Looking for the best skateboard games to play in 2023? In the past, it was tough to find a skateboarding game on PC, with the genre having its heyday during the PS2 and Xbox 360 console generations. Recently, however, the skateboarding gaming scene has seen a resurgence, with realistic skate sims making the most of the PC platform to deliver the most accurate skateboarding games yet.
Nothing quite captures a moment in time like the years when skateboarding was at its mainstream peak. A mixture of creativity and aggression, skateboarding can be a true expression of style, and the best skateboarding games all manage to capture that in some form. For a niche few, these are some of the best PC games ever. All that, naturally, backed by an energetic soundtrack that seamlessly switches from thrash metal belters and pop punk fare to classic West Coast hip hop – the best skateboarding games often ooze effortless style.
The best skateboard games on PC are:
We’ve extended beyond skateboards in several instances, so we hope your mind is open to rollerblades and longboarding. We’re not just reminiscing about old games here either, as we’ve also included a number of new and upcoming skateboard games that you may not have heard of. Oh, and if it’s Skate 4 news and gameplay you’re after then head to our dedicated guide.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2
The founding father of modern skateboarding games. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 is a remake of the two legendary games that redefined the whole skateboarding videogame genre. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2’s arcade gameplay is timeless, with the remake impressing newcomers and old-time fans alike. By introducing elements from THPS 3 and 4, the remake plays even better than the originals.
We could talk about how Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2’s gameplay brought a greater sense of balance and skill to the rough and tumble of skateboarding, but first, we’d like to single out the music. The extreme sport has always rolled hand-in-hand with a particular spirit of rebellion, and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 taps into that wonderfully with its soundtrack.
The music wouldn’t land without quality gameplay to support it. Much like its predecessor, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 retains its arcadey feel as you roll off lengthy button combinations to pull off elaborate tricks that occasionally defy physics. If you’re feeling like Superman, you can thread in some grinds and manuals to test your sense of balance. But it’s the precise controls of Pro Skater 2 that make it so satisfying to play even now.
Every button press and movement lands exactly as you want it to, ensuring you always feel in control of your combos and, ultimately, at fault when you bail.
OlliOlli World is the evolution of Roll7’s prized series, giving players a larger sandbox filled with a diverse cast, side quests, and sick trick opportunities. The world of Radlandia is ready to be ripped up by new and experienced skaters. There are over 100 tricks to learn, a Leagues system for competitive players, and a brand new sandbox mode that gives you plenty of room to express yourself.
OlliOlli 2 ramped up the gameplay difficulty, whereas OlliOlli World is more welcoming to new players. OlliOlli is known for its deep combo system, and that hasn’t gone anywhere – instead of falling down after a failed trick, you’ll land, but won’t earn as many points. New players are able to enjoy themselves without taking anything away from the hardcore OlliOlli fans. Read our extensive OlliOlli World review to learn just how good this game is.
Jet Set Radio
Okay, this one isn’t technically a skateboarding game, but it demands your attention nevertheless. Like many of the best skateboard games, Jet Set Radio is head-over-heels in love with the fluid movement and balletic combos. Mastering it isn’t easy though, and you’ll have to put in some grind to get to grips with it.
It also shares a particular spirit with other skating games in embracing the spirit of youth culture and rebellion. You play as an inline skater who tags a fictional version of Tokyo with graffiti while gliding away from figures of authority. Stringing all this together is the DJ of the Jet Set Radio pirate radio station, who broadcasts a thumping soundtrack to you. When you tune in, expect music that combines everything from J-pop and hip-hop to funk and electronic dance.
Skater XL is one of the newer skateboarding entries on the list. It comes from Easy Day Studios, which developed the surprisingly realistic Skater for mobile. Easy Day Studios’ pitch is all about realism. That means no more triple kickflips while somersaulting through the air, instead, you’ll initially be focusing on the fundamentals, as even the humble ollie feels satisfying to land with a stomp.
A swathe of legendary spots also inspires the map so you can shred on the same ramps, grinds, and gaps as the greats. Don’t think that you won’t have anyone to show off to, however, as there’s a robust multiplayer mode and also a video capture system so you can stitch together your best footage.
Session: Skate Sim
Session looks to be a spiritual successor to EA’s Skate, but with the realism turned up to 10. Featuring a steep learning curve, real skate spots, and no scoring system, this game runs purely on 90’s street skating vibes and is worthy of your time because of it.
There’s an emphasis on balance in the gameplay, from finding the sweet spot on a rail to mastering the landing or holding a manual. Because of the lack of a scoring system, you’re free to string together combos based on what moves you reckon will look the best, rather than as a means to hit a score. Once you have your perfect combo nailed, you can record it and share it online.
Eat trash and thrash. That’s the raccoon way of life, or at least we assume it is, the little masked bandits aren’t quick to give up their secrets. What shouldn’t be a secret, however, is that Tanuki Sunset is one of the most effortlessly cool and relaxing board-based games around.
Every level is a different downhill run, backed by a catch lo-fi beat. There’s a score meter, cars to dodge, hairpin bends to powerslide around, and copious amounts of garbage to consume along the way, but the main goal is simply to slalom to the bottom as calmly and smoothly as possible.
Arguably the most chill game on this list, Skate City takes players on a journey through Oslo, Barcelona, and Los Angeles for the perfect skate session. In this 2.5D skateboarding game, players can spend hours jamming to lo-fi beats as they make their way through each city. Though Skate City was originally made for the iPhone, pulling off tricks with a flick of your joystick feels perfect for a game like this.
It’s universally agreed that the best part of skateboarding comes from showing off your highlights. Skate City has in-game recording tools to ensure your best moments are captured; control the speed of clips, zoom in using the camera, and even switch to the classic fisheye lens to get the best view of the action. Whether you’re looking to complete challenges, or you want to relax in the free skate mode, Skate City gives you the freedom to enjoy the basics of skateboarding.
Easily the most wholesome entry on this list, this game-to-be is about a bird on a small board with a big heart. The pitch is that your Big Friend has bailed on their skateboard for good and is stuck in a dead-end job they hate. To cheer them up, you’ll build a makeshift park out of staplers, rulers, and other bits and bobs you can find around a room. The more your skills improve, the more your following on Tweeter (geddit?) grows, which leads to more skater birds coming to your park.
Though SkateBIRD may not be on the same level as something like the Tony Hawk Pro Skater remake, there’s still plenty to enjoy with this adorable game. You can check out our sister site, The Loadout, to read their verdict on the game.
If you want all the thrills of skateboarding without any of the unnecessary fluff, The Ramp is the game for you. Created by just one developer, The Ramp is a bite-sized skateboarding experience that places you in a bowl with very little guidance.
The Ramp doesn’t have any unlockable content or feature missions or a score to keep track of your progress. This casual game has been a short experience that you can dip in and out of whenever you have a few spare minutes. It’s not the easiest game to get to grips with, but it provides you with a strong sense of accomplishment when you manage to land a difficult trick.
And there you have it, the best skateboard games to attract any Sk8er boi or girl. They may not be coming as thick and fast as they did in the early 2000s when the likes of EA and Activision were churning them out. Thankfully, however, plenty of indie developers are keeping the genre alive and are looking to stamp their mark on this beloved genre. If you’re after something competitive but perhaps a little more structured, take a look at the best sports games on PC – you’ll find something to scratch that itch.