Video Games with the Most Iconic & Unforgettable Soundtracks
I don’t know about you but being a music junkie ever since my teenage years, I listened to a lot of artists ranging from pop to rock to death metal to trance to EDM and still going strong. However back in those days, music was more than an addiction, it was a life source! My ears literarily became the size of trash bins (just kiddin’) where you can just come and drop the latest track which was becoming the talk of the town. However all those years I held onto some video game music that was especially close to me.
Guess what? The internet helped me discover that I wasn’t the only one! There is a whole community out there that celebrates video game music ranging from Cappella artists to full-grown professional choir instructors. So today I would like to share with you some of those video game tracks that have brought me boundless joy over the years and nostalgia like never before.
Ground Theme/Overworld Theme – Super Mario Bros.
Super Mario Bros., often cited as the greatest video game of all time, was developed and published by Nintendo in 1985. Over 40 million physical copies have been sold worldwide. However side by side it was Koji Kondo’s soundtrack that became the centerpiece. Even now people around the globe recognize it regardless of culture, race, and creed. The Ground Theme or Overworld Theme as it is commonly called is regarded as one of the most iconic pieces of video game music. It was one of the six themes and considered as one of the most difficult to be composed by Koji Kondo. Nowadays you can download the theme as a ringtone for your smartphone.
Korobeiniki – Tetris
A lot of you may not be aware of this but Tetris was a worldwide hit when it came out back in 1984. Yup, this game is over 30 years old and has sold over 202 million copies. However, apart from the gameplay that picked up the pace the longer you played, it was the music that really got the people’s attention. The true name of Tetris’s theme is known as Korobeiniki (Russian for ‘peddles’).
While the original isn’t something that dubstep lovers would fall for instantaneously but with numerous remixes over the year, EDM fans will definitely get a kick out of the one uploaded by Musics8bits on YouTube. However, for a surreal experience, listen to the Games in Concert 2007 held in the Netherlands uploaded by Redah. One listen is all it takes and who knows you might end up opting for online music lessons.
Ryu & Guile’s Theme – Street Fighter II
Regarded as one of the most successful fighting game series by the FGC (Fighting Games Community), Street Fighter II was released in 1991. Somehow Ryu and Guile’s theme really struck with the audience, even though the entire roaster had such amazing themes that from Balrog to Blanka any FGC fan could identify them in a heartbeat. Guile is the blond hunky mass of pure badass-kicking martial artist who serves in the US Air Force as a Major. Considered as one of the most versatile characters and his shout out phrase “Sonic Boom!”, Guile is a fan favorite and it turns out the theme playing on his stage is worth a listen.
Green Hill Zone – Sonic the Hedgehog
Create and developed by SEGA, the first Sonic game was released back in 1991. While many saw it as a counterpart to Nintendo’s Super Mario, Sonic proved to be actually quite a unique masterpiece on its own. The speedy blue instantly became a fan favorite and quickly spawned various animated cartoon and comic series. No wonder it is regarded as SEGA’s best-selling franchise with over 920 million downloads by 2019. Hence there is no wonder that whenever stage music from the game is played it gets instantly recognized. Green Hill Zone is the first stage and so far its music has become iconic with Sonic’s character. For EDM fans you can find various remixes online but this one has an original score that is still a beauty to listen to even today.
One-Winged Angel – Final Fantasy VII
The world of Final Fantasy is always growing and expanding to new heights, however, Final Fantasy VII and its memorable characters along with gripping story left a noticeable impact on the audiences. Amongst this highly cherished and appreciated title was the unforgettable character of Sephiroth. Developed by Square for the Sony PlayStation back in 1997, the game sold over 12.8 million units and recently got a remake in 2020 to much delight of fans. Sephiroth is the main antagonist and even though he is the main villain there is something about him that just captivates you instantly. Don’t even get me started with his theme the One-Winged Angel as so far it befits him and his personality like his own blood and soul. The haunting Latin lyrics are sure to get your hairs standing and make you fall in love with Sephiroth which is so wrong at so many levels. It’s OK, you are not the only one!
Complete OST – Contra
I guess it’s only fair that I end this post with a personal favorite. Many may not know about this gem, but Contra used to be the hardest game to beat and also a part of my childhood ever since I could remember. A run and gun video game developed by Konami it was released for the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1988. From the title to the game over credits every soundtrack is just pure bliss and filled with nostalgia. I recommend that you listen to the original as well as the Rock Metal cover by Vomitron.
Well, that is it for now, I hope you liked my list, and if you do take your precious time to listen then let me remind you these games are fun to play too. On a final note, I would like to know about your favorite game music too. So do care to leave a mention of your favorite game music tracks in the comment section. Cheers and Banzai!