Among the many games that quickly became viral successes this year, Trombone Champ might just be one of the biggest for its humor and unique approach to the gameplay. With Metal: Hellsinger and Taiko no Tatsujin: Rhythm Festival already offering some fun musical experiences, this year alone has seen some great entries in the genre.
Throughout the years, there have been many great music-based rhythm games that have attempted to try something new while also remaining stylish. And with a plethora of musical tastes and gameplay designs to choose from, there are many great ones available.
10/10 Trombone Champ (2022)
Released in September exclusively on Steam, Trombone Champ is a music game unlike any other as players must play a number of classical, folk, and electronica tracks with their trusty trombone. Embracing the theme around this iconic instrument, collectible cards can be unlocked that can reward anyone with more playable musicians and other cosmetic items.
Despite the goofy sense of humor of the game, it’s also a very stylish one as each track features unique background art as the cartoonish avatars attempt to play the music. With colorful and energetic menus and unique lore involving baboons, there isn’t anything quite like Trombone Champ.
9/10 Crypt Of The NecroDancer (2015)
Crypt of the NecroDancer is unlike any other rogue-like game as it encompasses so many elements from other video game genres. Blending dungeon crawling and rhythm gameplay, gamers must guide the character through multiple dungeons while moving to the music’s beats to progress.
Taking on a 16-bit style, the game looks as though it could fit alongside countless SNES games. But it especially stands out because of the music by Danny Barranowsky, who has provided music for countless indy games and making use of the game’s unique mechanics that also made it one of the best rhythm games out there.
8/10 Beat Saber (2019)
No matter what system anyone owns that supports VR, everyone has heard and seen gameplay for Beat Saber. Using nothing but two glowing sabers, the objective is to slice red and blue cubes to the beat of the music.
It may sound like a simple game, but its use of the two colors and the layout makes it an engaging and memorable music game that makes it easy to understand while playing with a VR headset. With additional content included in the form of DLC, anyone can enjoy seeing their favorite tracks in a whole new way.
7/10 Rhythm Doctor (2020)
A surprisingly educational game, Rhythm Doctor bases its gameplay on a number of musical theories as the doctor must solve each patient’s illnesses by hitting the spacebar at the right beat. As well as being in early access on Steam, it’s also set to be one of the best medical games on the Switch.
With its funky, electronic music and 16-bit art style, it certainly has the look and sound of a stylish and cool music game. It may still be in early access, but it already looks as though it’s a polished experience that will be a great final product.
6/10 PaRappa The Rapper (1996)
Whether PlayStation fans have played the original or the remastered version, PaRappa The Rapper has remained one of the most iconic characters and game titles associated with the brand. Trying to win the affection of Sunny Funny, the young rapper tries to impress her and learn new skills from the residents of his town.
Despite being over 20 years old, the game still remains one of the most stylish and visually unique with its character designs. It’s a shame that the series never took off compared to other gaming franchises, but this still remains a classic title and a worthy rhythm game for anyone to check out.
A heavy metal soundtrack, gun-slinging demons, and narration by Troy Baker known for his many iconic roles in video games, Metal: Hellsinger is certainly a darker and more violent music game. An FPS unlike any other, players must try to escape Hell while racking up combos and high scores to the game’s tracks.
Despite its short campaign, the game is nothing like the colorful entries seen in so many other music or rhythm-based games that have come before it. Those who enjoy the likes of Doom and looking for something similar and different at the same time will find plenty to like about this one.
4/10 The Beatles: Rock Band (2009)
The popularity of Rock Band was mostly based on the selection of tracks and the plastic instruments players could get to turn their lounges into a concert. But 2009 saw Harmonix develop an entry in the series entirely dedicated to one of the greatest British bands of all time, The Beatles.
It took everyone on a colorful history through their many highlights as well as their greatest hits, using the look and designs from some of The Beatles’ greatest movies to bring each track to life. Not also was it one that fans could instantly recognize every reference and live through their historic concerts, but newcomers were introduced to a brilliant music game dedicated to a band.
3/10 Rhythm Heaven Megamix (2015)
The last entry in the Rhythm Heaven games, Rhythm Heaven Megamix was one of the last big releases from Nintendo for the 3DS. A compilation unlike any other, it collected the mini-games from previous entries as well as some new ones made exclusively for it in one nice package.
Similar to the wacky and bonkers sense of humor found in the WarioWare games, this fun rhythm game was perfect to make commutes more entertaining. With so much style and colors oozing from it, this should not be missed by those who still own the portable console.
2/10 Taiko no Tatsujin: Drum ‘N Fun! (2018)
Bandai Namco’s taiko drumming game has become a successful series in Japan that have seen multiple releases on console generations and received some arcade cabinets too. But in recent years, it has made its way to multiple territories and while it was released on multiple consoles, its Switch exclusive made it a fun multiplayer game to take on the go.
Featuring colorful and cute characters, the game is full of charm as it encourages anyone to pick up and play this entertaining and unique rhythm game. And with a number of Nintendo tracks available, characters like the Inkling fit right at home with the adorable chibi cast.
1/10 Elite Beat Agents (2006)
Elite Beat Agents was a DS game unlike any other. Released in 2006, a trio of secret agents travel to various destinations to help those in need in the only way they know how; by dancing away to the beat using the touch screen.
Filled with comic and slapstick sensibilities, the game became memorable for those who had the system and made good use of the dual screens. The game embraced its sense of style and fun that not many games dare to tread, but it did it with such swagger that it was heavily praised by critics and fans around the world.
NEXT: 10 Best Mystery Games Released On The Nintendo DS