The Best Music-Related Games Ever Released

Music and gaming have shared a close relationship since video games came into existence. As with film, video games use music to set the scene and create a connection with the audience. But some games take that connection with music to a whole new level, basing the gameplay on music and creating an entire genre of music-related video games. Read on to see how the inextricable link between music and video games has developed over the years!

How games unite with music

Many games over the years united music and gaming, from rhythm-based games like Bust a Groove to music creation experiences like MTV Music Generator. These were fun and entertaining titles that recognised the potential of basing a video game on music. Over the years, innovative developers have come up with various ways to incorporate the concept of pushing buttons in time with the music to create compelling and challenging games that have gone down in history.

Even games that are not solely focused on music have been inspired by amazing music to create incredible scores and interesting gameplay. Skateboarding games like Tony Hawk’s American Wasteland and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater benefit greatly from having a killer soundtrack paired with the skater culture, so feature artists like Dropkick Murphys, Rise Against, The Ernies, Speedealer, and more. Online casinos which often provide table games such as roulette, blackjack, and even a three card game of poker for adults, also have some slot games which are inspired by music too.

The rise of dance-themed rhythm games

With regards to dance-themed rhythm games, Bust a Groove placed your dancers on-screen with some cheesy pop music playing while you pushed buttons on the controller when prompted. This idea led to the evolution of Just Dance, Dance Central, and Dance Dance Revolution games, which were a huge hit for many gamers. When you play at home, this comes as a roll-up mat that can be laid out on the ground and connected to the controller port on your console. In the arcade, it is a complete machine with a sizable platform built to look like a dance floor.

Essentially, it takes the buttons from your controller and places them on the ground. Players must still hit those buttons when prompted, following the rhythm of the music, but they hit them with their feet while busting their own moves. It can be incredibly challenging and gets the blood pumping, and the popularity has meant countless iconic songs with the right beat for dancing have been included in the games.

Playing music through gaming

If dancing to the music isn’t your thing, the Parappa the Rapper idea has also been developed. In that game, the rhythm mechanic was used to make you part of the musical performance, and that evolved in a similar way to the dance games. Guitar Hero gave players a guitar-shaped controller to follow rhythmic button prompts as part of a guitar performance. DJ Hero did the same thing but with a DJ deck to accommodate music other than rock and heavy metal. Rock Band also encouraged players to participate cooperatively using an entire band of instrument-based controllers.

This branch of music-themed gaming has captured the imaginations of millions of gamers with an equally healthy passion for music. It has welcomed people into the gaming world who were not interested in the more conventional types of video games. It has even led to competitive tournaments where highly-skilled players pit their abilities against one another – the entire genre has developed a ravenous cult following and it was huge for a decade.

The power of music

Music transcends mediums to play a key part in many forms of performance and entertainment. The gaming industry has embraced music in many ways and the result has been hours of entertainment and fun, bringing people together for unforgettable experiences. This is why an array of gamers with different tastes and interests love music, and this is why video games love music – it enhances any experience and enables people to connect with things in a more profound way.

About the author

There’s a lot of music out there - good music. At Essentially Pop our remit is that we cover music that deserves to be heard, with a particular focus on independent artists. That doesn't mean we won't cover your old favourites - rather we hope to give you some new favourites as well.

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