We’ve all been there, wicked absorbed into a game, whether it be a fighting game, platformer, action game, you start up a new level or boss fight and the music starts cranking and you hit maximum overdrive. The music assaults your ears with the grace of a figure skater with machine guns for legs and gets your blood pumping and sucks you right into the game, makes you totally forget everything else until it’s done. Now think about what it would be like if you could channel that into your workout or your morning run, put yourself in the shoes of the character in your favorite game, running shoes, that is. I run a lot and I need tunes for those runs when I’m really packing on the miles, so here are my top 10 video game songs to listen to while I’m working out.
I didn’t really play a lot of Street Fighter when I was younger and I was always more of a fan of Marvel Super Heroes and Marvel Vs. Capcom, and I know the whole thing with “Guile’s theme goes with everything”. That’s great and all, but I think Cap’s theme from MSH is way better and dare I say captures a bit more of that patriotic feel. The intro of the song always gets me fired up and it’s great when I’m doing any kind of lifting or using any sort of machine, I definitely recommend it.
Now, Pokemon games always seem to have pretty good soundtracks, especially when it comes to themes for the Elite Four, Champion, and Legendary battles. The newest installment, Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire is no different, and while the whole remastered soundtrack is freaking magical to me, one track that really stood out to me was the battle theme for Team Magma and Aqua’s grunts. Rarely is a common battle theme so pulse-pounding and intimidating, and even though they mostly just throw Mightyenas and Numels at you for the whole game, their theme is pretty badass and good for any workout.
Baten Kaitos is an extremely underrated gem for the Gamecube, in my opinion, the battle system, the story, the characters, the music, all of it was so fresh, new, and original, and I feel like nobody knows about it. Those of you out there that have played it, though, know what I’m talking about when I talk about how freaking awesome the soundtrack was for that game, and it had multiple rocking’ tracks I’d love to put up here. However, for the sake of having a varied list, I’m only doing one per game, and for this game, I choose the True Mirror (the guitar version) because it’s played pretty early in the game and oh man, it sucked me right into the 50 hour experience that was this game. If you can, play the game, but for now, listen to this awesome tune, great for core workouts or running, in my opinion.
I’m a huge fan of Megaman everything, well, except Battle Network and Star Force, but pretty much every other entry, I love, especially the Zero and ZX games. It was a hard choice between Hard Revenge and the original Cannonball, because the original holds a close place in my heart, but there’s no denying that Hard Revenge is the amped up version, and thus is way better for working out. Omega Zero is definitely one of the coolest, most badass characters in the series, and his theme shows that, and hearing this makes my blood rush thinking of fighting him. Definitely a good running song because there are some pretty long loops of this that you can download and it’s easy to zone out to it.
I’ve already expressed my love for Sonic Unleashed before, and I’ll do it again, I love the soundtrack for this game, the day levels have such kickass themes for blasting through all the different locales. Rooftop Run was one of those levels where, as soon as it started, and I heard the music I was like “Oh yeah, this level is going to kick ass.” and it’s one of my favorite levels in Sonic history to this day. I could pop in Unleashed right now just to play through this level and hear this song myself, and it’s at the top of my running playlist, especially when I’m feeling a speed workout. On a side note, it is also stellar for doing homework, those of you Sonic fans in high school or college!
Megaman X4 is not my absolute favorite in the series, but I do love it for being one of few Megaman games that I 100% completed without any outside help, and it has a superb soundtrack. The very first stage’s music is fantastic, and really welcomes you to the first 32-bit Megaman X game by really showing off what the CD quality does for a game’s music. I personally prefer the really long loops of this song and sometimes I’ll forget about it altogether and let it run the full 30 minutes before I realize it’s suddenly silent. Great for long runs, keeps me going during longer workouts or stretching to get ready for a workout, give it a listen!
I remember back to the first time I played Kingdom Hearts and having heard all these great things about it and especially it’s soundtrack, I was pretty stoked to play. Night of Fate not only is a great song but it’s an emotional song, it conveys a feeling of fear, of stumbling around in the darkness trying to find a way out and find your friends. Hacking and slashing at the darkness, you find them, only to be flung into more confusion and darkness, while this song pounds and beats on in the background, it’s really something. If you’re not a fan of KH, I understand, but at least give the soundtrack to any of the games a listen, they’re so good, especially the original. Great fast-paced song for just about any workout.
I grew up with a PS1, so naturally, I liked Crash Bandicoot, even if I was absolutely awful at them at first, I loved the hyperactive marsupial. Naturally, when I saw Crash Bash, I just bought it because hey, I couldn’t get enough, and although the game was kind of disappointing, especially with no one to play it with, the theme song was dynamite. If I can say anything about Crash Bash, it’s that it took at least a couple hours for the disappointment to set in, and the title screen and catchy as f*ck theme pulled me in to at least try and play it.
God, do I really need to say anything about this song? One of the best Final Fantasy games still to this day that actually required you to do more than press A (FINAL FANTASY XIII COUGH COUGH). Seriously, though, if you’ve never played it, download a ROM of it and just start playing it now so you can hear this glorious tune in it’s full glory, or listen to Smooth McGroove’s Acapella of it, it’s a truly good homage to the actual track. Either one you check out, both should be added to your workout playlist, great for lifting, and giving you that extra burst of adrenaline you might need.
Honestly, I love the new Smash games for 3DS and Wii U, but I don’t think they’ll ever top the Brawl main theme, much less the Final Destination remix. Everyone knows some shit is gonna go down when it’s time for 1v1 on Final Destination, no items, granted, my friends and I almost never play like that because we enjoy the hectic party-style gameplay more. Not to mention we almost never get mad enough at each other to warrant the 1v1 thing, but regardless, I’ve heard this track so many times it’s ridiculous, and it just never gets old. That’s really the best thing I can ask for from a workout song, to never get sick of it, but it always pumps me up and at the same time, relaxes me enough to focus, it’s like a heavy metal lullaby, sort of. This song goes with any workout for me, personally, I love it for running, check it out for yourself!
Now, I was going to put these songs in a specific order, but I just couldn’t really decide which were “better” than others, so these are in no special order, I just numbered them to prove that I can indeed count up to 10. Have any special songs you love to listen to while you workout from your favorite video game? We’d love to hear about them!
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