Shredding the Virtual Concrete: The Best Skateboarding Games of 2024

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Skateboarding games have experienced a resurgence in recent years, with realistic simulations taking advantage of PC hardware to deliver the most authentic virtual skating experiences yet. While the genre peaked in popularity during the PlayStation 2 and Xbox 360 console generations, a new wave of skateboarding titles, from indie gems to big-budget reboots, are giving players fresh ways to express their creativity and style on a skateboard.

Bomb Rush Cyberfunk

One of the best releases this year is Bomb Rush Cyberfunk, a spiritual successor to the beloved Jet Set Radio games. Set in the vibrant streets of New Amsterdam, you’ll battle rival graffiti crews for dominance of the city’s five boroughs. Vandalizing signs, grinding on obstacles, and racking up huge combos attracts the attention of a militarized police force determined to shut you down. The game expands on Jet Set Radio by letting you get around via inline skates, BMX bikes, and skateboards.

The Ramp

For a more structured challenge, The Ramp delivers bite-sized, straight-to-the-point skating without any extra fluff. Created entirely by a solo developer, this game drops you into an empty pool and leaves you to figure out the controls and mechanics on your own. There’s no scoring system, unlockables, or missions – just you, your board, and a skatepark to master at your own pace. Landing a difficult trick after repeated attempts is immensely satisfying.

Skatebird

If you prefer your skateboarding games with a healthy dose of charm and wholesomeness, look no further than Skatebird. When your owner abandons their skateboard and gets stuck in a soul-crushing job, it’s up to you, a tiny bird with a big heart, to cheer them up. You’ll construct a makeshift skatepark out of office supplies and household objects. As your skills improve and your following on Tweeter (get it?) grows, more birds will flock to shred alongside you.

Skate City

Skate City takes a more relaxed, stylish approach, inviting players to explore faithfully recreated real-world locations like Oslo, Barcelona, and Los Angeles. Backed by a chill lo-fi soundtrack, you’re free to complete challenges at your leisure or just cruise around and take in the sights. This skateboarding game began life as a mobile title, but the streamlined trick system and “flick”-based controls translate perfectly to a gamepad.

Tanuki Sunset

Speaking of laid-back vibes, Tanuki Sunset casts you as a raccoon carving down scenic highways on a longboard, scarfing trash and dodging traffic to the beat of a lo-fi soundtrack. The goal is simply to make it to the bottom of each procedurally generated run in one piece while maintaining your flow and racking up points.

Session: Skate Sim

Skate Sim feels like a spiritual successor to EA’s Skate series, cranking the realism up to eleven. The steep learning curve and focus on nailing the fundamentals, like catching the perfect balance on a grind or sticking a clean landing, create a sense of accomplishment. Real-world skate spots and a robust replay editor bolster the authentic feel.

Skater XL

Skater XL is another of the more recent releases (2023) focused on capturing the nuance and satisfaction of executing grounded, technically demanding tricks and lines. The game eschews over-the-top combos in favor of replicating how skateboarding actually works. Legendary spots from the skating world are lovingly reproduced, while multiplayer and video editing tools let you show off your best footage.

OlliOlli World

Those craving a more fantastical, arcade-inspired experience should check out OlliOlli World. Roll7’s latest entry builds upon the addictive, timing-based 2D trick system with a vibrant 3D overworld to explore, eccentric characters to meet, and an extensive customization suite. More forgiving than its predecessors, the game features over 100 tricks to master and a league system for competitive players. The new sandbox mode provides ample opportunities for self-expression.

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2

Of course, no list of great skateboarding games would be complete without Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2. This lovingly crafted remake combines the first two groundbreaking titles, adding quality-of-life improvements and new features from later THPS entries. The gameplay remains as timeless as ever, striking a perfect balance between accessible fun and skill-based mastery. Moreover, the soundtrack perfectly encapsulates skating’s rebellious, counter-culture spirit.

Helskate

Finally, we have Helskate, an inventive early access title that blends Tony Hawk-style gameplay with roguelike mechanics and combat elements. Set in the demon-infested world of Vertheim, your attacks are tied to specific tricks and grind combinations. Hack monsters to pieces and face off against the Gods of Skating in this totally unique genre mash-up.

With so many good skateboarding games, both hardcore fans and newcomers have plenty of reasons to grab a deck and hit the virtual pavement. Whether you prefer the arcade thrills of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2, the meditative realism of Session: Skate Sim, or the quirky charm of Skatebird, there’s never been a better time to live out your skateboarding fantasies from the comfort of your PC.

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