The player controls a custom skateboarder from a horrific crash, he then gets to a hospital where he had plastic surgery to change his appearance. Skating challenges are scattered around the city from Pros. If the player gets more coverage he may unlock the X Games.
The mobile version of Skate features two game modes: Thrasher Mode (the main game mode, in which the player completes goals to make the cover of skateboarding magazine Thrasher) and Free Skate (where the player can play on levels previously unlocked in Thrasher Mode). The player plays as a customized skater, who receives tips from pro skaters Danny Way , Chris Cole , Rob Dyrdek and Mike Carroll, through twelve missions divided in four goals each. Though the game is still set in San Vanelona, there are only three explorable areas: Plaza, Halfpipe and Downtown, aside from linear levels only playable in Thrasher Mode. The mobile version of Skate later won "Cellular Game of the Year" award at the 2008 Interactive Achievement Awards.
IGN gave the Xbox 360 version of Skate a 9.0, and the PlayStation 3 version an 8.8. Praise was given to the environments, control scheme, and soundtrack. Criticisms included latency issues with the online multiplayer, odd physics glitches, and the lack of freestyle tricks in both the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of the game (although it is possible to do lip tricks because of the unique grind engine built into the game). However, IGN have since edited their review of Skate, deleting the paragraph to do with complaints of the PS3 version being worse than the 360 version, after sources on the internet lead them to believe there is no difference between the two versions of the game, despite user reviews. IGN has not changed the scoring for the PS3 version of Skate; it is still scored 0.2 lower than the 360 version. GameSpot gave it a 7.5 for the Xbox 360 version of the game and a 7.0 for the PS3 version. The reviews praised the game for a good start and innovation, but was criticized for the in-game advertising and product placement. . This resulted in its 0.5 lower score. GameSpy gave it a 5 star rating for the 360 version, praising it for the control scheme, presentation, expansive environments, audio, and amount of content. It was criticized for the learning curve, frustrating camera, and the slowdown in online game modes. Gamespy has since given the PS3 version a 5/5 as well.