Best soundfeel in games

You know that distinct satisfying tactile sensation you get when you, say, engage a nice clunky mechanical switch? I‘m talking old school IBM desktop power switches, or the type of switch that you would expect to illuminate a cavernous warehouse when thrown. I’m curious if there are any specific sfx or examples of general sound design that elicit that same phenomenon, but through sheer SOUNDFEEL.

Some examples that immediately come to mind for me are the DOOM 2 super shotgun reload or the shooting sword from The Legend of Zelda:

More generally speaking in terms of sound design, the menu sfx from the original MGS, Half-Life, and FFVII are so specifically evocative that I truly think these games would be lesser without them. The trend in more modern games (including remakes and new entries in these series) seems to be more generic, muted, and unobtrusive menu navigation sounds and I think it is a real shame.

So, anyway, let's discuss! Show my ears how to FEEL again!


I've been playing the Demon's Souls remake and the sound design in this game makes me tingle. Especially the sound effects for magic spells, in particular the magic ray or bolt and the cloak. There's this oh so satisfying electric slap when the magic comes out of your wand. Ooooooohhh...

Also the sound design of hyper light drifter. The sound effects are freakin great and Disasterpeace does a fantastic job with the soundtrack of capturing a world of run down, overgrown technology.

It‘s not news to say the Mario coin sounds and the Sonic ring sound (there’s only one! they never even needed to change it!) are the primary motivator for the player to collect a million of those things (animations are good too).


Ooooh, positively CRACKLING with energy! I'm grateful this remake turned out well in terms of sound design, as I have heard many compelling arguments that the visuals and score, while technically impressive, tend more toward the generic and don't capture the unique weirdness of the original. I finally have my copy, waiting until I can sink some quality time into it before I start.


Yes, yes, yes! The classics deserve their due!

Those early sonic sound effects absolutely NAILED it and really used the FM synth hardware right...that SPROING effect in particular is burned into my cerebrum.

As for the ring sound effect, I noticed it popping up in some weird places a few years ago and it seems like I'm not the only one:


Excellent! In my limited experience with that game the audio mixing and the way they handled dialogue was delightfully unsettling. I love how Iwazaru seems to speak in some kind of bizarro world Animal Crossing language, not to mention Dan Smith's gratuitous swearing.

Did you play the PC re-release? I wonder if the audio was properly reproduced...

First thing that came to mind for me is BF Bad Company 2. This game was on a whole new level and still sounds awesome/scary


@copySave#17548 God, I love how that Kane & Lynch game sounds. More games need to make feel like I'm in the scary video room of an art gallery.

Great idea for a thread, @kory !

Take your pick as to which one you prefer, but for me, the "OK desu ka?" from EarthBound/Mother 3 is the ultimate SOUNDFEEL because it works linguistically (the game is asking you if you are OK with your choice), acoustically (it sounds cool, especially because of the low-powered hardware which doesn't usually produce vocal sounds), and authorially (the man Itoi himself is the voice).

@whatsarobot#17588 absolutely love this suggestion, this captures EXACTLY what i was getting at.

In particular, I think the "crushed" low bitrate sound of the GBA hardware really adds to the ambience of Mother 3, lending it this melancholy/distant feel when I listen to the tracks from it. If (when????) we get a port I would love to hear the sounds in full fidelity, but they would probably lose some ineffable quality.

As a follow up to the GBA discussion, I would also submit the original WarioWare for this discussion--Wario's lo-fi vocal interjections in particular.

Darkest Dungeon had kickass sound design. Every sound effect felt so tangible, and that‘s gotta be some of the best atmospheric sound in the biz, especially with the mounting horror soundscapes when your light goes down. Even the repeated narrator lines don’t get too annoying even after the hundreds of hours I put into that game.

@Gaagaagiins#17594 PRESS THIS ADVANTAGE replays in my head endlessly like a pop song, even having not played DarkDung in years.

@kory Yeah man, lots of love for crushed bitrate GBA sounds. They go a long way toward imbuing Mother 3 with its personality, and the Wario games have some good examples. Of course we can't forget the GBA version of Rhythm Tengoku. It's chock full of SOUNDFEEL:


I think about the sound in the Bad Company game often and how the dynamic range was just sublime in the ways it activated the map designs. Makes me wanna do that finger kissy thing that chefs do *mwaAH!*
posting only the most buttery game sounds
the soundscape of the first kingdom hearts title screen + menu sounds is peak I think...

gameboy stuff that sounds buttery smooth:
game & watch gallery 3
link's awakening
Wario land 2
gameboy camera

@treefroggy#17614 I‘m so grateful for all of the Mother/Earthbound love we’re seeing in this thread! Let’s say I’m a fan of this SOUNDFEEL

@treefroggy#17614 I love the manic circus clown energy that Mega Man 8 had (i promise i'm not just characterizing it as such because one of the robot masters was a literal clown lmao). This aesthetic was so singular in the series, then they hit a big giant reset button with 9.

@Syzygy#17618 Thank you for sharing the Mario Artist soundtrack, I had not heard this before! I love how it shifts from chill to quirky to atonal to totally nuts.

Also, now that I am listening to these Mario Paint selections on stereo speakers and not my grandmother's mono CRT I can appreciate that they were doing some interesting work with stereo panning (see around 0:50). Seems like such an unnecessary flourish that so few people would ever hear, but it shows some real care went into this!

The Mario Paint soundscape really elevated and distinguished what could have been a simple drawing program...I remember knowing I was in store for something weird when it opened with this bizarre tribal chant followed by an off kilter sample of MaRiO PAINT!

@Gaagaagiins#17594 yeah DD rules. the skreeeeeee when you cleave an evil pig man in two and the narrator says this

@Syzygy#17618 re: mega man…yeah, I realize I am oversimplifying a lot, but I like to imagine an alternate timeline where Mega Man carried on from 8 to become a playground for experimenting with new platforming aesthetics and gameplay. You're right…the thread from 8 –> 9,10 –> 11 exists in name only.

Thief games are probably my favorite sound design ever.