Top 9 Electronic Music Moments in Video Games
Since the very beginning, electronic music has pervaded the gaming space. The main reason for this is, of course, the fact that early games used their electronic systems to produce music—resulting in the iconic 8-bit style which we all know and either love or loathe. But since then electronic music has come a long way, both in gaming and in the real world, meaning that today we see more and more club-ready bangers in our games than ever before.
Let’s take a look back over 10 of the most iconic uses of electronic music in video games.
- Space Invaders (1978)
Starting with one of the most iconic early games, Space Invaders has an incredibly simple but iconic score. Despite its seeming simplicity today, the score was absolutely revolutionary at time of release. This was mainly down to the fact that Space Invaders was one of the first games to include music throughout the entire game, not just at the beginning and end of the experience. Not only this but the score adapted itself to what happened on screen, speeding up as the player killed more aliens—something which was in fact a product of hardware limitations instead of intense programming!
- Aquatic Ambiance – Donkey Kong Country (1994)
While Donkey Kong Country isn’t the first name to jump out of Nintendo’s early roster, for game music connoisseurs it is certainly the most important. Specifically, David Wise’s composition “Aquatic Ambiance” is endlessly quoted as an incredibly important piece of early game music. This is not only because the song fitted in perfectly with the underwater theme of the level in which it plays, Coral Capers, but that the score also incorporates interesting a, then, new musical technique of “wave sequencing”.
- Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (1997)
While using a different palette of instruments to what most would consider electronic music, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night has gone down in history as one of the most iconic gaming scores of all time. Featuring a variety of atmospheric symphonic tunes, the score is as iconic as the name of Konami’s incredibly popular series.
- Trip-hop Selections - Silent Hill 2 (2001)
While much of Silent Hill 2’s soundtrack strays away from electronic, it really thrives when the electronic sounds return. Songs like “Null Moon”, “Terror in the Depths of the Fog” and “Heaven’s Night” all introduce notable flavours of trip-hop, feeding off music from the time from groups such as Massive Attack.
- Main Theme - Mirror’s Edge (2009)
Keeping things calm on the electronic spectrum, Mirror’s Edge provides one of the most simultaneously hummable and atmospheric electronic OSTs in gaming history. Featuring light beats, plenty of electronic fuzz and soft pads, this is a theme that any lover of the 2009 game will know well. What’s more is that Mirror’s Edge doubles down on the free-running neo-future fantasy, fully equipped with streetwear and bright colours—what a perfect fit for a good electronic score.
- C418, 08 Minecraft – Minecraft (2011)
If Mirror’s Edge sounded calm, C418’s original score for Minecraft can only be described as absolutely tranquil. Its slow, soft, dulcet tones will be memorable for any player who spent their time traversing the blocky world soon after release. Not only this, but given it’s association with early Minecraft, it’s also an incredibly nostalgic little piece! If you haven’t experienced such content yet, you can look up a Minecraft cd key on Gamecamp to get your journey started.
- The Whole OST - Hotline Miami (2012)
If there was ever a game which simply wouldn’t be the same without its score, it’s Hotline Miami. Featuring club ready bangers from M|O|O|N, Perturbator, Scattle, Jasper Byrne and Elliott Berlin, alongside as-memorable quieter moments from El Huervo, Coconuts and Eirik Suhrke, Hotline Miami is the quintessential synthwave game. Honestly, at this point, I think this game needs no further introduction. If you’re yet to experience it first hand drop what you’re doing and get your hands on a copy. It’s a buzz.
- Crypt of the NecroDancer (2015)
While Hotline Miami’s score may be part of the lifeblood of the game, the score of Crypt of the NecroDancer quite literally is part of the game. As you play this turn-based game moving on each and every beat, the music will be something that you become well accustomed with, and its varied EDM-inspired sounds make each and every level an absolute blast to play through. What’s more is it’s composed by legendary indie composer Danny Baranowsky (the composer of the OSTs of Super Meat Boy and The Binding of Isaac, among others).
- Beat Saber (2018)
Okay, Hotline Miami and Crypt of the NecroDancer could technically exist without their soundtracks… but Beat Saber most certainly couldn’t. With a built-in score composed by EDM fiend Jaroslav Beck, among some tasteful hits like Crab Rave, Beat Saber let’s you literally feel the beat as you slice your way through these EDM bangers. What’s more is that thanks to an avid community of modders, Beat Saber’s inbuilt score can be supplemented with almost any song imaginable—each being carefully mapped out by loving fans of the game. That said, EDM, pop and fast, noisy tunes are always king in Beat Saber, making it the quintessential game for electronic music lovers.
Those are our nine top picks for the best electronic music moments in gaming up to now, have we missed any of your favourites? Do let us know in the comments.
To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Other Game Page.