Originally released for the PlayStation all the way back in the year 2000, Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2 [App Store] was the definitive skateboarding game of its day. Since then, the Tony Hawk Pro Skater series has spawned a ton of sequels, but, at least in my opinion, no skateboarding game has come close to the same level of fun. I played Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2 so much that I quite literally wore out controllers. I really can't think of another game I can say the same for.

I'm not alone in absolutely loving the original Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2 either, as it's currently the #2 top rated game on all of MetaCritic, second only to The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. In its day, THPS2 received flawless reviews from nearly everyone who touched it, and believe it or not, even the Gameboy Advance port was great... An accomplishment not to be taken lightly given how terribly mediocre even the best Gameboy ports of "full" 3D games were.

Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2 stikes a perfect balance between an in-depth career mode with multiple skaters you can slowly improve by buying additional stat points, skateboards, and tricks while also sporting an extremely open game world that seems to never run out of things for you to do. Once you do finally beat the game, there's always topping you and your friends' scores which begin to become a test of endurance for how long you can keep an infinite combo going before falling.

Progressing through career mode involves selecting a skate location and completing goals to earn in-game money. Initially only the warehouse is open, and goals range from finding gaps (two ramps you can jump between), picking up the S K A T E letters, knocking over barrels, reaching several different point totals, and others. Once you make enough money the second skate location opens, and the rest of the game continues like that. Of course, you can always visit old locations, which is vital if you hope to fully tweak out your skater as each stat point you buy is incrementally more expensive than the last.

Sadly, even though Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2 is based on source material that is pure gaming gold, there are the usual console game to iPhone issues. First off, the necessary evil of the virtual D-Pad and set of four buttons to handle all your jumping, flipping, grabbing and grinding really doesn't do the game any favors. They're slowly growing on me and work as well as to be expected, but I'm not entirely sure I'll ever be able to pull the insane infinite combos I could on a real controller just because of how hard it is to rock your thumb between two virtual buttons on the iPhone screen.

Secondly, and potentially worse is that Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2 flat out hasn't been adapted to be a very good mobile phone game. It still utilizes a similar save system to the now ancient console game where your progress is only saved after each level, so any phone calls will result in you restarting from your last save. This probably isn't as big of a deal as it sounds, since each skate session is only a couple minutes long, but it still seems worth mentioning.

Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2 is also a game that would benefit greatly from some kind of online leaderboard integration. The sheer potential this game has to be the most amazing thing I've ever seen by implementing leaderboards, push challenges, and replay sharing is out of this world. I can't even imagine how much fun sending challenges to all my friends I used to play THPS2 with back in the day would be, and I really really hope they consider adding this.

In the graphics and sound departments, it's all there. In fact, the game looks even better on the iPhone than I remember it. It has a soundtrack of real music, although the original game music by Anthrax, Rage Against the Machine, and Bad Religion are nowhere to be found. Currently the game's availability is severely limited, but according to Tony Hawk's Twitter should be available internationally fairly soon.

Despite these issues, if you have any nostalgia at all from playing the original game ten years ago, you're going to need this game. From the familiar menus to all the skate locations filled with secrets you slowly begin to remember, there's nothing that compares to Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2. There is no way you won't be smiling ear to ear the first time you drop in to the warehouse, and chances are, you won't even care that the controls aren't ideal because you're playing Tony Hawk on your phone.

If you're only familiar with more modern Tony Hawk games, you might be annoyed that it's lacking (and I use that word loosely) things like a story mode, a more structured career mode, greater depth of customization, and other things that have since become common place in recent skateboarding games. But, honestly, none of that even matters, because the actual skating in Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2 has an absolutely timeless feel to it.

This is a game I will never delete from my iPhone.

App Store Link: Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2, $9.99

TouchArcade Rating

StarStarStarStarStar
  • dumas1000

    Different strokes for different folks, I suppose. But I am 30 years old and have been playing video games for a very long time. I once owned an original Atari 2600, back when they still made games for it. Yet, I have no interest in retro gaming for the sake of Nostalgia and will never purchase or play a game simply because it brings me back to the days of my youth.

    • Joineme

      You are one depressing and lifeless gamer. Nostalgia is one of the greatest experiences a life has. After all, once your about to leave this world, there are few things more important than the past, your history.

      • Everybody loves Raymond the movie

        Nostalgia is a disorder of the imagination and is the form that anger and discontent with the present takes. It's commonly linked with emotional imbalance and could be potentially harmful if it persists. Perhaps, you are the depressing/depressed one.

      • Septimus

        @Everybody love... bored now

        Pretentious know-it-alls like yourself need to stop "informing" people on how they should feel about past experiences.

    • erik

      100% agree

      • Acidbottle

        lol @ nostalgia being a disorder.

        its about remembering good times, and since this nostaglic and ancient game tears strips off 'so called' state of the art brand new games, i think you nerds are the delusional ones.

        why cant anyone on this disease riddled planet for once just accept the fact we are all different. theres sometimes no black n white answers.

      • Everybody loves Raymond the movie

        @septimus...
        Let me get this straight. You're bashing on me, for bashing on someone who was criticizing somebody for how they felt about their past memories?? Doesn't that put us on the same team here friendo?

  • Boardumb

    "...the actual skating in Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2 has an absolutely timeless feel to it.

    This is a game I will never delete from my iPhone."

    Excellent review. This last bit basically sums up my feelings.

  • Miffy

    Not on the UK store :\

  • Booch138

    While it would be fun to have this game on the iPhone, I have it on my PC where I am fine with it staying there.
    I just think the controls would just be too annoying without actual buttons. Or a keyboard.

  • Karanfiloff

    Now I can flip the skate anywhere I want!!! Great Review thank you Activison! Thaaank you!

  • Bosconian

    "you won't even care that the controls aren't ideal because you're playing Tony Hawk on your phone."

    For $10, yes, I would care that the controls suck.

    Some game genres need real controls to be fully enjoyed, and maybe this is one of them.

  • http://www.briannourse.co.uk Brian Nourse

    Hay cant wait for this, lovin this game.

  • GreyDawn

    IMO, not a game that is at all meant for touch screen controls, especially such tiny ones.

    For games like this, if there is ANY compromise to being able to successfully string together combos, there`s no point in playing it at all.

  • big things ftw

    why they removed the original THPS2 music? for ten bucks.. this sucks

    • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

      You've answered your own question ;).

  • Dandarya

    Just got it. AMAZING. Kicks skate nation's ass. Buy it.

  • apopagasm

    ah man i bought this thinking it was the game with superman by goldfinger and that it had the first level where you drop down and it's got the box up top and all, but that's the first one ): owell, still fun

  • Pobregizmo

    I've been thinking about the controls (which those who have played seem to love) and I'm realizing that this is the perfect game for touchscreen controls. It's not like an FPS where precision targeting is everything, it's all about hitting grind at the same time as one of 4 or 8 directions. The iphone can handle that perfectly. Can't wait to try this, but $10 is more than I've ever spent on an iphone game. (yes, I am cheap...)

  • http://www.ummband.com poutini

    if I didn't already have this for the dreamcast I'd pick it up for sure. this is the exact same feeling I had when rayman II came out for the iPhone.

  • jaytee

    Can we please get another review on this? By someone who isn't just like "Oh man, how awesome was middle school?"

    Because really, this reads like a poor review but everything is excusable because it's such a classic.

  • Phil_Lapineau

    THPS2 is a timeless classic, though for me, THPS3 was my favorite because of the revert. I wonder from which SKU the devs ported this. My guess is the Dreamcast because of its similar specs to the iDevice (RISC CPU and PowerVR GPU).

  • Ian

    I'm just disappointed the original THPS2 soundtrack isn't in the game. I was expecting to here Guerrilla Radio from Rage at the beginning and was disappointed.
    Other then that, i love the game.

  • JoelTGM

    Why can't I find this on the app store?

  • JoelTGM

    Oh, nevermind, not available internationally yet doh.

  • Killadude290

    Been waiting days for this to appear in UK app store, not even sure if I wan't it! But I'm annoyed i CAN'T get it yet, and anyway, whats the hold up to release internationally! On a positive note, when we do get it, it might have
    create a skater and create a park :)

  • http://Ianwalsh.com Ianwalsh56

    Anyone know how to enter cheats on this I can't figure it out email me walshian782@gmail.com

  • JoelTGM

    10 days and waiting for international release. I live in Canada, kind of a bummer that they can't just get it out to everyone else already.

  • JoelTGM

    *cough* Hey Activision, you forgot to release it outside the US.

  • http://emirarkman.com Emir

    still not available internationally! make it available for all, activision!

  • bob saget

    anybody know how to put the cheats in?

  • Ingwersen

    Hi Eli!
    Great review - and as a long time fan of these early games in the franchise my fingers are itching to get a hold on this! Can you pull some strings, throw a mail to Activision or look in your magic 8-ball and come up with a reason why this isn't out internationally yet and/or when it might be just that?
    I simply am flabbergasted and can't understand this marketing model...

    Thanks in advance
    Johannes, Denmark

  • Ibanana

    When it wil be available in the UK ????!!!!!!
    One month waiting now....

  • Ryan

    Amazing game, almost as good as the original.

    PROS:
    Its Tony Hawk on the iPhone! Million point combos! Same game feel! Love it!

    CONS:
    Unable to fully turn off the accelerometer
    Controls take getting used to
    Diff music
    The Career mode for Officer Dick and Private Carerra do not load, so unable to 100% the game

  • Ryan

    Cheats are available when you 100% a character.

  • JoelTGM

    It's still not available in Canada either.

  • sushi126

    german release??? just bought skate it by ea, so Sorry tony hawk, guess i'll pass on you

  • aen

    BRING IT TO THE GERMAN STORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Augure

    I bought right away because of nostalgia but I have to say no to:

    1. The music. Why this shitty music, when one of the main thing all my friend remember from THPS2 is the soundtrack ?

    2. The control: a pain in the ass to kick off the tricks, but I guess it's the touch screen sacrifice.

    3. The old save system.

  • Brandon

    why cant you download this in Canada????

  • Annoyed

    RAAAAAAAAAAAAR, ive been waiting for this game for ages wtf activison wtf </3

  • Bob Simmons

    Having waited nearly two months for this game in the UK I have just bought Skate It instead and will not be purchasing THPS2! Activision are muppets and should have kept the rest of the world up to date! The globe includes more than America!!!

    BS

  • MKDOn

    Blah, just Jailbreak your iPhone and get it that way...if you know what I mean :)

    • Killadude290

      Yeah, illeagally and without supporting the developer to make more games.
      Am I on the right track or barking up the wrong tree?

  • Tennisfan92

    i love the game but the reaction time is suuuuper slow. the game is all about little intricate moves and this becomes impossible when controlling the character is not possible.

  • guy

    u need a 3gs, mine runs perfect

  • Blablabla

    are there any cheats for this game because it says cheats at the menu but i cant find a way to enter any

    • Opooo

      you unlock them by getting 100% with different people