Video game music is not all beeps and boops. There are thousands of breathtaking pieces written by legitimate composers, often adapted from RPGs such as the Final Fantasy series. Besides, who can't hum the original Mario theme? There is even an orchestra that tours and plays video game music. The preconception that video game music is bad, boring and for losers is an outdated, moot suggestion. However, this is not an article on the validity and value of video game music.
For each great video game song, there is another out there that shocks the ears. There is a plethora of abysmal video game music that has been put into games over the last 30 years, and I did my best to ensnare the top 10. Unfortunately, I didn't have the willpower to trim it down that far. So much like Spinal Tap's amps, this one goes to 11.
Feeling happy with your life? Optimistic about the world? Things going a little too well lately? Need a downer? Hit the jump, punish your ears with this best to worst list.
11) Silent Hill 2 - Dog Ending Credits
Of all the
tricks tracks on this list, this is probably the only song that is intentionally humorous. Yes, now that we have established that this is the "best" song on the list, you are fully aware of the gravity of the situation. I henceforth cannot be held liable for any burst ear drums or sudden impulses to jump off the nearest bridge.
10) San Francisco Rush - "What's Your Name?"
I thought that having the lyrics available to this track was an integral part of the aural experience.
What's your name?
Start with a C
Start with a G
Start with a Z
Nothin' nasty now.
(whawhawhawhawhawhawhawhawha what's your name?!)
(what? what? what?)
That's how you spell it!
(whawhawhawhawhawhawhawhawha what's your name?!)
(what's your name?!)
That's your name!
9) Doomsday Warrior - Shadow
It's at this point that things are beginning to really get ugly. However, this song is only in 9th place because it does offer transitions, orchestra hits and strings.
8) Faceball 2000 - Maze Master Defeated
I used to have this game on the SNES. Funny how the music didn't seem godawful back then. It's probably not even as bad as it sounds, but it certainly makes a jumbled mess of the SNES midi capabilities.
7) Zelda: Majora's Mask Music - Majora's Incarnation Battle
This is one of those weird ones because the production value is higher than most other tunes on this list. In addition to this, the music is effective at creating unease, which I assume is the goal. However, is it still music? Does a bear shit on the sidewalk? I mean, yes, that is technically possible, and probably has even happened before. But it would have to be a city quite near a large uninhabited area or national fore-I hate this song.
6) Action 52 - Crazy Shuffle
If it weren't for the cover of this game compilation, which has a ninja, dragon and spaceship all floating in space surrounded by a thick purple border, it would probably be closer to the number one worst song. The repetition is so repetitious. And redundant. And repetitious.
5) Adventures of Rad Gravity - Title Screen
This song is so bad it's almost good. It could pass for an overly progressive section of a Dream Theater song. Pay close attention to the the spaceman's (is that Rad?) gun. It's like a metronome to the madness.
4) The Hunt for Red October - Gameplay
Skip to 39 seconds in for the actual track.
Interesting. The comments are disabled on this video. That is probably because the person who posted this knew that the negativity found in the comments might manifest a blackhole of sadness and instantly implode the planet. Good call on that one, guy. Disaster averted!
3) Winter Games - Gameplay
Is that the sound of ... engines? Other than that, just four actual notes.
2) 1942 - Gameplay
This is almost cheating because this is not really even a song. It's basically Morse code. A one note overture. But it is there while you play, and there is no other music to speak of, so I'm counting it. Ugh.
1) Crazy Bus - Title Screen
Now this is almost cheating because this game was never licensed. And it's not reallllllllllyy music. But, in case you think this is fake, here's a short description of the game.
"Crazy Bus is an unlicensed Venezuelan Sega Genesis tech demo from 2004, created to test out the author's BASIC compiler and sound driver." (tvtropes.org)
Well, that pretty much wraps up the list. For all of you that haven't committed suicide yet, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right!? Before you close this tab / window to try to cheer yourself up, there was one other question I wanted to pose. What is possibly worse than 3 minutes, 50 seconds of Crazy Bus Title Screen noise? Take a minute and ponder this.
How about 20 minutes, 38 seconds of Crazy Bus Title Screen slowed down 800%?
However horrific this is, it did yield one of the best Youtube comments I've ever seen:
This is the final boss of the internet.