13 iconic videogame sounds that'll take you back in time

Gaming geeks, lend us your ears for a trip down memory lane
13 of the most iconic videogame sounds

13 of the most iconic videogame sounds

Graphics are great, but nothing evokes priceless gaming memories like a perfectly pitched in-game sound.

This smattering of iconic audio clips are guaranteed to get your nostalgia gland dripping. Make sure to let us know what we've missed in the comments below.

The Ring ding – Sonic the Hedgehog (Mega Drive, 1991)

There are few sounds more satisfying that zooming through a long line of gold coins as your favourite blue hedgehog. Watch out though – one stray spike will transform all that happiness into bitter feelings of loss and resentment. 

That sodding Duck Hunt dog – Duck Hunt (NES, 1984)

Screw this dog. Its incessant ear-piercing laughter mocking our every Duck Hunt failure drove us around the bend. Until, of course, we got the chance for revenge in Vs. Duck Hunt. Take that you stupid mutt.

"Finish Him!" - Mortal Kombat (1992)

You've battered your opponent all round – embarrassed them really – and you've more than earned those two sweet words. You cement your superiority with a steely glare before executing a perfect fatality and watching your foe's virtual world crumble around them. Enjoy your victory pizza.

'Puzzle Solved' melody - The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (N64, 1998)

This three second melody is sweet, sweet music to any Zelda fan's ears. We recommend playing it every time you solve a problem in real life. From increasing your profit margins to getting the lid off a stubborn jar of jam, it'll enhance the moment by at least an order of magnitude.

"Say-gaaaaaah" – Sega Mega Drive

The second that white screen, blue text and harmonised voice fired up, you know you're in for a good time. From ploughing through levels in Sonic to mowing down enemies in Desert Strike, the Mega Drive console startup sequence initiates a Pavlovian drool response in us to this day.

"Stay a while. Stay FOREVER!" – Impossible Mission (C64, 1984)

Evil Elvin Atombender's opening line in Impossible Mission still occasionally haunts our dreams. Then we remind ourselves that we defeated Dr. Atombender's rubbish 8-bit sprite many, many years ago.

Multivision goggle power-up whine – Splinter Cell (2002)

When you hear the camera flash-like sound of Sam Fisher's night vision goggles, you know it's business time. Sure, it's odd that guards completely ignore its green glow and high-pitched whine – but who cares when you're having so much fun dishing out death from the shadows?

Funny how it also sounds a bit like the Catchphrase buzzer, isn't it?

"Hadouken!" – Street Fighter 2 (1991)

Our panicky Street Fighter 2 button mashing resulted in firing countless desperate 'Hadouken' energy balls against quick-reflexed foes. The sound is permanently etched on our minds. Sadly, shouting it out in real life does little to clear packed Underground carriages or Sainsbury's queues. Well, depending on how loud you bellow.

The headbutt coin ding - Super Mario Bros. (1985, NES)

Quite possibly the most recognisable game sound ever, it almost makes us want to smash our heads against brick walls in the hope of releasing golden treasure. Doesn't work.

Newspaper hitting a porch – Paperboy

There are few things as satisfying as a perfectly-timed newspaper throw in Paperboy. It cements one's status as a master delivery boy, a higher station than we'd ever hope to achieve in real life. Few things sound less like a newspaper hitting a porch, mind you.

You've been spotted! - Metal Gear Solid

The most rage-inducing, panic-creating sound in gaming history, the klaxon from Metal Gear Solid (coupled with the massive on-screen red exclamation mark) generated many a controller-to-floor incident.

Three. Two. One. Beeeeeep! – Super Mario Kart (SNES, 1992)

Five short seconds before you and your friends descend into karting madness, throwing turtle shells, bananas and lightning clouds at each other. Who cares if you've been first place all race? That red shell respects NO-ONE.

"Waka Waka" - Pac-Man

Do you trust us? Then take your finger, and repeatedly poke it in and pull it out of your ear. Boom. Pac-Man. Check out the video for proof. Cleaning your ears just got a little bit more enjoyable.