- Music-based games offer players the opportunity to immerse themselves in the magic of sound and experience the beat.
- From Osu! to Crypt of the NecroDancer, there are countless titles with incredible soundtracks and unique gameplay mechanics.
- Whether fans prefer fast-paced action or charming indie experiences, there is a music-based game out there for everyone to enjoy.
Video games can house an incredible amount of different genres, and there are countless examples of how far one can push the medium. Music-based games are just one such example, allowing players to experience the magic of sound through their keyboards and controllers.
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From simple rhythm games to entire musical sagas, there is no shortage of fantastic titles that showcase incredible soundtracks and sound design. These games let players get lost in the music, and give themselves up to the beat. Regardless of the particular music genre that a player might prefer, there is something out there for everyone.
User Metascore – 6.4
- September 16, 2007
- Dean Herbert
Those familiar with Osu! will be aware of just how crazy a playthrough of a song might seem. The incredible speed, precision, and practice required to pull off even a decent score is nothing short of astounding.
Over the years, the community has greatly expanded the collection of available songs, ranging from popular pop to various anime playlists. To this day, many held championships test the very best of players, pitting them against each other in high school battles.
2 Crypt Of The NecroDancer
Metascore – 87
Crypt of the NecroDancer
- Roguelike , Rhythm
- April 23, 2015
- Brace Yourself Games
Crypt of the NecroDancer is a very unique rogue-like that utilizes a rhythm-based system for movement and combat, where players have to do everything to the beat. It is a charming game with a fun and cozy soundtrack that pulls the player into a ridiculous world.
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The rogue-like aspect is an interesting choice but fits surprisingly well into the framework. The music changes with every level, and most of them are short enough that the soundtracks don’t start to feel annoying.
3 Geometry Dash
User Metascore – 7.8
- Platformer , Music
- Robert Topala
Geometry Dash has gained widespread popularity, in no small part due to its accessibility. The simple controls let players completely immerse themselves in the music, and focus exclusively on avoiding the many obstacles that the game throws at them.
While the premise is simple enough, completing the more difficult levels is anything but. The neck-breaking pace makes it so that no mistake can be tolerated, and players will need to learn the level as they would a song on an instrument.
Metascore – 77
- December 15, 2022
- Half Asleep
Melatonin is a charming indie rhythm game, based on a character’s dream. There are many unique levels, each utilizing some sort of an absurd dream scenario. From catching pizza birds to hopping on countless phones, the game’s creativity is boundless.
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The soundtrack itself is fun and easy-going, with many catchy beats and tunes. Replaying the levels and trying to achieve higher scores is a pleasure, bobbing a head to the beat. Overall it is a great game to try, whether or not players are actively trying to catch some shuteye.
5 Beat Saber
Metascore – 86
- May 21, 2019
- Beat Games
Beat Saber took the VR world by storm when it was released in 2018. Those who did and didn’t have the necessary equipment wanted to try their hands on the incredibly fun-looking game. Combining lightsabers with a rhythm game? What’s not to love?
The game also does well to engage more than just the players’ hands. Certain sections require players to dodge out of the way and keep their sabers away from explosive hazards. It is a great interpretation of a beloved genre.
6 Rez Infinite
Metascore – 89
- February 22, 2023
Rez Infinite is a hypnotizing journey through sensory immersion and rhythmic glory. Set in a vibrant digital landscape, players navigate through evolving levels, each pulsating to a dynamic soundtrack. The game seamlessly blends music, visuals, and interactivity, creating a synesthetic experience that goes well beyond anything traditional.
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Its psychedelic aesthetics, coupled with responsive controls, draw players into a kaleidoscopic realm where every action resonates with the beat. The innovative use of virtual reality enhances the immersion, allowing players to feel the rhythmic pulse of the virtual world.
7 One Hand Clapping
Steam Reviews – Very Positive
One Hand Clapping
- June 10, 2021
- Bad Dream Games
One Hand Clapping is an incredible adventure game that uses the player’s voice to solve various puzzles and obstacles. The art style is charming and quaint, with smooth pastel colors and a magical vibe in every corner.
The controls are surprisingly intuitive and responsive, reacting accurately to the change in a player’s pitch. If anything, this is a very fresh and creative perspective on what music-based games could look like, and the team delivered this fantastic experience with flying colors.
8 Hi-Fi Rush
Metascore – 87
- January 25, 2023
A rhythm-based hack-and-slash game might not be what some people were ever expecting, but Hi-Fi Rush accomplishes it well. After all, most similar games already utilize a combo-based attacking system, requiring players to chain up dozens of commands in succession. So why not also do it to a sick beat?
The comic art style is a great match to the setting and the over-the-top story, involving guitar axes, mechas, and a very lively and colorful roster of great and engaging characters.
Metascore – 84
- October 10, 2016
Thumper goes far beyond what one could expect from a simple-looking rhythm game. It offers an experience. It combines elements of rhythm, action, and horror, to bring something completely new to the scene.
Players control a metallic beetle hurtling through a track, navigating intricate patterns, and combating ominous bosses. The gameplay demands precision and rhythmic synchronization as players hit notes in time with the intense electronic soundtrack. The visuals, the music, and the unique elements make it stand out within the genre, making it a fantastic title to pick up.
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