The Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 Soundtrack, Ranked

10

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.

This article has been updated since its original publication.

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.

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.


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. ANHRAX Feat. PUBLIC ENEMY, BRING THA NOIZE

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

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.

  • There is no way in hell you were sober ranking this list… Go home Luke, you’re drunk.

  • 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.

  • 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.

Show more comments

Comments are closed.

Log in to comment on this story!