Gaming's greatest victory jingles

A giant compendium of some of the most uplifting tunes you'll ever hear

Aha, you were about to go running to the comments to start writing “You forgot…,” weren’t you? WEREN’T YOU!? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. One of the very first sounds you hear in the first Zelda is also one of the best: the four notes that play whenever you find an item, which have all remained more or less the same, starting with the bleepy familiarity of the 1987 original:

Things got a bit more orchestral over the years, a trend that culminated with the ethereal tones in Twilight Princess:

It’s even consistent in 2009’s Spirit Tracks, which ups the tempo and sharpness a bit, in keeping with its slightly more manic cartoon-train theme.

The GTA series doesn’t just feature some of the richest, most varied licensed soundtracks in gaming; it’s also sported some memorable original tracks, which help shape the tone of each game, and tend to form the basis for their mission-complete jingles. The best examples, unsurprisingly, are the “main” games in the series, starting with Grand Theft Auto III’s deep, funky loops:

Things got a little more refined in 2002’s Vice City, with a synth-heavy jingle that perfectly suited the gritty, Miami Vice-inspired setting:

That was replaced a few years later, with a vaguely sinister hip-hop riff that was more appropriate to San Andreas’s early ‘90s West-Coast gangsta narrative.

Finally, Grand Theft Auto IV went a little crazy with the mission-complete themes, sporting no fewer than five, each of which was tailored to the tone of the mission. That number grew even further when The Lost and Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony came along. We could track them all down individually, but in the interest of time, here’s a YouTube video that collects them all:

Bully might seem like a weird fit on a page full of Zeldas and Grand Theft Autos, but it nonetheless features one of our all-time favorite victory jingles: the one that comes whenever you successfully complete a classroom minigame.

Above: If our actual classes had rewarded us with this instead of a shrill bell, we probably wouldn’t have spent that sixth year in third grade

Dec 3, 2010

Putting your game on hold should always be this memorable

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After graduating from college in 2000 with a BA in journalism, I worked for five years as a copy editor, page designer and videogame-review columnist at a couple of mid-sized newspapers you've never heard of. My column eventually got me a freelancing gig with GMR magazine, which folded a few months later. I was hired on full-time by GamesRadar in late 2005, and have since been paid actual money to write silly articles about lovable blobs.
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