Extreme sports games are typically not known for their story modes, however, these games offer up some fun and goofy ones to enjoy.
The extreme sports subgenre of gaming generally consists of such sports as skateboarding, snowboarding, surfing, rally racing, and the like. While these are just some of the more popular extreme sports, there are plenty more than fall into this subgenre. Extreme sports, as you might guess from their moniker, are generally adrenaline-fueled activities that require the utmost persistence and patience in order to excel at.
Amped 3 was the last entry in the seminal original Xbox snowboarding franchise. Eschewing the more grounded approach to snowboarding that Amped 1 and 2 setup, the third and final iteration of this series took the game into a decidedly more wacky direction, with mixed results. Despite the gameplay taking a backseat in comparison to the original two games, Amped 3 did at least provide a highly entertaining story mode to keep you glued to the screen.
To boil this story down, you played as a generic snowboarder who starts out at the iconic Northstar resort in Lake Tahoe. As you move from location to location, you are prompted to don goofy costumes, take part in off-the-wall advertisements, and even hop onto a sled. It’s a strange game that blends the fun shenanigans of snowboarding with a Saturday morning cartoon-like story.
Jet Set Radio Future is first and foremost an inline skating (rollerblading) game that features a highly colorful and vibrant Tokyo cityscape to explore, trick around, and complete challenges within. This Sega game released for the original Xbox and provided players with a cartoony take on the niche world of inline skating paired with anime vibes and influences.
Your overarching goal in Jet Set Radio Future is to rebel against the megacorporation, The Rokkaku Group. Through skating as well as spray painting, your band of friends, known as GGs, must scour every inch of Tokyo in order to bring The Rokkaku Group down. While that may sound a bit intense, it’s all done with a level of fun and brevity at the forefront while keeping the fun arcade-like nature of similar extreme sports games of the time.
Many extreme sports gaming fans have incredible memories of playing through SSX Tricky, pulling off uber tricks, blasting down the creative mountain stages, and listening to Run DMC’s “It’s Tricky” song through it all. This iconic snowboarding game, apart from the fantastic aforementioned elements, also has a simple yet enjoyable story mode.
The story mode in SSX Tricky is known as the World Circuit. In World Circuit, you guided your chosen radical boarder across a global range of snowy locations. What made this mode so fun is that it combined the best of downhill racing and tricks into one sweetly distilled package. Plus, it helped flesh out the band of misfit snowboarders many people grew to love. Here’s hoping a proper remake arrives one day.
EA’s Skate series, when it first released, provided a fresh new twist on the extreme sport, and blew past expectations. Each new entry in the series added layer upon layer of skateboarding depth such as increased customization, refinement of the dual-stick trick mechanic, and bigger worlds to skate in and around.
However, it’s the first Skate’s story mode that really helped this game stand apart from its counterparts. The story mode in Skate allowed you to create a skater who you would guide through various challenges, events, and scenarios that built up that character’s renown in the world. It was also a game grounded in the skateboarding culture, something that the series held onto for its subsequent sequels.
Dirt 2 is a thrilling rally racing game that blends the best parts of simulation rally racing with arcade tendencies to make a rally game that is both easy to hop into yet endlessly challenging to master. The story mode in Dirt 2 centered around an up-and-coming rally racer who traveled the world, completing rally events, and building a brand.
Dirt 2 still featured the incredible roster of events such as pure point-to-point races, hill climbs, and rallycross, but also emphasized player creation and customization through various liveries. Tweaking your car, career events, and player meant that each experience in Dirt 2 felt vastly different. Plus, the soundtrack in this game was downright stunning and provided the perfect musical backdrop to an extreme sports rally racing game.
OlliOlli World is a 2.5d skateboarding game with elements of platformers and adventure games. Playing out as a sort of Saturday morning cartoon with cel-shaded graphics, wacky characters, and a bizarre storyline, OlliOlli World simply aims for fun while hoping to keep a big smile plastered all over your face.
The story mode in OlliOlli World sees your customizable skater meet up with the current skate wizard and her misfit pals. Your chosen and highly customizable skater must traverse different biomes in hopes of ascending to Gnarvana, the home of the skate gods. It’s such a goofy and lighthearted story but it pairs nicely with the frenetic arcade-style skateboarding gameplay.
Shredders is the most recently released game on this list but absolutely deserves to be mentioned for how the game is set up. This snowboarding game tasks you to play as two quirky snowboarders who just so happen to run a YouTube channel called Shreddageadon. This YouTube channel is all about the videographer, Scotty, and the snowboarder, your playable character, exploring various mountains in hopes of recording some sick snowboarding lines.
It should come as no surprise that this story mode is extremely silly and is meant to be lighthearted and slightly cringe-inducing. However, it makes for an extreme sports experience that keeps you moving forward, always meeting new snowboarders, and consistently finding new places to pull off insane tricks. At the very least it will provide a good few chuckles and belly laughs.
NEXT: The Best Snowboarding Games Of All Time
Geoffrey is a self-pub gaming list writer for TheGamer and GameRant where he writes about all aspects of video games with a specialty in indie games, platformers, and lesser-known gaming experiences. His favorite game genres are platformers, horror, online multiplayer, and action-adventure. Geoffrey brings a fun, positive, professional, and lighthearted writing style!