#10: Dance Aerobics (NES)
Starting with the first ever dance game with it's own controller in a form of the dance mat, which they named the Power Pad. Dance Aerobic published on the Nintendo Entertainment System was the first attempt from Bandai and into the household. Being the only music game for the Power Pad. The player must follow the motions of the instructor. The player is given a score of 100 and it decreases with each mistake made by the player however the score gets raised if the player follows the routine correctly.
The Power Pad used was specialty designed for this game and unfortunately no players couldn't used a normal NES controller for this game. The Power Pad is used as a base of dance games and music controls to other games so afterwards, which is why it's placed on number 10 of this list (and a nice way to start this list).
With all the current motion controls music games that has taken the current generation of gaming of having the player wave the motion controls around to the music or dance itself.
Everyone Dance is Sony's attempt with all their Playstation 3 hardware. It's simple to follow but takes the visual a step further. Sony pretty much give the player everything they have to offer. The game features official music videos in most of their selection, considering that Sony has a massive portfolio of music spanning decades, something Sony is good at in the music world and Sony is finally showing it all off.
The game has a party mode which allows the game to feature up to 20 players in this mode and makes every attempt of using the motion controls to show off the current generation of gaming. Trying really hard to turn that living room into the next party scene. Even thou there loads of games like this, this game is worth a look considering it's what Sony can do for their Playstation 3 with all there past assets.
#8: vib-ribbon (PS)
This unusual title was one of Sony's first attempt of the rhythm genre. Vib Ribbon has you guiding a rabbit, Vibri in a cyberspace walk line call the Vib Ribbon and Vibri would come across obstacles in the form of shapes, these shapes represent a button and hitting those buttons would be a way to avoid those obstacles. These obstacles would mix together, so the player would have to hit two buttons at once. It's a very creative visual way to allow the player to use their controller during gameplay.
This title tried to sell what the Playstation could do, with a bit more at the same time, as the Playstation disc tray also accepted music CDs while the game could still be running, which allowed any tracks of your choice to be used as part of the gameplay to change the formula of the path the rabbit takes and this allowed for customization for the gameplay, which was quite rare at the time for any game. This title is very rare in itself!
The game also spawned two sequel on the Playstation 2. Mojib-Ribbon and Vib-Ripple, which both was only released in Japan.
Hannah Montana? Believe it or not! As much as Disney wants to try their best adding their musicals in video games, like what they tried to put in Kingdom Hearts, they created Hannah Montana, Music Jam.
This game takes the touchscreen alot further. Montana main game is the story however during the parts of the story mode, there would be mini games where Montana would have to learn how to use and play a instrument. There range from a guitar, bass and drums. These mini games make it worth picking up the DS and giving it a go and taking part of the story. The player can also create their own tunes using the editor for the string instruments. All of this on a touchscreen on a handheld device.
The mini games feel like a whole mode in itself. The instrumental mini games in this title was the main selling point of Music Jam and was the reason that the game sold and it surprised alot of gamers aswell as players when it was released and didn't feel like mini games and they've over shadowed over mini games due to it's depth, which is why I've included it on this list.
With touchscreen becoming ever so popular. Many games have attempted to create something so simple and fun. With an easy accessibly, it's really easy to select any game. Elite Beat Agents not only throws in official music but a really fun story of three agent whom saves the world and it's characters with dance moves.
The player takes control of the scenario by following the buttons on the screen, which serve as the gameplay, the player has to hit the button on the screen in sync, and depending on how well the player hits the beats in time, it gives good outcome to the story presented in the game.
Elite Beat Agents is actually the western theme version of it's original counterpart from Japan, Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan which the game proved popular to be in Japan for it to get a western theme version to be released in North America, Australia and Europe.
#5: Rez (PS2)
You play as a cyber hacker breaking into a cyberspace in a form of a rail shooter and the heavy appeal the game offers. This isn't a full music game per say however it becomes close to it as the player possesses a weapon that shoots out music and produces sound effects and the music growing as the player progresses the level, shows off how music reacts to players progression in the game.
With the demoscene of the 90s, with it's heavy use of beats, vector algothims and the idea of 'Cyberspace' of computing in video games towards the end of the 90s was present in this game, The idea of 'cyberhacking and the main character shooting, beats or music in an alternative form of bullets and was entertaining to listen too aswell as the gameplay was the overall appeal in this game and something strongly represented this game and created a new music scene altogether, with the added bonus of having to aim using the analog as it's a shooter, which is why it makes this list.
The creator of Rez, Tetsuya Mizuguchi later went to create the Child of Eden, which is a bit similar to this game and serves as a prequel to the game Rez but being published by Ubisoft.
Parappa is a paper thin rapping dog, who's is trying to win the heart of flower-like girl named Sunny Funny. However he faces many challenges in life and many of the songs take in a form of the song, like taking up kung fu or earning his driving license as part of the storyline.
The gameplay uses the controls of the Playstation Dualshock Controller. Using the buttons to hit the notes and sounds in the game, from the Cross and the Square buttons to the Left and Right shoulder buttons and even the lyrics aswell as the game uses the visuals to represent a story in a form of a music video.
This was very primate form of a video game which uses the music visual and sound arts to it's advantage and some players even button mash to allow PaRappa to rap a bit more when it's even not part of the game, allowing for some room for some creativity if the player choose too.
The game serves as a start for many other games to come and even an indirect follow up title, UmJammer Lammy where the player take control of a guitarist lamb named Lammy.
#3: Just Dance (WII)
This was Ubisoft first attempt of using Motion Controls for a music game and it paid off. Despite some of the un-responsive controls when the first game came out for the Wii, high amount of sales make this the fastest third-party (non-Nintendo) title to be sold for the Wii alone. This paved away for Ubisoft to take control and having a strong understanding of the motion control market and to continue making their games.
It's get the 3rd place on this list has the Just Dance series continued it's sequels and grew onto the Xbox 360 and PS3 from the third game to be released and to supports the Kinect of the Xbox 360 and the motion Move controllers for the PS3. The formula for Just Dance always remains the same despite each of the control it appears on of having the player follow the graphics diagrams on screen to mimic the dance moves.
Dance Dance Revolution popularized the rhythm genre alot when it was released in the mid 90s. Taking away what the Dance Aerobics mat did by taking away the 12 buttons formula and replacing it with the direction buttons.
It's was the most simplest way to play a game, so simple that you do play the game on a controller using the direction buttons on any video game control. The game also uses a dance mat, which uses the control direction buttons as gameplay. Konami attempted to put the dance moves to the direction buttons and has even wanted the gameplay to reflect the controllers position, so the player can mimic the dance steps.
It wasn't the reason why this game was successful. It deserves the number 2 spot because it was featured and sold itself so well at the arcade scene, the same time when arcades were dying and when video game consoles entered the household. This franchise stood out of the crowd among other arcade titles and has spawned a strong following even during the last decade in the 2000s. If you still see a Dance Dance Revolution machine as an arcade near you, it's one of the top reasons why arcade games and it's scene are still surviving!
People wanted to take this simple experience in the home aswell. PC owners could download a program with the same control theme and make their own tunes and beats. Also the mechanic has been used in many other games which uses the simple mechanic of the direction buttons. It's allowed the way for other developers to adopt the mechanic and bought the music genre into the home for decades. Clearly this series has spawn alot inspiration in the music video game culture. So much so that Konami had to use legal action to shut down many developers copying their mechanics of the software.
#1: AudioSurf (PC)
AudioSurf is an indie developed game, where you control a spaceship on rails and collect blocks to score points. Sounds like a boring game but it's unique selling point is that you can select any tune from your MP3 list and the game will detect the beats which gives you the gameplay. Players can cruise the hover ship on the fix track and collect these blocks and score points from it.
A game that detect your music and give you a level or a stage to play on? That's a simple yet fun idea. While it's like Vib Ribbon in using any tracks, it deserves the number 1 spot because it's an Indie game and it's allows for unlimited amount of possibly of how to play this game using any music whatsoever.
Almost everyone has a computer, with a disc drive and it doesn't allow music CD to go to waste, can play MP3, so any coming to age musician who likes making MP3 can benefit from this and it's a good example of what a music rhythm game should be for now and the future of any rhythm game.
AudioSurf steals the show by being number 1 for being original, heavy customization options for soundtrack and for being more accessible then other games. You don't need a dance mat or motion control for this game and is the most simplest rhythm game out there.