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Opinion Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 was the best entry in the series

May 9, 2019
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A lot of people like the second game but Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 for the PlayStation 2 PlayStation 2 was always my favorite entry in the series. This is largely because it had the best selection of levels (Suburbia, Rio, Airport, Cruise Ship, Tokyo, Roswell and more) and introduced new features like the revert, hidden combos, balance bar, and of course being able to play online with other skaters. I still had fun with Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4, although College was my only favorite level from that game. And while subsequent sequels continued adding more features to help increase combos, the levels weren't as interesting as what we got in the third game.




Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 also has a great soundtrack. These are some of my favorites:





What are your thoughts on this game, GAF? I think it's up there with other arcade sports games at the time, like SSX 3 and NFL Street, that you just had to play if you owned a PS2.
 

DT MEDIA

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You make very good points, and there's no question THPS3 is a great videogame. I didn't play it on consoles but played the PC version a couple years after it was released. My experience with playing online wasn't very much fun, and I think it soured me on the game overall.

While the new additions were very good, particularly the idea that you could create one massive infinite combo that lasts your entire run (at least, in theory), I felt that the balance between "vert" and "street" skating that was so perfect in Tony Hawk 2 had tipped over decisively in favor of street skating and endless grind combos. I personally found this less fun than working the big combos on the half pipes--indeed, I scored gold medals at the Bullring in Tony Hawk 2 just working the half pipe. So maybe I had a personal bias in that regard.

I think the stage designs were excellent, much larger and more expansive and trying to capture real world environments like ocean liners and airports. There is one big issue that irritated me, and this is probably the fault of the online players more than anything: you can just skate along the perimeter endlessly. Indeed, whenever I played online, that's all the other kids wanted to do. They wouldn't touch any other part of any stage, but would just grind along clockwise around the outer perimeter. Needless to say, that became extremely boring for me, enough that I would deliberately create my own monster-sized skater just so that I could skate counter-clockwise and knock them down over and over until I got kicked off the server. So there was some fun in that.

My final issue was the music. I didn't care for it as much, and I really can't remember any of the songs right now apart from Motorhead. If I listened to it now, I'd probably love it and say it was the best thing going, but I definitely had a strong love of the original Tony Hawk 1 soundtrack, and that definitely clouded my judgement.

Also, it really must be said: if THPS3 were on Sega Dreamcast, I would have loved it a lot more. I was very grouchy that Sega bowed out of the console market and didn't really feel like Playstation 2 was living up to the hype (it would take a few years for PS2 to really show its true powers, much like Sega Saturn).

So, in summary, this videogame didn't click with me back in 2003-ish, but it might click today. It's definitely one of the stronger games in the series, and the common consensus has always been that Tony Hawk 4 was the last really good one. I don't know how true that is, or if the series just received a lot of fan burnout from too many sequels. They might all be good for all we know. This whole franchise is worth revisiting.
 

Spukc

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Donald Trump GIF by reactionseditor
 

daveonezero

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I honestly liked 3 but I think the roller blading game with jiggly boobs was where I had the most fun…
 
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May 9, 2019
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I think the stage designs were excellent, much larger and more expansive and trying to capture real world environments like ocean liners and airports. There is one big issue that irritated me, and this is probably the fault of the online players more than anything: you can just skate along the perimeter endlessly. Indeed, whenever I played online, that's all the other kids wanted to do. They wouldn't touch any other part of any stage, but would just grind along clockwise around the outer perimeter. Needless to say, that became extremely boring for me, enough that I would deliberately create my own monster-sized skater just so that I could skate counter-clockwise and knock them down over and over until I got kicked off the server. So there was some fun in that.
Oh yeah, the power lines in Rio. I think Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4 and Underground also had people pulling off ridiculously long combos like this. It was crazy.
 
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Cravis

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Aug 18, 2006
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Here's hoping we get a Tony Hawk 3 & 4 remastered.

One of the members of CKY dropped the nugget earlier in the year that they just licensed some of their music for a new Tony Hawk. 96 Quite Bitter Beings was on 3's soundtrack.

GIF by reactionseditor
 

Agent X

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I absolutely adored this game. It was one of the first games that I bought alongside the PlayStation 2 in 2001, and I still play it occasionally. After witnessing the wonderful job that Activision and Vicarious Visions did with THPS1+2 last year, I'd be enthusiastic about having them handle a THPS3 remake, too.
 

01011001

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it was, and then THPS 1+2 released and completely trumped every other entry in the series.
it combined all the best bits of the first 4 games
 
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godhandiscen

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Mar 15, 2007
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Maybe OP is right. I skipped on this one because I didn’t have a PS2 and the PS1 version sucked balls, but all the problems were due to technical limitations.

I always got the feeling it was THPS2 on steroids.
 
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Aug 11, 2019
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THP3 is where everything clicked. Every level was good, no duds. Soundtrack was great, visuals were top notch (for their time) controls super tight, online play (on PS2) was legit.

Neversoft knew they couldn't top THPS3 which is why they started messing around with the formula for THPS4/THUG and so on
 

ShirAhava

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I bought THP3 and barely touched it ended up giving it away....I can't explain it....it was just missing something that the first two had I went back to 1&2 when it came out on XBOX
 

Derktron

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Nah homeboy that would be Underground and Pro Skater 2 but then again Pro Skater 3 had really good maps. I wish they remastered all of them. Or at least continue with it.
 
Aug 26, 2018
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I would maybe agree with you on that. I mean THPS 2 is goat but I remember when 3 came out, it felt so fresh because it was an update engine (at least on PC). For some reason the winter Canada stage always stuck with me and yes it has great OST as well. THPS3 was when they were still inovating...at THPS4 they started losing steam slowly.

P.S. I just realized they remade Suburbia for THPS 8.
 
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manfestival

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I had a blast playing both 2 and 3 but I think I ended up playing 2 way more than I did 3
 
Dec 12, 2018
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out of the classic games, yes, THPS3 is the best and I think the reason for that is A) a great selection of levels, including the cruise ship which is one of the best in the entire series and B) the enhancements to the mechanics that made the game a whole lot smoother.

That being said, the remake of THPS1+2 brought out the best of those games, largely for updating the mechanics to the level of THPS4 (the best game in the series) and giving the games online play, great graphics, and quality of life features. The remake is among the best titles of the entire series. When only comparing the originals, then THPS3 is the better game though. All round, this is my list:


1. THPS4
2. THPS1+2 Remake
3. THUG
4. THPS3
5. THUG 2
6. THPS2X
7. THPS2 original
8. THAW/Sk8tland
9. THPS1 original
10. THPG
11. Disney Extreme Skate Adventure (it counts)
12. THP8
13. THDJ
.
.
.
97. THRide
98. THShred
99. THPSHD
.
.
.
999. THPS5
 
Feb 18, 2019
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A lot of people like the second game but Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 for the PlayStation 2 PlayStation 2 was always my favorite entry in the series. This is largely because it had the best selection of levels (Suburbia, Rio, Airport, Cruise Ship, Tokyo, Roswell and more) and introduced new features like the revert, hidden combos, balance bar, and of course being able to play online with other skaters. I still had fun with Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4, although College was my only favorite level from that game. And while subsequent sequels continued adding more features to help increase combos, the levels weren't as interesting as what we got in the third game.




Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 also has a great soundtrack. These are some of my favorites:





What are your thoughts on this game, GAF? I think it's up there with other arcade sports games at the time, like SSX 3 and NFL Street, that you just had to play if you owned a PS2.
The best TH game ever is Underground 2, it's just way too fun and complete, its feeling of " Gta X Tony Hawk X Jackass" is something unprecedented and unrivaled in gaming history

A remaster or remake would do very well imo
 
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bender

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Apr 12, 2010
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out of the classic games, yes, THPS3 is the best and I think the reason for that is A) a great selection of levels, including the cruise ship which is one of the best in the entire series and B) the enhancements to the mechanics that made the game a whole lot smoother.

That being said, the remake of THPS1+2 brought out the best of those games, largely for updating the mechanics to the level of THPS4 (the best game in the series) and giving the games online play, great graphics, and quality of life features. The remake is among the best titles of the entire series. When only comparing the originals, then THPS3 is the better game though. All round, this is my list:


1. THPS4
2. THPS1+2 Remake
3. THUG
4. THPS3
5. THUG 2
6. THPS2X
7. THPS2 original
8. THAW/Sk8tland
9. THPS1 original
10. THPG
11. Disney Extreme Skate Adventure (it counts)
12. THP8
13. THDJ
.
.
.
97. THRide
98. THShred
99. THPSHD
.
.
.
999. THPS5

I'm sure you have, but if you haven't, check out Aggressive Inline. It's not skateboarding but it's one of the best THPS inspired games of all time.
 
Dec 12, 2018
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I'm sure you have, but if you haven't, check out Aggressive Inline. It's not skateboarding but it's one of the best THPS inspired games of all time.
Of couuurse, a fantastic game with a killer soundtrack. It also did some things Tony Hawk went on to do with THUG and THPS4, so they were even ahead in some aspects.



fun fact, the developer, Z-Axis, was later bought by Activision. After a licensed X-Men game and a canceled Call of Duty, they went bust though. Such a shame, they could've handled the Tony Hawk series instead of Robomodo back then.
 

GametimeUK

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Jul 2, 2015
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For your standard score based gameplay I would agree. Grinds, reverts and manuals are the main 3 key components to the core of THPS and should really have been the final form. A load of the other bloat (getting off your board etc) has it's fans, but 3's mechanics are where it's at.

Was 3 the best entry in the series? It is the best at what it sets out to do, but I prefer 4, THUG1 and 2, American Wasteland. I just love the actual story modes and open levels too much, but it's almost a different type of game and I play these entries for different reasons than playing 1-3.
 

amigastar

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Let's put it that way, it was surprisingly fun, but not the best.
 
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Soltype

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I liked 4 better, it felt like a culmination of the first three games. It just felt like a game made for seasoned THPS fans as opposed to mainstream audience.
 

Larxia

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I've never been a fan of 3.
I didn't like the atmosphere which felt too cold and kind of sad, not sure how to explain it, it just the feeling the maps and the game gave me as a whole gave me.

I really preferred THPS4, where the atmosphere was a lot better for me, I preferred the maps, and the game design was in my opinion a LOT better, no more timer, free skating in career, with the addition of interactive NPCs to start challenges and all, felt like the biggest upgrade since the first game. It felt more alive.

But my favorite episode is really Project 8, the ps3/360 version, not the ps2/xbox/psp version which was very different.

I have been replaying it recently on RPCS3, and it's really amazing. The graphics still look super good, I love the gameplay with the additional sense of weight and physics, the map and atmosphere is amazing, and the mission design is really cool, with all these environmental challenges you can find a bit everywhere as you roam around, it's really engaging and fun, unlike most open worlds today.

Amazing and incredibly underrated game.

The main problem of Project 8 though, and it's a big one, is the framerate, with a 30 fps lock, and even drops. Sadly even on emulation it's still there, it's possible to remove the 30fps cap, but unless you have some very specific older generation of intel CPU and motherboard bios that support TSX, keeping it at 60 is impossible. Maybe one day hopefully, to finally have the definitive way of playing this game. Sad it never came to PC.
 
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Trilobit

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Jun 15, 2015
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I loved THPS 3 as a young lad. It was very fun to figure out how to activate the missions and the stages were quite creative. Of course 1 and 2 are more pure skating. I never played rhe Underground games since they felt a bit too silly. Then we have THPS 4 on GBA, which I had a blast with. That isometric view worked perfectly with the skating genre.
 

Soltype

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Mar 30, 2015
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I've never been a fan of 3.
I didn't like the atmosphere which felt too cold and kind of sad, not sure how to explain it, it just the feeling the maps and the game gave me as a whole gave me.

I really preferred THPS4, where the atmosphere was a lot better for me, I preferred the maps, and the game design was in my opinion a LOT better, no more timer, free skating in career, with the addition of interactive NPCs to start challenges and all, felt like the biggest upgrade since the first game. It felt more alive.

But my favorite episode is really Project 8, the ps3/360 version, not the ps2/xbox/psp version which was very different.

I have been replaying it recently on RPCS3, and it's really amazing. The graphics still look super good, I love the gameplay with the additional sense of weight and physics, the map and atmosphere is amazing, and the mission design is really cool, with all these environmental challenges you can find a bit everywhere as you roam around, it's really engaging and fun, unlike most open worlds today.

Amazing and incredibly underrated game.

The main problem of Project 8 though, and it's a big one, is the framerate, with a 30 fps lock, and even drops. Sadly even on emulation it's still there, it's possible to remove the 30fps cap, but unless you have some very specific older generation of intel CPU and motherboard bios that support TSX, keeping it at 60 is impossible. Maybe one day hopefully, to finally have the definitive way of playing this game. Sad it never came to PC.
If you play it on the 360 unpatched, The frame race will be unlocked, I'm not a fan of unstable frame rates but in this game it feels better than a locked 30 it usually stays the high 40s and up, but there are some low dips.
 

Larxia

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If you play it on the 360 unpatched, The frame race will be unlocked, I'm not a fan of unstable frame rates but in this game it feels better than a locked 30 it usually stays the high 40s and up, but there are some low dips.
Yes I'm aware, but I never owned a 360 and unstable framerate is something I really dislike.
I'm honestly just really waiting for the day we can play it at 60 locked on emulator, this will be great.

Playing it in high resolution with anti aliasing and all is really glorious, can't give up on that :messenger_grinning_smiling:
 

Cutty Flam

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Big fan of the first. THPS2 I only had a friend rent it and bring over one time to play on Playstation way back. THPS3 didn’t play it more than 5-10 min. THPS4 was pretty good

The areas to skate on THPS3 seem like great spots to skate though. All I can remember from that game was maybe skating inside a facility with black walls or dark wooden walls? Skating bowls, can’t recall any half pipes on that level
 

22:22

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THPS4 had custom soundtracks, played that entry the most
 

Codiox

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I love all of them, from 1 to THUG.

With THUG2 the series went down hill with all that jackass stuff. Project 8 was good though.
 
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Fbh

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Played the Ps1 version of Pro Skater 3 a ton as a kid. It was the first one I got and I guess because of that still my favorite.

Funnily in my mind I remember it looking like the Ps2 version lol


It didn't
 
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