Music has a way of taking hold of our mind and spirit and making us travel to entirely new worlds and experiences. The same can be said for gaming, where you can become so engrossed in a video game that you begin to think it is reality.
Whether you love playing mainstream or obscure games, you likely love the soundtracks that go with those titles. There is no better gaming feeling than reaching a pivotal scene with your character, and the music blares to add even more intensity and emotion in the moment.
Some games take songs that are already created and license them to use within their product. Other studios are lucky enough to have music created especially for their games, making those songs even more special.
Below is a rundown of the five best songs created by musicians and bands for video games.
1. Escape from the City – Jun Senoue – Sonic Adventure 2
One of the best songs ever created for a game is “Escape from the City” by Jun Senoue. This track was specifically recorded for Sonic Adventure 2, an iconic game from the early 2000s.
Any gamer who has experience with Sonic games immediately thinks of this song when they imagine Sonic zooming through the streets with a truck chasing him the entire time.
Crush 40 often got credit for the song, but recent news revealed that Jun Senoue was the one who put in a lot of effort to create the song and ensure it was part of the Sonic Adventure 2 game.
2. No Sex for Ben – The Rapture – Grand Theft Auto IV
One of the greatest and best-selling games of all time deserves a song equal to it. That is what Grand Theft Auto IV got with “No Sex for Ben” from The Rapture.
Songs are a huge aspect of the Grand Theft Auto series, with players able to change their radio channels when driving different cars in the games. The early games would feature popular and classic tunes known to players, but developers Rockstar eventually started creating their own music for the games.
The Rapture is a cult-classic band from New York City, which meant they were the perfect candidates to write a song for a game set in the Big Apple. “No Sex for Ben” lived up to all the hype, becoming synonymous with Grand Theft Auto IV in the minds of gamers.
3. Still Alive – Ellen McLain and Jonathan Coulton – Portal
The ending to the video game Portal is made infinitely better by Ellen McLain and Jonathan Coulton’s “Still Alive”. Developed specifically for Portal, the creators always intended to have this song blaring as the player went through the last moments of their journey within the game.
The track is definitely one of the best to grace a video game. It is an uplifting song that makes the player feel happy and energetic and somewhat balances the moment the player is experiencing within Portal, when they are under attack from enemies.
4. Riders on the Storm – Snoop Dogg ft. The Doors – Need for Speed Underground 2
When you ask most people about musical combinations they expect to go smoothly, Snoop Dogg and The Doors do not often come to mind. The rapper and band are as different musically and lyrically as possible. However, they still managed to come together and create this fantastic song for the Need for Speed Underground 2 video game.
“Riders on the Storm” is a classic The Doors song, but it got a complete makeover for the NFS game. Snoop Dogg added a great verse, while The Doors also adjusted the way they performed their lines to fit in with the vibe that EA Games intended to create with their Need for Speed games at the time.
5. Supermoon – 65daysofstatic – No Man’s Sky
When No Man’s Sky came out in 2016, it got a mixed reception from fans and critics. People were impressed with the ambition and ambiance of the game, but a lot of the mechanics were lackluster. The game has improved considerably since and is now one of the best titles that you can play on consoles or PC.
“Supermoon” is an iconic song that was created specifically for No Man’s Sky by the band 65daysofstatic. This eclectic band from Sheffield in England has a math-rock vibe, and that fits perfectly with the aesthetic that the developers intended for No Man’s Sky.
Immerse Yourself in A Game
If you have a habit of playing video games on very low volume with subtitles, you may want to change that style of gaming. While you are not losing anything functional, as you understand everything happening within the story, you are still missing out on the experience of listening to the game’s soundtrack.
The songs that are part of a game’s soundtrack are crucial to the overall package of the game. You can get so much emotion and joy out of music, and managing to pair specific melodies and lyrics with key moments in games is a true art form.
When you next sit down to play a new game, remember to keep your TV on a higher volume or wear headphones. Then you can appreciate not only the visuals and gameplay, but also the music.