Universal acclaim - based on 38 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 38
  2. Negative: 0 out of 38
  1. Never before has a console game offered the flexibility of a PC-strength level editor with the ability to swap and trade freely with a natino of virtual skaters. [Dec 2003, p.65]
  2. From reasonably good-looking graphics to kick-ass sounds (dig those funky KISS tunes!) and more gameplay modes (online as well as off) than most players will know what to do with, the PS2 version of THUG is the most complete extreme sports title ever made for any system EVER.
  3. 100
    The satisfying story mode is a big improvement on THPS’s structure. The story ramps up the difficulty gradually, so you build skills as you go, but there are now four difficulty levels, making THUG totally accessible to newbies.
  4. For immersing entertainment, this game is totally up our halfpipe.
  5. But for the first time I can remember, an extreme-sports game actually has a real story, honest-to-goodness characters, and a reason to play beyond seeing the next level or beating your last high score.
  6. Offers subplots and jokes galore, and a nuevo-punk soundtrack with some hip-hop flair. [21 Nov 2003, p.L2T 46]
  7. 100
    It's amazing how much this game does well on top of its near-perfect controls. [Jan 2004, p.54]
  8. 95
    The gameplay is still as stellar as ever: Neversoft's brilliant collage of on-the-fly experimentation and lighting-fast trick-popping is still as addictive as any drug and as intoxicating as any exotic woman.
  9. I was extremely surprised when I found out that there are over 70 songs in this game. Each year Neversoft crams more and more songs in their games, and it is amazing! The sound effects are also top notch.
  10. 95
    Absolutely the best skating game for the system. The PS2 is the best at THUG life, and you owe it to yourself to insert your own digital presence into the game and take your skittles to the online arena.
  11. THUG has something else to offer besides unlockable goodies: depth. As with previous Hawk titles, the deep gameplay and highly interactive environments inspire and encourage you to experiment, find new combo lines, and improve as a player.
  12. This game rocks! It is like "Grand Theft Auto 3" on a skateboard! I am so glad the developers chose to go in a new direction with the Tony Hawk franchise! This game is by far the best of all 5 titles to date!
  13. 95
    This is the best extreme sports game ever made, which makes four times I've said that in one Tony Hawk review or another. I really mean it this time, though.
  14. With an enormous amount of customizable options, absorbing story mode and large mod community, T.H.U.G. provides just about anything a gamer could want in a skateboarding title without grabbing a board and hitting the streets. Combine that with the ability to "place" yourself into the game with the face mapping feature, and you have a product that could easily be considered one of the best games of the year.
  15. The stages are the best collection of any Tony game, and show Neversoft's level of design brilliance. [Dec 2003, p.128]
  16. While THUG offers some innovation, it remains fundamentally the same game...Fundamantally, Hawk hasn't evolved enough. [Jan 2004, p.112]
  17. Broken down, each individual part of THUG (control, music, level design, graphics, sound) is better than the games that came before it, which should add up to the best game in the series. And yet, there’s something intangible that just couldn’t hook me like the older games did.
  18. It’s a massive, exceptional product that expands every aspect of its predecessors without sacrificing much, though it’s a better game on the PS2 than the Xbox or Gamecube thanks to its great online functionality.
  19. The story aspect actually helps the flow of the game. Instead of just doing random tasks all over the place, you feel more of a purpose and progression for doing those tasks.
  20. As addictive and entertaining as ever. [Jan 2004, p.24]
  21. While at its heart the game is still an arcade-based skateboarding simulation that challenges players to perform tricks for points, the emphasis is less on Tony Hawk and other pro skaters and more on, well, nobodies like us.
  22. The new game is fascinating, but, for the first time, I found myself thinking back fondly to the previous games in the series.
  23. As utterly addictive as any of the earlier titles, you'll gladly pay for the privilege of being left with red-raw thumbs and rigid, claw-like hands.
  24. Very solid and drastically improved over its predecessors. Even though the improvements are very slight, the game is extremely enjoyable.
  25. Still the best skateboarding game out there and it's much more than "Tony Hawk 4" ever was. That being said, while some of the new features are great, others just aren't up to the level of quality that we've come to expect from Neversoft.
  26. While the classic Tony Hawk gameplay is present, and still fantastic after all this time, the new story mode doesn't make as dramatic of a change as it probably could have.
  27. Some of the new additions are a breath of fresh air, while others feel like they were thrown in simply for lack of better ideas.
  28. With the main idea behind THUG being customization, it delivers on every level.
  29. This is a no-brainer for Tony Hawk series fan, much like the new versions of "Madden" are a no-brainer for me. Little things are fixed, but no re-invention ever seems to come.
  30. 86
    The story mode, however, doesn’t make as much of an impact as one would expect it to, and the new gameplay elements end up being more of a hindrance than an improvement.
  31. If you liked the previous two versions of “Tony Hawk” you won’t be disappointed in this one. However, if you expect or need some earth-shattering changes from the previous versions in order to upgrade, then your gaming dollars might best be spent elsewhere.
  32. The game is so fun and addicting, and the environments so brimming with goodness, you'll care not. Too bad the art is lacking. [Jan 2004, p.64]
  33. For those who wore out the last few titles, there's enough new elements that would warrant at the very least a rental. If you're big an customization and want to skate online, THUG is well worth your cash.
  34. Year on year, the main modes in the THPS games have moved further away from traditional over-the-top skating to encompass more and more 'crazy' goals, something we're not entirely sure we approve of. One thing we are sure of, though, is that the core skating engine makes for by far the best extreme sports game of this generation. [Christmas 2003, p.98]
  35. Underground is definitely a step in the right direction and a much needed shot in the arm for the series, but as all things new, it suffers from a bit of growing pains here and there.
  36. 80
    The new single-player mode may alter the experience for some, but the core gameplay still offers endless replay value if you just want to skate around while listening to an eclectic mix of punk, rock, and hip-hop.
  37. The marginal improvement on display here is happily eclipsed by rival extreme sports titles which do take steps to reinvent themselves, and partly because there are four other Tony Hawk games out there and they all do much the same thing.
  38. The fifth Tony Hawk's title doesn't just suffer because of its embarrassing attempts to be edgy and urban, it's poorer because it lacks the verve and imagination so prevalent in previous iterations. [Christmas 2003, p.122]
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 97 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 41 out of 45
  2. Negative: 2 out of 45
  1. Nov 25, 2011
    A change of breed doesn't do anything to this game but make it awesome! An extremely revamped Create-A mode setup is shown here, with the Create-A-Park mode in this game probably the best part about it. The story is no good, but the Career Mode itself is pretty magnificent. An extremely addictive game in the series, and an instant recommendation to anybody anywhere!! Full Review »
  2. Apr 27, 2011
    9.5/10 = Incredible = The last great Tony Hawk game ever made. This game is addictive and a blast to play. It's new features allow for unlimited amounts of replay value. I loved creating new missions and levels!! Full Review »
  3. Oct 21, 2013
    Tony Hawk games were always great......for the most part. Tony Hawk's Underground is an example of a great game. This "part" of the series was very revolutionary, this was the first Tony Hawk game with a storyline, you and your friend Eric Sparrow want to become the greatest skater in the world. The game wasn't too long, if you "pro" in TH games you can do it in 6-5 hours. There was some change in the gameplay, now you can get off your board, this function made it easier to reach pepole with goals, higher places, also now you can drive cars, this function is worked horrible. The level design was great, and the Create-a- is expanded, now you can create your own deck, and the Park creator was less frustrating. If you completed the game once in beginner difficulty you've unlocked one of the most epic characters in a Tony Hawk game: Iron Man, also you can go to a KISS concert level. You can get many,many secrets, for example the Hangar level from THPS2. The controls and the graphics in this game was awesome at the time. Oh, I almost forgot to mention the soundtrack, oh my God the soundtrack;Busdriver,Supernatural,Alkaine Trio,Angry Amputees,Bad Religion.
    Many pepole said that after Underground the Tony Hawk games was not the same, and I kind of agree with them. Overall this game wasn't bad as it's sequel, the story and the gameplay was great, and the soundtrack is good too also the graphics were great, I've played this game many,many times. Good luck, have fun
    Full Review »