14 skateboarding games forgotten by time

Skate 2 drops into disc trays everywhere this week, and it's feeling the love from critics everywhere. But even if EA’s latest board game can topple Metacritic’s servers with terabytes of 9s and 10s, it's still got to feel like a partial victory. You see, the road to King of Sk8 is paved with broken decks, shattered expectations, and no less than five unnecessary Tony Hawk titles.

Above: Making excellence look easy… because it is in this case

With even the aforementioned Birdman taking an extended vacation for the first time in nine years, Skate 2 has the luxury of being a cream of little to no crop. Not for lack of trying, though. We’ve got twenty years of bails and failz to reflect on, and it’s high time we paid tribute to the substandard skaters that failed to heelflip into our hearts.

Spreading the title into two words is about the only attempt made to prolong the thrills in this Atari 2600 game. The entire game consists of a single level where you carve a path to school in under ten minutes by jumping over obstacles and crouching through tubes. Kinda like Pitfall, if instead of recovering treasure Harry’s goal had been to defeat tardiness and avoid public transit.

Above: Skating’s roots were less extreme than you remember

And looky there. Years before Tony Hawk wore itself thin with annual shovelings, Activision offshoot Absolute trotted out a pseudo-sequel a scant year later. Don’t get too excited. Even with the bump up to the 7800 it would appear the skateboard was present to avoid the tedium of designing four frames of walking animation. The game takes place entirely indoors, as our jams clad sk8r boi has taken a job at a factory shutting off all the factory equipment by “ollieing” over switches. Remember, he didn’t sell out - he bought in.

Above: Conserving energy is the greatest trick of all

Though published under Konami’s Ultra moniker, EA’s first stab at a skate game still holds a special place in the hearts of gamers. Freestyle let you trick for points, while two unique downhill modes allowed players to either race against the clock… or get their asses kicked by another opponent. However, the vert ramp challenges were damn near impossible to control and the Pool Joust mode can be easily recreated by taping two Q-tips to some spinning tops and unleashing them into a cereal bowl.

Above: Choose wisely… a lot of these events suck

The game marks the first time developers acknowledged Regular and Goofy foot stance, as well as the inaugural appearance of Rodney, the skate shop guru whose likeness narrowly averted the gaze of the Mr Dangerfield’s attorneys.

Above: With all due respect

Even though this sequel dropped the multi-event format (as well as the titular exclamation point), you could argue that it better encapsulates the experience of being a young skateboarder. After all, how many of us actually padded up and competed in events or raced in a downhill obstacle course?

Above: Featuring collectible cassette tapes, french fries, tacos, and everything else synonymous with skate culture 

We’re willing to bet most of you spent more time throwing firecrackers and hassling mall security, and that’s exactly what you’ll find in Skate or Die 2’s sidescrolling quest for a giant half pipe, set during a hasty prohibition in the aftermath of unspeakable puppy murder.

Above: Ripped from the headlines

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  • Javv - August 16, 2010 2:08 a.m.

    how dare you say bad things about espn extreme games? i still play that thing in my ps1 go cash course!
  • thochaos - January 24, 2009 4:16 a.m.

    I used to play the shit our of the 2xtreme demo. And also California Games on the Master System.
  • BenitoMasterSystem - January 24, 2009 2:59 a.m.

    i loved grind session, there i said it. Suck it internet
  • MGS4SolidSnake - January 24, 2009 2 a.m.

    lol gotta love snake skateboardibg
  • mozaralio - January 23, 2009 3:44 a.m.

    The only reason i read this whole damn article is becuase I wanted to see Snake skateboarding truthfully I've only completed 2 skate board games in my life on for nintendo 64 and the other for xbox go figure?
  • freakincarl - January 23, 2009 2:55 a.m.

    i can't believe how many of these i have played. omfg the roll n rocker! i had that piece of dung. it never worked right. another useless game peripheral!
  • Grossburger - January 22, 2009 7:33 p.m.

    comadore 64+california games=:)
  • gorillazbmx6 - January 21, 2009 9:49 p.m.

    i remember renting disney skateboarding game from block buster and i remember it blowing goats too
  • XplorerGT - January 21, 2009 7:16 p.m.

    '' were all gonna get layed '' LOL
  • Nitemarish - January 21, 2009 6:36 p.m.

    Urgh, I have Simpson's Skateboarding. I think I played it once, stopped, then started crying.
  • Gunslinger - January 21, 2009 4:25 p.m.

    Hot damn... I totally forgot about Simpsons Skateboarding. That really did suck, I remember thinking that, even at the age where you think every game you see is the shit. That was just shit... I feel ashamed at my lack of knowledge on old-school games.
  • Cynwyddon - January 21, 2009 2:31 p.m.

    I've somehow played like 10 of these.
  • NadaNuff - January 21, 2009 12:33 p.m.

    I remember playing Super Skateboardin'. Even worse, I remember liking it.
  • mykie - January 21, 2009 6:39 a.m.

    Allow me to introduce you to forgotten skateboard game #15, Street Surfer: Yes, I am that old.
  • Curtis_Stone - January 21, 2009 4:32 a.m.

    I had a feeling "2Xtreme" would be on the list... LOL!! Top Skater FTW!! I pumped so many $$ into that cabinet!!
  • JoeMasturbaby - January 21, 2009 3:53 a.m.

    i've played ALL the tony hawk games, handhelds included, and proving ground for ps2 was by far the shittiest of them all. im done with tony hawk for awhile. but i remember evolution skateboarding as well, it was too bad, but wasnt very smooth either.
  • ileowen - January 20, 2009 11:48 p.m.

    I refuse to be first, yet all in all a good article. God do I want Skate 2.
  • Bootsiuv - January 29, 2009 4:31 a.m.

    LMAO at T&C Surf and board or whatever the hell it is... I totally forgot that, not only did I own that game around 89', I also ENJOYED it. Aaaah, simpler 8-bit times.
  • doomdoomdoom - January 25, 2009 4:05 p.m.

    From my point of view the only good skate is skate or skate 2 all the others are ripping each other off The Easter Bunny hates you!!!
  • SheetSandwich - January 24, 2009 11:56 p.m.

    These games should have been left in the quality gutter you found them in! I remember these, and I wish I didn't.