The Best Retro Game Music - C64 and Atari

The Best Retro Game Music - C64 and Atari

By James on 06 March 2012 | games

A look at some of the best retro game music from back in the 80's and early 90's. If you grew up a couple of decades ago then the C64 and Atari were the home gaming consoles of choice. Making use of limited sound chips, music composes still created some of the most iconic game music.

With strong competition from the NES and Master System (which would come onto the scene in the early 90's), the C64 still managed to out sell both of them. This was largely thanks to its strong software base which was well established. Apart from the Atari, the C64 was the state of the art gaming machine at the time.

You may have noticed that alot of modern day indie developers are going back to retro music for their inspiration. Without the funding to produce orchestral quality music (such as that found in Skyrim or Halo), indie developers are bringing retro sequences to their games with amazing success. Take a look at Super Meat Boy as a good example.

Ok, below are some of the best retro music tracks from the C64 and Atari..

Cybernoid 2

A legendary soundtrack that could easily have made its way into the Jean Michel Jarre collection. Cybernoid 2 was also a decent game to play. At 3:09 were really making history with this one!


Originally an arcade game, Outrun was ported onto several consoles in 1987 including the C64, Atari and Amiga. The games title theme is one hell of a catchy track and the game was littered with several classics. Just like in a modern day GTA, the Outrun Ferrari came with a radio where you could change tunes to your liking! Amazing music that's still repeated even today.

Rambo 2 - First Blood

Back in the day when Sylvester Stallone was all over the cinema, Rambo became a smash hit on the home console. Its title soundtrack and in game music was just perfect. You wouldn't believe how hard it is to create C64 music so to come up with this was magic!


An excellent music track that could take on any modern day indie game. Commando came out in 1985 so we're talking about a seriously old game here. Similar in many ways to the Rambo game it was a top down, vertically scrolling shoot em up.


A rather painful game to play from the cassette tape but Platoon had awesome music. The music alone keeps Platoon long in the memory of any C64 or Atari gamer.

Ocean Loader 2

Ocean Software (a British company) was one of the biggest video game developers and publishers in the 80's and 90's. They understood the pain of waiting for a cassette game to load. So they came up with several loading music sequences. Many of us would play a game just to listen to the loading music! Jump to 1:00 to experience the best loading music.

Turrican 2

Similar in many ways to Metroid, Turrican appeared on the scene in 1989. Some of its music was even used in the modern day Transformers movie soundtrack. The Turrican game had several successors which eventually made their way onto the SNES.

More retro videos please!

If you enjoyed watching these retro gameplay videos, then take a look at DerSchmu's channel on YouTube. He has a whole collection of longplay videos for Atari, C64, NES, SNES and arcade originals.


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