After completing both games included in this remake to the full 100% with my custom character I can safely say this is going in my top 10! This is what I have been waiting for since THPS 3 was the last game in the franchise to focus on completing goals in a 2 minute time limit.
The gameplay is tight and responsive and for someone with a good amount of experience with the series hopping into the game was like riding a bike. For newcomers there is a tutorial with different difficulty levels to learn about all of the different controls and techniques the game has to offer.
All levels from the first two games have been rebuilt from the ground up and given not only a new coat of paint; but changes aesthetically and thematically that help to modernize the games and keep them from the feeling of being dated to the late 90's.
On top of the levels keeping their old school charm while being modernized in a good way; the soundtrack maintains most of the original tracks from the first two games while also adding many new and modern tracks that have been wonderfully curated for a Tony Hawk.
All of the classic skaters also return with new body scans of their modern selves as well as a whole new cast of contemporary skaters such as Tony's son Riley. Each of the skaters have multiple outfits and board customization options available to them from completing challenges in the game. On top of the expanded roster of real world skaters there are 4 slots for custom player created characters. The amount of custom character customization options is RIDICULOUSLY BIG. Most can be purchased in the in-game store which DOES NOT use microtransactions and uses money earned through game play, while the rest of customization pieces come through completing challenges in the new in-game challenge system.
This new challenge system is an additional set of challenges outside of the main levels which include things such as performing certain combos in a certain level or doing a certain trick type for an hour of real world time etc.
All of what I have written about so far is only the single player side of the game. The game also comes with an online component which at the time of release on Epic Games Store on PC (September 3rd, 2020) works well but is limited to either casual or competitive lobbies where the game mode changes automatically. The developers have mentioned in a future update that they will be adding more to the online mode to make it more robust and easier to play with friends.
Lastly the remake also brings back the Create-A-Park mode. This time around not only do you get a fairly robust mode with plenty of customization options, but custom parks can now be uploaded to the games' servers and shared with everyone online. On top of that you can "remix" a custom level and add or remove from it what you want to make it your own.
THPS 1+2 is not only a great love letter to the series, it also reminds us of how this series became a gaming/cultural icon. The remake is able to stand out on its own with a few small changes and some modernization that makes these games feel new again without taking away from what made the original releases so great. This also marks what is to me, a new standard of quality when it comes to doing ground-up remakes of classic games. If you loved the series back in the day or are brand new to it, for $40 USD there is no better way to jump in and experience the Tony Hawk's series. 5/5