Music games can provide some of the most fun in all of gaming because music is something everyone can enjoy. Add in gameplay mechanics like puzzles, shooting, dancing, or the use of electric instruments that can be played with a group of friends, and you’ve got a genre that easily becomes a house favorite. While the music genre is not as clear-cut as it used to be – remember when it was basically “Do you want to play Guitar Hero or Rock Band?” – there are many more creative renditions of these experiences, so the scene has never been better than now.
PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
Harmonix’s Fuser is perhaps the most musical game on this list because you’re creating new music game while playing. It puts you behind the DJ booth of your own character who’s attempting to climb the ranks of electronic festivals. What’s more is that you’re not just hitting notes to the beat of a song like you might in the studio’s more famous music game, Guitar Hero, but rather, it’s you that’s creating the song. You can splice drums from one track with keys from another. Continue to build your song by adding in some guitar, maybe, and when you’re ready
2-Rock Band 4
PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Rock Band was the natural evolution of where Guitar Hero took music game, and while the latter eventually tried to replicate the full band setup, it just didn’t work as well as the former. Harmonix continued to develop its Rock Band series alongside other music game, and it eventually led us to the fourth game in the franchise, released in 2015. It’s just as good as you remember it, too. Thanks to new-gen backward compatibility, it’s still wholly playable on Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 consoles. However, tracking down the electric instruments won’t be as easy as we wish it were.
3-Cadence of Hyrule
Deviating from the more “you create a song by playing to a beat” formula of many music game, Cadence of Hyrule is a crossover of The Legend of Zelda and Crypt of the Necrodancer. Like the game it’s based on, this Nintendo-influenced sequel sees Crypt’s main character, Cadence, transported to Hyrule by the Triforce, tasked with awakening a sleeping Link and Zelda. To do that, Cadence must navigate a strangely music-driven Hyrule while attacking enemies in her path, all to the tune of amazingly-remixed Zelda songs. Not only is the game filled with fun takes on melodies we all know and love, but it’s downright fun, and it looks beautiful, too.
PSVR, Oculus Quest, PC
There’s no music game that makes you feel as cool as Beat Saber does. Not only is it a Guitar Hero-like rhythm game, but a lightsaber simulator, too. Okay, maybe Beat Saber developer Beat Games wouldn’t describe it as a lightsaber simulator but like, come on, you’re hitting neon blocks with a large light sword, and it feels very Star Wars meets Tron. It’s an absolute blast too. Beat Games’ original tracks are upbeat and hype as hell, and it doesn’t hurt that Beat Saber kind of tricks you into a small workout while playing.
PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Luna, PC
Rez Infinite is a 2015 standalone expansion to the original Rez, first released in 2001. It comes with the original game, of course. Still, it features a new level called Area X, so not only are you getting one of the best music/rail-shooter hybrid music game ever made, but you’re getting brand new content developed in the same world first hacked into on PlayStation 2 and Dreamcast. The entire experience is playable in PSVR, too, which makes the open cyberspace of Infinite’s Area X all the better. If you want neon lights, electric music, and an addictive gameplay loop that begs you to give it one more try for a new high score, you can’t go wrong with Rez Infinite.