10 best rock songs featured in Tony Hawk games, ranked

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the Tony Hawk’s professional skater The series is unfortunately anything but a relic of the past. However, older titles still offer as much entertainment today as when they were released. One of the most notable parts of the franchise was its stellar soundtrack. The previous titles had a particularly big impact on the musical tastes of gamers, as they presented a generation of songs they would not have heard otherwise, given that games were released before the ubiquity of the Internet.

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To celebrate the music, the following list will feature the top ten rock and roll tunes across the nine main tracks. To keep things fair, they’re all spread evenly across the titles, with a single game featuring two songs.

ten Tony Hawk Professional Skater: Dead Kennedys – Police Truck


Jello Biafra of the kennedys dead

the Kennedys dead were an early punk band, but they still played louder and faster than most bands today. Jello Biafra’s hectic vocal manners complemented the series’ frenetic gameplay perfectly.

A few lyrics had to be censored for release, but surely enough kids liked the song enough to buy the CD and check out their other records. “Fresh Fruit For Rotten Vegetables” is an all-time classic punk record, and while it doesn’t feature the song, their other hits like “Holiday in Cambodia” and “California Uber Alles” made it onto the LP .

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9 Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2: Bad Religion – You


Bad religion no control album cover

Bad Religion had a talent for melody which his contemporaries lacked. By the 90s, they were on every skater’s Walkman, so their inclusion was a no-brainer.

“You” has all the basic elements that have made the group legends; fast tempo, tight structure and a wall of thoughtful and meaningful lyrics. Only two minutes long, the melody is over before you know it. Fortunately, that’s almost the exact length of a race in the classic title.

8 Project 8: Toots and the Maytals – Time Tough


Toots and the maytals

Not all of the songs featured in the game are fast and upbeat. Sometimes it’s just as nice to skate certain lines towards a more relaxed jam, like “Hard time“by Toots and the Maytals.

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This reggae group was formed in the early 1960s and has played a vital role in promoting the genre on the world stage. The song is arguably their most popular, and it starts off with a simple yet addicting guitar lick.

seven Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3: AFI – The boy who destroyed the world


The cover of AFI's EP all Hallow

Today’s AFI is nothing like the little kids who parodied Quentin Tarantino’s film Tank dogs on the cover of their first album. However, they always intended to expand and change their sound, and “The boy who destroyed the world“represents a time when they were still dedicated to punchy melodic hardcore while also wanting to get a little scary.

With obvious inspiration from bands like The Misfits, the fast, heavy tune is the perfect song for a punk rock Halloween, but works just as well when performing two million point combos in an airport or foundry.

6 Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4: AC / DC – TNT


ACDC with Bon Scott

AC / DC offers pure, unfiltered rock and roll, best suited to deafening volumes. Tony Hawk Professional Skater 4 is filled with classic tunes, ranging from Iron Maiden’s “Number of the Beast” to the Sex Pistols’ “Anarchy in the UK”, but TNT takes the cake to be the opening track.

Many skateboarders are likely to feel a kinship with the group’s lead vocalist, Bon Scott, as he too has been mostly seen shirtless as well.


5 Tony Hawk’s American Desert: Oingo Boingo – Who Do You Want To Be


Oingo-Boingo-Photo tape

Tony Hawk’s American Desert is one of the less famous tracks, but that doesn’t mean its soundtrack was less remarkable. Oingo Boingo’s the music is bubbling with frenzied energy. Most of their songs are quick and Danny Elfman’s voice is everywhere.

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The band haven’t performed together for over twenty years, having broken up after Elfman suffered severe hearing damage from prolonged exposure to loud noises. While their lead singer has since moved on to movie soundtracks, Oingo Boingo’s legacy lives on forever.


4 Tony Hawk’s Underground: The Clash – White Riot


Shock

the Shock did not win the title of the only group that counts for nothing. Their politically charged music is relevant beyond their period. Ideologies aside, they still wrote aggressive and catchy songs perfect for skating.

Tony Hawk’s subway turned the formula around by adding a story and presenting considerably larger cards. As such, its soundtrack raised the bar with more variety and more songs.

Maybe The Clash has better, more experimental tracks in their lineup, but that simple rocker from their debut album is still amazing.


3 Tony Hawk’s Underground 2: The Explosion – Here I am


Explosion black bands album cover

Tony Hawk’s Subway 2 has a varied setlist, filled with classics and modern gems. Maybe The Explosion doesn’t compare to The Doors in terms of relevance and endurance, but as a song “I am here“fits perfectly into the aesthetic.

The song is so good it also happened on the Exhaustion 3 soundtrack. Also, another of their hits, “No Revolution”, was in the previous match.

2 Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3: Motorhead – The Ace of Spades


Motorhead Ace of Spades

Lemmy Kilmister is a legend. Even though he’s no longer with us, Motorhead’s music will forever pump people up for any task at hand, whether it’s getting into a drunken brawl, doing the dishes or skating in the first one. Tony Hawk’s professional skater game to present returns.

There will never be another rocker or bassist like Lemmy, but at least his music will be here forever.

1 Tony Hawk’s Proving Ground: Bad Brains – Banned in DC


Bad Brains debut album cover

Tony Hawk’s proving ground is arguably the worst of the series. This brought about fundamental changes that made skating feel like it belonged to an entirely different series. The changes aren’t to be deplored, but it’s sad when those tweaks make the franchise unrecognizable.

At least he has a few bangers on his soundtrack. Bad brains “Forbidden in DC“is a punk rock classic, and its inclusion in Testing ground is one of the few saving graces. Be careful though; if the song sounds during a game session, your family is bound to open a mosh pit in the living room.

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