It's a Guy Thing

Best Skateboarding Games Ever

With the successful return of the Tony Hawk series and the re-emergence of skateboard culture around the world, it’s time to take a look at some of the famous games that have celebrated the unique and wonderful world of ollies, manuals, and halfpipes throughout gaming history. 

Shaun White Skateboarding

The coolest ginger in the world, Shaun White rose to prominence through his insane snowboarding ability, yet that didn’t stop him from making an appearance in the skateboarding world back in 2010. Shaun White Skateboarding is far from a realistic representation of the extreme sport and focused more on easy to pull off tricks and out doing their combos. The story as well is ridiculous, as our fiery redhead finds himself in a world where skateboarding is illegal, and because of this, the color has drained out of the world, leaving all us cool kids to live in monotone black and white. Fortunately Sean White is here to break the rules and bring back color to the world as you skate around, pulling off tricks that magically bring back color to the world. It’s over the top, it’s silly but it’s also a lot of fun. 


Things don’t always have to be in 3D to offer you a satisfying and challenging skateboarding experience. OlliOlli is a basic-looking 2D side scroller with the focus on finesse. Land perfectly to score enough points to progress to new levels. And that’s it, no fancy overly complicated button combos or silly story modes, OlliOlli breaks skateboarding down to its simplest form and succeeds for it. Timing is essential and the slightest delay will see your skateboarding hero faceplant into the tarmac faster than you can say OlliOlli. It can be tough as nails, but successfully pulling off a level will leave you wanting more and more. You might say it’s the Dark Souls of skateboarding. We are kidding of course.

Tony Hawk’s Underground

Underground might not be the best in the Tony Hawk series, yet it brought new features that have become a mainstay in most skateboarding games. It was a game that went out of its way to truly capture the counterculture of the sport. It was one of the first games to let players step off the skateboard, explore places, and do challenges on foot. It brought in customization and a full story mode as well as typically insane arcade trick combinations. It’s a colorful and totally gnarly game that took the series in a more silly, over the top direction that might have divided the fans but it was a much-needed change for a slightly stagnating series.


As the Tony Hawk series was getting more silly and over the top, EA’s Skate went the other direction. This was a game that tried to accurately simulate the sport of skateboarding. The controls moved away from the insane button combos of Tony Hawk and went for a more intuitive flick controls system, with each direction stick taking charge of each foot. It was a genius move as flicking the left and right stick meant pulling off realistic moves just felt right. It also featured a huge open-world instead of set stages and took full advantage of the PS3 and Xbox 360 hardware. Skate started a whole new genre in skateboarding games, the immersive skateboarding simulator, and was the perfect game for skateboarding purists.


If Skate wasn’t realistic enough for you then Session would be the perfect game for you. This is a game that sacrifices fun for complete and utter realism and authenticity. A simple kickflip requires incredible finesse, and the learning curve is as steep as a halfpipe. Also, the playable environment is super realistic. Gone are the conveniently placed vert ramps and grindable rails found in other games, this is a true to life setting where you will have to look for the opportunities to pull off your tricks. It’s incredibly tough, like real-life skateboarding, and will only appeal to the hardest of hardcore. 

Skater XL

One of the more recent entries, Skater XL is the unofficial follow up to the Skate series, since EA refuses to release a new Skate game. This game is all about physics-based controls, and much like Skate’s system, each foot is tied to a thumbstick, allowing the player complete freedom to do whatever they want with their board. Featuring real-life skate parks and even some of today’s top pros, Skater XL might just be the next big thing on the scene. Think of it as a mix of Tony Hawk and Skate but with enough flair of its own to stand tall amongst the skateboarding giants.

Skateboard Park Tycoon 2004 Back In The USA

And now for something completely different. Skateboard Park Tycoon 2004 Back In The USA’s actual skateboarding is quite rubbish, so why is it on the list you may ask? Easy, it’s one of the only games to focus more on the management side of skateboarding. The game gives players full control over their own skate park, to design ramps and rails and then invite AI skateboarders in to ride it. It was a breath of fresh air during a time when Tony Hawk dominated and the scene was bombarded with rubbish rip-offs. Skateboard Park Tycoon 2004 Back In The USA brought something new to the table and if owning your own skate park was a dream, this game allowed you to realize it. Although the graphics do look quite dated, there is still a lot of fun to be had 16 years later.