8 Best Surfing Video Games So Far

When it comes to surfing games, there hasn’t been too many great titles. Probably because surfing isn’t the most popular genre when it comes to sports or gaming, so development funds are limited knowing the target audience is small. Surfing games appeal more to actual real-life surfers or gamers that love extreme sports video games, which are minorities now and days. When compared to other sports games, surfing has a low number of titles released. About every 4 or 5 years one higher production surfing game is released on PC or game consoles. Even though the pickings are fairly slim, I decided to rank the 8 best surfing video games available on any gaming device so far. As new worthy games are released, this article will be updated.

8. T&C Surf Designs (NES)

#8 T&C Surf Designs
– See It On Amazon
It would be a crime not to include T&C Surf Designs on this list. I think all the old school NES gamers remember this game. When I was a kid I use play T&C for hours every day. Back in the day (Early 1990’s) this was considered the best surfing game, and even better than another NES game that had surfing in it known as California Games. T&C lets you select from 4 different characters, two are humans, one is an ape and one is a bear. The game also had a skateboarding level in it, but I always loved its surfing more. When I played this one recently on my PC via an NES emulator I realized T&C is not as good as I remembered. The game itself is very simple, corny, short, and shallow. I still have fond memories of T&C and it’s one of the first recognized surfing games. When compared to more recent titles though, it did not age too well.
– Gameplay Video

7. Sunny Garcia Surfing (PS2)

#7 Sunny Garcia Surfing
– See It On Amazon
A game featuring Hawaiian surfing legend Sunny Garcia. Besides the terrible camera angle and plain graphics, this is a pretty good surfing game on the PS2. The controls work well and the trick system is solid and smooth. I wish there were even more tricks, but it’s good enough for an older game. The waves also have good AI and are unpredictable most of the time, making runs challenging and fun. You can choose from 9 real pro surfer characters to play as. The games main feature is the championship mode, where you will be scored based on how well you perform when riding waves. Sunny Garcia is not perfect, but if you have a PS2 it might be worth a try!
– Gameplay Video

6. The Journey – Surf Game (Android, IOS)

#6 The Journey - Surf Game
– See It On Marketplaces: Android | IOS
The Journey is probably the best surfing game available on Android or IOS devices. It’s a mix of simulation and arcade style gameplay. The wave physics are varied well from level to level and pretty realistic. The trick system feels good also, tricks are easy to perform and essential when trying to score high in each level. There are over 300 waves (levels) to ride on, located in areas from around the world. The in-game shop has a lot of cool real-world branded items (Clothing, Wet Suits, & surfboards) that can be purchased with earned in-game currency or real money. If you have a phone or tablet, The Journey is free to play so you might want to try it out.
– Gameplay Video

5. Championship Surfer (PS1, Dreamcast, PC)

#5 Championship Surfer
– See It On Amazon
Championship Surfer is a good challenging game, that often borderlines frustrating in later levels, lol. If you plan on checking this game out I recommend the PC and Dreamcast versions. There graphics and frame-rate are greatly superior compared to the PS1 version. The waves and physics are pretty good. In each level, you will have to score as many points as possible by performing air tricks and riding waves as clean as possible. The hardest part about this game is the obstacles in the water, sometimes it’s just too hard to dodge swimmers, landmines, and boxes. There are 10 beach levels in all and 8 pro riders to choose from. If you are looking for a surfing game with unique and fun gameplay, Championship Surfer will not disappoint.
– Gameplay Video

4. Surf’s Up (Xbox 360, PS3,PC)

#4 Surfs Up
– See It On Amazon
Surf’s Up is based on a 2007 kids animated movie. The characters you surf as are penguins from the movie. Don’t judge this game based on the corny penguin characters, this by far the best surfing game on the list if you have kids to play with. The gameplay is over the top and arcadey. There are all kinds of crazy tricks in this game, along with grinds and ramps to launch off of. In order to advance to new levels, you will have to complete 3 objectives in each level. The controls do take some time to get used to because of how fast this game can move at times. With some practice, the game will become easier to control. There is a nice variety of mildly challenging levels to play through. If you are interested in playing this game, I would recommend the Xbox 360, PS3 or PC versions only, because they run and look the best.
– Gameplay Video

3. Transworld Surf (PS2, Xbox, Gamecube)

#3 Transworld Surf
– See It On Amazon
Transworld Surf has the best camera view out of any other surfing game. It’s not too far, but also not too close, it’s almost perfect. It has a similar trick system to Tony Hawk games. Where you can grind on waves, perform air grabs, and board flips. Out of the three versions, the Xbox is recommended because it has the best graphics and frame rate. The Pro Tour mode is impressive allowing you to select from 3 real-life pro surfers and travel across the world surfing in contests at 20 popular real-life beaches. I have a few gripes with Transworld Surf. I wish they had more cosmetics, characters, and board unlockables. I also think the gameplay is a bit too slow and floaty when compared to Kelly Slater’s Pro Surfer and Surf World Series games. Overall Transworld Surf is one of the better surfing games and definitely worth checking out.
– Gameplay Video

2. Kelly Slater’s Pro Surfer (PC, PS2, Xbox, Gamecube)

#2 Kelly Slaters Pro Surfer
– See It On Amazon
Kelly Slater’s Pro Surfer was created by the same developers that created the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater games. This game also uses the same engine as the classic Tony Hawk games, making the gameplay and graphics feel and look similar to it. Kelly Slater’s Pro Surfer is packed with content. There are 8 real life playable pro surfers to choose from, including the greatest of all time Kelly Slater. There are also 30 challenging levels with there own pipeline goal objectives. By completing a number of pipeline objectives you can unlock new areas and surfboard skins. Trick combos, objectives, and fast addicting gameplay are what makes Kelly Slater’s Pro Surfer so much fun. The surfboard and pro video unlocks are a bonus. The PC and Xbox version have better water graphics and frame rate compared to other versions. There’s not much else to say, this is one of the greatest surfing games ever made.
– Gameplay Video

1. Surf World Series (PS4, Xbox One, PC)

#1 Surf World Series
– See It On Amazon
When creating this top list, I struggled to rank the #1 surfing game. Kelly Slater’s Pro Surfer might have more fun (it’s debatable) gameplay than Surf World Series, however, I don’t think Kelly Slater’s Pro Surfer has aged well in every other department. Surf World Series graphics, animations, weather effects, menus, and locations are much more pleasing to look at compared to any other released surfing game. The gameplay is fast and fluid, running at a solid 60 FPS. The huge airs when popping off of waves and insane body flip tricks are over exaggerated, but that’s one of the awesome things about this game. The controls are very responsive and tight, I never once blamed the game when I crashed. Knowing what tricks work well at certain speeds is something you will learn with a little trial and error. The amount of character and board customizations is impressive, and there is even more that can be unlocked. Later events become challenging quickly, so learning how to combo tricks and ride different types of waves effectively is a must. There is also an online multiplayer mode, unfortunately, if you’re playing on the PS4 (I am) finding players online is rare. If you had to choose one surfing game to play in 2018, I think Surf World Series is the obvious choice.
– Gameplay Video

* Honorable Mentions *

The following games barely missed our top list, but are still worth looking into.

BCM Surfing Game (Android, IOS) – I almost added this game in the #8 spot, but I just had to keep T&C Surf Designs on the list, lol :D. This is the best Surfing Simulator for phones and tablets. Don’t expect any crazy tricks. This game prides itself with its realistic wave physics, surfing events, and gameplay.

California Games (NES, Sega Genesis, Others) – A classic game that features 6 different sporting events. The surfing in it was decent for the time I guess.

SpongeBob’s Surf and Skate (Xbox 360) – A decent surfing/racing/skateboarding game small children might enjoy.

Ancient Surfer (Android, IOS) – A neat Japanese surfing game, with tons of unlocks and gigantic waves. It became boring and repetitive for me after a while.

Billabong Surf Trip (Android, IOS) – Another good Surfing game with a ton of unlockable items. It’s officially licensed by Billabong.

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Chris D.
Level Smack founder. I am a long time webmaster. I have been playing video games all my life since the NES days. I am a video games fanatic and a self-proclaimed video games historian. I hope to bring unique & helpful articles as often as I can. We are seeking writers for, Please Contact Us.