Snowboarding video games have been around for ages. There are so many different video game titles available to pick up and play that it can be a bit difficult to figure out where to start. Unfortunately, snowboarding video games today are a bit more scarce and it’s something we hope to see change going forward. Despite the lack of newer video games hitting the marketplace, there are still some solid games worth checking out that previously launched over the years. In this list, we’re going to highlight some of our favorites down below.
#10 Mark McMorris Infinite Air
As I mentioned in the intro paragraph there’s not a ton of newer snowboarding video games. If you’re after something for more modern video game console platforms then chances are you’ve come across Mark McMorris Infinite Air. It’s purely a simulation-style snowboarding video game where players will get a procedurally generated mountain to snowboard down and some easy-to-understand controls. For instance, going through the mountain and gaining a big jump will allow players to pull off some tricks. All players really need to focus on is the analog sticks to initiate a trick.
However, there is one element that found some praise in this game and it’s the level editor. Players will find that the level editor will give players the freedom to create their mountain to snowboard down. Here you’ll have over a hundred different items to use within the mountain such as ramps and pipes while also adjusting the snow itself. For instance, players can offer more fresh snow to more packed snow on the mountain run. Fortunately, there is the ability to take your created levels and upload them online for others to download and enjoy. This ultimately means that you can browse the different levels uploaded as well to get some fresh new runs in as well.
#9 Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games
The Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games are worth bringing up as the series usually offers snowboarding. For instance, there is snowboarding racing that allows players to race down a mountain against characters from both Sonic and Mario franchises. It’s lighthearted with players trying to reach the finish line first while performing tricks along the way such as back flips and turns. There’s more to this game than just snowboarding but it’s worth at least mentioning the game for those of you looking for something a bit easy to grasp and family-friendly.
#8 Dark Summit
Dark Summit is a snowboarding game that was developed by Radical Entertainment in 2001. If you’re not familiar with the name of the studio, these are the folks behind the Prototype franchise and were the support team for Bungie when they were developing the first Destiny video game. This is an arcade-style snowboarding game where players are going through different drops and delivering a barrage of tricks as they snowboard down the mountain. Meanwhile, the game is focused on earning points which would give the player new boards which made different attributes easier to perform whether it’s based around jumps or speed. Likewise, the more points you rake in the higher you could go up the mountain for better runs.
Steep is a game developed under Ubisoft which is based around a variety of winter sports activities. However, as this list suggests, this game features snowboarding and it’s a simulation-style game. Players will be going down a massive mountain competing in challenges and ranking up in-game currency to spend on different cosmetics or gear. This is also an online game so players can connect and go through the mountain as a race. Meanwhile, players who want to restart from the top of a mountain edge can do so freely. Because this is an online game, one of the more interesting aspects players can take part in is the fact that they can trigger a challenge. If you enjoy your run and want others to attempt it with all the different obstacles that you went through, then you can make it a challenge for others to attempt online. Meanwhile, if you’re a bit bored of snowboarding then again there are other activities you can partake in such as paragliding to using a wingsuit.
#6 Stoked Big Air Edition
Stoked is a snowboarding game that was released for the Xbox 360 and PC platforms back in 2009. You can think of Stoked as being a bit of a simulator. Here, players are working to gain sponsorships and some credibility for being professional snowboarders. However, to secure those sponsorship deals, players will need to go through a series of challenges down multiple mountain runs. At the start of the game, you’re just a nobody, snowboarding for fun but it’s when you’re racking up points and completing challenges that sponsor start to take notice. There’s plenty of jumps available for players to pull off tricks and a few different mountains to snowboard down. There are even some neat weather elements added to this game such as snow packing up as you race or rocks starting to pop out from the tundra below when there’s no active snowfall. If you’re after this game, it’s worth picking up the Big Air Edition which adds a few more mountains, improved frame rate, along some other finer enhancements.
#5 1080 Avalanche
1080 Avalanche is a game released in 2003 for the Nintendo GameCube and it happened to also be the sequel to 1080 Snowboarding for the Nintendo 64. This is an arcade-style snowboarding game where the goal is more aimed at going through races rather than delivering a slew of tricks down the mountain. As the name suggests, this game does play on avalanches which again goes in hand with racing. Outside of normal races, players can compete in events where the player is having to outrun an avalanche. While at the time, 1080 Avalanche had to compete against SSX, this is still a solid snowboarding game and, hopefully, we’ll see this series make a return at some point, but for now, there hasn’t been a successor release outside of 1080 Avalanche.
#4 Cool Boarders Series
Cool Boarders is a series worth mentioning as it had a pretty big following years ago. This is an older series with players mainly seeing the games hit the market for the original PlayStation outside of some of the spin-off games that came out. There are four mainline installments and most would look at the latter two installments as the games worth looking at for the series. If you were to pick one game out of the series then you’d likely want to pick up Cool Boarders 4. You’ll find tighter controls and a bit more content to chew through.
Within the game, there are several modes to play whether it’s based around races to performing tricks. Meanwhile, players are also working to unlock more professional snowboarders to use in the game. One of the more interesting aspects of this entry is the feature to create a custom snowboarder. Included in this option is not only crafting up a person but also customizing their snowboard with even finer tweaks such as stability or speed. It might be an older game today, but it doesn’t mean that there isn’t plenty of fun to still be had here.
#3 Amped 2
Microsoft attempted to get a snowboarding series off the ground on the original Xbox console platform with Amped. There were only three installments to this series with the third being released for the Xbox 360. However, the more popular of the three installments was Amped 2, a game that came out in 2003. This is a game that acts a bit more realistic so it’s not as over-the-top arcade kind of an experience in something like the SSX series, but it still had a ton of players enjoying the game. Throughout the game, players had to complete a series of levels that had their different challenges to complete. These would include areas like specific tricks, ranking up points, to even finding hidden snowmen within the mountain where you would level up the character. Progressing your character was pretty important too if you enjoyed the online gameplay experience at the time. With Amped 2 players were not only leveling up their in-game offline character but they would see these skills leveled up in the online counterpart. Unfortunately, the game series didn’t take off after Amped 3, which Amped 3 wasn’t a slouch. Amped 3 just came out as a bit mediocre and who knows what could have been if the series was given another chance, perhaps things could have turned around but for now, the series has been dormant since 2005.
#2 Alto’s Adventure
Alto’s Adventure is a bit different compared to the other games on this list. This is a game that got started on smartphone platforms. Players with iOS, Kindle Fire, and Android devices were playing this game well before there was a release on modern console platforms. It’s a simple endless runner type of game and if you never heard of the genre it means that the game level continues endlessly until the player loses a life. In this game players are taking the role of a snowboarder going down a hill while having to jump over obstacles. While in the air, players can perform some tricks before landing back down and again trying to break their record distance. There are some little objective elements attached to this game with players having an assortment of different goals whether it’s reaching a certain distance or crossing a large gap. For those of you wanting a bit more of a casual time killer experience then Alt’s Adventure is worth checking into. With that said, there is a sequel that has since been released as well which offers the same style of gameplay, but rather than being in snow players will be going through sandboarding.
#1 SSX Series
Tony Hawk Pro Skater may have dominated the video game industry for skateboarding video games, but when it came to snowboarding games, fans loved SSX. The series got started in 2000 and it offered players an arcade-style experience for snowboarding and skiing. It was lighthearted and didn’t rely on realistic physics. Instead, this game was all about ramping up speed, hitting big jumps, and pulling off some cool tricks. There were multiple games in this series with one of the biggest releases being SSX Tricky. Players would attempt to unlock more characters along with boards while also competing in world circuits to single events.
Just like with any series of video games that were released, some titles didn’t fetch the same amount of praise as their predecessors but in general, these games were still rather well-reviewed. It’s unfortunate that we haven’t received a new installment since the 2012 release of SSX, the reboot for the series which again was generally enjoyed by critics and fans. We hope that SSX will make a big return one of these days especially with Tony Hawk Pro Skater having a remake of sorts for modern platforms. As of right now, it doesn’t look like EA is making any moves to bring this IP off the ice.