The Best Instrumental Video Game Music

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,

A look at the best instrumental video game music and how it can help you focus or enjoy the game more.

The Best Instrumental Video Game Music

There are many different types of video game music, but some of the best instrumental video game music is the kind that can stand on its own as a great piece of music, even if you’ve never played the game.

The following are some examples of great instrumental video game music:

1. “Dragonborn” from Skyrim
2. “Cities of the Future” from Sonic Adventure 2
3. “Gerudo Valley” from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
4. “ Ridley Fight” from Metroid Prime
5. “ Battle! (Wild Pokémon)” from Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire

The Different Types of Video Game Music

There are three main types of video game music: 8-bit, 16-bit, and orchestrated. 8-bit music is the music found in early video games, such as Super Mario Bros. This type of music is synthesized and often has a retro sound to it. 16-bit music is found in games from the 16-bit era, such as Sonic the Hedgehog. This type of music is also synthesized, but often has a more complex sound than 8-bit music. Orchestrated music is found in more modern video games and is usually performed by a live orchestra. This type of music can add a lot of emotion to a game.


The 8-bit genre is video game music written on an 8-bit sound chip, typically in the form of synthesized waveforms and simple simulated percussion. The term generally refers to music composed for early home computers and video game consoles. The first generation of video game consoles, such as the Nintendo Entertainment System and Atari 2600, used very simple sound chips that were capable of producing only basic tones and rudimentary melodies. These early sound chips were often incapable of polyphony (playing multiple notes at the same time), so most 8-bit songs were monophonic (consisting of a single melody line). However, some later 8-bit systems, such as the Commodore 64 and Nintendo’s Game Boy, were capable of basic polyphonic synthesis, allowing for more complex melodies.

8-bit music often has a “retro” or “nostalgic” feel to it, due to its similarity to the classic arcade games of the 1980s. This style of music is often characterized by simple melodies, basic harmonies, and limited instrumentation. Though it may sound primitive by today’s standards, 8-bit music was groundbreaking in its day and has had a lasting influence on both video game music and popular culture.


Chiptune, also known as 8-bit music, is a style of synthesized electronic music made using the sound chips of vintage computers, video game consoles, and arcade machines. The sounds produced by these chips were often limited to simple square waves, making them more suitable for creating simple melodies and rhythms rather than complex harmonic arrangements.

Despite these limitations, chiptune artists have managed to create a wide range of genres and styles, from the upbeat energy of 8-bit dance music to the melancholic nostalgia of 8-bit ballads. Chiptune has even found its way into mainstream pop music, with artists like Kero Kero Bonito incorporating 8-bit sounds into their infectious brand of J-pop.

Whether you’re a fan of classic video games or simply looking for some catchy new tunes, chiptune is sure to have something that will appeal to you.


Orchestral music in video games has become increasingly popular since the 128-bit generation of consoles. Titles such as Final Fantasy VII, Xenoblade Chronicles and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim have featured original orchestral music, composed specifically for the games. The trend has continued in recent years with the release of several critically acclaimed titles such as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Red Dead Redemption 2 and God of War (2018).

There are a number of reasons why orchestral music has become so popular in video games. Firstly, it creates a sense of scale and epicness that is difficult to achieve with other genres. Secondly, it can be used to create a wide range of emotions, from tense action sequences to more tranquil moments. Finally, it is highly versatile and can be adapted to suit any kind of game.

Whether you’re a fan of classical music or not, there’s no denying that orchestral game soundtracks are some of the best around. Here are ten of our favorites.

1) The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – Main Theme
2) God of War – Zeus Battle
3) Red Dead Redemption 2 – Main Theme
4) Xenoblade Chronicles 2 – Torna ~ The Golden Country
5) Horizon Zero Dawn – Main Theme
6) Super Mario Odyssey – Jump Up, Super Star!
7) Middle-earth: Shadow of War – Main Theme
8) Cuphead –Floral Fury
9) Assassin’s Creed Odyssey – Fields of Elysium
10) Detroit: Become Human – Kara’s Song

The Various Genres of Video Game Music

There are many different genres of video game music, and each one has something special to offer. From the 8-bit sounds of the early days of gaming to the cinematic scores of today, video game music has come a long way. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the different genres of video game music and what makes them special.


The best video game music for action scenes is high tempo, with a lot of energy to keep players engaged. The music should be exciting and make the player feel like they are in the middle of the action. It should also be crescendo-based, so it builds up the tension as the action gets more intense.

Some popular games that have excellent action-based music are:

-Assassin’s Creed
-Call of Duty
-Gears of War


Adventure games are a genre of video game typically defined by puzzles that the player must solve to progress. Adventure games typically have a strong focus on exploration, and many also feature elements of combat and platforming. Many classic adventure games are text-based, while more modern ones tend to be visual novels or point-and-click games.

The adventure game genre originated in the 1970s with early titles such as Colossal Cave Adventure and Zork. These early games were primarily text-based, with limited graphics and little to no player interaction. With the advent of more powerful home computers in the 1980s, adventure games began to evolve into the point-and-click adventure games we know today. Notable examples from this era include The Secret of Monkey Island and King’s Quest.

The 1990s saw a renewed interest in adventure games, with the release of hits like Myst and The 7th Guest. These newer adventure games featured more immersive graphics and sound, and helped to popularize the genre among a wider audience.

The 2000s saw further evolution of the genre, with the advent of 3D graphics and real-time gameplay. Notable examples from this era include Broken Sword: The Sleeping Dragon and Syberia.

Today, adventuregames continue to be popular among gamers of all ages. With the advent of mobile gaming, there are now more opportunities than ever before to enjoy this classic genre on the go.


Horror video game music is music associated with the horror genre in video games. The music in horror games is designed to unnerve or frighten the player, and often relies on shock value and suspense. Horror game music is often discordant and atonal, and may make use of edgy or distorted sounds.


The RPG genre is characterized by its focus on story and character development, as well as its turn-based gameplay. This genre often features complex labyrinthine plots, and often very long playtimes. As a result, the music of RPGs often has to be able to create a feeling of both epic adventure, as well as an emotional connection to the characters.

Notable video game music composers in the RPG genre include: Nobuo Uematsu (Final Fantasy), Yasunori Mitsuda (Chrono Trigger), Hitoshi Sakimoto (Final Fantasy Tactics), and Yoko Shimomura (Kingdom Hearts).


Strategy video games are characterized by their focus on planning and resource management. Many times, these games take the form of military simulations, but they can also be about things like city planning or puzzle solving. Because of their focus on planning and resource management, strategy games often have a lot of downtime, where the player is thinking about their next move. This downtime is often filled with music, which can range from fast-paced and exciting to slow and meditative.

The Different Ways to Listen to Video Game Music

Video game music has become one of the most popular genres in recent years. There are a variety of ways to listen to video game music. You can listen to it on your phone, computer, or gaming console. You can also listen to video game music on streaming platforms like Spotify or Pandora. There are also a number of radio stations that play video game music.


The best way to listen to video game music is in-game. This is the most immersive way to experience the game, and the music is designed to be heard in this context. It can be an emotional experience, and it can be a great way to relax after a long day.

There are a few ways to listen to video game music in-game. The first is to simply turn up the volume on your TV or computer speakers. This will give you the best sound quality, but it may not be as immersive as some other options.

The second way is to use headphones. This will allow you to hear the music more clearly, and it will create a more immersive experience. If you’re playing a multiplayer game, it’s also a good way to stay focused and avoid getting distracted by conversations or other noise.

The third way is to use a gaming chair with built-in speakers. This will give you the best sound quality and immersion, but it can be expensive.

Finally, you can listen to video game music on your phone or another portable device. This is convenient, but it’s not as immersive as other options.

On YouTube

YouTube has become a go-to destination for gaming music with its myriad selection of fan-made remixes, compilations, and original compositions. You can find just about any video game soundtrack on YouTube, and many creators release new tracks on a regular basis. If you’re looking for a specific song, you can usually find it by searching the game’s title plus “OST” or “soundtrack.” You can also check out our list of some of the best YouTube channels for video game music.

On Spotify

There are a few ways you can listen to video game music on Spotify. You can either search for the soundtrack of a specific game, look for a playlist that someone else has made, or browse through the “gaming” section of Spotify’s genre-based playlists.

If you want to listen to the soundtrack of a specific game, the easiest way to do this is to just search for the name of the game on Spotify. For example, if you want to listen to the Super Mario Odyssey soundtrack, you would just search “Super Mario Odyssey” and it should be the first result.

If you’re looking for a more general playlist of video game music, there are plenty of those as well. Just browse through Spotify’s “gaming” playlists and you’ll find all sorts of different options. There are even some specific playlists for certain franchises, like Zelda and Mortal Kombat.

And finally, if you’re having trouble finding anything that you like, you can always try searching for something like “instrumental video game music” or “chill video game music.” There are tons of great options out there, so just keep exploring until you find something that you enjoy!

The Best Video Game Music of All Time

These are the best video game soundtracks of all time. The list includes classic game soundtracks, as well as more modern offerings, and all of the music is amazing. So sit back, relax, and enjoy some of the best music that the video game world has to offer.

“Cities of the Future” from Sonic Adventure 2

There are few video game tracks that can transport you away from your current reality and immerse you into the game-world quite like “Cities of the Future” from Sonic Adventure 2. The music is perfect for exploring the futuristic cityscapes of Sonic’s world, and it’s impossible not to get lost in the game when this track is playing.

“Gerudo Valley” from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

When it comes to video game music, there are few tracks that are as iconic and well-loved as “Gerudo Valley” from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

Composed by Koji Kondō, “Gerudo Valley” perfectly captures the feeling of adventure and discovery that is at the heart of the Zelda series. The use of traditional instruments like the sitar and tabla give the track an otherworldly feel, while the fast-paced percussion keeps the listener hooked from beginning to end.

Whether you’re exploring the vast open world of Hyrule or simply taking a break from all the action, “Gerudo Valley” is the perfect piece of video game music to set the mood.

“Megalovania” from Undertale

Megalovania is a song composed by Toby Fox for the video game Undertale. It plays during the boss fight with Sans, and has since become one of the most iconic and well-known songs in the Undertale fandom.

The song is characterized by its catchy melody, driving rhythm, and lurching bassline. Megalovania has been described as “epic”, “haunting”, “catchy”, and “addicting”. It has been covered numerous times by various artists, and has become a popular song to remix and rearrange.

Megalovania is one of the most recognizable and iconic songs in the Undertale fandom, and is considered to be one of the best video game tracks of all time.

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