Video games are remarkably dependent on sound. It is crucial for both conveying information as well as affecting the mood of players. There are many memorable songs in video game history, including Tetris’ arrangement of the Russian folk song “Korobeiniki”, to Super Mario Bros.’s iconic theme and Untitled Goose Game using Debussy’s “Preludes”. Although instrumentals are the most popular, there are some great videogame songs that include vocals.
The technology required to add lyrics to music was not available in early video games. This limited 8-bit gaming to a collection of chiptune beats and trills. Since then, a vast collection of voice-over videogame songs have been created. Many of these are capable of being sung on their own.
These are the top video games songs featuring vocals. They’re listed chronologically. Warning: Spoilers!
A dramatic theme song is required if your opening film will be inspired by James Bond movies. 2004 stealth action video Metal Gear Solid #3: Snake Eater is a great example of this. The bombastic Snake Eater, written by Norihiko hibino, and performed by Cynthia Harrell is a Bond movie classic. It feels appropriate, given that the story concerns a super spy.
The song “Snake Eater”, is played in a long scene where the player climbs very high ladders. It’s not a great videogame moment to be standing on a ladder that high for more than two minutes. But the song was one of the most famous sequences in the game.
One of the most memorable parts of Civilization IV‘s is the “Baba Yetu”, which plays over the menu screen. That is a great thing. This turn-based strategy game received universal praise upon its launch in 2005 and continues to be praised today, even with the addition of other games in the series.
Written by Christopher Tin, and first performed by the Soweto Gospel Choir, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in South Africa, “Baba Yetu”, a videogame song, was nominated by a Grammy. It won Best Instrumental arrangement Accompanying Vocalist (2011 awards). The song’s Swahili lyrics, which are translations of the Lord’s Prayer have been covered by many choirs all over the world.
3. Portal – ‘Still alive’
This list should include “Still Alive”. The title song of Portal was the one that started a million memes. It embodied the deadpan humor and brought the puzzle platformer to an end in a way that is unique. This has inspired many other games.
Written by Jonathan Coulton, and sung in English by Ellen McLain. “Still Alive,” is a song about GLaDOS (the murderous, science-obsessed artificial Intelligence that the player is trying escape). Coulton followed the song with Portal 2’s closing credits song, “Want You Gone”, which was performed again by McLain. McLain is the voice of GLaDOS.
4. Bastion: ‘Setting sail, Coming home’
Supergiant’s hack-and-slash game Bastion gained significant attention after its 2011 release. This was due to its unique narrator, visual style and gameplay. It was also captivated by composer Darren Korb’s amazing soundtrack. This includes the uplifting ending theme, “Setting Sail and Coming Home”.
Korb and Ashley Lynn Barrett sing “Setting Sail and Coming Home”. This song is a mix of “Mother and I’m Here” (Zulf) and “Build That Wall” (Zia). This game takes place in the aftermath of an event that has literally shattered the world. Zulf (Zulf’s Theme) and Zia (Zia’s Theme) are two survivors who represent the different paths that the player can choose to respond to this disaster. The combination of the themes is musically pleasing and evokes an emotion of moving forward. However, that depends on what your choices are.
5. From To the Moon: “Everything is Alright”
A good song for video games is the moment it’s first heard by the player. Laura Shigihara wrote and performed “Everything’s Alright”, which appears at To the Moon’s dramatic climax. It delivers an emotional gut punch for the player, one that brought many to tears. This is a stark departure from Shigihara’s Plants vs. Zombies’ bright “Zombie on Your Lawn” song. “
to the Moon is a story about two techs who can alter people’s memory, so they can move on with their lives without regrets. They are given the task of convincing their client that he has been to the moon. However, it turns out that the only way is to wipe away all memories of their beloved spouse. It leads to an emotional montage where the client’s history is erased without his wife, with Shigihara singing melancholy and sweet vocals. To The Moon asks the question, whether it is better to love and lose or not, and responds, “Why don’t you have both?”
6. Transistor – ‘Paper Boats
Supergiant’s beautifully-sung indie games are impossible to pick just one, particularly with Transistor as the soundtrack. The turn-based, action game follows Red (famous singer) as she hunts down powerful cabal members to help her escape from their attempt at killing her. Transistor’s music is a strong compliment to Darren Korb, and Ashley Lynn Barrett lends her voice to Red on songs like “We All Become” or “In Circles.” “
All Transistor songs are excellent, but the one that sticks out is the pre-credits endingmontage. Red wrote “Paper Boats”, a tender love song to her partner (who she had been physically separated from all of the game). The track features Korb’s vocals, which underscores the eventual reunion of the lovers.
7. “Life will Change” from Persona 5.
Persona5 is slick from its user interface to the sharp design of its characters, has pure style. Even its acid-jazz-inspired soundtrack is a highlight. Persona 5’s opening animation, “Wake Up Get Up, Get out There”, is what immediately draws attention to the Japanese role-playing video game. It features one of 110 tracks on Persona 5’s official soundtrack. While the opening song is undoubtedly an earworm for many, the popular “Life Will Change”, which was composed by Atlas Publishing Company, topped the popularity poll.
Shoji Meguro composed “Life Will Change”, which was also the opening track. Lyrics were by Benjamin Franklin, and Lyn Inaizumi sang. This game is about a group rebellious teenagers, who enter the psyches of immoral adults to face their evil desires. The energizing tune starts just before Persona5‘s boss fights. The great energy boost “Life Will Change” gives players a sense of cool and gets them excited for the difficult battles ahead.
Doki Doki Literature Clublooks a bit like a dating sim. You can join high school clubs and try to win over their members. It’s actually a frightening meta psychological horror with dark themes. The deceitfully innocent trappings like the ending song, “Your Reality”, make it even more terrifying.
Song written by Dan Salvato, and performed by Jillian Ashcraft. “Your Reality” was composed by Monika, the club president, for the player at Doki Doki Literature Club. It is a final effort to express her love for them as well as a farewell. Although it may sound like a simple love song and can be enjoyed in that way, the words take on additional meaning when viewed within the context of the game. This is a very unusual villain song that gives a hint at her mind and the motivations behind her horrible actions.
There are many other great video game songs with lyrics as well. “POP/STARS” by K/DA was produced to promote League of Legends, though it never actually plays during the popular multiplayer online battle arena game. And while the Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows” definitely wasn’t written for Bioshock Infinite, its rendition by barbershop quartet A Mighty Wind is certainly worth a listen.
Publiated at Wednesday, 4 Aug 2021 12:20:06 PM +0000