10 Most Iconic Songs in Gaming History

Prepare for a dose of nostalgia. These are the most recognizable songs in gaming.

If you're a fan of the Mortal Kombat series, then Mortal Kombat X was probably as close to perfect as game could be for you. Huge fighter roster, gruesome fatalities, stunning graphics... There was just one thing missing that fans were upset about before the game launched - no Mortal Kombat theme! Iconic songs like that are a staple of gaming, making everything feel more epic or heart breaking, and something that gamers everywhere can instantly recognize.

The Mortal Kombat theme is just one example. There are countless other songs that gives us a quick shot of nostalgia. Today we're going to break down 10 of those epic songs to take you on a feels trip through memories of your gaming career.

10. Halo Theme Song

Before Halo: CE, no one had thought of using Gregorian chant in a video game soundtrack. No one would have believed it would work. Yet Bungie proved everyone wrong by turning a mix of Gregorian chant, percussion, and string into one of the most recognizable and famous game themes in history. Even people who are not fans of the Halo series recognize and love this little diddy.


9. Skyrim Main Theme

What could be more iconic in gaming than bringing together a choir of 30 singers to do a song in Draconic, the native tongue of the dragons of Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim? That attention to detail is what made Skyrim the shocking success it became. Especially for me - after watching a man in full Nord cosplay appear majestically from a sun roof at the game's midnight launch, chanting along to the words. If that doesn't make for an iconic game song, then nothing does!

8. Portal: Still Alive

Sung by everyone's favorite homicidal AI, GLaDOS, this song became so famous in the gaming world that it landed a spot as downloadable track in the Rock Band series. It's biggest contribution to the gaming world, though, is an all-important question: Is the cake real?

7. Sonic 1: Green Hill Zone

Sonic has fallen from grace over the years, going from the king of fast-paced side scrolling adventures to...a race car driver. The blue blur's glory days might be behind him, but longtime fans will never forget the Green Hill Zone theme song that still pops up in Sonic games today.

6. Metal Gear Solid Theme

After all the drama and intrigue surrounding series director Hideo Kojima, there has been a lot of worry among fans about ever hearing this iconic theme again. As recognizable as Snake himself, the Metal Gear Solid themehelped set the series' tone from the beginning, and it's keeping up the good work even now.

5. Tetris Main Theme

If you listen closely to this bit of late 80's brilliance, you can still hear the sound of gamers ragequitting with a stream of curses. The Tetris main theme might not be the fondest memory for gamers, but it's one they will never be able to forget. The classic puzzle solver made sure of that.

4. The Legend of Zelda: Overworld Theme

You can still hear this theme today in form or another in every Legend of Zelda game Nintendo produces, and it's still one of the greatest pieces of game music ever created. It's filled with everything that's great about the Legend of Zelda series and can instantly grab any gamer's attention.

3. Pokémon Red & Blue Theme

No matter your age, this song can instantly turn you into a kid again, taking you right back to the first time you loaded up Pokémon Red or Blue on your Gameboy. What could be more iconic than the theme song for the games that started the biggest franchise in Nintendo'shistory?

2. Final Fantasy VII: One Winged Angel

There is no other piece of music that can instill the same level of fear as "One Winged Angel" from the final boss fight with Sepiroth in Final Fantasy VII. That reawakened all of our fears and nightmares in Kingdom Hearts 2, when Sepiroth once again showed us who's boss.

1. Super Mario Bros.

Odds are you saw this one coming, but how could we not place the Super Mario Bros. theme at the top of our list? No matter where you go in the world, this song is instantly recognized - even by non-gamers who may or may not know where it's from. It's been played on every instrument imaginable (including people's bellies) and has been reimagined a million different ways. It's simply impossible to escape, so just enjoy it!

What iconic songs make you feel excited or nostalgic? Were there any songs we missed? Let us know in the comments below!

Published Jun. 20th 2015
View Comments
  • Auverin Morrow
    Commissioning Editor
    Great list!

    I know this isn't true for everyone, but I would replace the Skyrim theme with the theme from TES III: Morrowind. Skyrim is fantastic, and I know every word of the main theme. But Morrowind was my first Elder Scrolls game, and I sank 200+ hours into multiple characters. It's the reason I still game as an adult - I had all but stopped playing when I picked it up.
  • topher339
    I agree with everything on this list, which is kinda unusual. Might have moved some things around but it's pretty spot on.

New Cache - article_comments_article_24428
More Mortal Kombat Content

GameSkinny Newsletter

Get Mortal Kombat news the moment it happens!

You have been successfully subscribed to this newsletter.