When I heard about millions of people taking a seat behind their controllers to play the first Tony Hawk game, I knew Activision had more up their sleeve, but I had no idea the latest version would be so much better than the original. Not to mention, this one is a more challenging and rewarding game.

T.H.U.G has options galore. You can design your own deck, explore environments to your heart’s content, create and save your own tricks, and customize your character, which I consider to be the cherry on top. When I say customize I don’t mean you have hundreds of faces to choose from. I mean, you can download an actual photo of your face and become the character in the game. That’s enough to keep anyone entertained.

Tony Hawk’s Underground has nine levels. All levels are plot driven and have their own set of goals you must achieve before advancing. The first few are relatively easy, but after that you might need some help, depending on your skills. The BradyGames’ Tony Hawk’s Underground Official Strategy Guide is a good thing to have. It has fully detailed maps for all the levels plus loads of tips.

This game is available on PS2, XBox, Nintendo, and Game Cube so there’s no excuse not to have it. It’s easily the best game of the year. After playing for 6 hours straight, I’m already looking forward to the next generation of Tony Hawk.