No matter how old or young of a gamer you are, the legacy of the Tony Hawk Pro Skater titles has lived on forever. Bringing a completely new genre to life, gamers were treated to some of the most unique titles ever crafted, with soundtracks still being talked about to this day.
However, as the years went on, some of these titles weren’t so kind to Mr. Hawk, leaving the legacy a bit tarnished. Thankfully, with the release of the Tony Hawk 1+2 Remaster, the Birdman can fly high again, but which games were the best of the best before this? Let’s bomb in and find out.
All Tony Hawk Mainline Games Ranked – Worst To Best
While there have been countless spin-off titles involving the Birdman himself, this list will instead focus on the mainline entries to this storied franchise. While some of the spin-off titles are pretty fun, they all tend to focus on a specific gimmick or accessory, so gamers don’t need to worry about Tony Hawk Ride ranking on this particular list.
10. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 – 2015
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 was almost the last Tony Hawk game made. It was ugly, janky, and played like absolute garbage. It seemed that the magic that the franchise one had was completely thrown out of the window when this title came out. It was bad enough that it was completely delisted from digital storefronts in 2018, meaning that players can only purchase an expensive physical copy or keep it on their console of choice.
9. Tony Hawk’s American Wasteland – 2005
Fans were starting to feel a bit of Tony Hawk fatigue when it came to this title. There wasn’t anything that made this title stand out over previous entries and in the evolving industry of the time, which is why it ranks as low as it does on this particular list. Tony Hawk games have some sort of magic to make them entertaining to play, and American Wasteland just felt painfully dated when it finally came to life. It’s not bad, per se, just a fair bit generic for the Birdman.
8. Tony Hawk’s Proving Ground – 2007
Tony Hawk’s Proving Ground was the final entry from the Neversoft Team, as they handed off the reigns to a new developer that put out such titles as Ride, Shred, and Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5. Proving Ground tried to change things up a bit compared to its previous entry, Project 8, but seemed to lose some of the heart and felt a bit like they were giving up on the franchise overall. It plays fine, and it looks fine, but it’s just fine overall, and that’s not what makes Tony Hawk games great.
7. Tony Hawk’s Project 8 – 2006
With the newest generation of consoles coming to life in this period, Tony Hawk’s Project 8 looked to take some ideas, both new and old, and add them into the franchise to give it a bit of a boost. Featuring some of the arcade classic gameplay that fans knew and loved, but also introducing the Nail-The-Trick mode that would slow time down to hit huge combos felt great, but could also be a bit clunky in the long run. However, as the first HD Tony Hawk title, Project 8 looked great for the time, and helped fans get back into the fun of the franchise again.
6. Tony Hawk’s Underground 2 – 2004
Tony Hawk’s Underground 2 is a classic game, but it doesn’t mean that there weren’t titles that did it better. By today’s standards, the humor may be a little cringe, but that’s what helps it still feel weirdly endearing. With the full Jackass crew on board in this title, it seems like they cranked the insanity up to 11, which may not have been everybody’s cup of tea. Don’t worry, THUG2 is still a masterclass of the skating genre, but there are just a few Tony Hawk titles that do things better overall.
5. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4 – 2002
At the time of its release, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4 was the most technically sound of all of the titles available. However, the following release would fundamentally change the franchise and propel it into the stratosphere once again. Thankfully, THPS4 is still incredible to play and watch, even though it has been on the market for 20 years, and is still easy to pick up and play without issues.
4. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 – 1999
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater took the world by storm when it was first released in 1999, with amazing stages, an excellent soundtrack, and — at the time — groundbreaking visuals. However, as it has aged, players may realize that certain parts that are now mainstays, such as manuals and balance meters, are nowhere to be found. Still a groundbreaking title, but just missing a few modern features for gamers experiencing this game for the first time.
3. Tony Hawk’s Underground – 2003
Tony Hawk’s Underground was a severe departure for the franchise from the norm, and it benefited from that fact. Taking everything that made the previous 4 entries masterclasses of their genre, and adding in countless features that newer titles likely are missing and an exciting narrative, Tony Hawk’s Underground is still highly regarded as one of the standout titles in the history of the franchise. There is still quite a lot of love for this entry and is still played by countless gamers to this day.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3 – 2001
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3 is a historic title in many regards. As the final title released for the Nintendo 64, and the first THPS entry on the newly released sixth-generation consoles, the graphical leap, and gameplay improvements have made this title withstand the test of time for years. This particular entry still stands the test of time and introduced many gameplay elements that became standard fare for countless games to come.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 – 2000
The game that lit the fire under the pants of every skater punk around the world, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 is a legendary title for countless reasons. Most games from this era of gaming may feel clunky and dated, but this particular game still plays great and took advantage of the power of the 5th Generation Consoles. With some of the most iconic stages, songs, and playable characters of all time, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 has earned and deserved the reputation that it’s garnered over the years.
Without a doubt, the newly remastered version of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 may easily be the best way to play these iconic titles, it wouldn’t be fair to pit it up against all of the other entries on this list. It’s a stellar way to revisit these classic titles and showcases the love and passion that the developers have put into these games to still have as many dedicated fans as it still does today.
- This article was updated on January 27th, 2023