Screenshot via Alex Moukala / Lacey Johnson YouTube

The 8 best video game music cover artists on YouTube

Your favorite tunes, re-tooled.

One of the defining characteristics of art is its being open to interpretation. When it comes to music, those interpretations often come in the form of covers, and YouTube is full of talented musicians putting their own spin on video game classics. If there’s a tune you love, you’re sure to find someone who’s remixed it in their own special way. Here are some of the best in the business, presented in alphabetical order.

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Alex Moukala

Alex Moukala both composes original video game soundtracks and covers existing songs. Many of those covers twist the tunes into different genres, with a funky spin on darker numbers from Hades or the Souls series, or an orchestral arrangement of a cheery Nintendo tune. A showcase of the Elden Ring theme in 15 styles shows just how much range Moukala has.

CthulhuSeeker

CthulhuSeeker is the newest name on this list, but they have absolutely earned their place. With just a few synthwave arrangements to their name, CthulhuSeeker has added a spark to various Elden Ring boss themes that cannot be denied. Malenia, Blade of Miquella’s battle theme makes for an electrifying good time, which should both excite Elden Ring fans and remind them of how hard she was to defeat.

FamilyJules

FamilyJules’ covers come in a few flavors, but it’s his metal music that makes people subscribe. This includes already-rocking tunes like Doom’s Rip & Tear, as well as heavier takes on lighter songs from kid-friendly Nintendo games. Jules also doubles as a vocalist in many of these covers. All of this excellent work eventually landed him the job of composing tracks for the nostalgic Infernax soundtrack.

Insaneintherainmusic

How about something jazzier? Insaneintherain has been putting a smooth spin on video game music for 15 years now. This relatively softer approach strikes a perfect balance between the original song and Rain’s take — his version of Bramble Blast from Donkey Kong and Super Smash Bros sounds less like a cover and more like an official piece of the soundtrack. Rain plays multiple instruments himself, but his covers often feature other musicians too.

Lacey Johnson

Back on the rock side of things is Lacey Johnson, who couples every high-octane cover with a matching outfit or cosplay from the featured game. This includes a cover of Bridget’s Theme from Guilty Gear Strive, after the trans fighter made a triumphant return to the game for its second season. Johnson both sings and plays multiple instruments, including the keytar, which is something you rarely see in music at all these days.

Sam Griffin

Sam Griffin is strictly a classical guitarist, which means chugging power chords and ripping solos are replaced by elegant finger picking and strumming. His covers run the gamut of video game genres, but one thing unites them: they all sound extra beautiful on a classical guitar. Just listen to his cover of Brood War from Starcraft, and you’ll see exactly what we mean.

Smooth McGroove

Smooth McGroove has been away for a while, but his body of work still stands tall. His a cappella covers of video game tunes are still unparalleled by other YouTube vocalists, as he takes the time to vocalize every little riff and percussive hit himself. The result is a beautiful chorus of voices that all come from the same singer. Pokémon Diamond and Pearl’s Lake Theme is a perfect example.

Tee Lopes

Finally, we have Tee Lopes, a name you might recognize as being the composer of the Sonic Mania soundtrack. As such, many of his remixes are updated versions of 8- and 16-bit tunes from the retro video game years. Moving into the 64-bit era, his Bower’s Road remix amps up the energy of taking on King Koopa in Super Mario 64. You’ll find a good number of team efforts on Lopes’ channel too, with many collaborations with fellow composers.


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Author
Tony Wilson
Tony has been covering games for more than a decade. Tony loves platformers, RPGs and puzzle games.
Author
Chris Penwell
The British “Canadian” Chris Penwell has been a video game journalist since 2013 and now has a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from MacEwan University. He loves to play JRPGs and games with a narrative.