Table of Contents[Hide][Show]
- #25 Hi-Fi Rush
- #24 Dance Dance Revolution Series
- #23 Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory
- #22 BPM: Bullets per Minute
- #21 DJMax Respect V
- #20 Pistol Whip
- #19 Just Shapes & Beats
- #18 Rhythm Doctor
- #17 Quaver
- #16 AudioSurf 2
- #15 Thumper
- #14 Geometry Dash
- #13 A Dance of Fire And Ice
- #12 Fuser
- #11 Beat Hazard 1 & 2
- #10 Metal Hellsinger
- #9 DJ Hero
- #8 Trombone Champ
- #7 PaRappa The Rapper
- #6 Crypt of the NecroDancer
- #5 Beat Saber
- #4 Rocksmith 2014 Edition – Remastered
- #3 Just Dance Series
- #2 Rockband Series
- #1 Guitar Hero Series
Rhythm games weren’t possible at one time in gaming. But now, many people have put their brains to the test to see if they can make a rhythm game that’s a lot of fun!
#25 Hi-Fi Rush
Developer: Tango Gameworks
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Platforms: PC XSX|S
Release: January 26, 2023
Hi-Fi Rush was a surprise video game drop from Tango Gameworks. If you’re not familiar with their name alone, this is the studio that brought out titles like The Evil Within and Ghostwire: Tokyo. Surprisingly they brought out a very vibrant rhythm game. Announced and released on January 25, 2023, players are taking the role of a wannabe rockstar named Chai. Fused with a music player for a heart, Chai and his ragtag team are facing a menacing corporation. But to make things a bit more chaotic is that the entire game is played with the beat of its soundtrack. Keeping with the rhythm, players can deliver some more devastating blows against an enemy. Best of all, if you have Xbox Game Pass, this game launched and was readily available on the subscription service.
#24 Dance Dance Revolution Series
Let’s start with one of the games that started the revolution, pun intended. The Dance Dance Revolution Series was one of the easier ways to get into the rhythm genre. Typically, you’d play these games at arcade settings where the station is set up, and you could jive to the beats and press the right foot pad to get the points.
The challenge is not only testing yourself but going against someone else right next to you. You play the same song and see whose dance moves are the best! It’s simple fun that never gets old, and that’s why it’s the perfect start to the list.
#23 Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory
Some of you might be mad that we’re putting a beloved franchise so low on the list, but there’s a reason. Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory does continue the story from the mainline games, but the title plays a bit gimmicky with how they incorporate the music and expect you to play it to understand what’s going to happen next.
Remember, the main games are action RPGs.
Anyway, in the title, you’ll work through the memories of the series and fight alongside the beats as Sora, Donald, and Goofy. All the classic tracks are here, so you’ll be bopping your head to the beat as you beat up the enemies and get a high score.
#22 BPM: Bullets per Minute
BPM: Bullets per Minute is one of several games on this list that feature combat being done to the rhythm of the music being played.
In this particular game, you’re a Valkyrie who is trying to defend Asgard from the hordes of the underworld that are trying to invade it. The monsters and bosses that you fight have their actions tied to the music. As such, you’ll need to pay attention and look for ways to exploit the rhythm so you can do damage.
All the dungeons you partake in are randomly generated, giving you plenty of reasons to replay the game to see what new challenges await.
#21 DJMax Respect V
Are you ready to feel the rhythm in a way that few games let you experience? DJMax Respect V is the latest in the line of games that’ll put you to the test with some of the best tracks from multiple genres of music. Pop, Rock, Electronic, Ambient, Jazz, and more are represented here, and you’ll get to either play them or enjoy listening to them as they go across your screen.
Test yourself across multiple modes, and even leave little notes to help other players should they need it! The game is a more interactive experience than you may realize, so don’t be afraid to feel it out.
#20 Pistol Whip
Have you ever watched an action movie and noticed that they sometimes time the attacks or shots of the hero or villain to the music that’s playing in the background? If you like that concept, you’ll want to try Pistol Whip.
The game will put you in action scenes, and you’ll need to time your shots and attacks to the beat to advance the scene. The tracks are going to test you, so you’ll need to be light on your feet to get through the action ahead.
There are many backdrops to the scenes, leading to new moves. Do you think you can win them all?
#19 Just Shapes & Beats
If you’re looking for a blinding and challenging game that is simple to learn but hard to master, try Just Shapes & Beats.
The rules of the game are simple. You’ll want to avoid the shapes in the level and blast your enemies to bits while you jam to the music. There are 40 stages in the game that were custom-made to be different from the other 39.
One of the big choices you’ll face is whether you want to play things alone or team up with friends or online partners to handle the level together. A feast for the eyes and ears awaits you in the game.
#18 Rhythm Doctor
It’s been widely speculated that music has healing properties on people. But in Rhythm Doctor, they take that to a new level. The game focuses on you using techniques to save patients’ lies that are tied to rhythm. Much like in the real world, no two patients are the same, and using “rhythm theory,” you’ll need to perfectly time your beats to save their lives.
The game is deep in gameplay and story, and there are plenty of characters to save and interact with. You’ve never played a title like this before, so put on your medical jacket and get to work saving lives!
Quaver has the unique distinction of being a title influenced by the community it’s cultivated on such a level that the game wouldn’t be what it is today without it.
The game has two modes. The first lets you play the game with four notes. The other lets you up the difficulty by taking on a 7-note challenge. Whichever one you choose, you’ll have a large competitor base to challenge.
You can also go into the map editor and create challenges based on the music tracks you love in the game. You can even watch replays of your matches or others to catch things you couldn’t before.
#16 AudioSurf 2
Have you ever wanted to “ride the music” you listen to? With AudioSurf 2, you’ll uniquely get that chance. Simply put, you’ll upload a track you have into the game, and the game will “visualize” that track into a level that you’ll ride through.
How your track is composed will shape your level from top to bottom. The music affects how fast things are, how it looks, and how you have to get through obstacles. That means you’ll need to choose your track carefully.
With leaderboards and multiple modes to enjoy, you have many musical journeys ahead of you. So hop in and get started!
Many rhythm games are about challenging difficulty as you attempt to push through the odds to master the music and get the job done. Thumper is a title that takes that to new heights through a crazy story.
In the game, you’re a space beetle. Yes, that’s really what you are. You’re on a mission to take on the evil mechanical head from the future, and the only way to do that is to build up enough speed and power to blast right through it.
As you progress through each level, you’ll crash into things on the beat and prepare to stop the foe looming just out of reach.
#14 Geometry Dash
For titles like Geometry Dash, they don’t want you to only play their game. They want you to build it up further. The main gameplay loop puts you into an action platforming experience based on rhythm.
The better you do on the beat, the easier it’ll be to get through the levels. But be warned, there are many challenges ahead of you, and you’ll need to be precise to get through them all.
Then, when you’re ready to test your mind differently, build your own levels and put them online! With thousands of levels made by players, you’ll have a lot to do.
#13 A Dance of Fire And Ice
A great pun in the title, wouldn’t you say?
A Dance of Fire And Ice is yet another twist on the rhythm genre. Here, you only have one job to keep hitting the beat perfectly so you can move your icons down the line. You’ll see every note ahead of time and merely need to press the beat as it happens. If you do so, you’ll keep moving through the level. If you fail, you’ll have to start over.
The game isn’t about instinct or reflexes. It’s about being able to look at the music and know when to play the next beat. Think you’re up to the challenge?
Fuser is a title that attempts to start a party that never stops. We mean it. They want you to fill up a virtual room with all your friends and then take turns mixing and matching music to create the ultimate jam session.
You’ll have over 200 tracks to have fun with, including DLC songs! You can make private rooms to have fun with your friends, or you can head to the Diamond Stage and fill up the place with over 250 people!
Create your DJ to resemble the style and feel you want, and put them to work as they create the jams you’ll listen to repeatedly!
#11 Beat Hazard 1 & 2
Beat Hazard and its sequel have tried to turn the rhythm gameplay you’d expect on its head by putting it on a retro arcade shooter!
You’ll upload a song to the title, and that music will heavily affect the gameplay by giving your ship different powers and abilities based on the song! Charge up your weapons over time, and you’ll be able to do all sorts of powerful attacks on enemies!
There are multiple modes to test your musical power. How many songs will you last through before you have to tap out? You’ll have to jump into the game to find out!
#10 Metal Hellsinger
Here’s a game from 2022 that turned a lot of heads. Metal Hellsinger puts you as The Unknown, a being that is half-demon and half-human. They descend into the underworld with one purpose, to defeat The Red Judge.
But to get to her, you must go through the hordes of the underworld, which is no easy task. A heavy metal soundtrack plays throughout the game, and you’ll need to match your attacks to the track’s rhythm to get maximum damage to your foes.
You can even upload your own tracks and see how they feel in the title! With multiple modes to play, the musical madness has just begun.
#9 DJ Hero
DJ Hero was one of the many spinoffs that happened when a particular set of games controlled the rhythm market. The point was to emulate what it was like for a DJ who had to provide the beats to a party.
The peripheral for the game was a mini-turntable that you’d use to craft the beats and splice together the sounds you needed.
It was more of a niche game than the titles that inspired it, but that doesn’t mean it was terrible. It definitely replicated the feeling of being a DJ, and that’s half the battle right there. It also got a sequel, proving that people were willing to play it.
#8 Trombone Champ
Here is the newest title on our list, which makes it very impressive that it ended up so high. Trombone Champ puts you in the role of a trombonist and has you playing along to over 20 tracks. You might think that because the trombone isn’t a “favorite instrument” of many, the game is meant to be a joke. But it’s not.
Instead, you’re truly playing the song, and you’re meant to play along with the beat so you can get as many toots of the horn as you can!
Plus, you can play with a mouse and keyboard! No trombone is required for enjoyment!
#7 PaRappa The Rapper
What? This is one of the all-time classic games and proof that you don’t need to have the fanciest of graphics to make a game fun!
PaRappa The Rapper was about a young rapper trying to get into the game and learning how to bust a flow in the most unique ways. While it may look a bit outdated, the game made an impact and is still hailed as having one of the best soundtracks ever put into video games.
If anything, the world needs PaRappa The Rapper more than ever. You gotta believe! Or don’t, and be a terrible person, your call.
#6 Crypt of the NecroDancer
Crypt of the NecroDancer is easily one of the most clever rhythm games out there, and for many reasons. The title is both a rhythm game and a dungeon crawler all in one. You’ll pick one of several characters and head into the dungeon.
Then, as you march to the beat, the dungeon marches with you. Every move you make will be matched by a move from others in the dungeon. So you’ll want to keep your rhythm to do your best and progress.
If you don’t like the beats in the game, put in your own from your collection! There’s much variety in here, so don’t be afraid to utilize that.
#5 Beat Saber
One of the most popular rhythm games and VR games, Beat Saber puts you in a virtual world where the goal is simple. The music starts playing, and you need to slash the cubes that are headed your way. You’ll have to slice them up in specific ways, however, so you’ll have to pay attention.
Thanks to it being in the virtual space, you’ll get your workout as you move around to get the blocks cut up and get the highest score possible.
There are many songs you can put your moves to and several difficulties you can challenge yourself with. So get your VR headset on and see where things go!
#4 Rocksmith 2014 Edition – Remastered
Many of the rhythm games on this list are about making it look or feel like you’re “doing the work” with instruments. But with Rocksmith 2014 Edition – Remastered, you’re get to learn how to play guitar at your own pace.
The game is more of an instruction tool than anything else. You’ll get whatever guitar you want, hook it up, and start training. The best part is you can tailor your learning curve so you can start slow to learn the notes and chords, then slowly increase the difficulty so you can test yourself.
With plenty of songs to choose from and methods of learning to use, it’s a great tool to get started on your musical journey.
#3 Just Dance Series
There are many games on this list that want you to “get involved,” but with the Just Dance Series, the feeling of really “getting into the game” was never easier.
The best versions of the title were the ones that had cameras that watched you as you played or had motion controls so you could really jam to the beat.
There are many challenges you can put yourself through in the games too. The songs have different difficulty levels and thus, you can see how well you can keep up with the tracks as they’re played. Sometimes, you just wanna dance!
#2 Rockband Series
After a certain other franchise took the rhythm game world by storm, another group wondered, “Can we top it?” The Rockband Series was the answer to that, and for what it is worth, they did succeed in trying to usurp the king.
The game worked because instead of only getting a guitar to play, you had multiple ways to rock. You could do two different guitar styles, play drums, or blast the vocals of the piece. That freedom allowed more people to play and thus enhanced the experience.
Yes, the series was also part of why the genre collapsed, but let’s not dwell on the negative.
#1 Guitar Hero Series
We can put no other game series at the top of this list. The Guitar Hero Series is the one that almost everyone associates with the idea of a rhythm game series.
The titles took the world by storm when they first arrived on PS2. With a simple guitar control, players could strum along with some of the best music ever made. There were classic titles and new-age tracks mixed together so everyone could have a song they would play.
The only reason that the series died out was because of oversaturation. They tried to get greedy, and it backfired. But fans will never forget those first titles fondly.