X-List: The 10 best video game songs of all time

Posted on Dec 28 2013 - 11:29pm by Jeffrey L. Wilson

X List X List: The 10 best video game songs of all time

Video game music may have started life as simple bleeps and bloops, but as arcade uprights and home consoles gained more audio muscle, the basic sounds evolved into complex compositions. Optical gaming media generated much buzz in the late ’80 with the introduction of the PC Engine CD/Turbo Grafx CD and SEGA/Mega CD attachments — and rightfully so. CDs packed far more storage capacity than any cartridge, which allowed developers to create richer musical tapestries.

The addition of human voice was the next logical step. Granted, some old school arcade boards and cartridges attempted to include vocals, but they were usually awful due to the hyper-compression needed to make them fit within small confines.  The CD format — and DVD and Blu-Ray by extension — opened the doors to new audio possibilities.

I polled the 2D-X staff for their favorites video game songs and the results, unsurprisingly, were quite varied; we have very different gaming tastes. The selected songs are from racers, brawlers, action-RPGs, shooters, and, naturally, music games. We focused mainly on original video game songs and tried to avoid licensed compilations.

So, here are the best video game songs of all time. Agree? Disagree? Add your two cents in the comments section below, and don’t forget to check out the 10 Best Video Game Soundtracks and our recurring AudioCade features.

0 X List: The 10 best video game songs of all time
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night - “I Am the Wind”

0 X List: The 10 best video game songs of all time
Daytona USA - “Let’s Go Away”

0 X List: The 10 best video game songs of all time
Double Dragon Neon – “City Streets 2 – Mango Tango (Neon Jungle)

0 X List: The 10 best video game songs of all time
God Hand - “Closing Credits/Outro”

0 X List: The 10 best video game songs of all time
Katamari Damacy - “Que Sera Sera”

0 X List: The 10 best video game songs of all time
Lunar: The Silver Star - “Untitled Opening Theme”

0 X List: The 10 best video game songs of all time
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater - “Snake Eater”

0 X List: The 10 best video game songs of all time
Parappa The Rapper - “Kick! Punch!”

0 X List: The 10 best video game songs of all time
Sonic Adventure 2 - “Escape from the City”

0 X List: The 10 best video game songs of all time
Xenogears - “Small of Two Pieces”

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Jeffrey L. Wilson is the former Big Boss of 2D-X.com. Now retired, he spends his days as a man of leisure. Kinda.

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  • Anonymous

    WHY!!!? WHY??? Why not the end song to Crisis Core?? *sobzors!!!*

    Hehehehe Great list. I’m still shakin my head at the God Hand song. That’s crazy! lol

  • Anonymous

    WHY!!!? WHY??? Why not the end song to Crisis Core?? *sobzors!!!*

    Hehehehe Great list. I’m still shakin my head at the God Hand song. That’s crazy! lol

  • Cloud Squall

    Speaking of music, where’s FF7?…

  • Tatjana Vejnovic

    ROLLIN’ AROUND AT THE SPEED OF SOUND.. GOT PLACES TO GO GOT TO FOLLOW MY RAINBOW!

  • http://twitter.com/LowBitLovecraft Justin Pereira

    The Psycho Soldier theme is a car accident.

    • http://www.2D-X.com/ Jeffrey L. Wilson

      It’s dated, but is it really that bad? Maybe I’m just showing my age on this one. Hearing that in the arcades back in the ’80s was mind blowing…it was next-level audio ;)

      • http://twitter.com/LowBitLovecraft Justin Pereira

        I don’t want to be ‘the guy’ who’s always throwing the English dub under the bus and defending the original Japanese version, but in this case, I am that guy.
        The singer shouldn’t have chugged a bottle of Nyquil right before her recording.

  • Squall

    Eyes on Me should be here ffs