Why It's Great: We all owe a debt to Tony Hawk for helping to popularize video skateboarding games but truth be told, the Tony Hawk series has gotten a little long in the tooth. What started out as a fun and enjoyable simulation of skateboarding has now become a cartoonish caricature with increasingly over-the-top scenarios and moves. That's why skate was such a breath of fresh air: it put the emphasis on realism with an innovative control scheme that brought a sense of physicality missing from the Tony Hawk series. It also put the focus on actually skating and setting up lines; that meant you couldn't just jump around and pull of 30-trick combos anymore. The learning curve was definitely steep but it helped reinvigorate the skateboarding genre and hopefully forced the developers of the Tony Hawk series to up their game.