© Activision

All Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 Remastered levels ranked from worst to best

Vicarious Visions and Activision are unleashing a totally remastered version of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater Remastered on the world – so here's the essential rundown of all the classic levels
Written by Dom Peppiatt
7 min readPublished on
The original Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater has been lovingly recreated by Vicarious Visions and Activision, giving a whole new generation the chance to bust their lips open on rails repeatedly whilst listening to ska. The original game worked its way into the heart of practically everyone with a PlayStation thanks to its varied levels, its virtual take on street and vert skating and its celebration of all things counter-culture.
Whether you’re grinding rails and catching big air on a downhill session, smashing through secret rooms in the Warehouse, or busting out your most technical tricks to impress at Burnside, the original game set the tone for what would become one of the most enduring series of the 90s and 00s.
Now, in 2020, the Remaster has brought back all those levels we loved (and loved to hate) in the original – rejigging them, streamlining them and polishing them up to make sure they’re palatable for modern tastes. But, as with everything, some levels are better than others. So let’s run down, from worst to best, all the levels in Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 Remastered.

9. Streets


San Francisco can be a hazard for rookie skaters

© Activision

Just to make this clear: we don’t think this is a bad level, it’s just the worst of what’s present in the game. Though the starting area in the San Francisco-inspired town is great – you can bust some great moves and grab big air over the famous downhill brick lane – once you hit the bottom it quickly becomes a hazardous pit of obstacles, trams and roving camper vans.
Sure, you’ve got some nice gaps (the fountain rail and the Chinatown section spring to mind), you’ve also got a lot of awkward quarter pipes set into planters, and a whole street’s worth of shops and porches designed to frustrate you. Nailing the leap of faith that gets you from the glass ledge to the Secret Tape is a highlight of what is an otherwise over-complicated arena that feels designed specifically to knock you on your ass.

8. Skate Park


The Skatepark is fun, but a bit on the basic side

© Activision

The first Competition Stage you’re going to come across in the game, it’s hard not to love Skate Park on some level: the clean, wooden aesthetic of the whole thing, twinned with its stumpy little rails and impressive halfpipes, leaves a nice impression.
But compared to the two other Competition levels, it’s just not as engaging – the Remaster’s ‘House of Vans’ setup is a real treat to look at visually, and the multilayered booths and boxes that flank the arena stand out, but without a gimmick like Burnside or Roswell, it easily becomes a fairly forgettable experience.

7. Downtown


The rooftops of Downtown are certainly the highlight

© Activision

Based on Minneapolis, this downtown session is actually one of the trickier levels to master in the game – despite its position in the middle of the game. A lot of Gaps here revolve around getting up nice and high in the level so you can start busting moves between the city’s suspiciously skater-friendly roofing, but one false move and you’re back on ground level.
With a cool-hued plaza and some secret tunnels knocking around here and there, though, that’s not all bad: just be prepared to commit the quickest ways to the higher ground to memory, because this level is going to have you going up and down more than you’d perhaps find comfortable.

6. Burnside


Burnside's shabby charm is part of its personality

© Activision

The second Competition arena (based in Portland, Oregon) sees you take to a rain-slicked skatepark tucked away under an impressive concrete overpass in the city. Decorated with gorgeous street art, which is now all brought to life with a flourish thanks to the game’s 4K and HDR capabilities, it’s a gorgeous park to skate in.
You’re still a little limited in what you can actually do here – it’s a small skatepark after all – and the geometry of the place can inspire some really aggravating bails, but it’s a nice locale. Skaters that like to transfer from bowl to vert ramp, vert ramp to halfpipe and so on will love it here… and some of the lip tricks you can do in and around ‘the eye’ will never get boring to look at.

5. Mall


The remastered Mall is much more fun than the original

© Activision

An abandoned, derelict mall in New York City whose peculiar design takes you from a car park stairway right the way through to the mall’s streetside exit… a skater’s paradise, no? The Remastered version of this ludicrous setup brings back all the most memorable elements of the original: a boarded-up food court ideal for busting street tricks in, a massive jump off an escalator, and a dirty grind over an old strip of lighting.
Hindered only by some awkward stairways and some high/low paths that can be hard to navigate if you’re not used to the level, this arena became the favourite of a lot of gamers in the original for good reason. Just don’t bail on that rail at the end, or you can lose some really impressive, level-long combos.

4. Downhill Jam


If you can avoid the hazards, Downhill Jam is a delight

© Activision

Set in an industrial plant somewhere in Phoenix, Arizona, this level is one of the all-time THPS classics: grinding off pressure valves to cause jets of gushing water to come crashing down around you looks so much cooler in 2020 than it did back in the day, and with a few more bells and whistles added in to make your combo potential even longer, this perilous momentum-driven session is nigh-on perfect.
Plummeting to a watery restart in the middle of the level can hinder your enthusiasm a little bit though, as can some awkward geometry and super difficult ‘high road’ routes. Still, the satisfaction in getting the big drop at the end of a series of wallrides and pipe grinds at the top of the level will never get old.

3. Warehouse


The Big Rail grind in Warehouse can help get big points

© Activision

The all-timer. The most iconic level in – arguably – all Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater history. That dusty, grey old Warehouse in Woodland Hills, California no doubt has a very special place in the memory of a whole generation of PlayStation gamers. Getting to grips with how to ollie, kickflip or even do The 900 in that old industrial complex was a formative gaming experience for many players – and the same giddy thrill will welcome you when you boot up the Remaster, too.
It’s so iconic, Activision even sliced off the level wholesale to offer it up as a demo for anyone that pre-ordered the game. The most perfect spot for learning how to balance your lip tricks on the quarter pipes that flank the ground floor, how not to tumble on your manuals and the nice flat concrete, and how to perfect your grinds on that big rail in the middle. A tutorial level masterclass in game design that hasn’t aged a day.

2. Roswell


You may meet some little grey friends out in Roswell

© Activision

The final Competition you’re going to have to take part in, and what – for many – is going to be the pinnacle of the game’s challenge. Out in the middle of a secret military facility in the deserts of New Mexico, you have what is perhaps the most dreamy setup for any skater: massive halfpipes, huge rails, nice big areas of flat ground and – through a set of blast doors – and almost complete bowl that gives some delicious Gap bonuses if you grind the whole thing.
From little cameos of little grey men to what looks like Call of Duty tanks protected behind glass, this ‘skatepark’ is the perfect place to master the skills you started putting together piecemeal back in the Warehouse. Just don’t bail – ever – if you want to take home that coveted Roswell Gold medal.

1. School


Sitting on that green roof, you just know what the School has got in store

© Activision

If Warehouse is the most iconic location in the original THPS, then School – apparently located in Miami, Florida – is the second. Big green rooftops that slope into courtyards perfect for flat ground tricks, curved walls snaking into back alleys, and a wealth of neat little ramps that give mad air are all present. Plus, there’s that gorgeous sky!
Even if you just want to barrel around the playground heelflipping off kicker blocks and wallriding the climbing wall, you’re practically guaranteed to have a good time in the School (despite that being, traditionally, what skaters rebelled against…) Plenty of friendships have been maimed in games of HORSE in this old schoolyard – and there’s something about that ruptured sense of childhood nostalgia that’s just too powerful to ignore.