Video game soundtracks: The 100 best themes of all time (Part 1)

Put on your headphones, crank up the volume, and go for a trip down memory lane

Ready for the next 50? Continue to part 2!

From bleeps to beats, we've compiled an epic 100 song playlist of the greatest video game music of all time. Whether they're lo-fi blips or modern orchestral epics, game music has the power to fill any gamer with nostalgia. Is your favourite missing? Don't worry, you'll get a chance to vote for your personal favourite next week. For now, though, enjoy our picks...


01. Metal Gear Solid / "Main Theme"

Year: 1998 / Composer: Tappi Iwase

One of the most iconic, cinematic, and enduring themes in video game history, composed by legendary Konami music genius TAPPY.

02. Final Fantasy VII / "Those Who Fight Further"

Year: 1997 / Composer: Nobuo Uematsu

Final Fantasy VII was heaving with memorable tunes, but the boss music is our personal favourite. Uematsu's rock band, The Black Mages, do an awesome metal version.

03. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim / "Sons of Skyrim"

Year: 2011 / Composer: Jeremy Soule

With thundering drums and a choir made up of what sounds like a load of angry vikings, this is one of the most stirring, goosebump-inducing themes ever.

04. Super Street Fighter II / "Guile's Theme"

Year: 1993 / Composer: Isao Abe

This has become something of an internet meme, but don't let that distract you: this is '90s video game music at its most awesome.

05. Sonic the Hedgehog / "Green Hill Zone"

Year: 1991 / Composer: Masato Nakamura

Nakamura was a member of J-pop band Dreams Come True, and used his ear for a great pop tune to compose this monumental slice of Sega nostalgia.

06. Super Mario Bros. / "Theme"

Year: 1985 / Composer: Koji Kondo

Probably the most recognisable piece of video game music in history. There's even an entire Wikipedia page dedicated to its long-lasting legacy.

07. Command & Conquer: Red Alert / "Hell March"

Year: 1996 / Composer: Frank Klepacki

A sample of marching soldiers gives way to a driving beat and chugging metal riffs. As soon as Westwood founder Bret Sperry heard it, he said "That's our theme!"

08. Donkey Kong Country / "Aquatic Ambience"

Year: 1994 / Composer: David Wise

An atmospheric ambient track that's a perfect fit for Donkey Kong Country's gorgeous underwater levels. Rapper Childish Gambino sampled it in his song Eat Your Vegetables.

09. We Love Katamari / "Katamari on the Swing"

Year: 2005 / Composer: Yu Miyake

Miyake combined the talents of dozens of Japanese singers and musicians to create this insanely catchy and eclectic soundtrack. This track is easily the highlight.

10. Sega Rally Championship / "Game Over Yeah!"

Year: 1994 / Composer: Takenobu Mitsuyoshi

This is maybe the only game in history where we actually look forward to screwing up. If we had it our way, all game over screens would be in the form of a song.

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