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Veteran Member - Level 13
You know, I miss something in a lot of modern games. From AAA franchises like Call of Duty to indie gems such as Papers Please, very few games are focused on anything other than doom and gloom. When I’m sad, I don’t want to make agonizing decisions or gun down aliens by the hundreds, I want to be happy.
For me, music has always been the best way of setting a tone in a game. Place disturbing music, I’ll be scared. Add in some somber tunes, I’ll be sad. But if you add in a truly uplifting piece of music, my spirits will soar. As such, I am dedicating this list to the Top 15 Happiest Songs in Gaming. Remember my usual rules, only games I’ve played and it’s limited to one per franchise. So with that out of the way, lets get this started.
15-Planet Wisp Act 1 (Sonic Colors)
Sonic Colors is what most Sonic fans consider to be the comeback of Sonic the Hedgehog. See, ever since Adventure 2, Sonic games have been getting a lot of flak. It may have nearly taken SEGA ten years, Sonic was able to make aa return in a big way with Sonic Colors. Most Sonic games are remembered for two things: Platforming and music. Sonic Colors got the platforming down, but did it also have good music?
Take a wild guess.
Planet Wisp Act 1 may break the usual Sonic tradition of fast-paced and hard hitting tunes, but I don’t care. Planet Wisp is just a fun song to listen to. It’s hard to make a song that’s just pure relaxation, but Planet Wisp Act 1 nailed it.
14-Lonely Rolling Star (Katamari Damacy)
It’s hard to find a single song in the Katamari soundtrack that’s somber or ominous. The whole game is just a happy experience, and the music is a huge part in that. Now, it was extremely hard for me to pick out just one happy track from the Katamari series, but after a listening to Lonely Rolling Star and Katamari on the Rocks many times, I eventually decided on this track.
Lonely Rolling Star is a love ballad about two lovers, and one of them always finds himself ‘rolling’ away from his lover. But she’s not worried, because she knows that no matter what happens, the lonely rolling star will always roll right back to his true love. If that doesn’t sound like a happy love theme, I don’t know what is.
13-Ending (Pokemon Diamond and Pearl)
As I've mentioned before, the Pokemon games are just happy affairs. A kid and his Pokemon going out to explore the world and someday become the very best. So when it's all over, it's time for your player character to hop back on his or her bike and ride home.
This song plays while your Pokemon Trainer bikes back through the Sinnoh region, passing through every noteworthy town and location in the game. It starts off slow, but picks up speed as the player gets closer to his home. It's really one of the more touching moments in the Pokemon series, and the music alone helps it stand out.
12-Get it Together! (Little Big Planet)
Sackboy is one of those video game characters who's always happy. Even when he trying to look mad or threatening, he just ends up appearing plain adorable. So if a happy game has a happy character, it’s only fitting that it has plenty of happy songs. It was a long and agonizing decision, but I eventually had to settle on Get it Together! from the first LittleBigPlanet game.
Get it Together! is a bit of a Frankenstein’s Monster of music. All sorts of instruments are blasting, and seemingly random singing cuts in for a bit. It should be chaotic, but the music somehow manages to fit together in a beautiful harmony of noise. However what really stands it apart from the other joyous tracks in Little Big Planet, is that infectious whistling. It’s impossible to hear something that catchy and not instantly feel happy.
11-The Sims 3 (The Sims 3)
The Sims has always been a game about enjoying life. Growing up, going to school, and eventually nabbing a dream job and family. It’s a game that’s just plain uplifting to see. Surprisingly, if something can be more uplifting than the story of the Sims, it’s the theme song for the Sims 3.
Starting off calm and cheery, the Sims 3 theme quickly evolves into a beautiful string piece with an army of percussion backing it up. When the singers kick in and the theme gets louder, I manage to smile every single time. And any song that can do that deserves a spot on my list.
10-Fountain Garden (Kirby’s Epic Yarn)
The opinion of Kirby’s Epic Yarn seems to be a stark split in two. One half thinks that Kirby’s Epic Yarn is the crowning point of Nintendo’s fall into casual gaming, being an easy romp through challenging levels. The second camp thinks that Kirby’s Epic Yarn is a nice, relaxing game to play compared to the brutal difficulty of one of Nintendo’s other big Wii platformers, Donkey Kong Country Returns. Honestly, I adore this game. It’s just a happy experience, and man does the music do a great job of showing that off.
I mean, just listen to that! The strings, that piano slide, it's all just one huge ball of upbeat noise! Fountain Garden doesn't sound like it belongs in a platformer, it sounds like it belongs in Disneyland! It's just such a joy to hear, and cheers me up every single time I listen to it.
9-Overture (Dragon Quest IX)
Dragon Quest IX has been one of the few games that has ever made me cry, but it isn’t all doom and gloom. The game has plenty of triumphant moments or standard High Fantasy sights that remind you of fairy tales. And the only thing in Dragon Quest nearly as whimsical is the world is the opening theme, Overture.
Every Dragon Quest has had its own version of Overture, but the one in IX is my favorite. When the trumpets kick in, you really do feel ready for a happy adventure. If only the game itself was half as cheerful as this tune.
8-Yoshi’s Story Ending (Brawl)
Yoshi’s Story is happy enough as it is. I mean, it’s a game about smiling Yoshis going to rescue a tree literally called The Happy Tree. So when Smash Bros remixed the theme for a whole new generation of gamers, I knew I was in for something joyful. I just didn’t think it would be THIS mind-numbingly catchy.
But this song doesn’t truly kick in until 1:08, where the Yoshis start singing. The already catchy tempo is now filled with a chorus of adorable dinosaurs along with whistling. For a game that features Solid Snake beating up psychic kids or Pikachu turning Luigi into a crisp with lightning, this is one cheery tune.
7-The Elder Scrolls Morrowind (The Elder Scrolls: Morrowind)
As a general rule of thumb, fantasy themes are all sweeping epics. From the dramatic Lord of the Rings theme to the mysterious Harry Potter theme, few fantasy franchises have a song that’s peaceful. Now, the Elder Scrolls theme has gotten more dramatic over the years, but back in Morrowind it was just a catchy violin song.
While the theme for Oblivion is shrouded in mystery and the Skyrim theme is a call to arms, Morrowind represents that fantasy wonder. There’s a whole fantasy world to explore, complete with enormous volcanoes and deep caves. This song invites you to explore every last nook and cranny, to just enjoy the province of Morrowind.
6-Congratulations Everybody! (Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney)
The Phoenix Wright games aren’t necessarily the happiest around. Sure, they have their fair share of comedy, but they’re focused on murder and lies. So when you finally find a way to pull through for your client and convict the real murderer, you need a truly happy theme to congratulate you. Enter Congratulations Everybody!
At the end of every successful case, you and your client always talk about how their lives will be getting better and how your client is grateful to you for helping them. Combine that with this amazingly catchy tune and the bouncy beat, and you have a fantastic song to cheer you up after a tough case.
5-Animal Crossing: Wild World (Animal Crossing: Wild World)
If you ask me, Animal Crossing is just the happiest game on the planet. Yes, Resetti can be a pain. And yes, Tom Nook may seem a tad greedy at times. However, the game is just overall enjoyable to play and watch. It’s a life simulator without the struggle, the only game I can call a “Relaxation simulator”. Of course, the music is a massive part of it. It was tough to choose just one Animal Crossing song, but I think that the theme from Wild World is the best bet.
The theme of Wild World is a laid back tune that accompanies the title screen. While you can only hear it when you boot up the game, it has left quite an impression on me. In fact, I dare say that it’s one of the most memorable tracks from any DS game I’ve ever played.
4-Because I Love You (Earthbound)
Earthbound is an interesting game. I can’t really say it just has one theme, because it doesn’t. It’s kind of a confused mess when it comes to tone, but the happy parts do stand out for being exceptionally joyful. And with a song titled ‘Because I Love You’... Well, the tone is pretty cut and dry there.
No matter how dark the game is, Ness’ house is still a comforting place to be. It’s just a simple house with his mother, his sister, and his dog. Whenever you come back from fighting monsters into this house, there’s no better warm welcome than this.
3-File Select (Super Mario 64)
This song has a very personal appeal to me. Growing up adoring Super Mario 64, I found myself hearing this song a lot. From the age of six to ten, I could always count on hopping into one of my favorite games for some fun. And honestly, if I had to point out one song that defined my childhood gaming experience, this would be it.
The tune is catchy, the ambience is calming, and it just feels like a full blast of nostalgia to the face. Whenever I hear this song start up, I’m brought back to days of the past where my friends and I would just discuss games on the playground. It was a simpler time where games weren’t about deep messages or advanced character stories, but they were just fun. I guess that’s what the entire 3D Platformer genre means to me, and I really hope it will make a return some day. Until then, I still have this song to remember that era.
2-Clock Town Day 1 (The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask)
It’s funny how even the darkest games can have one of the happiest video game songs ever. Clock Town is not a great city, ravaged by paranoia and thievery. The moon itself is going to drop down on the town, yet it’s inhabitants are still blissfully unaware to their impending doom. Absolutely none of those dark themes are covered in this track.
No, Clock Town Day 1 is a very happy song. It has that nice ambiance you would expect from a fantasy market, but with friendlier people. It just gives off the feeling that Clock Town isn’t really a bad place to be. Sadly, this innocent theme slowly morphs into something more sinister by the end of the game, but it’s still fun to enjoy this cheery tune while it lasts.
1-Cara Mia Addio (Portal 2)
Portal is not a game defined by its happy moments. The entire franchise is built around b*tch black humor, almost every joke being about misanthropy or death. The entire game is all doom and gloom, and it never changes. Well, not until the finale of Portal 2, where the game turns into one of the most beautiful operas ever heard.
Cara Maria Adio plays as you leave Aperture Science, the normally malicious turrets providing a soothing melody directed by GLaDOS herself. You’ve finally reached the exit to hell, and GLaDOS and company use this as their formal apology. If there was a more touching and dramatic way to say “No hard feelings”, I don’t know it.