Interestingly enough, snowboarding was invented in 1965 by Sherman Poppen when he tied two skis together and added a rope to the end to give him and his daughter stability. The history of snowboarding is short in comparison to other Olympic sports. Snowboarding first appeared in the Olympics in 1998, but the sport appeared in video games years before that.
For their grinding mechanics and fast races, snowboarding games have the power to amaze. We can't forget heart-racing snowboarding franchises like Amped and SSX. They are two of the biggest names in winter sports games. For those with snow being a problem or a lack thereof, playing snowboarding games is the next best thing. These are the 10 best snowboarding games of all time.
10 Shaun Palmer's Pro Snowboarder
It's not the strongest snowboarding entry on this list, yet Shaun Palmer's Pro Snowboarder has its enlivening moments. It's a game that is made by the same developers as Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, so naturally, Shaun Palmer's Pro Snowboarder bears many similarities.
Although it had its moments, Shaun Palmer's Pro Snowboarder failed to distinguish itself from THPS in a meaningful way. It did, however, do a heck of a job of copying THPS with similar grinding and trick mechanics. Play this game if you like Tony Hawk's Pro Skater but be warned that it doesn't raise the bar.
9 Amped 3
Playing as a nameless snowboarder in Amped 3's single-player mode is one of the high points of the game. It wasn't the most magnificent snowboarding game of its generation, but it did have replay value because of its emphasis on wild tricks.
It was a laudable snowboarding title for the Xbox 360, but Amped 3 failed to improve on more reputable franchises like SSX.
8 Dark Summit
Dark Summit is not the most polished game. Players will often move through objects without colliding into them. The game certainly has its fair share of bugs, but it still remains to be a great snowboarding game worth a playthrough.
Released for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, and Nintendo GameCube, Dark Summit is commendable for having genuinely enjoyable gameplay that will take players on average 7 hours to complete. It doesn't do much to surprise players, but there are few ways to criticize the ingenuity of Dark Summit.
7 1080° Snowboarding
Before there were games like SSX and Steep, people had to get their snowboarding fix by playing games like 1080° Snowboarding. It didn't have the most advanced gameplay mechanics, but for its time, it was sublime.
It's highly recommended to play this game because of its wild tricks and arduous point-to-point speed runs. Expect to go fast in 1080° Snowboarding, one of the top sports games for the Nintendo 64. This game inspired later snowboarding games and is a classic worth playing for snowboarding fanatics.
6 SSX Blur
The combination of Wii's motion controls and SSX's snowboarding could have made SSX Blur one of the most disastrous of the series. With stellar execution, SSX Blur stands as one of the best SSX games to date.
SSX Blur provides a different experience than other snowboarding games. Motion controls like drawing to perform Uber Tricks distinguishes SSX Blur. Using the Wii Nunchuk to control your player in combination with a Wii Mote works well in the game. Flinging your Wii Mote allows you to perform spins and tricks intuitively.
5 Amped 2
Back when Microsoft made a variety of sports games, Amped 2 was one of the leading snowboarding games. As part of the same lineup as Amped 2, Microsft released games such as NHL Rivals 2004, Top Spin, NFL Fever 2004, and NBA Inside Drive 2004. These sports games were some of the first to be Xbox Live enabled.
Amped 2 stands as one of the leading snowboarding titles. Like many others, you start from the bottom and work your way to the top. Becoming a seasoned professional athlete is a thrilling experience. We will forever remember Amped 2 for being one of the best snowboarding games of its time.
4 SSX Tricky
Without a doubt, SSX (2001) was a fun snowboarding game, but SSX Tricky built on the original concept adding layers of excitement. Being able to max out your "tricky meter" allows you to pull off even more advanced snowboarding tricks and accumulate a ton of points to your score.
Differently than its predecessor which was an exclusive for PlayStation 2, SSX Tricky was available on most platforms of the time, including Xbox, GameCube, GameBoy Advance, and PlayStation 2. Even by today's standards, this game offers an incredible experience.
Bold and ambitious, the development team behind Steep went the distance by adding skiing, wingsuit gliding, and snowboarding to their extreme sports video game. Steep is one of the lesser known gems of today's consoles.
Being able to free roam in an open-world, race competitively, or perform in competitions is why we love Steep. If you're looking for the most gameplay variation, Steep is a good place to start. Ubisoft should be proud of this game, and anyone who is a fan of mountainous sports will likely enjoy Steep.
2 SSX 3
The level of detail and polish put into SSX 3 makes it an exceptional game in a crowded snowboarding market. The life-like movements in SSX 3 is a snowboarder's dream come to life. Doing tricks will increase your speed to help you finish faster in SSX 3's races.
SSX 3 thinks outside the box with a wide array of tricks. The gameplay still stays true to the SSX franchise but executes it in a highly enjoyable way. SSX 3 is a game worth playing for hours on end.
With a radical soundtrack and a wide variety of levels to ride, SSX (2012) stands as the best snowboarding game thus far. An SSX game has never looked so polished, and Electronic Arts really swung this one out of the park. Combo chains are for both beginner and advanced players.
The grinding is fun beyond words. It's an exhilarating game you have to experience to gain a sense of its brilliance. As a game that released for the Xbox 360, it is backward compatible for the Xbox One. Pick up your copy of SSX today—you won't regret the decision.