Activision has been on a bit of a roll with its retro remakes. After successfully bringing back Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon, the publisher was bound to dive into its back catalogue to pull out another sure-fire hit. Fortunately, among its dormant IP was a series named Tony Hawk's Pro Skater. These were more than just good skateboarding games; they defined an era, popularising skating for a new generation and influencing decades of sports titles. Combine the franchise's legendary status with a thirst for skateboarding games to return, and Activision was onto a winner.
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 is brilliant. It's a perfectly pitched remake, reviving the original two games for the modern age. It plays on our nostalgia for the late 90s classics with all the levels and characters we remember, but the graphical overhaul is such that it all feels fresh again. These stages have aged very well indeed, and look better than ever with Vicarious Visions going the extra mile to make each one feel unique.
What's perhaps most remarkable, though, is that the gameplay is just as good today as it ever has been. Folding in later additions like the revert and other features, the remake plays fantastically. After finding your feet with the controls, it's as if nothing ever changed; you'll slip back into familiar rhythms, earning thousands of points and racking up ridiculously long combos. In terms of pure fun, this game is hard to top in 2020. Trying and retrying for that perfect run remains an addictive pastime.
Then there's all the new stuff the remake brings to the table. Literally hundreds of Challenges will keep players hooked for dozens of hours — the game really rewards you for exploring absolutely everything. Create-a-Skater and Create-a-Park aren't original features, but they're seriously overhauled here, especially the latter. You can make a serviceable skate park fairly intuitively, and then share it with the online community. And speaking of online, you can play some rounds of score attack and plenty more in relaxed multiplayer lobbies.
It's just an amazing package when you add it all up. Two absolute classics, revamped and bundled together with all the mod-cons you'd expect, and best of all, it still plays like a dream. It's no wonder Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 is among our top games of the year — a joyous ride for veterans and newcomers alike.
For more information, you can read our Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 review through the link.
Is Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 among your favourite games of 2020? Grind into the comments section below.
How we decide our Game of the Year: This December, our editorial team created a list of nominees for Game of the Year based on our own review scores and a variety of other factors. After much discussion, we trimmed the list of nominees down and asked all Push Square staff and the Push Square community to vote on their five favourites using a points-based system. The ten games with the most points by the designated deadline were then determined as our favourites of 2020.