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Top 10 Retro Video Game Musical Themes

VO: Dan
Emotional resonance is important, so whether you're playing classic games from the platformer, racing game, shooter or brawler genres, your experience is defined by the musical score! Join as we count down our Top 10 favorite retro video game themes of all time.

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Top 10 Retro Video Game Themes

They’re more than simple beeps and bleeps! Welcome to, and today we’ll be counting down our Top 10 favorite retro video game themes of all time.

#10: Megaman 2 (Title Theme/ Dr. Willy’s Castle)

Ready to go? Yah, let’s do it. It’s the year 200x, duh…obviously…and you’re the blue bomber on a mission to save the world from the evil Dr. Willy! Megaman’s second outing isn’t only his most iconic, but featured the liveliest theme of the series…Listen to how that music intensifies and gets the blood boiling! Hell yah I’m ready to go!...wait…why does Megaman have hair, isn’t he a robot?

#9: Diablo (Tristram Theme)

Evil has risen from the burning hells. You may be safe in Tristram, but this theme song makes sure that a terrible sense of foreboding hits you long before you ever raise your sword. The rippling chords and smooth ominous tones is all the exposition you need to know that all is not well in Tristram. You can point and click, but you cannot escape the terror.

#8: Duke Nukem (Grab Bag)

Now here’s a theme to kick ass a chew bubblegum to. The beat says it all: explosions, bathroom breaks, strippers… Motley crew would be proud! Honorable mention goes to the original Doom theme, but the Duke takes it to the next level. Let’s Rock.

#7: Final Fantasy (Prelude)

Ready for some adventure? Yah, we thought so! A far cry for the hair-metal duke theme, Final Fantasy 7’s slow and contemplative menu music promises that mystery and wonder await the intrepid explorer. Gaia is calling.

#6: F-Zero (Mute City)

Before he let out his signature Falcon Punch, the Captain sped around Mute City at breakneck speeds. We’re not sure what futuristic radio channel he was listening to inside of the Golden Fox’s cockpit, maybe it was news talk radio or a commercial for life insurance, but out here its pure racing bliss! Bass line for the win…

#5: Sonic The Hedgehog (Green Hill Zone)

Sonic’s on a downward spiral..but at least the speed demon can boast one of the most iconic tunes in gaming! No-no, not the newer songs with vocals, we’re talking about that first zippy melody we heard in the Green Hill Zone while catching rings, you know: the one that almost made you forget about how your friends had Mario….almost.

#4: Turtles In Time (Everything)

A retro WatchMojo game countdown without the heroes in a half shell?…No chance brah! If you were fortunate to grow up when arcades were all the rage than you probably spent your fair amount of Pizza Time! Every level seemed to have a cooler song than the last, building the excitement to a fever pitch. While smashing foot soldiers, just try to remember: “Winners don’t use drugs!”

#3: Zelda (Hyrule Theme)

It’s epic, its catchy and has become synonymous with adventure! It takes a special tune to keep us loving it after such a massive quest. Sure, the series later got orchestral scores, but nothing compares to the original in all its 8-bit glory! Just close your eyes and let that monophonic looped piece of heaven transport you to Hyrule!

#2: Mario Bros. (Level 1-1)

Was there any doubt? This theme has fully transcended genres and stood the test of time. Arguably just as recognizable as the mustachioed plumber himself, even those who shun video games know this theme. A cliché choice for a top 10 list if there ever was one, we still have to pay our respects to this classic. If only because it brings back memories of yanking out controllers to the right to help Mario over the tough jumps…

#1: Tetris (Theme A)

Taking the top spot on our list is the catchiest theme of all time! You know you still have this 8-bit melody stuck in your head. Ask anyone, stacking Tetriminos is addictive, but it’s the “A” theme that consumes you! Was it secretly part of a brainwashing program to make long for the darker side of the iron curtain? Probably not, but this is without a doubt, bar none, the best thing to ever come out of the cold war.

Agree with our list? Which retro video game theme is your favorite? For more great Top 10 lists be sure to visit us at

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