Tony Hawk's Underground

aka: THUG
PlayStation 2 Specs [ all ]
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Description official descriptions

The fifth game in the series, Tony Hawk's Underground is the first game to have a true career mode.

You begin the game as a local skater whom nobody knows. Your board is wearing thin, and your tired of being a nobody. As your out skating, you see a flyer for a pro who's coming to your city to demo. You go to the skate demo and watch. Afterwards, you try to impress the pro, and he gives you advice on how to go about becoming a star. With your friend, Eric, you're now on your way to becoming a legend.

THUG takes you to various cities to perform different goals. You begin in New Jersey, which acts as a sort of training stage, where goals are simple. Eventually, you'll visit Manhattan, Vancouver, Moscow, Tampa, San Diego and Hawaii. Most cities are split into different chapters, with each chapter opening new goals.

THUG introduces a new system; walking. You can get off your skateboard to run or walk around the level. If there's a high tower you want to jump off of, get off your board, climb to the tower (by climbing a ladder or shuffling across a wire), get back on your board, and jump down. One of the new tricks associated with this is the Acid Drop, which can launch you off an opposing pipe, allowing you to pull off 1080's and up.

Also new to THUG is the ability to drive certain vehicles, like a gardener's truck, a sports car, or a leaf blower. These are used for goals, but can be unlocked to drive whenever and wherever.

Next to the standard Create-a-Park and Create-a-Skater, you can now create your own decks and your own tricks. The biggest feature is Create-a-Goal. You can create custom goals for one of the levels (or your own), and choose what pedestrian will give it to you, his/her dialogue, and what they'll say when you win.

The PlayStation 2 version supports online play.


  • ζ‰˜ε°Όιœε…‹εœ°δΈ‹ζ»‘ζΏ - Chinese spelling (simplified)

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Credits (PlayStation 2 version)

412 People (343 developers, 69 thanks) · View all



Average score: 85% (based on 36 ratings)


Average score: 3.4 out of 5 (based on 60 ratings with 3 reviews)

Welcome to the Underground

The Good
Tony Hawk's Underground (THUG as it is commonly referred to) is a break through game in the Tony Hawk series. One of its best features is its story mode.

The game starts you off as a lowly skate punk from New Jersey, who is often broke and getting into trouble with the drug dealers. This quiet gritty story quickly gets players into all the action and makes for one heck of a play. By using a tried and true riches to rags formula, THUG is able to create something we are all familiar with but by using a skating formula they create something truly unique with the story.

Another aspect that makes THUG so great is the removal of money. While it was interesting to buy new things in the previous Tony Hawk games, THUG does away with the monetary aspect of the game, leaving players the freedom to just skate and explore their environments.

The environments in THUG are much bigger this time around than in Pro Skater 4. Every environment has enough objects for players to skate on and most expert players can score close to 1 million points when they learn the various techniques. Every environment is filled with pedestrians, cars, and contains pleasing visuals.

THUG also implements the use of walking. Players can now get off their board and walk to places that are normally hard to get to, and it also serves to string combos together, allowing players to string massive combos by starting at one end of the stage, walking to another, and starting another line all in the same combo.

In addition to walking, players will get to try their hand at some driving goals. These serve to break up the skating stages and give players control of tons of different vehicles, ranging from limos, leaf blower carts, to drag racers and more.

Create options are even better now. Create a player has some of the best options for a Tony Hawk game and at some point players even get to customize their own skateboard with some very meaty customization options. Created parks can know have custom goals for players to complete, and created goals can be placed into any stage in the game (players can even change the text of the goals).

The Bad
The only main problem of Tony Hawk Underground is that it abandons some of the old ways from the previous Tony Hawk games. The classic mode is still gone from the previous Tony Hawk games, meaning that players still have to go from person to person to get their goals. Luckily a quick find option allows players to go straight to that person without having to search the entire area for them (unlike in Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4).

The driving stages in the game feel absolutely unnecessary. The driving controls are sloppy and at best can be described as legalized drunk driving. The breaking mechanics are a mess and the cars flip over easily. While they can be flipped back with the press of a button, this takes away any form of realism that the cars may have once had.

The Bottom Line
THUG is a sprawling and engaging title and one of the best in the Tony Hawk series. The game's story mode will keep you engaged for days on end is worth playing again and again. The create options are some of the best in video games to date and virtually allow players to create their own Tony Hawk game. The soundtrack is very good and worthy of being released on CD or iTunes because it covers so many artists and has enough tracks to appeal to any music taste. This is one of the absolute best games you can get.

GameCube · by Lawnmower Man (137) · 2009

Best Tony Hawk game yet

The Good
This game is actually a huge step forward from the previous Tonk Hawk games. It features an actual storyline and plot (a surprisingly well written and interesting one, I might add), unlike it's predecessors. Another step up is the ability to get off your board, which makes it easier to get to hard-to-reach places and to some awesome tricks and combos. Not to mention the new combos and tricks.

The Bad
Even the Create-a-Trick feature was kind of cool, it really didn't allow you to truly create your own trick. It was really just slapping together some premade movements with some spins.

The Bottom Line
If you like the Tonk Hawk games, get this one. It's got all the old ones have to offer and a whole lot more. If you have never played any of the Tony Hawk games, it might be hard to play any of the originals because you will definitely be spoiled with all it's fancy features.

Xbox · by Mullet of Death (592) · 2005

Very average

The Good
Simple controls make the game easy to learn, but hard to master.

Levels are designed with skating in mind and thus everything is placed to keep combos going.

Plenty of customization.

The Bad
Missions are very short and don't allow you to stay after getting enough points.

Maps are way too large and the settings aren't very memorable.

Not as crazy and over-the-top as its sequel.

Story is not very interesting or inspired.

The Bottom Line
In Tony Hawk's Underground you take control over a skateboarder from New Jersey. After a celebrity visited the slums, you manage to impress him with your tricks and are advised to pursue a sponsorship. After this initial success, you quickly find yourself in the skateboarding industry, posing for magazine ads and partaking in tournaments.

Each chapter starts with a cut-scene that progresses the story, after which you are dropped in a new map and are free to explore it as much as you like. In order to move the story forward, you will have to perform missions for various non-player characters. For the first Tony Hawk game to have a career mode, I must say that I am very underwhelmed. The sequel to this game was all about the "World Destruction Tour", which was a tournament in which two teams had to travel around the world and score points by creating as much chaos as possible. A generic adventure to become a professional skateboarder feels very lazy and uninspired by comparison.

At least the game still has very tight controls to make up for that. A game about skateboarding has the potential to be an unplayable mess, see also the Skate series, but Tony Hawk kept it nice and simple by categorizing the various moves. You use Circle for grabs, Square for flips, Triangle to grind and X to jump. What kind of grab, flip, grind or jump that you do is then decided by what directions you push on the D-pad or control stick. This makes the game very easy to learn once a player familiarizes themselves with the physics, but it also has a lot of depth to it, allowing them to keep getting better and better as they play.

The physics can get a bit wonky, though. Very early on in the game, heck, in the first tutorial objective of the game, it will teach you how to get off your skateboard. This will allow you to climb more effectively and pull yourself up ledges. You'll however quickly notice that the game doesn't care whether you are on a board or not, so walking around feels like your gliding around at high speeds. I can't even confirm that it helps with the climbing; you easily jump a meter into the sky, that much is true, but whether or not you'll grab a ledge or not is a gamble.

Objectives in the game are somewhat varied, but most of them are either about getting a set amount of points, finding items on the map or doing specific tricks. They are all very much alright, but I don't like having to look for NPCs on the maps, since the maps are quite large and the models relatively small. I definitely prefer the sequel's approach; just give me a list with objectives and a picture of where I have to be. There is also something wrong with the pacing, since you only need to do two or three objectives before the game moves on to the next chapter.

This has the added effect that none of the maps are particularly memorable. They're are very nicely designed; most scenery is positioned in a way that allows you to string together beautiful combos and there is enough variation, but the size, combined with how little time you get to spend in them, makes none really stand out. I can still perfectly detail the entire layout of Boston, Australia, Berlin, Barcelona and the final level from the sequel, but wouldn't even be able to name any locations from this game by name.

I am also not really a fan of how the skate-culture (skalture?) is presented in this game. In Thug 2 you were doing the same thing as in this game, but the over-the-top destructive theme made it into more of a parody. In this game you are just being an asshole all day long, knocking down plants and skating on graves to boost your fucking ego. The kick-ass soundtrack is still present, though, which is a relief.

At the end of the day, I'd say that most of my problems with this game come from it being geared too much towards skaters, which I suppose I can't really blame anyone for. The story about a complete unknown working himself up to stardom is probably a lot more interesting if you yourself spend your days grinding away in the local park. The glorification of obnoxious behavior and the control scheme that is easy to understand for those unfamiliar with games further support this hypothesis. The game can still be very entertaining for those outside of the skating scene, but personally I'd recommend Tony Hawk's Underground 2 for those people.

PlayStation 2 · by Asinine (957) · 2013


Subject By Date
Windows version does not exist, or? formercontrib (157682) Dec 28th, 2010



The name Skateboarding Unleashed Featuring Tony Hawk was considered for this game before its release.


  • GameSpy
    • 2003 – #9 Game of the Year
    • 2003 – PS2 Game of the Year
    • 2003 – PS2 Action Sports Game of the Year

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  • MobyGames ID: 10893


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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by JPaterson.

GameCube, PlayStation 2 added by Corn Popper. Windows added by samsam12.

Additional contributors: Unicorn Lynx, Corn Popper, James Isaac, Patrick Bregger, Rik Hideto.

Game added November 5th, 2003. Last modified April 7th, 2023.