Real-Life Video Game Bands Worth Listening

Some of the best games ever are so beloved partially due to their memorable soundtracks. From nerdcore parody rappers to legitimately excellent gaming rock acts, here’s a list of the real-life video game bands worth listening.

August 15, 2017

Metroid Metal

Technically the band is Stemage, but my and I’m sure many other Nintendo fans’ introduction to the performer was through his Metroid Metal project. These lush, epic, crunchy rock songs remix the iconic music of Nintendo’s premier (if occasionally forgotten) sci-fi horror series into sounds that can’t pump you up.

Favorite track: “Phendrana Drifts.”

Donna Burke

The Metal Gear series is just chock full of amazing things, from excellent stealth gameplay to bizarre yet prophetic rants about the truth-destroying nature of the internet to a soldier who can’t stop pooping. So, of course, the series has fantastic, epic, haunting vocal songs, and these days the artist bringing those operatic songs to life is singer Donna Burke.

Favorite track: “Sins of the Father.”

The Black Mages

Composer Nobuo Uematsu is a god among men when it comes to video game writers thanks to his contributions to the Final Fantasy series. And as part of now-disbanded Final Fantasy-themed prog-rock band The Black Mages, he never let you forget why he’s so great.

Favorite track: “Darkness and Starlight” from Final Fantasy VI.


Samus Aran is unique among video game characters in that she is a powerful leading lady. Sammus is unique among nerdcore rappers in that she is a Black woman. So it only makes sense these two have a kinship, and the result has been album after album of amazing Metroid-sampling hip-hop.

Favorite track: “Cybernetic Armor.”

Mega Ran

Probably the first video game nerdcore rapper, Mega Ran has received substantial mainstream coverage for his Mega Man-inspired tracks. They consistently get played in movies and on TV. Mega Man music is so great it makes for a good starting point, but Mega Ran takes it over the top.

Favorite track: “Splash Woman.”


Collectively, Arin “Egoraptor” Hanson and Dan “Danny Sexbang” Avidan are talented voice actors, fantastic animators, hilarious YouTubers, and (alongside silent keyboardist Ninja Brian) members of the catchy, filthy video game parody band star bomb. Try not to be jealous. Although they’ve only released two albums, each is filled to the brim with poppy tunes taking the piss out of gaming.

Favorite track: “Crasher-Vania.”

The Megas

After listening to Mega Man music, you just can’t help but form a band dedicated to the Blue Bomber. The added lyrics and soulful acoustic reinterpretations of 8-bit melodies make The Megas more than merely a cover act.

Favorite track: “Lamentations of a War Machine.”

The Protomen

Another Mega Man band? Yup! What sets The Protomen apart is that their music itself is pretty much original. Their albums are concept albums that use Mega Manlore to suggest larger ideas. Death of the Father doesn’t necessarily have to be about Dr. Light and Dr. Wily, but it’s awesome that it can be.

Favorite track: “Light Up The Night.”

Crush 40

Sonic the Hedgehog is not good. Arguably, he has never been good, but he’s especially not good now. And aside from the secret Michael Jackson-tracks of his early adventures, I would even say the cheesetastic music of his recent games isn’t good either. But Sonic house band Crush 40 has its fans, and they’ve certainly put in a lot of work over the years, so they get a spot here.

Favorite track: “Live and Learn.”

OC Remix

OverClocked Remix isn’t a band but an entire musical organization dedicated to fostering and highlighting excellent remixes of video game music. Whether you’re a fan of EarthBound, NiGHTS Into Dreams, Skyrim, or any other game you can think of you can find brand new versions of its music on OC Remix.

Favorite track: The group’s revamped soundtrack for Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix.


By Jordan Minor

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