Music. Music plays an important role when it comes to games. Be it the game’s soundtrack or the officially licensed songs used in the games. Of course, this isn’t limited to just within the game, the use of music in trailers and gameplay teasers and such can also significantly improve its impact on the masses and how the trailer is received.
Publishers know all too well that this is the era of building hype, so they go out of their way to make their teasers as amazing as possible. While this may have ultimately left us disappointed with the game itself on release, at least we got to add a new song to our playlists out of it.
The best part, of course, is how video games can actually bring about a resurgence in popularity for older songs and give less popular songs and artists and global audience. Basically, we’re saying that video games could actually be a great source of music discovery.
So without further ado, here are some of the most iconic and recognisable music that we’ve discovered thanks to video games, some of which have become almost synonymous with the game that we heard them in. Keep in mind, these are not background music, they’re actual songs. We know instrumentals aren’t up everyone’s alley but hey, if that’s something you’re interested in, let us know.
Human by Rag’n’Bone Man – Mass Effect Andromeda trailer
This will probably be the most recent song on this list and we can honestly say we’d never heard of Rag’n’Bone before Mass Effect Andromeda. While the game kind of sucked and we don’t look at it twice, this song has found its place on all of our playlists.
Iron by Woodkid – Assassin’s Creed: Revelations trailer
Holy frick this trailer was amazing. If you’ve seen the trailer then you know it literally sent chills down your spine. And the music complemented the trailer extremely well. Again, we’d never heard of Woodkid prior to the trailer, but everyone who’d seen the trailer probably went and heard the song right after.
Superman by Goldfinger – Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater
This song, and most of the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater soundtrack really, pretty much defined the 90s. If we had to pick one that represented the lot, it would be Goldfinger.
Sympathy for the Devil by the Rolling Stones – Call of Duty: Black Ops
Already an extremely popular song in its own right, when the song played in Call of Duty: Black Ops when the squad goes up river in Laos, there’s only one word to describe it: Epic. Some statistics say that the use of Rolling Stones’ songs in the CoD commercial and in the game actually boosted the Stones’ album sales by 20%.
Riders in the Storm by Snoop Dogg ft The Doors – Need For Speed: Underground 2
Well, there’s not much to say about this legendary song which has achieved meme status. Great song in a great game.
Sharp Dressed Man by ZZtop – Crysis 3 commercial
As funny as it sounds, the song really fits the game. You know, the power suit and all that. Also, the moment the music starts, the commercial becomes 100x better. Another oldy but goldy song, brought back to life thanks to a game!
I Don’t Want to Set the World on Fire by The Ink Spots – Fallout 4
Speaking of old but gold, this game is full of it. Fallout very faithfully lives up to its 50s vibes, which includes music as well. They’ve brought a lot of the old classics back to life, but if we had to name a single one, it would have to be this title. Which is pretty much synonymous with the game at this point.
Beyond The Sea by Django Reinhardt – BioShock
While we’re still on old school, here’s another old song brought back to the forefront thanks to a game. The irony here is that while the song itself is quite cheery, in BioShock’s setting, it actually adds to the overall eeriness of Rapture. This one has no lyrics btw.
Sound of Silence by Disturbed – Gears of War 4 “Tomorrow” trailer
The Sound of Silence is a song that’s been covered many times, and it can still send chills down anyone’s spine. Disturbed’s cover of the song does this especially well when paired with Gears of War 4 in the “Tomorrow” trailer. You’ll have to watch it to know what we’re talking about, and if you’ve already seen it, you know what we’re talking about.
Power by Kanye West – Saints Row: The Third
The feeling you get when this song starts playing as you jump out of a helicopter to gatecrash a pool party on a penthouse that you plan to make your base of operations is something you don’t really get to experience in many games. That’s a Saints Row™ feeling.
Far Away by Jose Gonzalez – Red Dead Redemption
We actually only recently discovered this one. RDR is one of those games that almost make it worth it to have a console but we weren’t weak enough to succumb. Fortunately, we can enjoy the song regardless of the platform. The song has a very wild west vibe to it which is very fitting and we found it quite enjoyable.
Warriors by Imagine Dragons – League of Legends
The song first released in 2014 paired with a music video for the League of Legends 2014 World Championship, and considering LoL’s huge player base and Imagine Dragons’ rising popularity, obviously the song exploded. It’s currently the most watched video on the League of Legends YouTube channel.
Ignite by Zedd – League of Legends
Ignite was the song Zedd produced for the 2016 League of Legends World Championship, and like Warriors, it was paired with a LoL inspired music video. There’s a tweaked “Finals Remix” version of the song which features orchestral elements for added epicness. While it wasn’t received as well as Warriors, the song grows on you.
And that’s it from us. We’re sure we missed a few iconic songs here and there. What is your favourite song that you’ve discovered thanks to a video game?
Manish "Trigger-Happy" Rajesh
If he's not gaming, he's... no wait he's always gaming.