Universal acclaim - based on 38 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 38
  2. Negative: 0 out of 38
Buy On
  1. 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.
  2. Entertainment Weekly
    Offers subplots and jokes galore, and a nuevo-punk soundtrack with some hip-hop flair. [21 Nov 2003, p.L2T 46]
  3. GameNow
    It's amazing how much this game does well on top of its near-perfect controls. [Jan 2004, p.54]
  4. 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]
  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. For immersing entertainment, this game is totally up our halfpipe.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  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. 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.
  13. 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!
  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. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    While THUG offers some innovation, it remains fundamentally the same game...Fundamantally, Hawk hasn't evolved enough. [Jan 2004, p.112]
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  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 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.
  21. 90
    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.
  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. Very solid and drastically improved over its predecessors. Even though the improvements are very slight, the game is extremely enjoyable.
  24. PSM Magazine
    As addictive and entertaining as ever. [Jan 2004, p.24]
  25. 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.
  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. With the main idea behind THUG being customization, it delivers on every level.
  28. 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.
  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. netjak
    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. 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.
  33. Play Magazine
    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]
  34. games(TM)
    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. 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.
  36. Cheat Code Central
    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.

Awards & Rankings

#19 Most Discussed PS2 Game of 2003
#41 Most Shared PS2 Game of 2003
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 126 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 7 out of 126
  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 theA 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 for9.5/10 = 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. May 2, 2016
    The best Tony Hawk on PS2 . This game has got very good graphics for 2003 and funny game on two . Many different things and many skaters .The best Tony Hawk on PS2 . This game has got very good graphics for 2003 and funny game on two . Many different things and many skaters . This game is best game about skateboarding on PlayStation 2 . 8/10 . Interesting and Funny game . Full Review »