The Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater series has a complicated legacy. The first few games in the series are among the most critically acclaimed video games ever released – THPS 2’s review metascore ranks second all-time behind only Ocarina of Time – but later releases couldn’t quite match that standard, and then extreme sports games largely disappeared during the current console generation. The last numbered entry in the series, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5, released in 2015 and was a disaster, and a previous attempt to remaster the classic games (Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD) couldn’t capture the magic of the original.
For more than a decade, the best (and only) way to get your Tony Hawk fix has been to track down ancient consoles and discs – but you can finally ditch that old PlayStation and CRT TV. With the release of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2, developer Vicarious Visions has brilliantly reimagined two of the best action sports titles of all time for the modern age, while also delivering an authentic gameplay experience that feels exactly the way THPS should.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 combines all of the locations from the first two games in the series, and while each level has been given massive graphical upgrades, you’ll instantly feel at home. The Warehouse is still The Warehouse, it just looks better than any skateboarding game has before. You progress through each game just as you did in the originals, completing a series of challenges in each level – from setting Sick scores and collecting S-K-A-T-E to grinding specific rails and jumping over bums in Venice – to unlock new stages.
The Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 roster includes current-day versions of all the skaters in the original rosters, from Bob Burnquist to Rodney Mullen, along with a few new additions to the series, including superstar Nyjah Huston. Each skater has stats you can upgrade by finding floating symbols hidden in each level, along with specific boards and gear you can unlock by completing character-specific challenges. You can also create your own skater and outfit him with any of the various pieces of gear you’ve unlocked. In all, there’s a ton of things to collect and unlock.
THPS 1 + 2 adds even more replayability with a multiplayer mode, which will allow you to compete against your friends or other random players for the highest run score or best combo, and also with a Create-A-Park feature, which will likely lead to an endless amount of excellently designed stages from the community. You’ll need to gradually unlock items to create the stage of your dreams, but with the ability to play any park other players have uploaded, you can also just sit back and play the best creations from amateur designers.
One of the most important aspects of any Tony Hawk game is the soundtrack, and the playlist for Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 combines most of the best tracks from the first two games, along with more recent tracks from artists like Machine Gun Kelly and Skepta. Yes, “Superman” made the cut, and it’s glorious.
Whether you want to call it a remaster or a remake, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 sets a new bar, and hopefully sets the stage for an upcoming revision of THPS 3. This is Tony Hawk Pro Skater at its best, and for the first time in a long time, fans of the series won’t be disappointed by a new release.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 releases on Friday, September 4th on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. FTW reviewed the PC version.