- Original release year: 2000
- Consoles: PS1, N64, Dreamcast, Windows, Mac OS, XBox
In the 90s, Skateboarding wasn’t massively cool. It was mostly viewed as being “something for kids” or occasionally it was just something that a very niche audience of “scruffy, up to no good teenagers” did.
Then all of a sudden, there was a massive resurgence and fucking everyone was skateboarding. The kid over the road, everyone in school, students at university, your mum, even your nan; they were all fucking doing it.
Why? Because of this game right here.
Every now and again, a game comes along and truly changes the landscape of gaming. We’re talking a huge revolutionary video game here and Tony Hawk Pro Skater was one of those. Nowadays, it’s hard to imagine a skateboarding or BMXing or whatever game being so huge or so important, but that’s because it all began with Tony Hawk. Before that, skateboarding games either sucked or they were just nothing like Skateboarding at all.
Tony Hawk Pro Skater had you grinding like a boss, pulling off tricks and combos off ramps, using half pipes and doing so across some phenomenally well designed skate parks and outside environments. It made you feel like a Skateboarding pro. Pro Skater 2 took everything that made its predecessor so great and basically just timed it by a million. It added the manual trick to make forming large combos easier and had some fantastic, huge areas to skate it. The school was a highlight for example. What was awesome too, was all the hidden areas you could unlock in each level. Like in the school level, there was a way to get inside and skate inside the gym etc.
What was great too was the create a skater mode, which allowed you to try and create yourself or just something completely insane. Then you could take your created skater and go through the game’s career mode, which was brilliant. Each level was made up of all these fun challenges that just so much fun to try and do and the more you completed, the more stuff you unlocked and more money and experience points you got to improve your skater.
Besides the Career mode, the general score attack modes were brilliant and addictive, with my friends and I often spending hours trying to beat each other’s high scores. There was also a decent track designer to try and make your own levels. It is primitive by today’s standards, but was unheard of in console gaming back when the game was released.
Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2 is one hell of a game and is still my favourite game in the series (although you can’t really go wrong with 1-4). If you’re wondering which is the best version, I’ve owned the PS1 and Dreamcast versions and the latter was superior, at least graphically. I can’t comment on the other versions I’m afraid, but I’m sure it’s great whatever console you play it on.