Our list of Best video game songs from the 80s and 90s will give you information on the best songs that were used in games from the 80s and 90s, as well as their composers. Video game music composers are a bit stigmatised due to the idea that video games are childish and thus the music composed for games cannot be a work of art. However, video games sometimes could be a source of really great music.
When the video gaming systems first came to be, composers were very limited in options which is the reason why video game music from the late 1980s and early 1990s sounds much different than music featured in modern video games. Games for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System featured mainly MIDI keyboards, while modern-day games, with their massive budgets, can afford to use full orchestra recordings.
Besides video games, great music pieces can also be found in various online games like slots, video poker, blackjack, etc. Slots software providers like NetEnt, Yggdrasil, and Playtech, to name a few, recognised that music can make a big difference in the gameplay and decided to always use excellent soundtracks.
The list contains songs both from the 80s and 90s, and each song could be considered a small piece of art! For some of you, these songs might even bring back some wonderful memories!
- Super Mario Bros., composed by Koji Kondo (NES, 1985)
- Out Run, composed by Hiroshi Kawaguchi (Arcade, 1986)
- Metroid, composed by Hirokazu Tanaka (NES, 1986)
- Bubble Bobble, composed by Tadashi Kimijima (Arcade, 1986)
- Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards, composed by Al Lowe (PC, 1987)
- Megaman 2, composed by Takashi Tateishi (NES, 1988)
- Altered Beast, composed by Tohru Nakabayashi (Arcade, 1988)
- Duck Tales, Hiroshige Tonomura (NES, 1989)
- Shadow of the Beast, composed by David Whittaker (Amiga, 1989)
- Tetris, composed by Hirokazu Tanaka (Game Boy, 1989)
- Revenge of Shinobi, composed by Yuzo Koshiro (Genesis, 1989)
- Golden Axe, composed by Tohru Nakabayashi and You Takada (Arcade, 1989)
- It Came From the Desert, composed by Ken Melville (Amiga, 1989)
- The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, composed by Koji Kondo (SNES, 1991)
- Kirby’s Dream Land, composed by Jun Ishikawa (Game Boy, 1992)
- Doom, composed by Robert Prince (PC, 1993)
- Super Metroid composed by Kenji Yamamoto and Minako Hamano (SNES, 1994)
- Alien Soldier, composed by Norio Hanzawa (Genesis, 1995)
- Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest, composed by David Wise (SNES, 1995)
- Chrono Trigger, Yasunori Mitsuda, Nobuo Uematsu, Noriko Matsueda (SNES, 1995)
- Quake, composed by Trent Reznor (PC, 1996)
- Super Mario RPG, composed by Yoko Shimomura (SNES, 1996)
- Parappa the Rapper, composed by Masaya Matsuura and Yoshihisa Suzuki (PSX, 1996)
- Ridge Racer Type 4, composed by Kohta Takahashi, Hiroshi Okubo, Asuka Sakai, Tetsukazu Nakanishi, Koji Nakagawa (PSX, 1998)
- Parasite Eve, composed by Yoko Shimomura (PSX, 1998)
- The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, composed by Koji Kondo (N64, 1998)
- Silent Hill composed by Akira Yamaoka (PSX, 1999)