Kickflip to the Beat: Top 5 Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater Soundtracks of All-Time

A look at what pumped us up to earn ridiculously high scores.

James Kozanitisby James Kozanitis

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater games will always hold a special place in gamers’ hearts. Now that a new one has been announced, we get the chance to reflect on all the things we loved about the previous games.

Related: 10 Things I’d Like to See in the Next Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater

Tony Hawks‘ games always gave us something good to listen to while we jumped off ramps and mashed as many buttons as possible to rack up a trick score. Here’s a look at the top five soundtracks in the series.

5. Tony Hawk’s Proving Ground

Tony-hawk-groundprovingground

The latter half of the 2000s wasn’t all that nice to the Tony Hawk soundtracks, nor was it a very nice five years for the games themselves, but Tony Hawk’s Proving Ground was at least a high point in one of those categories. After failing to compete with the popular and acclaimed Skate, the only memorable thing about Tony Hawk’s Proving Ground is its return to great tunes. Mixing The Rolling Stones, Nirvana and The Foo Fighters created just enough mix and match to keep your attention throughout most of an otherwise disappointing outing into the extreme sport genre.

Best Song: “Clash City Rockers” – The Clash

Give a Listen: Electric Worm” – The Beastie Boys

4. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3

proskater3proskater3-2

It’s certainly not the best of the Tony Hawk Soundtracks, but it was certainly the boldest. Pro Skater 3 wasn’t content with relying on the big-name classics like No. 5 on this list. Putting out songs from bands like Alien Ant farm and Adolescents, Pro Skater 3 showed that they know how to find diamonds in the rough. Sure, an appearance by The Ramones helped a little. Speaking of which:

Best Song: “Blitzkrieg Bop” – The Ramones

Give a Listen: “The Boy Who Destroyed the World” – AFI

3. Tony Hawk’s Underground 2

underground2underground2-2

While Pro Skater 3 had a mix of popular and obscure, Underground 2 new how to mix the new and old, and that worked far better. Johnny Cash, Metallica, Distrubed and Jimmy Eat World aren’t on your typical Pandora mix, but the success of this soundtrack made your selections seem foolish. It was fitting for the game itself, too, which felt like a nice bridge between the classic Tony Hawk‘s games and the new style we would later see (and not really enjoy all too much, but it’s about the journey).

Best Song: “That’s Life” – Frank Sinatra

Give a Listen: “Pain” – Jimmy Eat World

2. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater

proskaterproskater-2

The thing about this one, among all the Tony Hawk soundtracks, is that it’s just flat out addicting. Even songs that you wouldn’t normally call good or find yourself listening to can keep you coming back. Part of the fun of any Tony Hawk game was starting up a freestyle run and wondering what song would come on, but Pro Skater‘s soundtrack was almost crack. Keep hitting the replay button to satisfy that itch to hear The Dead Kennedys one more time.

Best Song: “Superman” – Goldfinger

Give a Listen: “Ain’t Got Time to Waste” – Aim

1. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2

 proskater2proskater2-2

You could say I chose this as number one because I wanted to avoid an old-fogey reputation by saying “back in my day” or going into a full-on “Old Time Rock and Roll” level of annoyingly reminiscing, and you’d have a good argument. My counter-arguments are Rage Against the Machine, Powerman 500, Papa Roach, etc. The thing Pro Skater 2 did that none of the other Tony Hawk soundtracks accomplished was getting players pumped up to glide around a skate park and mash buttons – no easy task. When “Blood Brothers” came on, I played a little bit harder, with a lot more intensity (though that still didn’t help me pull off a heelflip darkslide on a regular basis).

Best Song: “Guerrilla Radio” – Rage Against the Machine

Give a Listen: “No Cigar” Millencolin