Long before Axl Rose was suing his former bandmates over Guitar Hero, or professional orchestras performed live overtures from Final Fantasy, all gamers had to listen to were chiptunes— video game music composed from 8 bits.
Which isn’t to say that they weren’t any good. Quite the contrary, actually. This might just be nostalgia settling in, but in retrospect it’s amazing how 8-bit composers were able to draw out so much working with so little. (More on Time.com: Let’s Go Retro: Best Computer Games from the ’80s)
Without further ado, here are five of the best tracks from back in the day, placing emphasis on how listenable the track still is, and staying away from the ones already deeply embedded in our subconsciouses. (In other words, no Mario, Zelda, or Tetris themes— we all know what they sound like, anyway.)
What were your folks’ favorite 8-bit tunes? Love this list? Hate it? Anything we missed?
We’d love to hear your favorites down below.