The Absolute Game is the third studio album by Scottishpunk rock and new wave band Skids. Recorded in 1980 and produced by Mick Glossop, it was released in September 1980 by record label Virgin. It became their most commercially successful album, reaching No. 9 in the UK Albums Chart.
Initial copies came with a limited edition second disc entitled Strength Through Joy, a collection of material recorded during The Absolute Game sessions but omitted from the album. Its songs apparently feature members of the band playing each other's instruments. Richard Jobson, the Skids' lead singer, later stated that this title had been taken from Dirk Bogarde's autobiography and was not based on the Nazi slogan "Kraft durch Freude". However, it continued in the controversial theme of the first release of Days in Europa, which had also been withdrawn after accusations of Nazi glorification.
The Absolute Game was released in September 1980. It reached No. 9 in the UK Albums Chart.
Around this time the band was riven by internal rifts and disagreements, leading to various changes in personnel. Soon after the release and tour of The Absolute Game, Adamson and Baillie left the band.
Shane Baldwin of Record Collector called it "their finest work, despite the fact that, by then, Jobson and Adamson's relationship had begun to founder. Endlessly inventive and perfectly executed, it deservedly became their most successful release". Ira Robbins of Trouser Press wrote "Parts of The Absolute Game are just arty pretense, but the inclusion of substantial, engaging material makes it a reasonable addition to the collection."