Best Video Game Song Tournament, 2001-2004: Top 256 (Part 1 of 8)

After 34 groups and a runoff, we’ve got our top 256! It’s finally time for the playoffs! Each day we’ll go through 32 songs, which means the top 256 will be split into 8 parts.

Since it’s the playoffs, groups will be active until 9:00AM Pacific the day after they post1, or for roughly 24 hours. You can listen to a playlist of today’s songs (in matchup order) here.

Or you can work ahead!


Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Or listen to every song here.



Voting will be live until Wednesday, September 30th at 9:00AM Pacific

Diversity Runoff Results:

Final Fantasy XThe Sending710Sonic Adventure 2Down in the Base…for Hidden Base
Final Fantasy XSeymour’s Ambition79Mega Man Battle Network 2Home Town (ACDC Town)
Final Fantasy XAssault413Guilty Gear XXThe Midnight Carnival
Final Fantasy XBrass de Chocobo59Parappa The Rapper 2Food Court
Super Smash Bros. MeleeYoshis Island (SMW theme)811Xenosaga Episode II: Jenseits von Gut und BöseImage Theme
Final Fantasy XChallenge114Final Fantasy XIVana’diel March
Super Smash Bros. MeleeJungle Japes1010.hack//Aura’s Theme
Super Smash Bros. MeleeFire Emblem118Star Ocean: Till the End of TimeFly Away in the Violet Sky
Super Smash Bros. MeleePoke Floats416Guilty Gear XXHoly Orders (Be Just or Be Dead)
Super Smash Bros. MeleeKongo Jungle109Sonic Adventure 2On the Edge…for Eternal Engine
Final Fantasy XHymn of the Fayth – Valefor512Final Fantasy X-2Nagi Heigen

A pretty good day for challengers, all told. I broke one tie in favor of Jungle Japes, but even with that challengers won 7 times to the favorites’ 4.

Fun Facts About The Top 256:


Top 256 By Game:

13 Songs:

  • Super Smash Bros. Melee

11 Songs:

  • Final Fantasy X

10 Songs:

  • Trails in the Sky FC

9 Songs:

  • Kingdom Hearts

8 Songs:

  • Iridion II
  • Katamari Damacy
  • Tales of Symphonia

7 Songs:

  • Cave Story
  • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

6 Songs:

  • Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne

5 Songs:

  • Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean
  • Final Fantasy Tactics Advance
  • Final Fantasy X-2
  • Mario Kart: Double Dash
  • Mega Man Battle Network 3
  • Parappa The Rapper 2
  • Technictix
  • Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim

4 Songs:

  • Guilty Gear XX
  • Silent Hill 3
  • Unlimited SaGa

3 Songs:

  • Gitaroo Man
  • Ico
  • Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga
  • Mega Man Battle Network
  • Mega Man Battle Network 2
  • Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
  • Pokemon Ruby/Sapphire
  • Wario Ware, In: Mega Microgame$!
  • Zone of the Enders

2 Songs:

  • Castlevania: Circle of the Moon
  • Disgaea: Hour of Darkness
  • Final Fantasy XI
  • Fire Emblem
  • Halo 2
  • Halo: Combat Evolved
  • Jet Set Radio Future
  • Kirby: Nightmare in Dreamland
  • Luigi’s Mansion
  • Mario Kart: Super Circuit
  • Mega Man Battle Network 5
  • Metroid Prime
  • Remember 11: The Age of Infinity
  • Shadow Hearts
  • Sonic Heroes
  • Star Ocean: Till the End of Time
  • Super Mario Sunshine
  • Wild Arms Alter Code: F
  • Xenosaga Episode II: Jenseits von Gut und Böse
  • Zone of the Enders: The Second Runner

1 Song:

  • Advance Wars
  • Asphalt: Urban GT
  • Baby Felix Halloween
  • Baldr Force EXE
  • Beats of Rage
  • Beyond Good & Evil
  • Boktai 2: Solar Boy Django
  • Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King
  • Dynasty Warriors 3
  • Dynasty Warriors 4
  • EVE Online
  • Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles
  • Freedom Force
  • Golden Sun
  • Iridion 3D
  • Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords
  • Legaia 2: Duel Saga
  • Macross 7 -Shake the Heart of the Galaxy-
  • Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour
  • Mario Kart Double Dash
  • Mario Power Tennis
  • Mega Man Zero 2
  • Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty
  • Ollie King
  • Puyo Pop Fever
  • Quantum Redshift
  • Rez
  • Samurai Warriors
  • Shadow Hearts Covenant
  • Shin Megami Tensei Digital Devil Saga 1
  • Silent Hill 2
  • Silent Hill 4
  • Sonic Advance 2
  • Sonic Adventure 2
  • Soul Calibur II
  • Suikoden III
  • Super Monkey Ball 2
  • Technibeat
  • The Incredible Machine – Even More Contraptions
  • The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons
  • The Lord of the Rings: the Fellowship of the Ring
  • Wild Arms 3
  • World of Warcraft
  • Zone of the Enders: The First of Mars

Pretty wide distribution here, without too many heavy hitters dominating. This was helped a little by the new diversity runoff, but even without it this would have been a wider spread than the 96-00 tournament.

Super Smash Bros. Melee snuck into first thanks to the runoff, with Final Fantasy X close behind. Trails in the Sky Football Club makes a surprise appearance at 3rd, and GBA title Iridion II makes a downright shocking appearance at 5th.

If you added up all the songs from Mega Man Battle Network games, you’d get 13, ie tied for first and facing a runoff. Instead, they’re spread out across 4 different titles, a little-known advantage of Capcom’s saturation bombing release strategy.

Top 256 by platform:

  • PlayStation 2: 98 (35 games)
  • GameCube: 56 (16 games)
  • Game Boy Advance: 51 (19 games)
  • PC: 28 (9 games)
  • Xbox: 9 (5 games)
  • Arcade: 6 (3 games)
  • Multiplatform: 4 (3 games)
  • Game Boy Color: 3 (3 games)
  • N-Gage: 1 (1 game)

First, a note on methodology. A game was assigned to a platform if there was an obvious first home for it; for example, if a game released for PS2 in February 2002 and then an Xbox port dropped that July, the game was marked as a PS2 game. The multiplatform label was only applied to games that first launched on multiple platforms simultaneously.

Unsurprisingly, the PS2 has a strong showing here, comfortably in first by both metrics. The GameCube takes 2nd by song, but 3rd by game, thanks to Melee’s heavy-hitting. The GBA is surprisingly close behind; will our love affair with the cronchy sound chip that could continue into the playoffs?

Also, congrats to the N-Gage! Because Asphalt Urban GT launched for the N-Gage 2 days before the Nintendo DS the forgotten mobile “””pioneer””” gets on the board.