Some video games have truly impactful moments. Who can forget the first time that a monster appears in Amnesia: The Dark Descent? Who can forget the encounter with the Chainsaw Man in Resident Evil 4? And what about the bosses from the first Metal Gear Solid? But sometimes, moments like the aforementioned are enhanced by the use of a specific song, making that virtual moment unforgettable.
For this article, I chose five songs that represent impactful moments in video games. Note that these songs were specifically written or composed for a particular title. As a consequence, you won’t find any licensed songs on this list (maybe that’s an idea for another article?) Before moving on to the actual list, take into account that this is a personal list, so if I’m not making reference to one of your favorite songs, feel free to share it in the comments below.
Before I forget, some of the videos embedded below have spoilers for final encounters or moments from their respective games, so if you haven’t had a chance to play those games yet, don’t watch the videos!
5. Patapon 2 – Don Chaka
Pata Pata Pon… Pon Pon Pata Pon. Does that count as words? I believe so, which is why Patapon 2 has one of the best songs ever. Interestingly, this is the first song you listen during the game and already sets up the tone for the rest of Patapon 2. If there’s one thing that Patapon 2 didn’t need was more addictive songs. But I’m glad the team behind the unconventional rhythm game decided to make another one just in case.
4. Halo: Combat Evolved – Halo Theme
Technically, you can also sing this one. Usually regarded as one of the most iconic songs ever made, the Halo Theme is outstanding and transmits the larger-than-life aspect so proper of the first-person shooter series. How can you forget the very first time that you launch the game and the choir starts humming this song? In a word, sublime.
3. Final Fantasy VII – One Winged Angel
If we talk about video game music, it’s almost impossible not to talk about the Final Fantasy series. Say what you will about the current state of the Japanese role-playing game genre, but it’s legacy is undeniable. Arguably, the most memorable track is called One Winged Angel and takes place during the game’s final encounter against Sephiroth. After debuting in Final Fantasy VII, One Winged Angel has appeared in numerous sequels, spin-offs and rhythm games from the Final Fantasy series.
2. Bastion – Build That Wall (Zia’s Theme)
I could have included the entire soundtrack, but I had to chose one specific track from Bastion, so this is it. For the uninitiated, Bastion is one of the best indie games of this generation. In Supergiant Games’ action RPG, you play as The Kid, as he moves through moving platforms after the Calamity has ruined his universe.
One of the reasons why this title is so memorable is its dynamic narration and solid gameplay, but its soundtrack is also terrific. Zia’s Theme is, without a doubt, the most poignant moment of the game and unless you’ve played this game with the sound off, there’s absolutely no way you don’t remember this song. Also Check “Setting Sail, Coming Home”.
1. Portal – Still Alive
The ending of Portal is unforgettable thanks to Still Alive, a song that the crazy artificial intelligence GLaDOS sings during the credits. But not only is the song catchy, it also makes reference to some of the events of the game. The lyrics are clever and in a way, they are the culmination of one of the funniest video games ever made.
Runner-up: Plants vs Zombies – Zombies on Your Lawn