There have been lots of really memorable video game songs and themes over the years, and we all have our favourites. I would like to present a list of what I feel are the ten best pieces of music to ever come from video games. Feel free to disagree, but remember that of course this is all opinion!
Now, here’s my list.
Street Fighter IV – Main Theme/Volcanic Rim
Capcom used to play the hell out of this piece of music in every Street Fighter IV trailer to hype the game, and I don’t blame them. This theme has “resurrection” written all over it, which is what Street Fighter IV did to the series. It is also very energetic and damn, it’s loud! This is the perfect music to listen to while overly-stereotyped fighters beat the pulp out of each other. I look at this piece of music as the definitive Street Fighter theme song now, and I hope that Capcom does too. It’s just that good.
Diablo Series – Theme of Tristram
This is such a depressing piece of music, but at the same time it is just as great. I cannot think of any other gloomy, soul destroying piece of music that I actually LIKE listening to. Tristram’s theme fills you with such a strong feeling of desolation and destroys all hope you have of vanquishing Diablo. This theme slaps you in the face and tells you that you’re going to fail, and that the demons of Hell will invade and take over.
Castlevania Series – Divine Bloodlines
I believe that this theme has been in a few Castlevania games, and this is the tune that always stands out to me when I play one of these skeleton and vampire infested games. Whenever I hear Divine Bloodlines, I really feel like I am in the game and am on a quest to kill Dracula. I feel like it is MY adventure. Divine Bloodlines really gets you in the mood to kick some Count ass, and is the perfect start to some Castlevania games, such as Dracula X.
Stider Hiryu Series – Theme of Strider Hiryu
Also used in Marvel Vs Capom: Clash of Super Heroes
One of video gaming’s coolest ninjas has one of the most awesome character theme songs ever. This tune plays in the official Strider Hiryu games but is also used as his theme in Marvel Vs Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes. This was an awesome theme that, in Marvel Vs Capcom, could turn the tides of battle. I found that, when fighting Strider, my mind was always on this music more than the character. I can’t say that it defines him well, but I can say that this is the best theme for a character ever in a fighting game.
World of Warcraft – Login Theme
Before Burning Crusade, Wrath of the Lich King, and Cataclysm, we had this. From 2004 until 2006, this is what players of the colossal MMORPG heard each time they loaded up the game. Three expansions later and this theme is still the login music, though it has been butchered and remixed so many times that it has lost it’s original soul. This theme defines World of Warcraft as a whole and is the definitive tune for the MMORPG as a whole.
Mega Man 2 – Intro Theme Music
In my opinion, this is the ultimate Mega Man theme. Mega Man 3, a game that I actually don’t like at all, comes a distant second to Mega Man 2’s theme. How the piece just starts off so gentle and peaceful before slowly escalating into a really powerful and energetic piece is the best transition ever in a video game theme. I love it!
Tetris – Theme Music
This theme is the embodiment of all things Tetris, and no puzzle game has ever come close to having such a fitting theme. The Tetris theme has this aura to it that gets you into the mood to play with blocks and have a blast, but when you are faced with a possible game over situation, this theme song feels incredibly ominous to the player, pressuring them to lose and get game over. The Tetris theme does all this despite never changing even a single note. If that isn’t mind control or real power over the player, then I don’t know what is.
Final Fantasy Series – “Final Fantasy”
What started as a adventurous and energetic opening to what Squaresoft assumed to be their final game before dissolving has turned into one of the gaming industry’s ultimate game over themes. I don’t mean game over as in losing all your lives, no. I mean game over as in you completed the game. The Final Fantasy theme often plays at the end of each game during the ending sequence or credits, serving as a passionate piece of music that will make you feel glad that you adventured with Square’s latest band of misfits. The most moving piece of video game music ever, in my opinion.
Super Mario Bros. – Original Theme
Perhaps the most iconic tune in this top 10. Everyone knows the Mario theme. Even people who have never even played a Mario game know what this little jingle is! The Mario theme transcends gaming. When people who barely even know what Mario is can identify the main theme, it says a lot. In terms of being iconic, this one is certainly at the very top… So why isn’t it #1 on the list, especially considering the fact that I am a huge Mario fanatic?
The Legend of Zelda Series – Main Theme
… Because the Zelda theme, while not quite iconic as the Mario theme, is a superior composition that evokes a real sense of adventure from the player. Hearing this theme, even in the very first Legend of Zelda on the NES, can pull anyone into the mood required to play a Zelda game. It pulls you into the magical world of Hyrule, and it won’t let you go. Chances are you won’t want to let go anyway. In terms of being iconic, this theme is second only to the Mario theme, but it is a far more engrossing theme that takes hold of you and rocks you to the core.