.
Your goal is to progress from a street skater to a pro who graces the cover of Thrasher magazine, but the gaming skills required to achieve that is intense. The game is scored based on how technically perfect your tricks appear (much like how Olympians are scored today), and the bigger the air, the bigger the points. While this game isn’t easy to play, it is ADDICTIVE, and the perfectionist in all of us longs to land that perfect 1080 kickflip.
*Thrasher: Skate and Destroy is available for Playstation*
OLLI OLLI (2014)
Fast forward to 2014: it has been ages since a decent skating game has hit the market and mobile devices are now so pervasive that people have all but stepped away from gaming systems. Enter, Olli Olli. This game is deceptively simple. Its constant scrolling background means your skater has no choice but to move forward at all times.
The repertoire of tricks is shockingly small compared to many of the other games, but it’s increasing levels of difficulty make it incredibly hard to master, even in its simplicity. OlliOlli was also a groundbreaker in that it was the first skateboarding game to have mass appeal AND function on both Android and IOS devices, meaning that skateboarding games were now as mobile as skateboards themselves!
The original OlliOlli was groundbreaking, and the remake certainly did not disappoint. While the actual structure of the game didn’t change much between the two versions (still a 2D scrolling game that is deceptively punishing), the look of the new edition was genuinely incredible.
The backgrounds (many of which are pulled from famous movie sets) are incredibly done – truly artistic in their own right. The newer look and design of the game was enough to fully set it apart in players minds as a separate entity from the first version - a mammoth accomplishment. OlliOlli 2 will keep you coming back for more and more punishment, with hopefully more success as well.
*OlliOlli2: Welcome to Olliwood is available for Android and IOS, as well as PS4*
These are our top picks for classic skateboarding video games – we keep coming back for the thrills time and time again. Do you agree with these picks? Did we miss your favorite one? Let us know on Instagram @BoardBlazers!
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