Opinion: Ten great Nintendo songs

by ToriFebruary 23, 2015
From retro to modern, it's all good stuff

Video game soundtracks are one of our favourite parts of a game. And Nintendo games tend to have music that is recognisable outside of the realm of setting atmosphere in the games. We all know the classics, like the tune to Super Mario Bros., or maybe the entire ocarina soundtrack from Ocarina of Time. But myself and Brendan from Potaku sat down and discussed our personal favourites from our own gaming history. Maybe you’ll agree, maybe you have never even heard of our picks! Read on to find out…


Brendan: The Wonderful 101 is sorely under appreciated. One of the best games on the Wii U also has one of the best soundtracks. Pivotal moments underscored by great songs that really pump up the action. One of those songs is Tables Turn, a song featuring no lyrics but by sheer hype helps push some of the most intense moments into the stratosphere.


Troy: I absolutely love this tune, especially in it’s original 8-bit glory. It sets the atmosphere so well, simultaneously reminding me of the old NES days and a lot of precarious jumping in the original Metroid.

Brendan: As soon as you enter Onett for the first time and those 16-Bit beats hit your ears you know this is only the beginning of your adventure. Upbeat enough to give you hope, but quirky enough to let you into one of the odder games released on a Nintendo console. I love the rest of the soundtrack, but the Onett theme is the one I always end up humming. Maybe you should go grab it on Wii U so you know what I mean…


Troy: This tune is one of the most relaxing pieces of music ever. It definitely sounds like water level music, but when it slowly picks up and adds strings, it sounds much more calming… and then the drum beat fades in, almost like elevator music.


Brendan: I love me some Punch-Out!! and this song helps me feel like I’m really getting stronger in the boxing world. Playing during the training montages on the NES version, but becoming a more integral song in the overall Punch-Out!! experience over time, Running/Countdown helps set you in the right frame of mind to become Champion of the World. Turn that right up to Most Likely in Smash Bros Wii U and tell me you aren’t hyped to win.


Troy: Either not enough people have played this game, or nobody talks about having played it. In any case, Crescent Moon Village is the best example of how crazy, yet amazing the music is in Wario Land 4. Strange and creepy vocal synth, twangy guitar at the end, and an overall creepy tone make this one of the most bizarre songs in a Nintendo game, but also one of my favourites.


Brendan: The first time you load up the game and jump into the driver’s seat with Captain Falcon, the tunes of Mute City hit your ears and you’re ready to race. This song does everything a good racing song should do, including making you feel like you can always win and keeping you excited enough to do so. We’ve all heard the remixes over the years included in various Smash Bros games and the like, but there’s something about the SNES version of the song that just feels right.


Troy: There are so many Mario Kart songs I wanted to pick… but Mount Wario blew me away with not just how great the live band sounds, but how dynamic it was, and fitting with the actual track as you raced through. It definitely builds up as you drive off the aircraft up the mountain, with it quickly changing as you enter the tunnel towards the dam. The strings give it a bit of a hectic flair as you navigate through the forest area, then changing again as you go down the ski course towards the finish. Amazing instrumentation, and like usual, it fits the setting so well. Mount Wario might just be my favourite course in MK8 just because of this tune!


Brendan: So I got the game a whim, from the eShop. I didn’t realise they had been pushing this game that had been out for 20 something years, and been shown for the past 7 years in Smash actually was not only an awesome game, but the music was just as good. The Medley specifically in Smash Bros Wii U stands out to me.

Troy: I found about the game the other way round, where I found the music in Smash Bros. Brawl, and then saw the game had come out on the eShop while doing our weekly eShop release article. I’ve yet to have a full go of the game, but the music still stands out. The NES sound chip emulates traditional Japanese string instruments really well, where the 8-bit sound actually makes it sound as it should.

Brendan: It’s interesting, I’d never really seen it that way until you mentioned it. But all the string sounding instruments come across really well even with the limitations of the NES sound chip. I really enjoy all the music in the game, even hearing and playing the game after all this time, it still really stands out.


Troy: Donkey Kong Country was one of the few SNES games I owned as a kid, other than Bubsy, and even though the graphics stood out to me, but the music was one of my favourite things. I’d replay levels just to listen to the soundtrack, especially the early levels with this track, Jungle Japes.

Brendan: I remember hearing it for the first time in DKC as well. I rented the game when I was about 6 or so and those huge thumping drum beats instantly got stuck in my head. It’s always the one song I seem to remember more than anything else, even over the Mario theme. I always love when it gets included in any Donkey Kong game. It never fails to bring a cheesy smile to my face.

Troy: I always liked how the song shifted about halfway through, sounding much more somber as the level shifted to night time, while keeping the drums to remind you it was still good ol’ Donkey Kong. That level of dynamic music when I was a kid absolutely blew my mind.

Brendan: Even when the song gets remixed it still retains all that charm that the original brings. I’m always down for Jungle Japes. It makes me go bananas.


So there you have it, ten of our favourite Nintendo songs! Do you agree with our picks? Maybe you have your own favourites! Be sure to leave your own picks in the comments!

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About The Author
Long time Nintendo fan, addicted to Mario Kart.

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