The Greatest Soundtracks In Sports Gaming History

Soundtracks are a huge part of making any video game memorable. Whether its a classic melody, a memorable beat, or an iconic song created just for the game – music can make or break the chance to immerse the player. The sports gaming genre has a long, storied history of great soundtracks. From EA to 2K, sports game developers have kept their fingers on the pulse of the audience they serve, and even hearing the iconic song from a game’s opening demo reel have tempted me to dig up those games and play them again. Without further ado, here are some of the most iconic soundtracks (and signature songs) in sports video game history. Oh and don’t worry, I’ve linked all the soundtracks for your listening pleasure. Enjoy your nostalgia.

MVP_Baseball_2005_Coverart10.) MVP Baseball 2005: Dropkick Murphys – “Tessie”

Can somebody explain to me how MVP Baseball doesn’t exist anymore as a series? All I knew when I bought this game was that I was TERRIBLE at every baseball video game I had ever played, but Manny was on the cover. Boom, purchased. Little did I know that this game’s soundtrack would blow my fragile mind, and so did the game itself. Hitter’s Eye, ridiculous control over hitting and fielding, and that pitching interface set the standard for every baseball game to follow it. EA. Bring back MVP Baseball. Please.


419CPNNFEBL9.) NFL Street: Nas ft. Lil Jon – “Quick To Back Down”
NFL Street is still one of my favorite football games ever, and the soundtrack is a huge part of that. The tracks in NFL Street were just as hard-hitting and head-thumping as the gameplay was, and it still to this day stands as one of EA BIG’s finest works. Customizing characters, creating all my buddies in NFL Street and tackling them into walls, jumping off of those same walls to catch passes… Man – I’d give a few bucks to see an NFL Street HD remake.


8.) NBA Live 2003: Snoop Dogg – “Get Live”627746boxart_160w
I’ve got two words for you. Freestyle. Control. Crossovers, post moves, strip steals, all from the right stick on your controller. The last few NBA Live installments may have sucked, but NBA Live 2003 set the foundation for the greatness that NBA 2K has acquired today. Standing on the shoulders of giants indeed. Not only that, but NBA Live had an unreal soundtrack. Fabolous, Joe Budden, Red Cafe, Snoop, the list goes on. “Get Live” was the opening music for the start menu in Live ’03, and just hearing the “Get live, live, live~” has me ready to dust off my Gamecube and throw it in again.


Madden2004box7.) Madden NFL 2004: Bone Crusher – “Never Scared (Football Remix)”
Mother. Of. Jesus. Firing up the main menus on Madden ’04 and hearing the drop for “Never Scared” never failed to get me hyped up. The soundtrack in this game was top notch, and the gameplay was ridiculous. One of the faster paced Madden games, ’04 brought us God-Mode Mike Vick, which has to be easily one of the most OP characters in video game history. Madden 2004’s Vick was a 40-man raid boss on a football field. The man was unstoppable. Was the “Football Remix” of Never Scared a little corny? Maybe. But FUCK, this game was good.


NBA_Live_2004_cover6.) NBA Live 2004: Chingy – “Right Thurr”
Live ’04 capitalized on a few things from the previous year in EA Sports, including the insanely innovative Freestyle Control system. EA also implemented their “Bio” system, which provided special rewards for the EA junkies who bought all their sports games every year. Aside from that, EA switched up the announcer table (what up, Mike Fratello) and build the Dynasty Mode from the ground up… And to be honest, I think it might be my favorite Dynasty mode in a sports game ever. Oh, and the soundtrack was dope too. EA Trax, man.


Nfsu2-win-cover5.) Need for Speed Underground 2: Snoop Dogg – “Riders On The Storm”

Riders on the Storm is one of those songs that was literally made for the game its featured in. The intro to the song itself syncs up beautifully with the main menu, and I can still hear the beeps, clicks, and buzzes from the Need for Sped Underground 2 menus whenever I dig up this song again. Not only that, but NFSU2’s entire soundtrack is absolutely killer. Fat Joe’s “Lean Back”, Xzibit’s “LAX”, and tons of other great tracks provide the backdrop for one of my favorite sequels of all time, and I’ll be damned if I didn’t love my little Mazda Miata back in the day.


SSX_3_Coverart4.) SSX 3: Yellowcard – “Way Away”

SSX is another series that is known for having soundtracks just as memorable than its gameplay. SSX Tricky was great, but SSX 3 had a whole radio station narrated by a convincing-sounding DJ that would introduce each track, as well as narrate your character’s journey up and down the mountains along the way. Aside from being one of the most visually appealing games of its time, SSX 3’s soundtrack set a huge precedent for any EA-created compilations along the way.


53949_front3.) Tony Hawk’s Underground: Nas – “The World Is Yours”

I’m sure I’ll get some shit for this, but to be honest there are so many Tony Hawk games with unreal soundtracks that I simply had to pick the game that was most memorable to me. T.H.U.G. was all about the player, and all about customizing every element of the game to your liking – from your appearance to tricks to boards to parks to your own company. This game was the shit, and so was the soundtrack. Oh, and fuck Eric Sparrow.



NBA_Street_Vol._2_Coverart2.) NBA Street Vol. 2: Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth – “T.R.O.Y.”

What. A. Game. If you don’t think I’m taking it to the hole on you every fucking time as Dr. J and dropping dimes in your grillmix with Larry Legend you’re out of your mind. NBA Street Vol. 2 was not only packed with an incredible old-school hip-hop soundtrack, but had a bunch of original tracks produced by Just Blaze. Speaking of which, Just Blaze himself appeared as an unlockable (and completely broken) character with maxed out stats, as well as Nelly and the St. Lunatics, whom I don’t think I ever played as… The guy in the mask looked cool though.


Nfsu-win-cover1.) Need For Speed Underground: Lil Jon – “Get Low” / T.I. – “24’s”

<Brrrrrrum dum dum, dum dah dum dah duh dum…> Choosing between Get Low and 24’s was arguably the most difficult choice I’ve ever made in my life. I just can’t do it. I can’t imagine this game without either of these songs missing from the soundtrack. 24’s and Get Low as the opening menu music in NFSU is just as iconic as the Super Mario Bros. theme, I don’t care. Don’t argue with me, instead – just search your soul. You know it to be true. There was no other clear choice to be tied for the #1 spot than these two jams, and I sincerely hope that all of you can’t help but agree. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go drag race someone back to my house.


There you have it folks. The most undoubtedly iconic, masterfully assembled, and undoubtedly classic soundtracks in the history of sports video games. And to believe EA took a few years off from including EA Trax in the Madden games… Don’t you EVER do that shit again, EA. If you haven’t already, go dust off your PS2 and pop some of these gems in, I’ll be over in 20 minutes with a 30 rack of Bud Light and some Doritos. If you think we forgot anything in this flawless list, scream at us on Twitter at @WickedGoodGames.

Papa Dom

Co-founder, lead blogger, graphic designer, and manager of WGG's writing team - Dom has been writing about video games for over ten years. Dom's work has been featured on some of the world's biggest gaming news outlets - including Dexerto, GameInformer, and IGN.

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