Generally favorable reviews - based on 59 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 53 out of 59
  2. Negative: 0 out of 59
Buy On
  1. THUG 2 is much more than "just another sequel" and could only offer the player more if they included a skateboard inside the game case.
  2. There's probably enough here to satisfy fans whatever their inclination, but nobody should expect a quantum leap. Once again it's refinement over revolution.
  3. Buy this game, if only for the fact that it's the best of its kind, but like me, you'll probably find that after pouring literally dozens of hours into the game, you'll find yourself searching for something a bit meatier, and I don't just mean bigger combos and larger levels, but something that really revamps the genre like it did almost five years ago.
  4. The game does feel quite a bit like "THUG," but if you haven't played a Tony Hawk game in a year or longer, you'll be pretty impressed with THUG 2.
  5. Truth is, beyond the crassness of its Story mode, THUG 2 is not radically different from last year’s game. There’s not a whole lot new here aside from a few gimmicks and some off-the-wall elements.
  6. 86
    An extension of a reworked game that's smartly designed but in many ways is just too much of the same. Too many new insignificant features, too much off-skateboard "adventuring," -- that's actually pretty bad -- and a direction that appears to be moving far, far away from the original games.
  7. Some objects in the environments look aliased and you’ll occasionally see some texture pop-in problems as well.
  8. Hangs on to the great gameplay of the previous games, makes a few minor tweaks, and wraps it all up in a new Bam Margera-centric package.
  9. At their best, the Pro Skater games were a sport in themselves, requiring lots of skill. While the thrill of the trick is still here, it's deluged in a misfired attempt at frat-boy cool.
  10. At the very core of the game is something that could have worked, but it is so deeply entrenched within mediocrity and poorly executed ideas that it hurts.
  11. 50
    The entire single-player campaign just ruins what could have been a truly excellent sequel to what was a flawed but strong new entry into a well-established franchise. Instead, it feels as if Neversoft did not want to improve on what needed work and then prayed that players would not notice.
  12. 80
    In many ways it's the best the series has to offer, but it's still probably not enough to haul in a new audience.
  13. GMR Magazine
    THUG2 may not match "THUG's" charm and novelty, but it's still one of the most addictive and satisfying experiences out there. [Dec 2004, p.116]
  14. AceGamez
    It's everything you ever wanted from the last couple of Hawk incarnations but these are things that were never included; a unique bobby dazzler of a story and loads of depth that promises to wow us all.
  15. A much more detailed game that improves upon last year's graphical system with much better character models.
  16. The game still doesn’t do anything technically new. THUG 2 is what the first Underground game should have been. But, the Underground tag is nothing more than the Emperor’s new skateboard.
  17. Edge Magazine
    THUG2’s biggest step forward – it’s stripped-down Classic mode – is one it takes back. It’s as refreshing as it is nostalgic, taking on old-school Tony Hawk’s levels and goals with THUG’s improved trick set, and proves to be a necessary antidote to the mouthy fluster of the career mode, offering up pure, disciplined high-score play against the clock. [Dec 2005, p.117]
  18. games(TM)
    While Underground tried to seamlessly mix its diversity, humour and gameplay, it was always obvious when you were being dragged away from the combo system at the heart of the series. Thankfully, THUG2 makes a much better fist of keeping classic Tony Hawk’s gameplay at the heart of the tasks. Even when skating as Benjamin Franklin or a shrimp vendor, the focus remains on skateboarding. [Dec 2004, p.102]
  19. Game Informer
    An irresistible package born of the classic mold but with an invigorating twist. [Nov 2004, p.140]
  20. The sticker slap is my favorite new addition. The trick takes the place of the wallplant and enables the skater to turn a wall into a pitstop on the way to a huge combo. Leaping out of a grind into a sticker slap will send a skater right back to the rail, where he (or she) can retrace the path that already produced a good line.
  21. The game, while it doesn’t provide anything drastically different like previous versions, is still quite fun and as I mentioned, the most in-depth yet.
  22. Outrageous, stellar, “sick as hell,” “balls to the walls”.
  23. I love the game's soundtrack, which has old and newer hits, and completely fits the game's attitude. I never would have thought that skateboarding tricks and Johnny Cash would go together, but they do.
  24. Cheat Code Central
    The game is going for a more cartoonish look. It's bright and colorful with characters such as Ben Franklin which appear more as caricatures than real-life renderings. The environments are hugely three-dimensional and well detailed when you're in range.
  25. 90
    The best skating game ever made, and while it isn't nearly as groundbreaking as the previous game, it takes everything that made it great and adds some new tricks and a dash of juvenile potty humor, leaving you with the best time you'll have at a skate park this year.
  26. The graphics in Tony Hawk’s Underground 2 look so much better then the first THUG.
  27. The game comes highly recommended to those of you that have gone through the Tony Hawk franchise as it is, and should entertain you for months on end.
  28. If you’ve ever been a fan of the franchise you owe it to yourself to at least rent it. What starts out as a weekend rental just might turn into your next yearlong obsession.
  29. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    A better game than "THUG", and in turn is the most finely polished extreme-sports game ever released...However, the degree to which it improved doesn't match the jump seen from "Tony 4" to "THUG", something fans should know before taking the plunge. [Dec 2004, p.144]
  30. An outstanding game, although it's on the brink of trying to do too much at one time. The motorized vehicles, lame goals, and other non-skating novelties can all take a hike.
  31. Character and game customisation will keep players amused and the amount of play modes, stunts and tricks on offer should easily keep gamers amused.
  32. Truth is, beyond the crassness of its Story mode, THUG 2 is not radically different from last year's game. There's not a whole lot new here aside from a few gimmicks and some off-the-wall elements.
  33. 85
    This is like a Thanksgiving dinner of Tony Hawk. You're going to feel stuffed and ready for a nap afterwards, and some players may even refuse dessert. It proves that the formula still works, but it may also cause some observers to sigh with relief at the knowledge that Neversoft is working on an original game for next year.
  34. Some of the gameplay is a little sloppy, and its story mode could be longer, but on the whole it's a quality production that anyone still interested in the genre will enjoy.
  35. With the inclusion of Classic Mode and the continuation of this quite natural evolution of the franchise, Neversoft has done most everything short of bringing Tony Hawk to your doorstep to put a smile on all of the fans’ faces; old, and new alike.
  36. The lack of attention to the pure mechanics that attracted so many players to the series is a significant detraction to the game, as are the limitations placed on some of the game modes and the overemphasis on acting crazy.
  37. Many problems with the game, such as the misspelled goal on the RV vert ramp in Boston (it’s supposed to be 20,000 points, not 2,000) and the sudden change in manual and grind sensitivity, really make the game a little less fun than it should be.
  38. However, casual Tony Hawk fans should really think twice about investing, as there’s not a huge amount to set it apart from the rest.
  39. The amalgamation of Tony Hawk’s and "Jackass" is the videogame equivalent of a match-made in heaven, and certainly makes a marked improvement upon the weak story of its predecessor.
  40. A steady stream of competent enhancements (especially online) and a return to the original franchise’s goal-based gameplay a fresh experience does not make. Story mode is just plain dumb, and the art design has been needlessly changed for the worse.
  41. PSM Magazine
    Solid, and if the same great gameplay with a few tweaks and new levels is enough, you'll love it. Without more innovation, though, it's getting harder to get very excited. [Dec 2004, p.82]
  42. It’s more of what you’re used to with a few new bells and whistles.
  43. The majority of new gameplay features do positively elaborate on the core THUG experience, but there is an alarming lack of effort in their refinement.
  44. What has been added this year doesn't add to much to the series overall and if you were a cynic you might say that the developers included the retro style to move the attention away from this fact.
  45. Despite its shortcomings, THUG 2 offers no shortage of content and anyone who’s ever fallen off of a board will keep coming back for more.
  46. netjak
    Hopefully, Activision will finally decide that this is the year to take off and reinvent the series; otherwise, I won’t need to play "Tony Hawk’s Underground 3"; I’ll have played it six times already.
  47. A fine sequel, although if you've had your fix of Hawk before, you may not find enough that's genuinely new here to warrant a purchase.
  48. 75
    Even though the addition of Classic mode is nice, otherwise it would appear that the game is trying its hardest to remain at status quo more than anything else.
  49. 75
    A good game that is becoming a little too familiar. C'mon Neversoft, show us some evolution!
  50. 90
    The Story Mode is decidedly different in that it doesn’t feel like a rehash of THUG and the inclusion of Classic Mode is brilliant—that’s without accounting for the expansive customizable and multiplayer options. Simply put, this game is skating nirvana.
  51. Official U.S. Playstation Magazine
    There's a whole damn lot of game here, no matter what your tastes. [Dec 2004, p.116]
  52. Though it all adds up to, essentially, a tuned-up version of the last game, there’s enough variation to keep your rebel skater spirit from getting too (sorry)…board.
  53. 80
    A sign that the series is grinding along nicely in a comfortable rut, biding its time with the same old technology and some minor gameplay changes.
  54. The sprawling levels are brilliantly designed and players have wonderful freedom to create their own skating parks and skaters, graffiti tags, challenging goals and even tricks. Some, may, however, feel like they have seen it all before.
  55. For fans of the series, this may be the best game yet. It combines a Classic and Underground mode into the same game, adds new gameplay elements, and really captures the feel of a bunch of skaters goofing around.
  56. Neversoft has refined the gameplay to the point of it being almost a meditation exercise, letting you grind, manual, revert and flip with a Zen-like calmness.
  57. While the console versions of Tony Hawk's Underground 2 may be a better game than the original Underground, you can't help but feel that the game is something you've already played before.
  58. Really just more of a good thing. While the story mode has changed focus and there are a number of minor additions to the gameplay that don't largely affect it (outside of some goals that require said gameplay aspects), the overall core is what Neversoft has basically perfected over the years.
  59. Play Magazine
    Bouts of bad behavior distributed between T. Hawk-style fun, the highs and lows of the THUG 2 experience truly boggle the mind with various goals so flawed in execution it feels as if the programmers passed out on their keyboards. [Nov 2004, p.58]

Awards & Rankings

#51 Most Discussed PS2 Game of 2004
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 61 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 51 out of 61
  2. Negative: 3 out of 61
  1. Jun 24, 2017
    I was excited to play TONY HAWK'S UNDERGROUND 2 after playing the first one, but i quickly found out how horrible this game is, the gameplayI was excited to play TONY HAWK'S UNDERGROUND 2 after playing the first one, but i quickly found out how horrible this game is, the gameplay was boring even though is was similar to the first one which should mean its better but its not, the game felt different in its humour, style and story. the first underground had a good story, not amazing but was unique, Underground 2 feel like a **** road trip movie crossed over with jackass characters i'm upset that the game changed but not a good way, they tried to make tony hawk funny was not a good try, they also put in jackass cast which made the game less tony hawk then a tony hawk could ever be, i like jackass but not in my tony hawk's game. i know this game is 13 years old but it really pissed me off. Full Review »
  2. Sep 28, 2015
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. Tons of places to skate and lots of Career Mode as well as the new Classic Mode make the hours you spend playing this game endless. The story revolves around the World Destruction Tour, and is very twisted. Other than that, yet another 10 for the Tony Hawk series! An instant recommendation! Full Review »
  3. Oct 26, 2013
    The gameplay seems to be just right, every place you go to has something unique about it and I always get lost for hours playing in that one spot.....