Video game music is incredibly iconic. For older games, it invokes nostalgia of childhood and a simpler time. Newer games often have world-famous musicians collaborating on the soundtracks. And there is a whole lot of content in-between that appeals to both casual fans and hardcore gamers.
But where can you get your hands on video game music? If you want to relive video game soundtracks without the stress of playing the game itself, check out these top sites.
A Game Music Index includes hundreds of game soundtracks from three platforms: Commodore 64, NES, and SNES.
Some classic titles available on the site include Donkey Kong Country, The Legend of Zelda 3, Super Mario World, Outrun, Final Fantasy, Zoids, and Kirby's Adventure.
Before you download anything, you need to make sure you have the right players and plugins on your computer to be able to read play the music. The exact plugins depend on whether you download C64 soundtracks, NES soundtracks, or SNES soundtracks.
If you download C64 music, you will need the Sidamp plugin for Winamp. For most NES music, you need the NotSo Fatso plugin for Winamp. And for SNES tracks, you need the SNESAmp plugin for Winamp.
Various alternative plugins and players are available. Check out each gaming system's section on the A Game Music Index site for more information.
OverClocked ReMix has been online since 1999 and is still going strong. In that time, it has built up a huge library of video game music for a number of different consoles and platforms. They include the Game Boy, N64, SNES, Wii, Dreamcast, Game Gear, Mega Drive, Xbox, PlayStation, and even Amiga and Atari.
Each track has all the accompanying information you'd expect for any song, such as composer, length, and various bios.
Where the site really thrives, however, is the fan arrangements. OverClocked ReMix has a massive number of users who use the original tracks as inspiration for their own version. That might be modernizing music from an old 1990s title, converting a classic video game song into a different genre, or something else entirely.
Remix.Kwed.Org is a site that is solely dedicated to remixed versions of C64 soundtracks. All of them are created by either passionate fans or already skilled music producers.
The community is remarkably active. In August 2021 alone (the last full month before the publication of this article), there were more than 15 new remixes added.
If you want to grab all the music released on the site, make sure you subscribe to the site's RSS feed. You can use it to instantly download the video game music to your computer or mobile without needing to visit the site itself.
The Khinsider site is focused on official soundtracks for PC games. And unlike many other sites that let you download video game music and soundtracks, all the files on Khinsider are available in the MP3 format.
That means you will not need to mess around with plugins and little-used specialist players. Just add the tracks to your usual MP3 player/app of choice, and you will be listening in seconds.
Even though PC games are the main focus, Khinsider offers plenty of official music from other platforms and consoles too. They include NES, SNES, PlayStation PSP, Sega Saturn, Game Boy Advance, and many more.
Some of the most popular games on the site are Assassin's Creed, Sonic, Wipeout, Zelda, Need for Speed, Half-Life, Gran Turismo, and Call of Duty.
For most titles, you can choose to download the music on a track-by-track basis or in bulk.
Zophar's Music Domain is the perfect video game soundtrack repo for any retro gaming systems. The most recent console on the list is the Xbox 360, but the site really excels with platforms such as the NES, SNES, Nintendo 3DS, Sega Dreamcast, and other consoles from around that era.
The site also has one of the most impressive collections of game music from old computers such as the Amiga, Atari ST, MS-DOS, Sharp X1, ZX Spectrum, and other early front-runners.
What is great about Zophar's Music Domain is the choice of audio format. You can either download video game music in MP3 format or can download it in its original format. If you opt for the original format, you will either need to use an emulator or a plugin. Plugins for more obscure older systems might not be easy to come by.
As the name suggests, SNESmusic only offers music from the iconic Super Nintendo Entertainment System, released way back in 1990.
And while the narrow focus won't suit people who are looking for diversity, it does mean that SNESmusic has been able to build up one of the most complete libraries of SNES soundtracks anywhere on the web.
At the time of writing, there are more than 2630 games covered. Considering the SNES system only has 3127 known games ever released, and many of those were obscure titles with very few sales, the number is mightily impressive.
To play the music from SNESmusic, you need to download an SPC player and/or plugin. The most popular is SNESAmp, which is a plugin for Winamp. It plays SPC, ZST, and RSN files, works with 8-, 16-, 24-, and 32-bit samples, and has an 8-192kHz sampling rate.
The final place to download video game music on our list is Project2612. It lets you download music for iconic titles such as Street Fighter, Populous, Joe Montana II, and Sonic.
Sadly, the selection of games isn't quite as extensive as some of the other sites that we have covered, with 705 titles available. However, Project2612 does have quite a few less-known titles that you might struggle to find elsewhere (Bible Adventures, anyone?!), and as such, it is worth being aware of.
Download the Music, But Don't Sell It
Downloading this music for personal use is mostly fine, and it can be great to reminisce. But don't sell it or use it in a commercial setting. Doing so could land you in hot water.
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