Video games have a history of great music tied to them, from the 8-bit symphonies of The Legend of Zelda to the haunting opening sequence from Metal Gear Solid. Video games offer an engrossing experience and music is a big part of this. It's only natural that musicians who are eager gamers create music inspired by one of their favorite mediums.
This is a selection of some of my all-time favorite video game-inspired music. Some have been used in games, some are covers and some are just mish-mash of the culture surrounding video games.
Morrowind Main Theme Cover (Nerevar Rising) by SongLeReveur
Long before Skyrim The Elder Scrolls was well known for it's music. The main theme from Morrowind has been one that has stuck in my mind as a hauntingly beautiful tune. SongLeRevuer covers the theme in the popular 'VideoSong' or 'MultiTrack' style (a style of music videography popularized by Jack Conte, David MeShow, MysterGuitarMan, and many others). I only wish this cover was longer.
StarCraft 2 Dubstep Remix by DJWilma (Original by Echo Inada)
StarCraft 2 and the dubstep genre seem to get along pretty well and a lot of dubstep seems to make the playlists for tournaments and streaming players. Probably the only genre more popular than dubstep in StarCraft 2 is K-Pop. Echo Inada created two songs based on events within the StarCraft 2 esports scene which were widely popular. Later on DJWilma came along and mixed the two songs together with his own touches. The result was a beat/nostalgia trip for StarCraft 2 fans, though I'm sure that outsiders to the scene will see the appeal.
If you are a StarCraft 2 fan see if you can pick all the references in the song (spoilers below the video so full-screen it if you want to make an honest attempt).
First half of the song is from the Wings of Liberty campaign as well as a bunch of unit sound clips.
4:30 - DJWheat and Day casting IDRA vs MMA at MLG Columbus. IDRA leaves a game he has almost won because he didn't realize that MMA had killed his own expansion. The video below shows the fateful game, after listening to this song so much it's hard to listen to the cast - you will see what I mean.
6:08 - Destiny teaches Kyle a strategy that uses an Overlord as bait.
Final Fantasy VII Epic Medley by Ferdk16
The Final Fantasy series is one that forms a tight attachment with its fans for better or for worse. Final Fantasy VII is arguably the best game in the series and it features some truly great music. Ferdk16 ties together some of the best songs from the game in this 10 minute long epic guitar medley. A must hear for Final Fantasy VII fans.
Time 2 - Mortal Kombat Guitar Cover by Ewan Dobson
Ewan Dobson's cover of Mortal Kombat's Time 2 is known just as much for the crazy guitar skills on show as it is for being tied in with the video game. The song is blindingly fast on the guitar and to top it off he is in full Raiden costume while playing.
Bad Apple!! on Osu!
Bad Apple!! was actually a Japanese dance-pop song that was featured in one of the TouHou games, a manic side-scrolling shooter. It was later mapped out as a track for the popular rhythm game Osu! My reasoning for including this song is a bit weird but I feel like the defining version of this song is when it's actually played by the listener on Osu! Nothing compares to feeling the song and hitting every beat yourself. But for those of you who don't want to learn to become a beat champion here is a perfect run on normal difficulty.
The Price of Freedom (Final Fantasy Crisis Core) Violin and Guitar Cover by ViolinTay & ArnoMusicTv
Another great Final Fantasy cover here that is one of my all-time favorites, and I haven't even played Crisis Core! I happened across ViolinTay's covers (specifically a 'To Zanarkand' one) and eventually listened to this duo effort. I was hooked and it has been in my regular playlist for months (it's available for download in the video's description).
Resident Evil Dubstep Remix by bdavidbdavid92
Another dubstep remix inspired by video games, this Resident Evil remix does everything right to capture the creepiness of the games. It's deep, dark and utterly terrifying. But I am sure that wont stop you from hitting the replay button over and over.
To Zanarkand Violin Cover with Piano by ViolinTay
Mentioned earlier, this is another jaw dropping cover from ViolinTay, this time of the main theme song from Final Fantasy X (these games seem to be here a lot). To Zanarkand is a beautiful song composed by Nobuo Uematsu and it was originally played on just the piano. The addition of the violin melody makes this one of the best covers I have seen of this song.
Glorious Morning by Waterflame
This song has a long history and has been used in many games since it's inception. It started out as a victory fanfare in the flash game Mecha Pumble but its most well-known for its inclusion in the popular flash game; Age of War. The song is quite catching and it's easy to see why it has been adapted for so many games.
The Complete History of The Soviet Union Told in the Melody of Tetris by Pig With The Face Of A Boy
The final video game-inspired song is educational as well as fun! The song with the long name is a truly unique endeavor and it's worth mentioning in any video game music list. It's hard to describe this song and video so I recommend you watch it and see for yourself.