The Top 7… Epic dance battles

In videogames (as in real life), dance isn’t typically perceived as a means of conflict resolution so much as it is something that sells motion controls and body-sensing cameras. And that’s kind of a shame, because the handful of dance-offs that games have treated us to over the years – expected and otherwise – have provided moments that were a hell of a lot more memorable than those 427,836 times we shot a guy. Done right, a dance battle – and by that we mean an in-game dance battle, not the kind that requires stomping on a pad or actually dancing in front of a camera – can be exciting, visually fascinating and potentially hilarious, even if most of them boil down to mashing buttons on cue. What follows are a few of our favorites.

7. Game Over

The dancers: The Simpsons and God

Ordinarily, the very idea of a dance battle with God – which is, incidentally, how The Simpsons Game ends – would skyrocket an entry like this to the top of the list. In practice, though, it’s not quite as impressive as we’d hoped. At the end of The Simpsons Game, the titular First Family of Springfield, fed up with being trapped in a videogame and invaded by aliens, take their case directly to God and ask him to sort things out.

Unfortunately, it turns out God’s a gamer – and an insecure gamer at that. All it takes is a few uneasy looks from the Simpsons to make him turn defensive, and demonstrate his superiority the only way an omnipotent creator of the universe can – with dance.

In a three-stage battle, the Simpsons have to compete in a bizarre version of Dance Dance Revolution, first on God’s Praystation, then on his Xodusbox, and finally his Hii. And while that all sounds like a fantastic idea for an endgame battle, it’s a little disappointing to see that the Simpsons themselves don’t actually dance. Instead, they hop on directional buttons while JHVH and his followers bust a move to The Scorpions’ “Rock You Like A Hurricane.” Still, the concept behind this one is just awesome enough that we’re completely sold on the idea.

6. A Deadly Dance

The dancers: Sly Cooper, a bunch of chickens and Mz. Ruby

None of the boss fights in Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus (Sly Raccoon in the UK) are exactly straightforward, but when Sly travels to Haiti to confront alligator voodoo priestess Mz. Ruby, things get even more bizarre than usual.

As Sly drifts slowly toward Mz. Ruby on the back of her tortoise Chumley, she dances a few evil spells his way (that just happen to look exactly like PlayStation buttons), which he’s then obliged to dodge. And because this is a videogame, making it through Ruby’s barrage of dance moves makes her disappear, forcing Sly into two more dance-offs, each deadlier than the last.

Sly’s reactions can only be called “dancing” in the most liberal sense, since they’re really more like split-second contortions. Even so, there’s an undeniably catchy rhythm to them, and if nothing else Mz. Ruby’s backup dancers do more than enough to compensate for Sly’s infuriating emphasis on survival over style.


Top 7


  • TyeTheCzar - August 4, 2011 3:26 a.m.

    Mass Effect 3 deserves an intricate Dance Battle minigame across the galaxy from the Citadel to Tuchanka to Omega.
  • Plan10FromOuterSpace - July 28, 2011 6:09 p.m.

    Just before the final boss fight in the third act of vanquish the robots appear to be getting jiggy next to their massive sound system, sadly the only way to end this is to shoot them all and I felt genuinely bad for spoiling their fun, its a shame a more peaceful response couldn't of been adopted with Russia and America settling their differences in a dance off...the suits AR response would of been a kick ass secret weapon too
  • Bianchi - July 27, 2011 10:37 p.m.

    OMG.......FLYING FLYING TO YOUR SOUUUUUULLL *sings*!!!! I think it has a very nice place, only surpassed by Ulala xD EPIC ROBO-Z IS EPIC. Yes, I love bust a groove, problem? xD
  • ThatFanInThePeacoat - July 27, 2011 2:22 p.m.

    Space Channel 5 has a special place in my heart
  • The_Tingler - July 27, 2011 12:14 p.m.

    God I loved Stubbs the Zombie. From a few of the guys who made the original Halo, don't you know - and is the only non-Halo game to use that game's engine. Also, is that Dr Zoidberg dancing in the Simpsons game?
  • Spazerman - July 27, 2011 3:58 a.m.

    only complaint i had with the Ruby dance in Sly 1 for the ps3 is that it's not in synch with the music like it was with the ps2. other than that it's still an awesome game@
  • Thequestion 121 - July 26, 2011 11:55 p.m.

    That was fantastic.
  • ericthesmith - July 26, 2011 11:14 p.m.

    Michael Jackson's Moonwalker has some wicked-sweet dance battles.
  • Yeager1122 - July 26, 2011 10:46 p.m.

    Yeah Bogt and sly awsome loved both of those.
  • TempariusMaximus - July 26, 2011 6:44 p.m.

    omfg that dance battle with Mz. Ruby is so fucking har, she's caused me to rage quit and farm lives many times
  • Syncmaster - July 26, 2011 6:08 p.m.

    Dont you dare say Brave Fencer Musashiden is forgetable!!! its one of my favorite psone games ever! damn funny, gameplay is awesome and the music and voice acting are really memorable. dont worry, I wont be offended by your sacrilege. btw, bust a move and space channel 5 were dance games for all I know.
  • Darkhawk - July 26, 2011 6:02 p.m.

    Hooray! Got to watch commercial before finding out "video currently unavailable". Great player, GR
  • SunnyvaleTrash - July 26, 2011 4:24 p.m.

    God I hated the battle in Sly Cooper. Restarting from the beginning of the battle every time i died pushed the limits of my patience.
  • therawski - July 26, 2011 3:51 p.m.

    Sly Cooper is awesome, I recently beat A Deadly Dance, it was tougher than it looks.
  • glane88 - July 26, 2011 3:43 p.m.

    I am saddened by the fact the the epic dance battle in Sly 2 isn't included. You know, the one where you have to ballroom dance with Carmelita (she's kinda a bad guy, eh?) under extreme pressure? Well Sly is calm, but maybe you knew if you screwed up you were done for. Epic ballroom dance is epic.
  • Crypto140 - July 26, 2011 1:29 p.m.

    Could you imagin if there were more dance battles in games. Bioshock, Gears of War, Halo even, those would be epic(I smell Kinect spin off titles)
  • DecoyOctorok - July 26, 2011 1:17 p.m.

    Where's the Kinect Space Channel 5? Come on, Sega!
  • EnragedTortoise1 - July 26, 2011 1:11 p.m.

    GR needs a Big-Lipped Alligator Moment indicator.
  • philipshaw - July 26, 2011 1:10 p.m.

    Space Channel 5 had to be number 1 because that whole game is about dance battles, good to see Sly on here because I love that bit in Sly Copper
  • luckyseven - July 26, 2011 11:33 a.m.

    I remember the dance off in the Simpsons game...great stuff Mikel

Showing 1-20 of 49 comments

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