The Nexus of Pop-Culture Fandom

The Top Ten Tones that Pown

Written by: Adam “ManKorn” Korenman, CC2K Video Games Editor

You know the feeling. It’s hour nine of your marathon gaming session and you are just about wiped. Your blood is four-fifths Red Bull and real-world problems are encroaching on your playing ability. Your character is walking through the sub-sub-sub-basement of the enemy’s lair, leaving hallways filled with the dead in his wake. Some part of your brain is saying, “Hey. Let’s shut off this digital media and go out and engage in social interaction with another corporeal being.” In a moment of weakness, you are ready to agree. To lay down your sword and shield and let the bad guys win.

And then you hear it: Dulcet tones hinting at danger ahead. This isn’t fight music; no, you are far too familiar with that dirge to be confused now. This is an orchestral taunt, a middle finger played out as a sonata. You know before opening the next door that you are about to enter a room filled with ammunition and health packs.

A Boss Battle is imminent.


Famous philosopher Friedrich Neitzche said that “without music, life would be a mistake.” This is especially true in the world of video games. Music sets the tone and pace of every scene, it makes the world a real place and not just digital mush. Music can speed up your pulse in a Pavlovian response, or it can break your heart in the same way. The scores of the following games are as powerful, if not more so, than the best Oscar-contenders in Hollywood.

Rather than present the following games as a list, I’m going to take you on a journey of experiences. In order to fully understand the power of these tunes, I want you to join me on a trip down memory lane. So plug in your headsets and crank up the volume, we’re looking at the most powerful scores in gaming.