The Most Iconic In-Game Sounds

Sound design is one of those elements of a video game that often goes unnoticed. But, if you have bad or mediocre sound design, oh boy can it ruin a perfectly fine game! Sometimes through, there are certain iconic in-game sounds that absolutely ensure a game never goes forgotten. The types of sounds that you can hear in your head long after you’ve exited the game for the final time. So, here are my personal picks for the most iconic in-game sounds.

1. The Reapers from the Mass Effect series

How to make a menacing, terrifying monster of evil even scarier? Give them the most incredible sound in the history of gaming! There was definitely a lot of pressure to make these intergalactic doomsday creatures live up to their name, and boy does this sound choice deliver. Their booming “bwooouueww” reverberating through your headset just sends shivers down your spine! That being said, it does lose some impact when you look into how the sound is created. Discretion advised if you are curious, it may ruin it for you.

source: Deluxe News

2. Metal Gear Alert Sound

So I’m going to be honest with you, I’ve actually never played a Metal Gear game. But damn if I don’t LOVE this sound effect. The sound of Snake being caught during stealth sections results in this incredibly iconic siren sound. This is just such a great sound effect and transcends the game that it originated from.

source: Medium

3.  Using the Half-Life Health or H.E.V Station

If you haven’t hummed along while healing or charging up during ­any of the Half-Life games, you’re just plain lying. These two iconic sounds have remained in my head years after the last Half-Life games’ release and will probably remain there for years to come!

source: Mod DB

4. Entering V.A.T.S in Fallout

While some players didn’t enjoy the changes from the first Fallout games to the later Bethesda helmed ones, V.A.T.S has to be one of the coolest additions. The system takes influence from the older games, allowing you to target certain body parts via a new interface. The sound of entering said interface though, is what we’re focusing on today. The slow fuzzy zooming in sound just perfectly reflected the wasteland world Fallout occupies and has easily become one of the most iconic things associated with the franchise.

source: Arqade – Stack Exchange

5. The Circus of Valluueeess in Bioshock

If you didn’t read the title of this section in the voice, I am just plain disappointed. Bioshock as a series has a lot of iconic sound design, but for me, the standout is the audio from the Circus of Value stalls in Rapture. When you find out of these bad boys, they greet you with this awesome catchy phrase that just sticks in my head every time. It’s also even cooler when you discover the voice of the stalls are provided by Ken Levine, the creator of the game itself!

source: Twitter

6. Getting robbed in The Sims 1

I’m rounding out my list with a sound that gave me nightmares! The sound of the burglar entering your lot in The Sims 1 has to be one of the most iconic yet chilling sounds in gaming. While it never meant anything too deadly, (just a few stolen items) the sound was always strangely terrifying, and absolutely triggers my fight or flight response even all these years after the games’ release.

source: YouTube (SariaFan93)

So, those were my personal picks for the most iconic in-game sounds.

What iconic in-game sounds did I miss? Feel free to list your favourites below. And hey, while you’re still here why not check out our other awesome gaming related posts HERE or, head over to our YouTube channel for more epic content from us!


Appreciator of fantasy novels, RPG games, cats and good tea.

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