Rockstar Games has made no effort to hide their love for music, and it is best reflected in their work on the soundtrack for each GTA game. While the original score itself seems to always hit the mark, the radio stations in the GTA series add another level of creativity and quality to the game design.
The soundtrack not only accentuates the overall feel of the game but also helps in giving the game its very own sonic identity. Players can't help but hear west-coast hip-hop or grunge rock every time they think of GTA San Andreas, or not hear synth-pop hits from the 80s when they think of GTA Vice City.
Rockstar Games has been able to acquire rights to some of the biggest tracks of their time, which are bound to have cost a ton of money. But the result is often a soundtrack that will be remembered for years to come.
Note: This article is subjective and solely reflects the opinion of the writer.
Top 5 popular songs used in the GTA series
- Guns n' Roses - Welcome to the Jungle
- Soundgarden - Rusty Cage
- Dr. Dre feat. Snoop Dogg - Nuthin But a G Thang
- Frank Ocean - Provider
- Stone Temple Pilots - Plush
#1 - Michael Jackson - Billie Jean
It was a massive power move that Rockstar Games could not only manage to acquire rights to one of Michael Jackson's tracks but also one of his most popular. However, this wasn't the only Michael Jackson track in GTA Vice City, as the game also included "Wanna Be Startin' Something."
#2 - Rihanna - Only Girl in the World
Undoubtedly an icon of modern entertainment, Rihanna is easily one of the most popular recording artists of the 2000s as well as the 2010s. Her iconic single made its way onto Non-Stop FM in GTA 5, and fans were quite happy to see RiRi's tracks make their way into their favorite open-world title.
#3 - Kendrick Lamar - Swimming Pools (Drank)
Perhaps no other rapper has had as much impact in the last decade as K.Dot, as he delivered one stone-cold classic after another. After turning heads with his debut project: "Section.80," he followed it up with one of the most brilliant albums of the 2010s: "good kid, mAAd city."
One of the biggest singles of the project was Swimming Pools (Drank), which was one of the greatest hits of the year.
#4 - Dr. Dre feat. Snoop Dogg - Stil D.R.E
No other song captures the essence of the G-Funk, West-Coast sound more than Dr. Dre and Snoop Dog's titan hit, "Still D.R.E."
While undoubtedly the N.W.A. has had a lasting impact on the industry and culture at large, Dr. Dre's solo project "The Chronic" and the follow-up "2001" really cemented his place in the industry as one of the best producers/artists of our time.
GTA 5's "West Coast Classics" wouldn't have had as much credibility had it not have included this absolute banger. Plus, GTA Online included a great cameo from Dr. Dre himself.
#5 - Queen - Radio Ga Ga
Much like the fanfare around Michael Jackson being on the GTA soundtrack, it was a massive surprise when Queen's iconic single "Radio Ga Ga" was heard in GTA 5.
The song was also used in one of the best trailers for GTA 5 and has often been associated with the game's Story Mode.
The game includes an eclectic range of music, and the classic rock station definitely includes a ton of great throwbacks.