Over the years, video games have produced some of the most memorable soundtracks in the entertainment industry. As music has become more important to setting the scene in many games, crossovers between video games and the world of pop have become more common. These games feature everything from the top 10 80s songs to current hits. As many gamers know, there’s nothing like when a game gets a song just right. Keep reading to learn more about the use of pop music in video games.
Just Dance is one of the most popular video games featuring pop music. The entertaining title can turn a living room into a dance party, and players can compete against dancers worldwide. Players have to show their moves while playing the game by keeping pace with some of the biggest hits. The game has even resulted in merch such as t-shirts, collectors’ pins, and mugs, which isn’t too surprising since merch and music often go hand in hand.
NSYNC were one of the most successful boy bands of the 1990s, cementing themselves in the global pop music scene. The band gave rise to superstar, Justin Timberlake, who would eventually go on to have an equally successful solo career in pop music.
“NSYNC Mania” is immortalized in music history in many ways, not least with the videos and documentaries of the band’s most successful world tours. Today, the band also boasts its own themed slot game, with NSYNC Pop listed as one of the most popular titles at many online casino platfoms. The band also reunited this year, releasing their first new song in two decades. Their TikTok account is vibrant, which is a very popular social platform now to resonate with the next generation of NSYNC fans.
The classic snowboarding game featured Run-D.M.C.’s 1986 hit “It’s Tricky”, introducing it to a new audience. The song fit perfectly with the game, and much of the gameplay was built around the tune. When players built up their combo meter, they’d be greeted by Reverend Run and Darryl Mack rhyming, something everyone who played the game looked forward to. The game’s 2011 reboot also featured a dubstep remix of the song.
Songs from the 50s are popular in video games, and Fallout 76 included some of the best pop hits from that decade. Bing Crosby and Billie Holiday are just a few of the artists players are treated to as they explore the wastelands.
However, John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads” is one of the most memorable uses of a pop song in video game history, selling many fans on the game. Although the game got off to a slow start, many credit the song with bringing new players to the series.
Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker
Michael Jackson was such a big pop star in the 1980s and 1990s that an entire video game was developed around him. While video games couldn’t produce great sound back then, that didn’t stop this game from becoming a worldwide hit.
The game used Jackson’s Smooth Criminal with his trademark moves to take out enemies. Jackson played a significant part in coming up with the idea for the game and how his music would be used. It’s safe to say that fans were more than satisfied with the results.
Far Cry 3
This immersive first-person shooter franchise helped redefine the genre and used atmospheric music to great effect. However, the game’s developers decided to move in a new direction with the third installment in the series in 2012, showcasing some of the most innovative songs of the period.
Some of the memorable tracks players were treated to included Skrillex’s “Make It Burn!” and M.I.A’s “Paper Planes”.
Kingdom Hearts 2
It’s no surprise that a game which features Disney classics would have an amazing soundtrack, but not many expected pop hits to emerge from this title. However, that’s exactly what happened. Japanese pop star Utada Hikaru defined the game with four theme songs that became hits in both Japanese and English.