What's your favorite song used in a game trailer?

Maybe you're into Mad World as heard in the trailer for Gears of War. Or maybe you prefer the version Battlefield: Bad Company used. Maybe Borderlands 2 using Doomsday by Nero made you admit dubstep trailers could be good actually. Or you prefer the classy orchestral sweep of Heart of Courage by Two Steps from Hell, as heard in Mass Effect 2's launch trailer (and like five History Channel docudramas). Or something equally bombastic but with more attitude, like the Saints Row: The Third trailer soundtracked by Kanye West.

The sound of videogame trailers has changed a lot in reaction to shifting trends, whether wub-wub or maudlin cover versions or stompy-clappy folk music. What's your favorite song used in a game trailer?

Malindy Hetfeld: The Beast of America, Bioshock Infinite

I always enjoy game trailers the most when they manage to introduce me to music I can listen to when I'm not gripped by the desire to do the weekly dusting in as epic a fashion as possible. Trailer music is geared to be played at large reveals, and so a lot of it screams "epic game trailer music" to me but doesn't necessarily have much to do with the game is accompanies.

The Beast of America by Nico Vega, used as the trailer song for Bioshock Infinite, was a great little comment on the politics of Columbia and the American Exceptionalism it's inspired by. It's also a straight banger and the band is now one of my favourites. 

Wes Fenlon: Lonely Soul, Assassin's Creed; Angel, Far Cry 2

For me, the most memorable game trailers ever were a one-two punch from Ubisoft. The first was the original Assassin's Creed set to Unkle's Lonely Soul in 2007, and the second was for Far Cry 2 in 2008, set to Massive Attack's Angel. Both trailers were striking mood pieces. Assassin's Creed's used ample slow-mo to showcase its at-the-time-stunning animation. Far Cry 2's was a showcase for the setting and the sensation that you'd be traveling to this dangerous place. Both trailers had heavy, almost oppressive atmosphere, but without the "Get it? It's emotional" ham-fistedness of modern trailers that use slow/creepy covers of pop songs.

Also, Massive Attack is just really damn good.

Samuel Roberts: Burn My Shadow, Assassin's Creed Brotherhood

Mine is kind of a follow on from Wes's choice here. I'm pretty fond of this goofy Assassin's Creed Brotherhood trailer set to Unkle's Burn My Shadow, which I think showcases pretty much every kill animation in the game. I saw this right after I finished AC2, which represented my peak interest in the series, before trailing off with AC3 and not really recovering until Origins five years later.

That, or the damn GTA5 reveal trailer. But hey, that'd be too obvious...

Bo Moore: I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire, Fallout 3

While there are some recent examples I really love (Satisfactory and Sable from our PC Gaming Show last E3 for instance), there's one classic that always comes to mind: Fallout 3's original teaser trailer, which features I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire by The Ink Spots. The '40s-era vocals crackling from a dilapidated jukebox as the camera pans out to our first look at Capital Wasteland perfectly captured the essence of Fallout—that weird mixture of new, old, and utter devastation. It remains one of the most memorable trailers out there. 

Jarred Walton: No Rest for the Wicked, Borderlands

I can't recall most trailer soundtracks, so I'm going to jump over to best intro music, because it's appropriate given the timing. I remember just being floored by the intro and aesthetic for the original Borderlands. When the bus hits the skag and Ain't No Rest for the Wicked by Cage the Elephant kicks in, I was hooked. So yeah, count me among those waiting for Borderlands 3.

Andy Chalk: Bullets, Cyberpunk 2077

I'll probably wake up at 4 am thinking of at least two better choices but off the top of my head I'm going to go with that first Cyberpunk 2077 teaser. It's rhythmic and catchy and integrated perfectly with the minimal ambient audio in the trailer, and it may not have a hell of a lot to do with the game but so what? Neither does the rest of the video. It's an AV showcase intended to stoke hype, and by God it worked. It still works! Good tune, great teaser.

Jody Macgregor: Drunken Whaler, Dishonored

It's hard for me to take the sea shanty What Do We Do With a Drunken Sailor? seriously because we had to sing it in school for some reason, and that'll ruin any song. But the version of it in Dishonored's trailer, with rewritten lyrics so it's about a whaler and a whole lot of rats, is so eerie it completely redeemed the song as well as getting me pretty excited for the game.

Steven Messner: End of an Era, Final Fantasy 14—A Realm Reborn

I'm not one for subtlety when it comes to my trailers, and Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn's cinematic trailer 'End of an Era' is anything but subtle. At six minutes in length, it's more of a movie than a trailer (it also doubles as the introduction cinematic of A Realm Reborn—so maybe I'm cheating here?), but it's so damn good I'll happily watch all six minutes again and again and again. But setting aside the fact that a dragon encased within a moon destroys the friggin' world, so much of what makes this trailer epic is the rousing and emotional music that accompanies it. As as huge sucker for Nobuo Uematsu, the fabled composer of most Final Fantasy games, Answers is one of my all-time favorite compositions of his. It's just so damn epic, and Susan Calloway's vocals stir my heart like few videogame songs ever do. She's incredible. They're incredible. This song is incredible.

Just listen to it.

Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games. He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun, The Big Issue, GamesRadar, Zam, Glixel, Five Out of Ten Magazine, and Playboy.com, whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.