Rhythm games, compose-your-own-music games, memorise the tune game, even music fighting games... we have them all and more. If you like music and you like gaming, then we hope you will enjoy our list of 20 music games that can be played in your browser for free. Without further ado, to the games:
1Take a Walk
Your task in this beautiful art-house side-scroller is to catch as many musical notes as you can. If you make a mistake and can't progress forward, you can, Braid-like, rewind time and the music and try again. Fabulously designed and animated, and featuring great music and sound effects, Take a Walk is a game that blurs the distinction between gaming and art. We can't recommend it enough. You can play it here.
Our second game could not be more different than our first. While Take a Walk is a thoughtful exquisite work of art, Vuvu Hero is a bold, brash and, to be frank, fairly rude affair. It is unbelievably good fun, however, and one can't help but appreciate the joy with which it mocks the Guitar Hero-style of game that it imitates. You can play Vuvu Hero here.
Some people have reported problems trying to play this game. It appears that you need to have the latest version of Adobe Flash installed. You can get that here.
3The Sound Walk
Featuring a dark moody ambience and story line, Sound Walk is an innovative side-scrolling music action game. You need to move in sync with the beat of the music to overcome the obstacles and despatch your enemies. This is a beautifully designed and animated game blessed with great music and unqiue game play. You can play the game here.
4Music Catch 2
Catch the yellow, green, blue and purple notes while avoiding the evil red ones - all to some of the best music we have heard in a Flash game. Complete the game and you can even upload your own tracks and play along with them. Music Catch provides one of the most soothing and relaxing gaming experiences on offer, and you can play it here for free. An earlier version of the game - which is also pretty good - can be played here.
Compose your own punk music and have a band play your creation. This recently-released sequel makes it ridiculously easy to create decent sounding punk music. You'll soon be head-banging to your own Sex Pistol-style creations. You can play Punk-O-Matic 2 here.
Survive as long as you can in this vector-style music action game. All the animations and action are perfectly synched to the beat of the music, providing for mesmerising game play. This is a very tough game to beat, demanding lightning fast reactions, so you might want to start on the easier levels before progressing to the near-impossible hard mode. Chaoz Escape can be played here.
7Super Crazy Guitar Maniac 3
The developer of this game could really do with going on a graphic design course. The game is ugly as sin. But that does not matter a jot, because when it comes to features and game-play, Super Crazy Guitar Maniac 3 is streets ahead of most of the other Guitar Hero-style games on the web. The 3rd version of the game features 14 more songs and 10 new guitars. You can play it here.
Canadian whizkid CoolioNiato is one of the most prolific developers of online music games, and recently-released Rhythm Rockets is among his best. In some ways similar to Music Catch, the game sets you the task of lighting up the sky by making rockets explode (by touching them with your mouse). Beautiful use of colour and sounds makes for mesmeric game-play. Click here to play Rhythm Rockets.
Another great game by CoolioNiato (this time in collaboration with US developer XceeD), Music Mania is a compilation of six rhythm-based mini games. Three of the games can be played straight away while the other three have to be unlocked. The mini games are each nicely executed, featuring the slick graphics and sublime music that have become CoolioNiato's trademark. Play the game here.
Auditorium is, quite simply, one of the best Flash games of all time. The reason we have placed it in this relatively lowly position is that music only forms a relatively small part of its game play. That said, that small part - just like the rest of the game - is done to the highest standards. Auditorium should not be missed. Play it here.
Does CoolioNiato ever sleep. This is another gem from the prolific Canadian developer. Inspired by the PlayStation 2 game Rez, Music Euphoria bombards you with great music, visuals and game-play. Activate the coloured balls before they come too close. The game can be played here.
Ever wanted to be a DJ? Yeah, I did too but I was rubbish. This game, mercifully, allows even talentless fools like me to make "rockin" dance music. If you're desperate to fulfill your DJ fantasy without having to put much effort in, then Scratch Simulator could be the perfect game for you. Play Scratch Simulator here.
Strictly speaking, Sweetshop is more interactive art than game but it boasts such cool visuals and great sound effects that I just had to include it in the list. Play Jay Malaiperuman's beautiful creation here.
When Coolio Niato turned his hand to a Guitar Hero-style game, did he mindlessly replicate all the features of the original? Of course not. Our favourite music game creater added a major twist to the game-play. Not only do you need to hit the notes with pin-point precision but you also need to ensure the colours match. Very innovative but also - at least for me - very hard. Rythmn Fireworks can be played here.
Ring the bells by getting the bunny to jump on them in this beautifully-executed music jumping game. When you have finished having fun, make sure you check out Ferry Halim's other games here. He is a game-designer genius. Play Bells by clicking here.
This is one of the slickest Guitar Hero clones available on the web. You earn points by pressing the correct key when the notes hit the fret board. The game starts off fairly gently but to progress far you will need lightning fast reactions and a good sense of rhythm. You can play Guitar Geek here.
17Music in Motion
CoolioNiato, I am really beginning to worry about you now. Do you ever stop working. Yes, this is yet another game from the Canadian music game maestro. This time he has created an experimental music-themed platform game. According to CoolioNiato. "You do not have to play to the rhythm, but rather the rhythm plays with you". Interesting. Play the game here.
Create your own music using an impressive range of instruments and share your creation with your friends. Aspiring composers can play the game here.
An update of the classic music/colour memory game. If you're of a certain age, it may bring back fond childhood memories of flashing colours and electronic bleeps. Play the game here.
Yet another Guitar Hero clone but worth taking a look at because, although it might not be hugely innovative, it is really very well produced, is a lot of fun to play and boasts some snazzy music. Jam Legend can be played here.
Try to repeat the melody that is played to you The quicker you can repeat the tune, the more points you will get. A very simple game but it helps you hone your musical ear. Play Repeats Melody here.
We hope you like our list of games. If you think we have missed out any brilliant online music games, please tell us all about them in the comments section below.