Games like GTA, Legend of Zelda, and more are still incredibly playable, despite not being new releases. My favorite game franchise is the SSX franchise, which hasn’t put out a new title since 2012. A snowboarding franchise that focused on unique and colorful characters performing reality-defying tricks started in 2000. Since the second installment, SSX Tricky in 2001; I’ve been hooked on this world. I’ve bought every game, played them, and am now playing them again.
It got me thinking – not only do I want EA Sports to come out with another (or a remastered version of Tricky), but there’s definitely a hierarchy in the SSX franchise. I kept an open mind with each game when they first came out, but as I’m going through my library and breaking out my PlayStation 2, I can tell you that not every SSX game is cut from the same cloth. So, let’s go through the list, lowest ranking to highest, and figure out, which SSX game is the best (in my opinion).
6 – SSX Blur (2007)
Honestly, I don’t even count this game as part of the franchise. I bought it when it first came out, but yea…I really dislike this one. Blur came out for the Nintendo Wii and the controls on a Wii simply do not work for the gameplay. Not only that, but it’s like whoever made this game was given a list of names of characters to make, but never even bothered to see what they looked like. Some characters, like JP and Psymon; are only that in name, because their character designs are so far removed from anything they looked like before. It’s…simply bad.
5 – SSX On Tour (2005)
The look of On Tour looks like the developers wanted to capture the allure of Guitar Hero, with the design incredibly different than what we’re seen before (not as Blur, but still). At the time, I didn’t mind, because I liked Guitar Hero. But, now that I’m replaying it, I find it disjointing to the SSX franchise and the game is just plain ugly. The gameplay is okay, but it’s much more of a pain in the ass to accomplish the amount of points needed to perform tricks. Also, part of the reason love SSX is because of the unique characters. So, why would we want to play a game where these beloved characters take a backseat to a customized character with no personality?
4 – SSX (2000)
There’s actually nothing wrong really with the original SSX game. I put it on the other day and spent a few hours playing it. The design is similar to Tricky and many of the courses are the same. It’s also the game that started anything and it’s beaming with personality. Even the opening song title made me happy. The only reason why I put it where it is on this list, is that the first game didn’t allow you to perform the insane uber tricks that were introduced in Tricky. Everything you do treads on a more realistic path, whereas the franchise went for more unrealistic tricks – which, we love.
3 – SSX 3 (2003)
Among my friend group, SSX 3 is not well-liked. However, I liked SSX 3. It tried to do things a little differently by having the game take place on a singular mountain as opposed to having different tracks in different countries. However, I liked being able to ride from one course to another and being able to explore more – as well as going to a “lodge” to customize your character (an actual character, not a made-up one that SSX On Tour did). You also were able to hold your tricks for longer than before. The thing I didn’t like about the game was that it took away the interactions between characters and instead had each character text each other, which felt a little impersonal.
2 – SSX 2012
After SSX Blur, we fans were afraid that that was it for the SSX franchise. Then, they announced SSX 2012. A somewhat reboot of the franchise, SSX 2012 was updated, back around the world, and introduced unique aspects to the gameplay. Instead of just boarding, you could use (and needed) to use things like ice picks, wingsuits, and more to survive the deadly terrains. It was like the developers were merging what we loved about the franchise, along with giving it an update. I thought the gameplay was great and welcomed the challenges. With the Mount Eddie update that came a month or so after its initial release, the game was nearly perfect. The only thing I disliked was the tone-downed versions of the characters. As opposed to their unique outfits, they were given more practical gear, and as I said before, we don’t like SSX for its realism.
1 – SSX Tricky (2001)
There really is no SSX game that can hold a candle to SSX Tricky. Released in 2001, it was a fan upgrade to its predecessor. The personality that this game exuded was palpable. You got a dozen of unique characters to pick from, all given their own styles, backgrounds, and great voice actors. There was a history and lore to these characters and it felt like more than just a snowboarding game. The characters interacted with each other – they had friends and enemies. You were even able to push people down on the tracks, which were all designed for the reality-defying tricks introduced in this game. Earn enough on the meter and you could literally perform tricks that were individually designed for each character. The soundtrack is fun, the characters are great, and it’s still a blast to play all these years later.
You can listen to how much I love SSX Tricky during my Top 10 Favorite Video Game characters. And you can also tell me which SSX game is your favorite. EA Sports, it’s time for another or at least, remaster Tricky for the PS4 or PS5.
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A girl with too many fandoms to count.