Video games and music go together like Pork and Apple sauce, like Jay and Silent Bob. A good score can set a game aside from its competition. Video games have inspired or been related to a lot of music let’s take a look at some notable examples.
Madworld – Gears of War
Yes, we are cheating a little bit here. Anyone who remembers the hype machine for the first Gears of War game will remember their advertising campaign. In it, we saw a grizzled Marcus Fenix tear down a darkened war-torn street only to be confronted by a massive spider-like creature. All the while Gary Jules’ take on the classic Tears for Fears, Mad World played. The song became so synonymous with the game that it even featured as an Easter egg in one of the games. Hence it makes the list.
Carry On – Black Ops 2
Avenged Sevenfold are considered by many to be one of contemporary rock’s biggest bands. So what if all their music sounds the same? I’m kidding, put down your pitchforks. A7X smashed it out of the park with this piece composed for the COD soundtrack. When one of the biggest bands and one of the biggest gaming franchises combined, magic happened.
Rikki – Final Fantasy 10
You don’t have to be a screaming heavy metal track to sit proudly on this list. In fact, this track very definitely isn’t. This belter was written by Suteki Da Ne specifically for the Final Fantasy series and it is in very much keeping with the game’s tone. Legitimately you could pop on this tune and unwind in a bath, it has a chill factor of ten! The lilting Asian ballad is beautiful, tugging at your heartstrings even if you don’t know what the words mean.
Want You Gone – Portal 2
There is little debate at just how innovative Portal 2 was. It took puzzling in video games to brand new dimensions. I mean literally when you think about it! But it wasn’t just the smart graphics, excellent physics and gameplay mechanics that made this game a classic. The sound was spectacular. And no I’m not just talking about the voice acting, although that in itself is worthy of any praise you wish to send its way. But the score was also a major success with their quirky duet marking the game apart from its predecessor’s thanks to the beautiful vocal stylings of Ellen mcLain and Jonathan Coulton.
Still Alive – Mirror’s Edge
Mirror’s Edge is a classic game. There aren’t many of its type that you can play through in its entirety without ever getting into a gunfight. That isn’t the only beautiful part of this game, it’s simplistic visuals and daringly bright colour scheme run contrary to most contemporary games. As if that weren’t enough it completes the aesthetic with a haunting soundtrack featuring this haunting ballad by Lisa Miskovsky. The tune takes at least a little inspiration in the verses from Running up That Hill by Kate Bush and that is no bad thing. It suits the mood of the game to a tee.
Far Away – Read Dead Redemption
Rockstar games always seem to nail soundtracks. Running around in GTA jacking cars and listening to the radio could be considered a hobby in its own right. However, no more is their skills at picking music more evident then in their choice of using the Jose Gonzalez track in the game. It fits the game’s vibe perfectly and only elevates it.
Green Hill Zone theme – Sonic The Hedgehog
While almost all of the rest of these have lyrics how can you not include this track on the list? I have completed the first level on Sonic hundreds of times and I never get bored with the jaunty music that just seems to fit. It may be more than two decades old but this theme is truly iconic.