Game music of the day: Streets of Rage

Game: Streets of Rage

Song: Beatnik on the Ship

Composer:Yuzo Koshiro

Above: Beatnik on the Ship from Streets of Rage

Holy crap, Yuzo Koshiro. If you love any videogame music from the '80s or '90s, there's a remarkably strong chance it came from this man. Beginning with series like Ys and Shinobi, Koshiro went on to score some of the best VGM the world will ever know, an unforgettable career arguably kicked off by his stunning work in the very first Streets of Rage.

Literally any song from the first game is worth hearing, but my personal favorite is from Round 5, aka "Beatnik on the Ship." The Genesis/Mega Drive was rarely known as a machine with excellent audio, so hearing this high-quality, well-composed song come from that little black box was truly mind blowing. It made what was an otherwise by-the-numbers beat 'em up an honest-to-god event that became one of the most popular 16-bit games of all time.

Above: Fighting in the Street, perhaps the most well known song from the game

Above: Moon Beach, another irresistible track from early in the game

Above: The classic opening, complete with Pure Moods-style intro song

Granted, if you don't care for dance-style VGM, then there's probably not a lot here for you. But even if that's the case, consider what it was like in 1991, when carefully constructed game music was just getting off the ground. This was the time when Mega Man, Castlevania, Zelda and Sonic were becoming household names (and songs), and even among those series' heyday, Streets of Rage carved out a substantial chunk of our collective minds. Could it ever return? Hard to say, as the beat 'em up has morped into games like Devil May Cry and God of War, so Streets would need a pretty serious overhaul. Then again, Platinum Games did make Bayonetta for Sega...


Game music of the day: Yoshi's Island
Flower Garden by Koji Kondo



Game music of the day: Extreme G
Trippy trance from the N64 days



Game music of the day: Streets of Rage 2
Three more classics from Yuzo Koshiro


  • philipshaw - December 5, 2010 10:29 p.m.

    Think I requested this, fucking love this game and the music
  • el.waxa - December 4, 2010 5:07 p.m.

    Great choice. Ive been wondering if this one would come up for a while. I still think streets of rage 1 is better than 2.
  • Higgins - December 4, 2010 5:02 p.m.

    Hell yeah! You can play that boat track at a party, with no one realizing it's from a videogame. True story!
  • Enaksan - December 4, 2010 3:54 p.m.

    i freakin love the Streets of Rage soundtracks and still listen to some tracks occasionally (the only music on my 360 HDD is game soundtracks, alot of which is from SoR)
  • sternparez - December 4, 2010 1:43 p.m.

    tuuuuuune!! Streets of Rage 3 music was such a let down, am I right to assume Kishoro wasn't involved in that one?
  • egregious - December 4, 2010 1:03 p.m.

    The ship music was the best track in that game followed by the Mr. X fight and then the intro music.
  • infernox - December 4, 2010 10:57 a.m.

    i didnt notice axels hobby is video games.
  • DiegoUK - December 4, 2010 7:25 a.m.

    Took you guys long enough. Easily the greatest video game music of all time.
  • goochbiscuit - December 4, 2010 5:47 a.m.

    Oh yeah, this is awesome Brett, thank you!
  • goochbiscuit - December 4, 2010 5:45 a.m.

    Fuckin spammers, GTFO of my GMotD
  • Strangleme - December 4, 2010 3:19 a.m.

  • NathanXplosion - December 4, 2010 3:03 a.m.

    Best GMOTD ever. This and Toe Jam and Earl are my favorite video game soundtracks of all time.
  • Bitchslapthehomeless - December 4, 2010 2:27 a.m.

    I still prefer Streets of Rage 2's music.
  • Cleanser247 - December 4, 2010 1:46 a.m.

  • EnragedTortoise1 - December 4, 2010 1:11 a.m.

    Best music on SUGC by far. Love Streets of Rage's music...
  • ExcessGiraffe - December 4, 2010 1:05 a.m.

    Shit yes. This is my all time favourite game for my Mega Drive.

Showing 1-16 of 16 comments

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