10 games that use popular songs to improve gameplay

Video games often make cultural references to famous people, fictional characters, and popular music. Sometimes the releases include recognizable songs to help engage the gaming community and target a specific demographic. Licensed tracks are scattered around a number of AAA versions, which effectively enhance gameplay.

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Popular titles such as FIFA and Grand Theft Auto have tailored soundtracks that meet the aesthetic demands of the game. However, some games will strategically include well-known songs at certain levels. This emphasizes the plot and characters, while also making long-lasting missions and virtual car rides more enjoyable. Whether it’s during an important cutscene, at the start of a level, or even in a lobby or menu screen, music lends character to the game and amplifies the overall gaming experience.

ten Saints Row: the third features Kayne West as players throw a party


Skydiving Mission at Saints Row Party Time

Saints Row: the third is an action-adventure game that features many licensed songs that can be heard in the open world environment and on in-game radio stations. Throughout the history of this RGT competitor, players take on the role of personalized protagonist. During “Party Time,” the fifth mission in Act 1, players must jump from a helicopter and parachute onto the roof where Morningstar’s rival gang is having a poolside party.

Once the elevator code is obtained, players can progress through the penthouse and activate the elevator to allow their holy companions to come and help take out the remaining enemies. This part of the mission is accompanied by Kanye West’s “Power”, which intensifies the story and makes this level unforgettable.

9 Far Cry 3 has a memorable mission with popular music


Hit the Hornets Nest Far Cry 3

After playing a game of poker and stealthily following the man from the twelfth mission, players will have access to “Kick The Hornet’s Nest” where the story continues. Once players meet Willis in his hut and prove that they are not a risk, he will provide them with a flamethrower for players to use to burn Vaas’ drug crops.

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As players literally burn the antagonists’ profits, Skrillex and Damian Marley’s “Make It Bun Dem” repeats itself until all five crops are destroyed. The task is far from a chore and is one of the most memorable and enjoyable missions in the world. Far cry series.


8 Rayman Legends includes Black Betty as players navigate the first musical level


Rayman Legends Castle Rock level with Black Betty

Rayman Legends has been out since 2013, and while it’s not the most recent title in the series, it’s still loved by many gamers today. The Ubisoft franchise is also winning over music lovers with this release, which includes musical levels where players have to jump and strike to the beat of the music.

The first level of the game to feature a popular song is “Castle Rock” where players must escape a wall of fire and reach the end without falling or colliding with enemies. The beautiful gameplay is perfectly synchronized around the tempo of the music. The accompanying track is a Rayman version of the popular rock song “Black Betty”.


seven Prey presents tongue-in-cheek music to highlight the story


Prey 2006 Mission Last Call in Jen's bar

Developers – Human Head Studios – released Prey in 2006, where players control the protagonist, Domasi “Tommy” Tawodi. The first mission, “Last Call”, begins in Jen (Tommy’s girlfriend) bar where players are also introduced to Enisi, her grandfather. As these characters voice their concerns, players can explore the environment and interact with almost anything, including the digital jukebox which features licensed music.

After teaching drunks a lesson, the emergency alert system is activated, indicating that several objects of similar appearance have been sighted over North America. A few seconds later, the jukebox automatically plays “Don’t Fear The Reaper” by Blue Öyster Club. During what appears to be an alien invasion, this tongue-in-cheek song is played as the roof opens and Tommy and his loved ones are abducted.


6 A Call of Duty: Black Ops Mission plays the Rolling Stones


Call Of Duty: Black Ops Crash Site Mission

The players play as Alex Mason in the tenth call of Duty Black Ops mission, “Site of the accident.” The SOG unit is tasked with recovering Agent Nova 6 from a plane wreck in Laos. After boarding the PBR, the team moves up the river while defending against enemy guard towers and sampans.

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With unlimited ammo on board, players must also destroy hostile missile launchers and riverboats before reaching the next stage. During the chaos and destruction, the Rolling Stones’ “Sympathy For The Devil” plays in the background. The song was released in 1968 when the mission takes place, giving players a more realistic playing experience.


5 Gears of War 3 has one of the saddest moments in video game history


Gears Of War 3 Brothers To The End Dom and Marcus

Epic games added to the Xbox franchise in 2011 with the release of Gears of War 3. The title features one of the saddest moments in video game history during the mission, “Brothers Until The End”, from Act 3 – Chapter 5. Dom, member of Delta Squad , mourns his wife, Maria, as he leaves his necklace and COG Tag on his family’s gravestone.

This cutscene foreshadows what happens later when Dom sacrifices himself to save his comrades at the end of the mission. This moment moves on to another cutscene, which is accompanied by the instrumental version of “Madworld” by Gary Jules. This song increases sadness and emphasizes the story for those who play.


4 Steep presents classical music during a Wingsuit challenge


Steep Ride Of The Valkyries wingsuit mission

Ubisoft brought the world Soak in 2016. The game of snowboarding also includes other sports such as skiing, paragliding and wingsuit flight. Players will find various missions and challenges on the open world map across the vast mountain range.

“Ride Of The Valkyries” is a challenge that requires extreme sports enthusiasts to jump from a high platform to the edge of a cliff and pass through checkpoints in a wingsuit. Players enjoy listening to Wagner’s “Flight of the Valkyries” as they soar through the air at high speed. Players will be flying dangerously close to the mountain and the classical music helps give the mission a sense of danger.




3 Destroy all humans! 2 emphasizes the era with a 60s style song


Destroy all humans!  2 destructive revelade airships in a flying saucer

Destroy all humans! 2 begins in Bay City where players take on the role of Crypto, an alien from the planet Furon in 1960s California. The mission of the third story, “They shoot the hippies, don’t they?” involves destroying airships filled with Revelade gas – a substance that eradicates Furon’s DNA in humans. The head of the hippie commune, Coyote Bongwater, intends to pollute the population to protect the public from extraterrestrial manipulation.

In this part of the level, players must destroy waves of pink airships filled with Revelade to allow Crypto to continue harvesting brains in Bay City. The experience during this crazy mission and the complex storyline are enhanced with the Greenhornes song, “Pattern Skies”. The track reminds players of the days of the ’60s when they wreaked havoc and destruction in a flying saucer.


2 Back 4 Blood plays Motorhead while players fend off zombies


Return 4 Blood Bar Room Blitz missions in Keet's bar

The spiritual successor of Left 4 dead 2 includes licensed music, which enhances players’ zombie killing experience. During the Back 4 Blood mission, “Bar Room Blitz” In Act 1: Search and Rescue, players have to start the jukebox in Keet’s bar and fend off the zombies while the music is playing.

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Songs vary with each game, providing players with different audible entertainment as they slay the undead. Popular songs include “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen, “Tick Tick Boom” by The Hives and “Ace Of Spades” by Motörhead. There’s also a jukebox located in Fort Hope for those who want to hear the other tracks in the game.


1 Red Dead Redemption recreates the cowboy lifestyle with song by José González


Red Dead Redemption entering Mexico Jose Gonzalez

In the franchise’s first title, players take on the role of protagonist, John Marston. The story takes place after the successor of the game, Red Dead Redemption 2, which is a prequel. The original game has four chapters, and after completing the first one, familiar music can be heard.

As you enter Mexico, the music of famous guitarist Jose Gonzalez plays in the background. As players dive into the newly unlocked area, the song “Far Away” begins to play, which helps transport players through time as they cross the Mexican border. Some people have claimed that it is one of their favorite moments when playing a video game.

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