What game has had the biggest influence on your taste in music?

This came up in the discord and I figured this is the best place for this question to live. Which game(s) can you point to and go, “oh yeah, this is why I’m into the music I’m into?” or “yeah I can trace my _____ back to this game.”

Fifa 98 introduced me to Blur which was unlike anything I heard before. And I still find myself humming Lazy Generation by The F-Ups from Burnout 3. There’s also Simple and Clean which blew my mind when I was like 6!


My musical tastes come from a lot of different places (I’ve often described my music library as a “katamari”) but if I had to pick one part of my music collection that stems from games, it’s the section the less charitable might label “butt rock:”


I see this question and think “Which game’s soundtrack sent me deepest down a rabbit hole of artists I was into”, and the answer to that is probably Grand Theft Auto IV or Vice City.

Yeah, I know, someone else thinks GTA games have amazing radio stations. You’re shocked. But, I mean, you can’t argue with the facts.


It’s a basic answer but Hotline Miami sent me down a synthwave rabbit-hole that eventually led me towards hyperpop stuff like SOPHIE. My taste for crushed up, distorted 808s started with me learning at 17 that music can sound fucked up and awesome through that game.


Having to see Hideki Naganuma’s tweets has lessened my fondness for it over the years, but Jet Set Radio Future was definitely one of the first times I listened to music in a game and thought ‘I like this kind of music, I should seek out something similar’. (ThorHighHeels and 2 Mello, A-Tier bandcamps to follow.)

But mostly, beyond “I really like the soundtrack to this game, specifically” - and there are a lot of those, don’t get me wrong - I actually don’t think I do have much music I can trace back to video games for. Mostly because my two favorite genres are Punk and Metal, so unless I am playing Rock Band or Tony Hawk, there’s very little crossover. :man_singer:


This is a fun question for me because I feel like, for the most part, the (non-licensed) music I heard and loved in games when I was younger couldn’t be further from the kind of stuff I listen to on the regular nowadays or even the stuff I grew into listening as I entered adulthood. If I had to try and draw a clear line from Point A to Point B… then I’d probably say that listening to a lot of music from Japanese games more than likely played a huge part in how open I am to listening to all sorts of music now.

Just in terms of my willingness to listen to music in other languages I don’t understand or with unusual/atypical vocals, exploring genres & styles I don’t know much about and my general disposition to push myself outside of my comfort zone musically, I mean.

A lot of my favorites from when I was younger was stuff I don’t regularly listen to now but in more than a few cases there are songs I go back to and notice influences from genres I would later get real into independently of the tracks I’d listen to as a kid.
Here’re a couple of very broad, top of mind examples:


Overall? Probably Grim Fandango. Being 13, no internet and having to figure beat it with no way to look up solutions meant I spent months listening to one of the best game OSTs ever.

More recently Final Fantasy VII Remake has unearthed a real appreciation for… EDM? I think it’s EDM.


Probably a mix of snake eater and ace combat 5-0 osts

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Touhou; I have a library full of touhou arranges now lmao


My initial response is Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, but I had been listening to skater punk for years at that point, so while it did introduce me to some great songs I had never heard, the taste was already there.

Probably, something like The World Ends With You. That game sent me through the world of J-Pop and onward. Still have a lot of those tracks spinning on playlists.


The first album I ever bought was Meltdown by Ash because one of the songs was in Star Wars Republic Commando. It’s an alright album from an alright band, but it was amazing to 8th grade me living in the town from Footloose.


Tony Hawk Pro Skater 4 had the song “All My Best Friends are Metalheads” by Less than Jake, and I have been in 2 ska bands. Whoops!!

In all seriousness, being in the first of those two bands introduced me to the local DIY scene. When I started going to shows there was a great warehouse that hosted shows, they started exactly at 7 and ended exactly at 10 to avoid noise complaints, and there were no drugs or alcohol allowed.

The shows were a mix of ska, hardcore, punk, skramz, hip hop, and youth crew/straight edge bands. I’m still friends with so many people I met there, and lots of us still go to shows/own venues/play in bands 10 years later.

That one song changed my musical interests and set me on a trajectory that changed my life forever. Salt Lake City Hardcore forever!


This is a weird question because there are tons of games where I love the music but it’s tricky to think of one that has influenced my taste in music such as it is now. I definitely learned about loads of music when I was a kid, like a lot of people, through Tony Hawks and GTA.

As someone who’s into dance and electronic music it was incredibly cool to see Flying Lotus and Soulwax have their own radio stations in GTA V. That game is mostly rubbish to me but I can happily drive round listening to Radio Soulwax, FlyLo FM and the true king (or queen?) of GTA radio stations: NonStopPop FM. That station is directly responsible for me seeing Lorde live at Primavera 2018. Absolutely superb station and either introduced me to people I had ignored or forgotten about.

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Fun question!

If it weren’t for video games my taste in music wouldn’t be nearly as eclectic as it is today. My biggest early influences are probably:

  • Jet Grind Radio

  • Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater

  • Final Fantasy 7 through 10

Within the past 10 years, I’d say the strongest influence on my musical tastes was Sleeping Dogs. There was nothing I loved more than riding my motorcycle through Hong Kong’s streets at night and listening to the in-game radio stations. This game introduced me to the slick, hypnotic beats of downtempo electronica, nu jazz, and artists like Bonobo. It inspired me to start tinkering around in creating similar music. I also have a lot of friends in this music scene now which is cool.

Thanks Sleeping Dogs!


This is a big thing for me, since I think I got quite a lot of musical interests from video games over my life.

For a start: video games in the late 80s/early 90s had whole “thing” with the music industry* (especially in the UK, and especially for Amiga games [partly due to the use of Amigas and OctaMED in a bunch of drum and bass, house, and jungle music of the period]). Although mostly via demoscene stuff and actual tracker files, I am sure that a bunch of games of the period influenced my musical taste. I played Frontier enough that I am pretty sure it’s why I like In the Hall of the Mountain King so much as a piece of classical music…
On a meta level, the quality of video game music at this point in time is probably why I like video game music in itself, and never considered it a “thing that’s just for games” but something you can like in its own right. I do own a lot of video game soundtracks - even for some games I don’t own!

for a middle - I think I heard both metal and industrial music first via video games [bonus point to, technically, an Amiga space invaders clone which used Ace of Spades as its backing music for getting there first, but…] - I’m blaming id software’s Doom and Quake for both of these, even if the Quake soundtrack is more “ambient industrial” than Reznor’s normal output.

and, I guess back into ambient, electronica and stuff - I still like all the output of the early Epic games composers, as showcased in Unreal, Unreal Tournament and Deus Ex.
And then, later on Hotline Miami was responsible for showing me modern synthwave and darkwave… (despite my being awful at the game itself)… and watching other people play Persona 4 sent me on a trip into discovering city pop.

So, what I’m saying is that almost every game I’ve played has influenced my taste in music…

*edited to add: one aspect of this also being that a bunch of companies that owned record labels also bought games studios - leading to weird things like Betty Boo’s “Doing the Do” being covered as the Magic Pockets intro theme because the Bitmap Brothers offices were just down the hall from the recording studio where the album was being recorded…


I would like to thank Burnout Paradise for introducing me to Swervedriver, and sending me into what I’m sure will be a lifelong love affair with Shoegaze.


This is a fun question!

Like a lot of others here, a big chunk of my music tastes came from games with licensed soundtracks I played a lot of when I was younger. I’d say the biggest influencers were probably GTA Vice City Stories (gotta give it up for Fresh 105, Flash FM, VRock, and Wave 103), Burnout 3 + Burnout Paradise, Skate 2, and Midnight Club 3.

Rhythm games have also done a bunch to shape my music taste (and otherwise just expose me to stuff I wouldn’t have otherwise known about), so bonus shoutouts to Dance Dance Revolution, DJ Max Technika Tune, and Hatsune Miku Project Diva f.

And bonus bonus shoutout to the DJ Hero series for not only introducing me to two of my fave electronic artists, Daft Punk and Justice, but to the world of DJing as a whole and inspiring me to give it a try myself.

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My interest in electronic music likely started with two games: Killer 7, composed by Masafumi Takada, and perhaps more strongly Shatter, by Module. Which is more or less a great album accompanied by an alright breakout clone. Later on I’ve gone back to older action puzzlers like Lumines which are as good music wise, but Shatter was the push I needed to get into them.

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I love the music of The Final Fantasy Series & humming it in my free time.


I want to say Jet Set Radio Future, since it’s had an unavoidable influence in my taste in everything for the past 20 years. Games, art, sports, all of it—and in recent years for sure, that’s a musical well I’ve been going hard on. But honestly, the real answer for most of my tweens / teens was Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater and Burnout 3.

Just, years and years of butt rock and ska.