There’s a rhythm. Rhythm games had a big boom in the early to mid-2000s, with popular games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band making a lot of money. Unfortunately, because of the cost of the instruments and the number of similar games in the market, the genre quietly slipped back into a more niche place in the industry. There are still rhythm games, though. In fact, music games for the PC have been pushing the very definition of what a “rhythm game” is, which has made them more interesting.
You get both good and bad things from being a PC gamer. There are a lot of books and movies that fall into your favourite genre. Other than that, there are so many games that aren’t worth your time that they can keep you from the truly great ones. A bad rhythm game is just as bad as having a bad song stuck in your head. There’s a lot to keep in balance, but these best rhythm games for PC have top soundtracks, unique gameplay, and satisfying experiences for all of your senses.
1. Beat Saber
If you have a VR headset and love rhythm games, Beat Saber is the game for you. There’s no reason not to get your hands on it. One of the best rhythm games in VR, but it could also be the most popular VR game. The format just fits so well with what VR does best that it’s almost crazy that no one came up with it sooner. It’s hard to believe that no one came up with it sooner. It looks like your controllers become two lightsabers when blocks fly at you in time with the song. Swing in the right direction with the right sabre to cut through the block. Right?
Beat Saber is simple enough that anyone, even if they haven’t played games before, can figure out how to play in a short amount of time. At the same time, as a rhythm game, you can choose how hard it is. You can start with slow-paced, easy songs, or you can work your way up to songs where blocks fly at you so quickly and consistently that you will almost be dancing. When you play Beat Saber on a PC, you can import any song you want and play it. This makes the game even better. The only thing that can stop you from playing for a long time is your own strength.
No, I haven’t thought about that. Then try Thumper. Amnesia and Resident Evil aren’t going to scare you the way they did. Thumper, on the other hand, is going to make you feel a little uncomfortable at the very least. This is another game that works best in VR, but you can still play it the old-fashioned way. There aren’t any motion controls to make you tired, but the fact that you feel like you’re in dark, industrial, but also organic tracks is still a little tiring. “Boss fights” are also rare in rhythm games.
You play as a little metallic-looking beetle on a single track as it flies through huge environments. In this game, there are only three or four things that you need to keep an eye on and react to right on the beat. This makes the game more difficult in terms of how quickly you have to react to them. Listening to the music in this movie can be a little uncomfortable at times, but it never goes over the line. There are only 9 stages in total, but mastering them and getting the best rank can keep you busy for a long time. No matter if you play Thumper in VR or not, it’s a great change of pace from your usual rhythm game.
3. Crypt of the Necrodancer
Another genre mix that doesn’t seem to work on paper. This time, a brave studio mixed the popular rogue-like genre with rhythm game mechanics. Crypt of the Necrodancer was a big hit, and there was a follow-up game called Cadence of Hyrule that used the Zelda name. A rogue-like is a type of video game that has many different characters and randomly generated dungeons, which is why you should start with the original game, which is where you should start. Each move you make, or attack you make, has to be timed to the level’s beat, but so does the enemy’s. This is where the rhythm comes in. Because you know when they can move and attack, you can always react quickly if you’re quick enough.
This means that Crypt of the Necrodancer is more like a freeform rhythm game in that way. You’re not playing specific notes at the right time, but you’re timing moves of your own choice to the beat, not the other way around. As you go deeper into the game, the BPM rises, which means that your timing, and thus your reaction speeds, need to go up as well. As a spin-off, Cadence of Hyrule takes the same idea and looks at it through the nostalgic lens of a favourite Zelda game. Of course, it has that iconic soundtrack to bop around and take out old familiar foes with too, but unfortunately, this Nintendo-published game will probably never see a release off their consoles. Still, Crypt of the Necrodancer is the main thing. It has almost infinite replayability like the best rouge-likes.
4. BPM: Bullets Per Minute
BPM: Bullets Per Minute is a rhythm game for FPS games. We loved every minute of it. You don’t just have to figure out a pattern and hit the right buttons at the right time. This is a break from that. Not that we don’t like it, and we’ll have a lot of rhythm games like that on this list. We just had to point out the games that tried to break new ground, and BPM: Bullets Per Minute is one of them. There are a lot of similarities between this game and the one that came before it on our list. For example, it is a rogue-like game, but it has its own unique feel.
Trying to beat all seven bosses in one clean run is what it takes to win. There are 10 characters you can play as, and each one has a different job. As you shoot your way through the different enemies, a heavy metal soundtrack will be your metronome. It’s kind of like the two Doom games that came out recently. As soon as possible you need to move, shoot, and reload. If you do this, your score and damage multiplier will go up. If you try to shoot off the beat, your gun will not work, leaving you open to attack. None of the new weapons, abilities, or consumables you get will make up for a bad move at the right time. The challenge modes are always there to push you to the limit of what you can do in a short time.
5. Friday Night Funkin’
One look at this rhythm game will make anyone who was around during the heyday of Flash, especially the Newgrounds style, feel like they’re back in time in a good way. In 2020, Friday Night Funkin’ was made by people who used to be on Newgrounds as part of a game jam. If you like the idea of Friday Night Funkin’, you can make it into an open-source donationware game. The full version, which will be called Friday Night Funkin’: The Full Ass Game, will be released in early 2022.
Friday Night Funkin’ is very much like the most popular and long-running rhythm games, like Dance Dance Revolution. This is how each stage is broken up into weeks with three songs each. They fight against a different person in each of the weeks. You will hit your arrow keys in time with them as they move across the screen, just like DDR. If you want, you can change the level of difficulty from easy, normal, and hard from week to week. The story is as simple as they come, but it serves the purpose of giving different characters a reason to fight. You play as Boyfriend, who has to fight the different bosses in order to keep dating his crush, Girlfriend, and keep the two of them together. I like that each week there is a different type of music I can play through. All of the songs I play are catchy and fun. You can also enjoy a lot of other people’s songs in the free play mode because it’s open source.
6. Guitar Hero Iii: Legends Of Rock
With a carefully chosen soundtrack, 2007’s Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock will stay with you for a long time. Rage Against the Machine, Slipknot, Kiss, and ZZ Top are all on the playlist. Every song in the game can be played together, with rhythm guitar and bass depending on the track. You and your friends can play together.
Even though this game was the most difficult one yet, Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock is still a good game for a wide range of players. It has easier difficulty settings and slow songs for newcomers to get used to before moving on to more difficult songs with lots of solos. Over a decade after its release, this series still has a lot of people watching it on Twitch. This shows that this series has a lot of people still watching it.
7. Lumines: Remastered
This is Tetsuya Mizuguchi’s first appearance on this list. The game Lumines was originally a PSP game that was reworked in 2018 and released on PC in 2019. The game is almost like musical Tetris. Players have to line up shapes of different colours that, when clustered together, will be removed when a “Time Line” passes over them. This line is set to the music. The rows you clear also add new layers to the game’s beautiful music, which is a reward in itself.