For years, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater was a financial success for Activision, starting with the original game’s launch in 1999 for Sony PlayStation, and followed by subsequent sequels that expanded on the formula. The series, developed by then-thriving studio Neversoft, became a big hit with fans, as they could build together tremendous point-based combos by chaining together tricks based on real skater activities, like grinds, grabs and manuals.

However, in an effort to get in on the motion gaming craze that shuffled in with Nintendo’s Wii console, Activision changed the series around with the debut of Tony Hawk Ride in 2009, featuring a board that players could use to mimic in-game actions. Unfortunately, the game was a bust, selling only 114,000 copies in its first month, and receiving some of the worst reviews for a Tony Hawk game yet. Activision tried again with Tony Hawk: Shred a year later, but similar results came, mainly due to high pricing and low game quality.

This proved one thing – you shouldn’t mess with a successful formula. And it appears Activision learned its lesson from that, as the company has returned to form with the upcoming Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5, which will debut this fall for Xbox One and PlayStation 4, and later in the year for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

As with other successful games in the series, Pro Skater 5 “gets it right,” going back to the combo-building trick-based style of earlier releases – something the fans have been greatly clamoring for. The developers at Robomodo are following the old style that Neversoft introduced long ago, putting tricks in the hands of fans while introducing some interesting new components that they’re sure to grasp onto.

These including community-based features like online multiplayer, where friends can take part in competitions to see who’s the best skater around, as well as customization tools, like creating their own skateboarder to stand alongside Hawk and company. In addition, a “Create-a-Park” feature enables the building of a dream skate territory, then sharing it online for others to try, and experimenting with new creations that are made by others. Activision already intends to back this feature with plenty of support.

But, most importantly, the gameplay is vintage Tony Hawk. During a hands-on session with the game, we discovered the ease of executing the moves of old, although a couple of new features do make things a bit more interesting this time around. A “special” meter can once again be filled up, enabling players to execute special tricks (like Tony’s signature 900 spin) with the press of a button. In addition, a new “slam” feature makes it easy to land a trick, even when a skater is coming off a ramp and headed for what appears to be a “bail” (or a crash, in this case).

Activision appears to have learned its lesson from the ride-based Tony Hawk games, instead sticking with something that’s sure to be grasped in the community with ease. And it’s not the only franchise that’s going back to basics. Transformers, Hasbro’s popular toy line, will also return to games, but this time reverting back to the classic 80’s series with the action-packed Devastation. That game, shying away from Michael Bay’s cinematic style that Activision had been using in games for years, will release later this year for multiple consoles.

And in case you missed it, Guitar Hero Live is due for a comeback this October as well.

With the publisher, it appears what’s old is new again – and sure to lead to big sales.

Gameplay for Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 5 can be found below.