There are many classic video game soundtracks and songs. From the like's of the classic simplicity of the Super Mario Bros. 1-1 theme to the rocking sing-a-long jam of "City Escape" from Sonic Adventure 2.
Credit for songs like these belongs to a collection of very talented composers, but that isn't what we're here to talk about today. We're here to discuss the lifeblood of any game's success -- the fanbase.
There are tons of devoted and musically talented gamers out there who have taken the time to slide a slice of their skills at the songs they love, from games they love. Here we have a list of a few standout individuals in that camp.
Even if you know nothing about music, or even video games, it's quite possible you'll find somebody to love out of this group.
Starting off the list with a pretty well known name, but still deserving of recommendation for his talents, we have the acapella extraordinaire Smooth McGroove.
There are a lot of great acapella artists on YouTube, and Smooth isn't even the only one on this list, but he is arguably the best of them (on this list), and unarguably the most prolific.
Smooth does covers of all sorts of classic video game tracks and he manages to recreate these songs using only his voice over the course of several takes, all playing at once without any instrumental accompaniment (a one man acapella). His "baas", "buhs", "deets", and "doos" are all he needs and he manages to make impressively catchy renditions of classics.
Some people have trouble even hearing the original version of song that Smooth has covered because all they can hear, in their head, is his version. "Gaur Plains" from Xenoblade Chronicles and "Forest Maze" from Super Mario RPG will never sound quite the same again after you've heard them from him.
Smooth McGroove, his name says it all, and you can check out his bandcamp here.
Now here's something a little different.
Triple-Q is a mash-up artist, meaning he takes two or more songs and essentially smashes them together into something new. He has a lot of different videos, and while they aren't all video game related, his video game mash-ups are truly something special.
He manages to find songs that feel like they're from two different worlds, let alone two different genres, and make a mash-up between them that feels so natural that it's surprising it had never been done before. Once you here "ME!ME!ME!" crossed with "The DK Rap" you'll never be able to here one without the other ever again, the quality of the mixing is that good.
When he isn't working on games, he's mixing anime and rap music together, somehow bringing out both the best and the worst in both in some instances. If you can stand a little goofy tomfoolery (or in this case tom-memery), then give his stuff a try.
His Knuckles and Black Eyed-Peas mash-up was so flowing sounding and cool that even Sega noticed. No, seriously.
(note: link in tweet has been copyright claimed, so I linked an alternative one above)
Knuckles feat. Black Eyed Peas is the amazing mash-up we never knew we needed. Bravo, Triple-Q: https://t.co/k6Kqi45gjM— Sonic the Hedgehog (@sonic_hedgehog) July 29, 2015
Hey, you can trust Sonic the Hedgehog for quality assurance, right? If you can't, then trust us.
Do you like video games? Yes? Do you like metal? Yes? Then you will love Viking Guitar. Viking Guitar does video game covers with several different instruments, and different styles, but he blasts out a crashing and scratching metal track better than anything else. He tends to cover retro games like Castlevania 4 and Zombies Ate My Neighbors, and he makes already catchy songs into head-banging, air-guitar-worthy anthems of gaming classics.
To be fair, he isn't all metal video game music, but it is mostly what he does. He's also done a pretty excellent cover of the theme to Terminator 2 among other things; and if you succeed at making that theme even cooler, you are a wizard.
Simply put, Viking Guitar rocks seriously hard, and you can check out his bandcamp right here.
The L-Train doesn't just do covers songs. He does cover symphonies. He does a few vocal tracks, which are pretty great, but his true crowning achievements are his "Symphonic Metal Tributes", in which he does an orchestrated metal cover of all of the most remembered songs from a show, film, or game.
He's done a Symphonic Metal Tribute for Pokémon, The Legend of Zelda, and even Steven Universe (which isn't a game we know but we had to mention it because it's just too good not to). The authenticity with which The L-Train recreates such famous songs with completely different instruments demonstrates a level of true familiarity with the music, and a love for the medium as a whole.
Put on some L-Train, lie back, close your eyes, and pretend you're out at the theater hearing a live concert. It'll work wonders. Check out his bandcamp here.
NateWantsToBattle is very hard to describe, while at the same time, very easy to describe. The simplest way to put it is that he's just a very talented musician. He's a great singer with a decently wide range, he's well-versed with a number of different instruments, and each song he covers or does himself has overall tremendous sound quality.
He mostly does rock covers, but occasionally switches up his style to something more calm, like his cover of the Luigi's Mansion theme on Spanish Guitar/Mandolin (he incidentally ALSO does a lot of really good Steven Universe covers). His video game tracks range from a rock duet of "City Escape" from Sonic Adventure 2, to an Acapella of "Bonetrousle" from Undertale, to even original music about The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask.
He makes all of these very professionally, while still never forgetting to have fun with it, more often than not smiling and putting his whole body into his performances when he's on screen. His talents don't just stop at video game music either, as previously mentioned, and he has also done a great deal of covers for anime themes, pop songs, and film tracks on top of all his original work.
It's clear that NateWantsToBattle loves not just music, but every medium he represents through his songs, and above all of them, video games. You can look at his albums for sale through iTunes here.
That was the list! I hope you all enjoyed it, and if you did, let us know! If there were musicians that we failed to mention that you'd like to tell us about, please let us know that too! Who knows, we may do another list like this in the future.