Top 5 favorite video game songs

Dualshock 4 with earbuds plugged in.

Dualshock 4 with earbuds plugged in.

Allen Wu, Contributing Writer

The Caves and Cliffs Part II update for Minecraft has recently been released. The update brought with it a selection of new tracks. This recent news reminded me just how good the music in Minecraft is, which led me to think back on all of the amazing video game music that I’ve heard.

As a disclaimer, I have not actually played every game on this list. These are simply the best songs that I know of from video games that I have recalled. This is also in no way an opinion piece of what I believe the best games are. It is purely focused on the music in the game and occasionally connected to the context that they play within the game.


Undertale cover art. Developed by Toby Fox.

5. “Hopes and Dreams” – Undertale
Almost no one who has played video games in the last five years should be surprised that a song from Undertale made it onto this list.

The song is peppered with various melodies and leitmotifs throughout your journey in the game. It starts off with the main melody of the game but with almost mystical sounding strings before slapping you in the face with a hopeful and motivational chorus of guitars and chiptune.

Through your journey you realize how many experiences you had and how many friends you made along the way. What makes it so great is the fact that it takes the best parts of your entire journey and brings them all in one place. This song is the perfect backing to the climax of Undertale. However, “Hopes and Dreams” is at the bottom of this list due to its inclusion of chiptune. Although they sound nice in games, the sound isn’t something that I like in a standalone song. I also feel that outside of the game it doesn’t have too much going for it as it relies heavily on the context it plays to carry the emotional weight of the song.

4. “Rules of Nature” – Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

Cover art for Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. Developed by PlatinumGames and Kajima Productions.

“Rules of Nature” is probably one of two reasons as to why Metal Gear Rising has such a strong opening to the game. Whereas most games start you off with a tutorial and easy enemies, Metal Gear Rising gives you the tutorial before throwing the final boss of the last game right at you.

This song is the most adrenaline inducing song on this list. An extremely high energy heavy metal track that blares guitars, drums and synths at you while you fight a Metal Gear the literal size of a building.

While the song is an adrenaline rush for the most part with an amazing chorus, everything before the chorus is almost weak sounding, with vocals that aren’t very smooth. Their sound is fine, just not my favorite cup of tea.

But its chorus is so over the top that some people might think it’s ridiculous, but it’s over the top enough that you just can’t help but smile at how cool it is. After the chorus, the song continues with a bridge into a shredding electric guitar that transitions into a climatic end to the song. What makes this song so good is its connotation. It gives you the strength to charge right at a giant robot that nobody would think you have the ability to take down. And it’s just plain epic.

3. “Sweden” – Minecraft

Cover art for Minecraft. Developed by Mojang Studios.

The most iconic song in the Minecraft soundtrack features the ever-so famous piano melody that continues throughout the whole song and the chords that it plays over and over are simple yet memorable. The memories that are attached to “Sweden” is part of what makes it so great.

The song is attached to a different time in many Minecraft players’ lives where they didn’t have much to worry about and all they wanted to do everyday was to play this magical game. These simple piano chords bring you back to a simpler time in your life. There were not as many things or variables to worry about. And “Sweden” being the de facto “Minecraft song” perfectly encapsulates this idea. It seems like almost everyone has a specific memory they had connected to this song, Minecraft or not. The song is nostalgic yes, but that’s not its only attribute. It’s not a song that was written with the express purpose of trying to invoke nostalgia, but instead this song had such a great emotional connection in our lives that we’re nostalgic for it.

Although “Sweden” is an amazing classic, the next two items on this list are emotionally stronger as songs and are an exhilarating experience to listen to.


2. “Live and Learn” – Sonic Adventure 2

Cover art for Sonic Adventure 2. Developed by Sonic Team.

The main theme for Sonic Adventure 2, written by Crush40, is one of the most famous songs in Sonic history. Right off the bat, you get this rocking melody that sticks to your memory like glue with an electric guitar. The lyrics complement the song so perfectly that not just in the fact that they sound nice, but are a crucial instrument to the whole song. For example, the chorus “Live and learn, hanging on the edge of tomorrow” is in perfect harmony with its instrumental. And the lyrics are spectacular. While in the previous entry, Sonic Adventure’s main theme, “Open Your Heart” was a spectacular piece in its own right, it was held back by the fact that the lyrics were translated to English from Japanese, resulting in some strange cadences.

It’s the main theme of the game, and of course plays during the climatic final boss fight of the game. As we tie up the story and conclude Shadow the Hedgehog’s character arc, the lyrics represent everything Shadow and his foil, Sonic, have gone through during the game. As you fight a physical representation of what Shadow’s internal conflict is, the song blares in the background creating an unforgettable battle. For all intents and purposes, it is practically a perfect song, but the number one spot on this list goes to a song that takes all of Live and Learn’s greatest traits and turns it up to 11.

1. “His World” – Sonic the Hedgehog (2006)

Cover art for Sonic the Hedgehog (2006). Developed by Sega of America Inc.

“His World” is the main theme for the infamous 2006’s Sonic the Hedgehog. It not only tops this list, but is truthfully one of my favorite songs of all time. Besides how great the rest of the song is, this song’s melody is what made this song so amazing to me in addition to its powerful vocals. Both the melody and vocals are not only extremely memorable, but create this absolutely amazing feeling of grandeur and invokes the feeling that the story of the game that this song is connected to is an unforgettable grand journey.

To me, the song also represents what Sonic 06 could have been, because this song alone clearly shows all the ambitions that they had for the game. It is simply such an amazing song to me that I highly encourage anyone to give it a listen. No amount of words can communicate how I truly feel about it.