The Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 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.

Released 17 years ago this month, the game didn't just ship with a whole bunch of famous skaters on the roster (and as 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 shopping centre 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.

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 such as Mos Def and Fu Manchu, who as an adult I'd end up 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 17th birthday, then, here's the entire soundtrack laid out and ranked for your pleasure.


15. 'Blood Brothers' by Papa Roach


14. 'Out With The Old' by Alley Life feat. Black Planet


13. 'When Worlds Collide' by Powerman 5000


12. 'May 16th' by Lagwagon


11. 'No Cigar' by Millencolin


10. 'Heavy Metal Winner' by Consumed


9. 'Five Lessons Learned' by Swingin' Utters


8. 'You' by Bad Religion


7. 'Subculture' by Styles of Beyond


6. 'Cyclone' by Dub Pistols


5. 'Pin The Tail On The Donkey' by Naughty by Nature


4. 'Guerrilla Radio' by Rage Against The Machine


3. 'Evil Eye' by Fu Manchu


2. 'B-Boy Document 99' by The High and Mighty feat. Mos Def & Mad Skillz


1. 'Bring Tha Noize' by Anthrax feat. Public Enemy


Comments

    All music i still listen to, some of which was played at my wedding, at the end when everyone was moshing in mexican wrestling masks (even my wife).

    I think i hit that age a few years ago, when i decided to only listen to music from my era. Pretty much just every hottest 100 from 1993 to 2005, and screw everything since.

    And tism.

    This list is the product of a mad man with no ears.

    Also, anyone else have find memories of Street Skater on the psx? It was kinda like coolboarders on a skateboard, and it had a FANTASTIC soundtrack.

    It's where i first heard less than jake.

    I started off with THPS3 so I missed this one

    Man the music in these games was out of control. So perfectly fitting. The best track across all the games imo would be 96 Quite Bitter Beings by CKY in THPS3. To this day, the opening 4 notes give me chills - so nostalgic.

    I respectfully disagree!
    I suppose it suited the game (which I played a shit ton) but this kind of music is grating beyond belief to my ears.
    I have pretty varied taste in music but could never get with the so-cal power punk and related genres.

    THPS3 soundtrack was FAR superior to #2, but I liked the nostalgia trip regardless.

    Blood brothers will always flash me back to this game...

    Need for speed underground 1 and 2 still has some of the best music for a game.

Join the discussion!