Video games: Nineties is the best decade for soundtracks - and Mortal Kombat tops the list

A recent study shows the most popular video game soundtracks from 1980s to 2010s.

Known as a decade of peace and prosperity, the 1990s was shaped by films including Forrest Gump and Pulp Fiction as well as trendy bell-bottomed jeans.

It is also considered the best decade for video gamemusic, according to a recent survey.

Tracks that were released in the 1990s and accompany iconic video games have been viewed over 220 million times on YouTube - nearly double the amount of views of other soundtracks published in the last decade.

Video game soundtracks play an important role in the gaming experience for many - and as an estimated 36% of the world population play the games, analysed the YouTube views to see which title, genre, and song were most popular.

1990s video game soundtracks have been played the most times (Pic: Pic Alliance/Getty)

The casino site ranked 60 video games, with the top 10 spanning nearly 35 years of game releases and an assortment of puzzle, fighting, adventure and first person shooter genres.

This comes as video game sales sky-rocketed during the pandemic seeing 4.3 million games sold in a week in March 2020, which brought the total increase in sales up 63%.

People were forced to stay indoors, so the concept of solving puzzles by yourself or battling competitors across the globe, renewed the gaming interest from 30 years ago.

Pac Man is a popular video game, but its soundtrack did not make the top 10 (Pic: AFP/Getty)

Another finding by revealed fighting game music as the most popular genre.

Exemplified by Guile’s Theme from Street Fighter 2 and the Mortal Kombat theme song, Techno Syndrome. Having racked up 165 million views on YouTube, it is the most popular release.

Mortal Kombat’s theme song, written by Oliver Adams, was the first released in the Mortal Kombat series and claimed top spot for video game music views on YouTube at an impressive 141 million.


Combining vocals from the game as well as an upbeat synth pad-style rhythm, it could be classed as the ultimate video game soundtrack.

The 1992 game was viewed 100 million times more than second place’s humorous soundtrack for Portal in 2007, written by Jonathon Coulston.

So as Nineties trends make a comeback with denim jackets and loafers becoming popular once again, be sure to expect the 1990s video games and their music returning to the forefront.

Top ten video game tracks: