Top 10 Best Video Game Themes

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.


#10

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.


#9

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.


#8

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.


#7

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.


#6

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.


#5

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!


#4

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.


#3

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.


#2

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?


#1

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.


Several of these themes are available on my MP3 Downloads page, so head on over there if you want to download some tunes.

Return to December 2010 Articles

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Everybody Edits + Mario Art

So I spent quite a few hours today on a website called Everybody Edits, which is a website that allows people to all enter a sort of level editor/sandbox game and edit the level. It’s possible to restrict who has access to the editing tools by password locking them, which I decided to do after someone destroyed a maze that I had been working on.

Anyway, after having my maze wiped, I decided to goof around and do a sort of pixel art using the level blocks. I made a game called “Mario Junk” and went to work spriting! Here is a thumbnail of the final level design, complete with a shameless ad for The Review Depot.

So, what does the level look like up close? Well, let me walk you through it!

Upon entering, visitors to the level will be dropped down to a makeshift Mario pipe that they get to drop through.

POW!!! This is the first thing visible after entering, and it was also my first completed “sprite” in the level.

Here are the rest of my “sprites” that I painstakingly worked on for four hours in total.

(the smiley with his tongue out is a player visiting my level)

And here is my LARGEST work, by far. It was not the hardest, but it’s one of the neatest and I had to use print screen twice to get most of it.

In the far bottom right corner of the level, I placed this “warp zone” pipe as a way to quickly return to the start of the level.

However….

I made a “secret underground bonus area” just like in the Mario games that you get dumped in on your trip back to the beginning.

So, overall, I spent several hours on my Mario art, and I decided that I had to immortalize it somehow, so it’s been placed on here! It was quite an experience, and I really enjoyed having random people pop into the level and, rather than just look around and leave, many of them would stay and watch me while I worked. It was cool.

Did I have fun today? Well.. The glowing smiley (which was me) says it all:

Want to take a stab at Everybody Edits? Click the following link and give it a go!
http://everybodyedits.com/

And… If anybody finds this article because of the link I wrote in my level, then thanks for checking out my Mario artwork and also for stopping by the blog!

Return to August 2010 Articles

Top 5 Retro Super Mario Brothers Enemies

The Mario franchise has featured more baddies than you can possibly keep track of! Fortunately, almost all of them have appeared in more than one Mario game, which allows for a bit of consistency. Because there are so many enemies in the Mario franchise, they cannot all make returns as often as we’d like. I’ve taken five classic enemies who haven’t made nearly enough appearances in the Mario franchise, and I personally feel that Nintendo should stop neglecting them! So, here are the five enemies that Nintendo really needs to show more love towards.



#5 Flying Hammer Brothers
One of the most fearsome encounters in Super Mario World when I was younger. Flying Hammer Brothers fly back on forth on winged platforms, throwing an endless barrage of hammers below. They were intimidating foes, and to Mario newcomers they usually spelled death. To defeat one of these hovering baddies, Mario only had to give them a knock on the bottom of the flying platform. However, getting under was the tricky part!


#4 Volcano Lotus
I will always remember the first level of the Donut Plains in Super Mario World very well, because it was the introduction of this frightening plant. It could only be defeated by a cape spin, super star, or Yoshi. Fire flowers and spin jumps were completely ineffective. That isn’t what made these flowers tough opponents though. These guys would periodically spit out several fireballs that would raise quickly to the top of the screen and then slowly drift back down. They weren’t overly difficult on flat plains, but on tricky ledges they were quite a hassle!


#3 Goomba in a Shoe
Goombas introduced Mario to one of his greatest power ups ever, the Kuribo Shoe, which he was only fortunate enough to use for one level in the entire Mario franchise! These shoe-dwelling goombas would wildly jump all over the place and were not to be underestimated. These were not difficult foes like the previous two entries though, and are primarily on this list because of the power up that they provide Mario with when defeated. It is a shame that it has only appeared in one game in the Mario Brothers platformers.


#2 The Chucks
My all time favourite Mario enemies are the chucks, the football loving koopas in Super Mario World. They would run at you, jump at you, wake up nearby hostile fish, split into three and (of course) chase you… The more difficult chucks would pitch baseballs and kick footballs at Mario. These guys made some levels tough and added a bit of challenge to Super Mario World. It really is too bad that they’ve struggled to appear in other Mario games given their interesting design and their admirable set of skills. I cannot believe Nintendo neglects these guys so much.


#1 Angry Sun
… However! It absolutely BAFFLES me that Nintendo has never brought the angry sun back. Without a doubt the most intimidating encounter in all of Super Mario Brothers 3, the angry sun was a force to be reckoned with. The sun can be defeated via shells, hammers, or by using a super star, but the rarity of these items in sun levels made them next to impossible to kill as they would swoop down at Mario with killer intent. The angry sun has only been in two Mario Brothers levels ever, but considering that it is enormously popular among Super Mario Brothers 3 fans says quite a lot. This is, without a doubt, the most awesome neglected Super Mario Brothers enemy of all time.

Return to May 2010 Articles