In celebration of the upcoming RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra LIVE: Eímear Noone's Electric Arcade, we’re taking a look at some of gaming’s most iconic songs, scores, and symphonies. And whilst the genre and arrangements may be different, one thing is common throughout - the power of music to truly set the scene.

Pokémon Red & Blue

Who knew you could travel 25 years back in time in only 8 minutes? Serving as the backdrop to many of our childhoods, the Symphonic Gamers Orchestra’s take on Pokémon Red & Blue is heavenly, from the iconic main theme to the frolicking melodies of Route 1, to the Pokémon League and beyond.

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Final Fantasy 7

As one of the most beloved games ever made, Final Fantasy 7's musical collection could easily fill this entire article on its own. But two pieces, in particular, showcase the very best in gaming music.

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With haunting choral singing, set to a spine-chilling march, One Winged Angel serves as the anthem to the one and only, Sephiroth. Conducted by Eimear Noone herself, the performance above delivers a sinister atmosphere that only one of gaming's biggest villains could warrant.

On the other hand, Aerith's Theme is on the other end of the spectrum and is a track all gamers will recognise just from hearing those opening piano keys. This lullaby narrates one of the game’s most emotional and devasting story arcs, and whether it’s an orchestral performance or a humble duet, the real heart (and sadness) of Final Fantasy 7 is on display with every note.

Genshin Impact

As one of the most recent breakout stars in gaming, Genshin Impact’s metamorphic success comes as little surprise. The world of Teyvat is simply beautiful to explore – and all the more enchanting because of the music.

Some of the most popular songs from the game’s Liyue region, for example, are brought to life by the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra below.

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Mortal Kombat

The most shouted-along to track in the gaming industry, Mortal Kombat's main theme song is an iconic battle cry that’s inspired a plethora of remixes, covers, parodies, and much more. This performance by Prestige 6 Orchestra though, showcases the many moves this anthem has up its sleeve – and is simply flawless.

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Xenoblade Chronicles 2

One of the best features from the critically acclaimed Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is undoubtedly the soundtrack. This is helped in no small part by Irish choral ensemble Anúna, whose moving performance of Shadow of the Lowlands is textbook on how music can build enchanting worlds and captivate us all the while.

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Cuphead

The notoriously difficult boss fights in Cuphead are made all the more bearable by its earworm soundtrack, with iconic big-band sounds that will no doubt match your elevating heart rate when playing.

This behind-the-scenes look at Floral Fury will bring back haunting memories of fighting that darn flower, but also all the fun you had along the way.

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Super Mario

With a franchise spanning over 35 years, Mario and company have their fair share of epic tunes. And whilst you might think it would prove impossible to cover everything, the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra has managed to bitesize the best for your perusal.

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Hades

The music to the hit game Hades is just as impressive as its innovative hack-and-slash gameplay. If you've ever wanted a behind-the-scenes peek at the mechanics of game music, composer Darren Kob takes us on a trip to what 'Ancient Greek rock’ would sound like, in the famous Abbey Road Studios in London.

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The Legend of Zelda

As one of the most successful gaming franchises of all time, The Legend of Zelda has several signature pieces in its repertoire that have continued to delight gamers for over 35 years. This performance from the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra showcases the ethereal music at its best.

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Kingdom Hearts

Kingdom Hearts is a series that borrows the very best from both Disney and Final Fantasy, creating a hybrid story that is in and of itself a masterpiece. And whilst many Disney classics have been reimagined throughout Kingdom Hearts, the original tunes you'll hear throughout are just as impressive and immersive.

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Sonic 25th Anniversary Medley

The only thing which kept many gamers sane throughout some of Sonic's agonizing levels was iconic music. From the gentle hums of Green Hills to the ear-worm tracks of Studiopolis and more, Sonic has not only dominated gaming charts but Spotify playlists around the world too.

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Animal Crossing New Horizons

New Horizons came at the opportune time last year to salvage lockdown and give us new ways to stay together, whilst apart. The musicians behind the theme song performed it remotely for fans, reminding us how infectious the music of the game is, and how important it was in calming and relaxing the world amid the pandemic.

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Crash Bandicoot Medley

Revisit chaotic hog rides, epic boss fights, the N.Sanity beach and so much more, as the Manchester Video Game Orchestra takes you on a tour of 25 years worth of classic Crash Bandicoot gaming.

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Candy Crush Saga

As one of the most popular mobile games, Candy Crush is infamous for its puzzles and drop-in-drop-out gameplay. But behind that is an impressive collection of music that is beautiful to listen to. Have a look at how the London Symphony Orchestra recorded tracks for Soda Saga, and next time you play, pay close attention to the musical craftsmanship at hand.

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