They felt it in their bones… or cover art.
Did that picture get you in here? Good.
Let’s face it: Video games rely heavily upon the use of music. Whether it’s a resounding orchestrated soundtrack, the radio in Grand Theft Auto, or even the atmospheric sounds of a horror game, the auditory experience is necessary in the video game industry. While most developers put music in their games, not many create games that were heavily or directly influenced by music. Here are the top 10 musically influenced video games.
Fresh onto the market, Octahedron has been met with numerous positive reviews. This game features rhythmic platforming set to a psychedelic electronica feel. It comes replete with flashing lights, neon flowers, and enough colors to make your trip complete. The gameplay is sound, if difficult, but the experience is one worth the time and small price tag. It isn’t often that platformers mix music together with its gameplay, and the outcome is both unique and enjoyable.
9. Guitar Hero
While this may be a bit of a cop out, the Guitar Hero series makes this list on the sheer song power it rides in on. Not many other games of this genre feature the same amount of phenomenal songs. I mean, who remembers playing DragonForce’s “Through the Fire and the Flames” for the first time? “Six” from All that Remains’ glory days and “Take This Life” from In Flames also make appearances in the series. All around, Guitar Hero – its first few iterations, anyway – were chock full of phenomenal songs and really gave birth to a power genre for a few years.
8. Alan Wake
As the opening of Alan Wake closes out and Roy Orbison’s “In Dreams” rolls into play, I always succumb to chills. Heavily influenced by survival horror games and films – like Silent Hill, for example – Alan Wake features songs that match the mood and angst of the game. Few other games utilize licensed music as well as Alan Wake did (and it made our Top 10 Games with Licensed Music list); it’s just too bad those licenses expired and took the game off store shelves.
Following the same idea as Alan Wake, Nier and its sequel Nier Automata feature soundtracks that embody the game as much as any of its content. “Hills of Radiant Winds” is one of the greatest songs on a video game soundtrack of all time, and it’s the perfect embodiment of the game. Automata takes that notion and ups it one, creating an environment as beautiful, deceiving, cold, and dead at the game itself. It may not have been ‘inspired’ by music, but it is musically inspiring.