Vote 2020 graphic
Everything you need to know about and expect during
the most important election of our lifetimes

The Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 Soundtrack, Ranked

Illustration for article titled The iTony Hawks Pro Skater 2/i Soundtrack, Ranked

Vice City might have the best licensed soundtrack of all time, but I think Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 comes in a very close second.

Advertisement

Released 20 years ago, the game didn’t just ship with a whole bunch of famous skaters on the roster (and be an excellent sports title in its own right), but with an excellent soundtrack as well. Sure, it had some tracks that in hindsight are a little too Late 90s Mall Skater, but it also went way beyond that to include some more left-field acts that nevertheless end up being a perfect fit for the game.

Advertisement

What I think endeared it to me—and maybe you too, since early THPS soundtracks are still so fondly remembered—was that when viewed as a complete soundtrack it doesn’t feel like a marketing exercise, or sponsored content like modern sports games’ offerings do. Instead it plays like its a mixtape, a dirty old cassette that developers Neversoft made and played to death in a van they drove around skate parks.

THPS2's soundtrack in particular has long had a weirdly special place in my heart though, because as a kid growing up before Spotify and YouTube, it was my first exposure to artists like Mos Def and Fu Manchu, who as an adult I’d end up growing to love and seeing live a bunch of times. I can’t think of many other games that have had such a cultural impact on me outside the realm of video games, where I can’t just have fun playing them, but have them shape my interest in entire genres of music.

In honour of the game’s upcoming remaster, then, here’s the entire soundtrack laid out and ranked for your pleasure. Just note that, sadly, not all of these are making it into the remasters.

Advertisement

15. PAPA ROACH, BLOOD BROTHERS


14. BLACK PLANET & ALLEY LIFE, OUT WITH THE OLD


13. POWERMAN 5000, WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE


12. LAGWAGON, MAY 16th


11. MILLENCOLIN, NO CIGAR


10. CONSUMED, HEAVY METAL WINNER


9. SWINGIN UTTERS, FIVE LESSONS LEARNED


8. BAD RELIGION, YOU


7. STYLES OF BEYOND, SUBCULTURE


6. DUB PISTOLS, CYCLONE


5. NAUGHTY BY NATURE, PIN THE TAIL ON THE DONKEY


4. RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE, GUERRILLA RADIO


3. FU MANCHU, EVIL EYE


2. THE HIGH AND MIGHTY Feat. MOS DEF & MAD SKILLZ, B-BOY DOCUMENT 99


1. ANTHRAX Feat. PUBLIC ENEMY, BRING THA NOIZE

  • This story was originally published in September 2017, and updated to reflect the game’s remaster announcement.

Luke Plunkett is a Senior Editor based in Canberra, Australia. He has written a book on cosplay, designed a game about airplanes, and also runs cosplay.kotaku.com.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter

DISCUSSION

Still like this one better, from the first game:

It went so well with the “feel” of the game, that I just played better when that song was on.