Generally favorable reviews - based on 44 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 44
  2. Negative: 1 out of 44
  1. A return to form for a series that was beginning to loose its way.
  2. Definitely an improvement on THUG 2 in getting away from the outrageous slapstick and prank ideas and back to skating as it should be.
  3. It's the best Tony Hawk game yet, and as someone who's played them all to death, that's no passing comment. Better level design, better presentation and better overall polish, this is THE game to buy if you're a Tony Hawk fan.
  4. I may miss the absolute insanity that was "Underground 2," but American Wasteland is still a beautiful, unpredictable trickfest that's every bit as fun in its seventh iteration as it was back in the first.
  5. 85
    As a whole, the story, attitude and overall focus of the game is much better this time around than what we've seen from the two "THUG" games.
  6. With the camera and control issues of THUG2 corrected, a fresh, compelling story mode, and the highlights of the series up to this point in tow, Tony Hawk's American Wasteland stands as the best game to bear his name thus far.
  7. The story mode is fun, funny and yet not absurd enough to wonder what drugs were abused during development time.
  8. There's no denying that this year's game is a triumphant return to form for the franchise. It's nice to see skating back as the focus after the two Underground titles.
  9. Some of the fundamentals are nailed right on the head (such as the combo system and level design), but other basic elements (physics, congruency, etc.) need to be drastically improved.
  10. While the gameplay in Tony Hawk's American Wasteland is still sharp, and the game still looks and sounds just fine, this seventh installment just seems to lack that special spark that made the series so much fun in the first place.
  11. 75
    This is the best Tony Hawk game since the fourth title, if anyone was frustrated by the seemingly unimportant tasks in "THUG2" then this is the Tony Hawk title to pick up.
  12. 74
    Perhaps it's time that developers Neversoft go away for longer than twelve months and come back with something other than a glorified extension of a series that seems to be short on innovation.
  13. 90
    It tries really hard to please both jaded vets and exuberant fanboys, and for the most part, it succeeds, even if the story mode's a little short and on the easy side.
  14. A definite step up from the Underground brand, but make no mistake: It's still yet another Tony Hawk game.
  15. Kudos to Neversoft and Activision for creating an amazing game, the sole competitor in its self-created genre, and curses upon them for distilling it to the point of absurdity.
  16. Sure, things could be much prettier, smoother and at times could make more sense, but one of the finest control systems in all of gaming, mixed with just the right amount of attitude means that the game is right up there with the best.
  17. An old game in new clothing.
  18. The world is your skatepark, or Los Angeles in this case, as Neversoft's premier skater continues to impress with a seamless environment and solid gameplay.
  19. Underneath the mixed bag of superfluous trimmings lies a game that's still highly playable despite feeling very familiar. [Dec 2005, p.121]
  20. The title is just painfully apt: never has a free-roaming structure brought so little to improve the quality of a game's world. The mooted open-ended environments of Tony Hawk's American Wasteland feel like a fallacy, a bleak repackaging for hocking the game to a jaded audience. [Dec 2005, p.107]
  21. When only a couple of challenges require you to break the million point barrier, only the weakest players will have trouble acing the game in hours. [Christmas 2005, p.107]
  22. The best reinvention of the Tony Hawk franchise to date. The game makes skating fun to learn and addictive like you cannot imagine.
  23. There’s still room for improvement – THAW isn’t quite as wide open as we’d hoped – and it will be interesting to see where Neversoft takes the series on the next-generation consoles. For now, though, THAW is plenty hot.
  24. The tweaks to the core gameplay, the addition of the BMX moves, and the inclusion of a massive city to skate around in are definitely appreciated.
  25. We love this one too, though it's more out of loyalty than out and out lust.
  26. I can see the series getting a little tired, and it doesn't quite have that magical "aura" that the first couple did. But nonetheless there's plenty to keep you busy.
  27. I’m not blown away, I’m merely shackled to my PS2 with unheard-of addictiveness.
  28. 85
    Sure, you can choose BMX bikes instead of traditional boards, and the soundtrack of punk covers is the best freaking Tony Hawk soundtrack yet, bar none, but whether or not you'll love this game completely depends on how full your Hawk tank already is.
  29. Home to some of the greatest gameplay that you'll ever encounter, but unless you compete online, it mostly goes to waste. [Dec 2005, p.154]
  30. We still think the hawk should take a year off, but this is nonetheless a great game. [Holiday 2005, p.76]
  31. The chance to skate a virtual LA will appeal to Tony Hawk fans and those new to the series will find the story mode a great way to quickly learn how to be a sick video skate rat.
  32. You still won't bother with the walking bits, but with two-player cooperative Classic levels, online play and a smart new version of LA to open up and tear apart, this is a return to form for the Hawkster. [PSW]
  33. A good skateboarding game, but cannot live up to the high expectations. The gameplay is still outstanding, but the game suffers from a lack of fresh ideas and a way-too-short story mode. [Dec 2005]
  34. With the braindead goals, non-charismatic cast of characters, and relatively limited level list, the game is unfortunately relegated to rental status, with its best points making us reminiscent of the days when you actually had to be good to beat a Tony Hawk game.
  35. 75
    A very short, all too easy story mode, but after all is said and done, a nice free skate title with good online play. The Hawk franchise is starting to show wear and tear around the edges and is in desperate need of a major overhaul.
  36. The thought of pulling a combo across an entire city with no load times is very appealing, but unless you have perfect balance, nimble fingers, and patience, you probably won’t pull it off.
  37. Tony, you are lookin' haggard. Even though I like American Wasteland's country-boy-in-the-city story line much better than last year's World Destruction Tour's, the annual sequels will drive this franchise into the ground if publisher Activision doesn't take a break, and soon.
  38. Unfortunately, the only thing I can say that really held true for my gameplay experience is that THAW didn't stand out to me.
  39. A free-play mode returns Hawk to his origins and here, the game does not disappoint one bit with its go forth and explore approach. [Dec 2005, p.66]
  40. American Wasteland doesn’t quite live up to the promises made by its creator, something that ultimately ends up hurting this seventh Tony Hawk installment. After all these years of teaching couch potatoes how to skate, the good folks at Neversoft have finally released a game that you might as well skate past.
  41. 80
    It should come as no surprise that THAW is well endowed with generously sized, multilayered domains for which to carry out all your skating aggression--half-pipes, quarter-pipes, pools, wires, rails, and so much more are in abundant supply.
  42. Yes, Wasteland has a large, free-roaming world, but it does little to change the game itself.
  43. All told, it's big loss if you decided to give Tony Hawk a rest for a year. [Jan 2006, p.91]
  44. A great step back to the series' roots.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 43 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 8
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 8
  3. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. rossh
    Oct 15, 2009
    i dont know why anyone can dislike this game, i honestly think that its the best ps2 game ever (and better than any game on another platform,i dont know why anyone can dislike this game, i honestly think that its the best ps2 game ever (and better than any game on another platform, for that matter), the BMX part played a v?tal part, as d?d the completley load?ng screen-free game world, and the soundtrack (? have fallen ?n love w?th astro zomb?es (my chem romance(covered from the m?sf?ts)) and ever fallen ?n love (thursday(covered from buzzcocks))) Full Review »
  2. Apr 1, 2013
    Free roam is an interesting and fun part of this game. Another Tony Hawk game that I spent money on and finished overnight. A reason to loseFree roam is an interesting and fun part of this game. Another Tony Hawk game that I spent money on and finished overnight. A reason to lose sleep when you're in elementary school Full Review »
  3. Nov 25, 2011
    Actually my favorite game in the Tony Hawk series, this game is unique and addictive. It has the best Create-A-Park mode yet, as well as lotsActually my favorite game in the Tony Hawk series, this game is unique and addictive. It has the best Create-A-Park mode yet, as well as lots of places to skate. Yet again, Neversoft pulls off a masterpiece that is an instant recommendation. What else can I say? Full Review »