Thursday, 26 February 2015

16 Nostalgic Songs That Give Me Nostalgia Feels

It's Throwback Thursday! What better day to get a little nostalgic! And on today's nostalgia trip, take a look at some of the most memorable video game songs that remind me of my childhood. 

Music is a very personal thing. Songs often come attached with a memory, so each person's list would be different from another. For me, the sixteen songs included within this are all associated with fond memories, of times when I sat back and watched my dad play through Tomb Raider and Mario, to those collaborative gaming sessions with my brother, and first solo gaming experiences and beyond. 

16. Sonic the Hedgehog: Green Hill Zone 

I've played Sonic and this level since, but for some reason, the reason this has made it onto my list is because of what I immediately think of when I hear it. That one afternoon, watching my uncle play through Sonic the Hedgehog on his Sega Genesis, whilst I was giving his cat a cuddle. He was playing Green Hill Zone at the time, undoubtedly one of the best Sonic tracks to date.

I must have only been about 4 or 5 years old at the time when he was playing that, but for some reason, the memory is as clear as day. 

15. Theme Hospital

Hands up. How many of you also have fond memories of this game? Doing a quick search online shows that I am not the only one who does. 

I was always more of a console gamer, but I used my PC to sink countless hours into Theme Hospital and The Sims. The music in this instantly takes me back to the times I spent laughing at the weird and wacky diseases ('Bloaty Head', 'TV Personality' and 'The Runs' being three examples), whilst pain-stakingly designing the nicest looking hospital and stressing over the countless deaths that always seemed to happen when a VIP was touring the building. 

Those of you wishing to revisit this classic, never fear! Theme Hospital is now free to download on EA's Origin. 

14. The Sims: Buy Mode

Ah, The Sims. When I think of The Sims, I think of the countless friends and my cousins that I would create houses and control Sims with. The gameplay would more often than not turn sadistic, with us locking Sims into rooms, deleting the doors and prompting them to set off fireworks, all the while watching them become increasingly miserable before they died a horrible death. 

When sadism was not on offer, things got a little more creative. I absolutely loved creating houses in The Sims, especially with the money cheat on (a given, if you want to create a masterpiece in one go), so the 'Buy Mode' song instantly takes me back to all of those hours I would spend, sinking my time and creativity into creating castles, attempting to re-create famous buildings and building my dream house. 

13. Soulblade: Theme

I mentioned earlier that a lot of my gaming memories from when I was a child involve my brother. We would often collaboratively complete a game, whether taking it in turns in single player (handing over the controller when we died to the other), or smashing it on two player, I have plenty of fond memories of this. 

Soulblade is definitely up there as one of my fondest collaborative gaming memories, and the music just reminds me of that. 

12. Super Smash Bros Melee: Main Theme 

Whilst I had played Smash Bros on the Nintendo 64 around friends houses, my Smash Bros. love started on the GameCube version, Super Smash Bros. Melee. 

The first game I received on the GameCube when my parents got me the console for Christmas one year, this menu music reminds me of the extended gaming sessions me and my brother took part in, obsessively collecting the trophies, writing them down in a list so we could keep up with what we had left to collect, and taking it in turns to complete the Adventure mode. 

Since then, I have loved a good game of Smash, both with friends, my brother and alone. The addition of the Amiibo feature in the current Wii U version has just made it even better for me. 

11. Super Mario World: Overworld Theme 

The SNes was a fantastic console, wasn't it? Whilst this was another game me and my brother played through together, my most fond memory comes from sitting back and watching my dad play through it. I associate this music with this memory more than anything else. 

With this music, I remember the panic (and ultimate guilty feeling) when Mario was knocked off, or accidentally jumped off, Yoshi. I remember the noise Yoshi makes whilst swallowing the apples on the bushes, the destruction of countless Koopa Troopas and bashing of those familiar yellow '?' boxes.


10. Super Mario All Stars: Athletic Theme 

I could not do a nostalgic game music post without mentioning Mario at least once (the series appears 5 times, actually!), and Super Mario Bros. 3 definitely had to make it in here. Whilst I have fonder memories of Super Mario World (I think I played it more), Super Mario All Stars was also a firm favourite in the Powis household. 

It came at a time when the SNes was a permanent fixture in our front room, often leading to collaborative game plays, or the hours where we sat and watched Dad play through whatever game was on at that time. This song just reminds me of all of that!

9. Super Mario Sunshine: Delfino Plaza 

Unpopular opinion for many, but the GameCube has to be one of my favourite consoles. Whilst the console itself may have looked a little bizarre compared to the others out at the time, it boasted a pretty impressive games roster, quoting Luigi's Mansion, Pikmin, The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker and Super Mario Sunshine among its ranks. 

Super Mario Sunshine is probably my favourite Mario game, probably due to the bright and cheerful look, fun game play (who didn't like Mario's F.L.U.D.D?) and of course, a catchy soundtrack. Delfino Plaza definitely conjures up so many memories. 

8. Dragon Warrior Monsters: Never Ending Journey 

Now known as the Dragon Quest series, Dragon Warrior Monsters was the one that started it all. Whilst many may sniff at this and brush it off as a Pokemon rip-off, Dragon Warrior Monsters was a fun RPG, one that I count among my top 5 favourite games of all time. 

For me, the track 'Never Ending Journey' reminds me of how much I loved this game the most. It plays when you leave the town to explore, battle and 'tame' monsters in encounters in the great wide world. Never having any indication of what the monster roster comprises of, I loved the excitement of entering a battle, to see another brand new monster I have never seen before. 

If you have never played this game, pick up a copy and give it a play. I recommend it! 

7. Crash Bandicoot: Hog Wild

It is a shame that Crash Bandicoot has pretty much faded into obscurity, as his earlier ventures were well worth playing. Crash Bandicoot was one of the first games myself and my brother picked up on the Playstation 1 (at the same time as Tomb Raider). It proved to be another one of our many collaborative gameplays, handing over the controller to the other whenever we died. 

There were several levels that were memorable and enjoyable, but the one that seems to stand out above the rest for me is the 'Hog Wild' level. In this level, Crash rides a hog through a track, dodging obstacles along the way. The music truly made this! 

6. Aladdin: Streets Of Agrabah (Stage 1)

Anyone who knows me will know just how much I love Disney, and Aladdin is by far my favourite Disney film. There was no surprise then that I would be bought the SNes game as a kid when it was released.

Whilst many games based on films are often terrible, Aladdin was one of those rare exceptions where the developers got it right! The Streets of Agrabah song occurs in the first stage of the game, where Aladdin throws apples at the guards, volts over poles and saves Jasmine from an over-zealous street vendor. Re-visiting this game recently reminded me that none of the charm has left, thankfully!

5. The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time: Song of Storms

No nostalgic game music list is complete without a mention of this Zelda classic, Song of Storms. 

Appearing in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, this song makes an appearance in this list because it is not only one of the best Zelda songs of all time, but it also reminds me of how much fun I had working through one of the best Zelda titles so far. How many of you stood inside the windmill for ages, listening to this track repeat over and over again like me? 

4. Donkey Kong Country 2: K Rool Returns

This track signifies yet another collaborative gaming memory I shared with my brother when we were younger, on one of the consoles that evokes the most childhood memories for me-the SNes. 

I think Donkey Kong 2 was one of those that is highest on my "gaming with my brother" list. We both loved it, and listening to the soundtrack nowadays just takes me back to us both working together to get through each level (albeit, dying plenty of times in the process). 

3. Mario Kart: Snes Theme 

I love Mario Kart. It is one of the series that I will gladly buy each title on each platform whenever they come out, and it all started with me sitting down with my family to try out Super Mario Kart.

One of my most fond memories of the game was playing 'Battle Mode' with my brother. We would turn it a little crazy, sending shells and weapons off immediately after picking them up, so the whole arena would soon be full of spinning shells, flying all over the place. It definitely made things a little more tense...

2. The Legend of Zelda Links Awakening: Ballad of the Wind Fish

This one really renders up some nostalgia feels for me. It is the first Zelda game I ever played, and introduced me to the series. I remember watching my Dad play this (Gameboy connected to the TV via the SNes peripheral), whilst my mum, myself and brother would egg him on. When I was old enough, I played this through myself, and fell in love with it.

I've since played it through more than a few times, and still absolutely love it. The 'Ballad of the Wind Fish' makes me smile and think back to that first time you ever get to go inside the end on top of Tal Tal Heights...

1. Tomb Raider: Main Theme

For those who know me, you are probably wondering why a Links Awakening song did not make it as my number one song. However, the reason why I chose the Tomb Raider 1 theme is because THIS is the series I associate with my family the most. 

Whilst I love the series, and think Lara Croft is great (the 2013 reboot is one of my favourite games), I admit, I have never been that good at the earlier games. This is where my Dad comes into it all. Me, my brother and my mum would sit through each of the games, watching Dad play through them, fuming whenever Lara took a fatal tumble (we coined this 'Tombie Rage'), and cheering when he made the jumps and completed puzzles correctly. 

I love you, Tomb Raider.

Those that didn't make the list, but still deserve mentioning:
Links Awakening: Tal Tal Heights, Mario Paint Theme, Pokemon: Battle Theme.

How many of these songs do you also have fond memories of, or do you have different songs? Let us know in the comments!


  1. Man sooooo many of these songs take me back. Tomb Raider, Sonic, Mario and Soulblade are all ones I have fond fond memories of watching being played or playing them myself. Below are a few of my favourite nostalgia laced trips :-)

    Golden Axe: Either playing it in the arcades or round a friends the first levels music never fails to transport me back to Peter Pan's playground in Southend, would spend so much time trying to master this game.

    Song link:

    Street Fighter II: Another arcade/console port. The Intro music always reminds me of my family holidays to Norfolk where my brother and I would take it in turns to try and complete the arcade mode. It's also where I learned just how much of a sore loser/winner my brother was :-p

    Song Link:

    Legend of Zelda A Link to the Past: This is without a doubt my favourite all time Zelda game. To pick one song to represent it is almost impossible. however I have gone with the Hyrule Castle Theme. The Zelda theme may far more iconic but this song that always reminds me of A Link to The Past. Making my way through the Castle to rescue the princess when I was young was a major challenge but this song always made me want to play on.

    Song Link:

    Star Fox: Another classic snes game (of which I wasn't too bad at) hearing this song come on for the first time blew my little mind. So much so that I didn't mind getting game over as I was able to play the first level again to hear this song.

    Song Link:

    Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Being a child of the 80's and 90's how could I not include a Turtles game on my list. While this was ported to the nes my fondest memories are playing this in Norfolk with my brother. Every year would save up all our pennies and change so that we had enough money for the arcades. This was one of our favourites but we were only able to complete it when we bumped into our friends who were staying in the same caravan park. 4 way turtle goodness ensued WOOOOOOO!!!!!! Donatello FTW!!!!!

    Song Link:

    Honourable Mentions: Time Crisis, Final Fantasy VII, Metal Gear Solid, Resident Evil 1 -3 and Tekken 2+3

    I could go on and on but I'll leave it at those few. If I ever want a hit of Nostalgia I just fire up one of these songs or have a go on these games again :-)

  2. I can add a couple more to that list.

    Guile's Theme goes with anything:

    There's nothing that gives you that sudden sense of urgency like your impending death from drowning in Sonic games:

    This one from Metal Gear Solid (even though I can't understand any lyrics from it):

    The race music from Earthworm Jim that caused me to go insane on many occasions:

    Loved Bionic Commando on the Gameboy. I may have been the only person in the world who actually bought a copy of the 3D version they brought out on the PS3/Xbox 360:

    1. Awesome picks! Especially the Earthworm Jim one!

      The Metal Gear Solid one had a translation in the soundtrack notes!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...