The original Tony Hawk Pro Skater released in September 1999, forever changing the nature of skateboarding games. The quality of level design was one of the most important aspects of the game, along with the incredible soundtrack and gameplay.
In this article, we’re going to look at each of the remastered maps from THPS 1. We’ll start with the ninth pick and move up to our top #1 pick for the best map in Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1.
We’ll only be ranking the maps in the THPS 1 portion of the game, so if you’re looking for THPS 2, you can find it here.
Downhill Jam isn’t a horrible level, but it is bad enough to be the worst on THPS 1. If you’re playing free skate and aren’t worried about objectives, this level is actually fairly enjoyable. It’s one of only two “downhill” levels that loop once you get to the end, so it’s at least unique if nothing else. However, the objectives are absolutely terrible.
Most of the collectible objectives are in terrible places that aren’t fun to get to, especially the secret tape. The whole “top” section of this map is unbearable, especially if you don’t already have high stats. This is definitely a level you’re going to want to hurry your way through so you don’t have to deal with it any longer.
I actually quite enjoy Skate Park, but since it’s a competition level, it’s pretty limited. There are no objectives for this level other than getting a high score, so you have very little to do. What I do like about this level, though, is its simplicity. There might not be much to do, but the ramps and rails are some of the best in the game. This is a great level for chilling and free skating, but you’re better off looking elsewhere if you want a challenge.
Roswell is another competition level, but its aesthetic is far more interesting than Skate Park’s. The level has a “futuristic” aura, and even has a UFO on display in the back area of the park. I don’t love the main area (it’s pretty dull) or many of the ramps and rails, but the concept of this level is pretty entertaining. It’s not the best Free Skate level, but you’ll probably like it the first time or two you play it. Even if it is pretty underwhelming for the last level of the game.
Mall is the better of the two downhill levels, and by quite a significant margin. The objectives for this level make it stand out, as they’re actually incorporated well into the level design. Each collectible or gap challenge is fun to complete, and the variety of gaps make sure the level has tons of replay value. This is also one of the best maps in terms of overall aesthetic, as the game takes advantage of the counterculture nature of skateboarding and the overall mall culture that was particularly relevant in the 90s.
Downtown is one of the better maps in terms of overall level design, but unfortunately ranks a little lower when taking objectives into account. Most of the objectives aren’t that bad, but it becomes a nightmare when you get to the Popcorn Buckets and Rooftop Gaps.
The last rooftop gap is one of the most frustrating objectives in the game, as it requires you to jump off a rooftop onto a specific rail that you have to grind. It isn’t so bad if you can get the hang of it, but trying to figure out the right place to jump off the rooftop can take forever. Especially when you only get one or two tries per attempt, since you have to go all the way back up to the top every time you fail.
Burnside is my favorite competition level in THPS 1. It’s stormy, grimy aesthetic is unique in this game, and the park layout is excellent. The gaps in this level are addicting to do over and over again, as there is a really great balance of difficulty and casual enjoyability. You can also do some really insane combos here, as can be seen from some of the skater challenges available. If you’re trying to fully 100% everything on this level, you’re in for an extremely hard challenge. But it’s still fun, which is impressive considering it’s a competition level.
This may be a controversial take, but School is only the third-best map in THPS 1. It’s always been a fan favorite because of the overall vibe and how fun it is to play, especially since most THPS players were probably in grade school the first time they experienced it.
The objectives are probably the best in the game, but the level loses points for how open it is. Getting all the objectives means going all over the massive level in a way that simply isn’t fun. It would benefit from being more compact, but it’s definitely still one of the best and most memorable levels in the game.
Almost making the top #1 spot for the best map in Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1, Streets can take some time to warm up to. Once you do, however, it’ll probably be one of your favorite levels. There are so many different things going on at once, but the overwhelming nature is kind of what makes it so fun. It’s a level of absolute chaos, and in this kind of game, that never hurts. From the vehicles blasting around the map to knock you down to the seriously amazing gaps, this is easily one of the best maps in the game.
Warehouse is the first level of THPS 1, and I honestly love it. This map is almost perfect, with a great balance of objectives, gaps, and style. It’s the simplest map in the game, but this works to its advantage. While chaotic maps like Streets are always fun, Warehouse’s overall simplicity makes it far more replayable since it doesn’t rely on any kind of gimmicks to keep your attention. And that’s not to mention the nostalgia tied to this level. When I think of Tony Hawk games, I think of Warehouse. It’s iconic, fun as hell, and it’s the best map in THPS 1.
Join the High Ground
That does it for our ranking of each map in the first half of THPS 1+2. Be sure to check out the other half of this list covering THSP 2 right over here. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on social.