Related Videos

Top 10 Best Uses Of Licensed Songs in Video Games

VO: Dan Paradis
Script written by C. Nuan The right song at the right time makes everything better! Join WatchMojo.com as we countdown our picks for the Top 10 Best Uses Of Licensed Songs in Video Games. For this list we’re focusing on billboard hits that make some of our favorite gaming moments absolutely memorable, Songs created specifically for a game, like “Still Alive,” don't quite qualify this time around. And, we're saving our rhythm and music games, such as “DDR” and “Guitar Hero,” for another list for another day. And finally we’re excluding Grand Theft Auto games since… well, they just too much good music. Special Thanks to our user "mac121mr0" for suggesting this topic on our website WatchMojo.comsuggest
Share
WatchMojo

You must register to a corporate account to download this video. Please login

Transcript
Script written by C. Nuan

Top 10 Best Uses of Licensed Songs in Video Games


The right song makes everything better! Welcome to Watchmojo.com, and we're counting down our picks for top 10 best uses of licensed songs in video games.

For this list we’re focusing on billboard hits that make some of our favorite gaming moments absolutely memorable, Songs created specifically for a game, like “Still Alive,” don't quite qualify this time around. And, we're saving our rhythm and music games, such as “DDR” and “Guitar Hero,” for another list for another day. And finally we’re excluding Grand Theft Auto games since… well, they just too much good music.

#10: It's Tricky- Run-D.M.C.
“SSX Tricky” (2001)


Players literally beat the competition to the bottom of the slopes with this hip-hop soundtrack egging on every punch. Named for the Run-D.M.C. hit, the sequel to “SSX” features a new bonus meter that measures “Uber”-moves and sounds K-rec's remix every time it's filled. The game introduced the hip-hop classic to a new generation and still leaves fans rapping whenever someone says, “It's tricky.”

#9: All I Want- The Offspring
“Crazy Taxi” (1999)


As one of the pioneering games to use licensed soundtracks, this wacky Taxi Driving experience made full use of songs from Punk Rock bands The Offspring and Bad Religion, yet it’s the song that plays in the game’s attract mode that sticks out the most. Never will you find a tune more ideal for driving dangerously through a busy beachside town trying to get really impatient passengers to their destinations, though if we heard this song while riding in a taxi in real life, we’d probably jump out.

#8: Fly Me to the Moon- Brenda Lee/Helena Noguerra
“Bayonetta” (2009)


Space and time might seem incidental to a witch like our heroine, but Bayonetta's quest for her past manifests even in song. Lee's classic often accompanies memories and questions of the past, while Noguerra's mix lends rhythm to the witch's current confrontations. Bayonetta reinvents a classic for a new generation, creating a strange juxtaposition of old and new to compliment the hilariously over the top action pieces. It’s something we'd see again in the sequel, this time with the Andy Williams classic Moon River, because its all about the Moon.

#7: Sympathy for the Devil- The Rolling Stones
“Call of Duty: Black Ops” (2010)


Fresh from the trenches of Vietnam, players pilot the waterways of Laos to a soundtrack that pays omage to Vietnam classics like Tour of Duty and Apocalupse Now. Mick Jagger's gritty rundown of human conflict and its bossa nova bass line sing through explosions and meld with the shouts of the player's crew. “Sympathy” also appears in a much lighter role as the reward of a well-coordinated attack against the mannequins of the multiplayer map “Nuketown.”

#6:Beyond the Sea- Bobby Darin
“BioShock” (2007)


An isolated lighthouse flickers to life, luring our hero in with the warm strings of Reinhardt's instrumental. Thus, plane crash survivor Jack stumbles upon the remains of an underwater utopia festering with pseudo-humans and megalomaniacs. He's coaxed through a cocktail lounge by Darin's more famous melody, and its presence in conjunction with a nearby audiolog and among local contraband demonstrates the thin line between genius and passions condemned. It’s deliciously appropriate and unnervingly creepy all at once.

#5: Mad World- Michael Andrews feat. Gary Jules
“Gears of War” series (2006-)


Just when the team seems overwhelmed by enemies, Dom, the Luigi to Marcus Fenix's Mario, clambers into a vehicle, gives one last order, one last shout-out to his Mrs., and then barrels away into the strains of a familiar piece. The hero's likely exit from the series is marked by the song that snared players in the original “Gears of War” trailer. In an equally sentimental gesture, the instrumental also appears in the “Gridlock” multiplayer map if all ash people are left intact in round one.

#4: I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire- The Ink Spots
“Fallout 3” (2008)


In a post-apocalyptic world where 1950's nuclear paranoia bears true, the tunes and their crooners echo the suddenly stunted growth of the Wastelands. Dean Martin's “Ain't that a Kick in the Head” from “New Vegas” is an infectious introduction to the universe, but developers found this Ink Spots crooner perfect for both the world and gameplay. Part of Galaxy News Radio's salvaged playlist, “I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire” also welcomes the player to the game as part of the game’s introduction. Much like Beyond the Sea, it’s a perfectly selected track, not just for the mood setting old timey creep factor, but also for the ironic connotation of the lyrics, given the circumstances.

#3: Superman- Goldfinger
“Tony Hawk's Pro Skater” (1999)


A racing melody sends players speeding through tracks, and the chorus trumpets an affirmation of identity. While great music was present throughout the whole series, this was THE track most people associated with the runaway hit. It embodies the spirit of the game and feeds into the fun and excitement you have while playing – a true helping of icing on a really gnarly cake.

#2:The Touch- Stan Bush
“Saints Row IV” (2013)


Bush's rock anthem accompanies the ultimate power-up! What better way to to get pumped for your brand new robot armor than with the soundtrack to the ultimate 80s robot movie! Not only is this ultra appropriate for this scene, but it serves as a perfect example of the referencial humor the Saints series pulls off so well. You may get to hear this song again in the actual Transformers game, Fall of Cybertron, but having it unexpectedly popping up here was even more of a treat.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

Ain't No Rest for the Wicked- Cage the Elephant
“Borderlands” (2009)

Power- Kanye West
“Saints Row: The Third” (2011)

Bad To the Bone - George Thorogood & The Destroyers
"Rock 'n Roll Racing" (1993)

#1:Make it Bun Dem- Skrillex & Damian 'Jr. Gong' Marley
“Far Cry 3” (2012)

As you can probably tell, literal uses of a songs lyrics give you big points on this list. So when you’re tasking with burning down a giant field of weed in Far Cry 3, Skrillez and Damian Marley’s Make it Bun Dem is about as literal as it gets. Say want you want about dubstep, this track elevated this flame thrower sequence from pretty cool for balls out awesome, making it one of the *cough* high points * Cough* of an already amazing game.

Did you agree with our list? Which songs left you clinging to your controller? For more blockbuster top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
Comments

Sign in to access this feature

Related Blogs