These 28 Guitar Hero songs immortalized the once-popular guitar rhythm video that dominated arcades and living rooms across the globe. So, let’s take a trip back to memory lane. Here are the best Guitar Hero songs.
What Is Guitar Hero?
If it’s your first time to hear about Guitar Hero, here’s a short primer. The game, as its name suggests, simulates playing a real guitar. Instead of handheld controllers, you’ll get a controller shaped like a guitar! Now, it doesn’t have strings or frets. Instead, you’ll have five-colored buttons and a strum bar.
You’ll have to press the buttons and push up or down the strum bar and match the notes on the screen. If you hit the buttons at the right time and the music plays smoothly, you can score higher and hit note streaks. There are four difficulty levels – easy, medium, hard, and expert.
The first title of the game, Guitar Hero, came out in 2005. And due to its popularity, you’ll find other titles namely: Guitar Hero II, Guitar Hero III, Guitar World Tour, Guitar Hero 5, Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock, and Guitar Hero Live.
What Are the Best Guitar Hero Songs?
Guitar Hero offers high-quality graphics and animations. The list of songs in each of the titles is also interesting. Some songs are challenging to play but most of them are pretty easy for first-timers. Here is our list of Guitar Hero’s greatest hits.
28. Cherub Rock by the Smashing Pumpkins
Cherub Rock also appeared in Guitar Hero III as a master track. The song is challenging to FC with the guitar solo having fast and tricky HOPOs.
27. Suck My Kiss by Red Hot Chilli Peppers
Red Hot Chilli Pepper’s Suck My Kiss is available in Guitar Hero III. The solo is difficult thanks to its fast strumming notes. However, the notes cannot be played in Dualshock.
26. Miss Murder by Afi
Miss Murder is one of the best guitar hero songs for experts and beginners. It appears in Guitar Hero III. Although its main riff can be challenging you can learn to play it with time. There are long lines of familiar notes making it easier to play.
25. When We Were Young by the Killers
When We Were Young is in Guitar Hero III. You can play any difficulty level by bass and not find any chords. There are no long notes which makes it easier to play.
24. Helicopter by Bloc Party
Helicopter is available in Guitar Hero III and Guitar Hero On Tour. The song has triplets in almost all parts with many chords and multiple single notes. You can use star power to get through the notes.
23. Through the Fire and Flames by Dragon Force
This song appeared in Guitar Hero III, Guitar Hero Smash Hits, and Guitar Hero Live. Its intro is nothing else but hammer-ons which make it the hardest part. Players can pass the intro by tapping.
22. One by Metallica
You can find One by Metallica in Guitar Hero III and Guitar Hero Metallica. It is one of the best guitar hero 3 songs but among the hardest play thanks to its fast-paced notes.
21. Story of My Life by Social Distortion
Story Of My Life by Socal Distortion is available in Guitar Hero III. The song is one of the easiest to play and has several SP activations.
20. Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen
You’ll find this iconic Queen song in Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock. The song is the hardest to sing in Guitar Hero with a vocal difficulty of 10.
19. Killing in the Name by Rage Against the Machine
Killing in the Name by Rage Against the Machine is featured in Guitar Hero II, Guitar Hero Live, and Guitar Hero Smash Hits. It offers a streak of 12 notes and another streak of 24 notes that may challenge first-time players.
18. Bulls on Parade by Rage Against the Machine
Rage Against the Mchine’s Bulls on Parade is in Guitar Hero III and Guitar Hero Live. It features repetitive guitar sections with two versions of a wah-wah riff. The “kill switch scratch” is the only challenging part of the song.
17. The Wire by Haim
The Wire is in Guitar Hero Live. It is a challenging song with a long solo and fast notes. However, veteran players will find the song easy to play.
16. Black Magic Woman by Santana
Black Magic Woman is in Guitar Hero III and Guitar Hero: On Tour as a cover version. The outro and the part before it require quick orange notes that can be challenging.
15. Barracuda by Heart
Barracuda is in Guitar Hero III. In the game, you will have to play a note streak. It allows you to activate star power.
14. Eye of the Tiger by Survivor
Eye of the Tiger by Survivor is one of the popular guitar hero songs on the Guitar Hero World Tour. The song is available at the start of the game for quickplay and gamers do not need to unlock it.
13. Sex on Fire by Kings of Leon
Sex On Fire appeared on Guitar Hero 5. It offers subtle pitch changes and easy-to-play solos and riffs. Beginners and veteran players will find it interesting to play.
12. The Kill by 30 Seconds to Mars
The song only appeared in Guitar Hero World Tour. After Leto sings “Oooooh!” you have to hit several notes very fast – this is the only challenging part of the song.
11. Everlong by Foo Fighters
Everlong requires gamers to constantly switch between the green and the red positions on the controller. The chords switch fast and the song needs fast alternate strumming. It also requires triplets that first-time players find challenging.
10. Sweet Child O’Mine by Guns N Roses
Sweet Child o’Mine is in Guitar Hero II. Overall, the song is easy to play except for the solo. You need Star Power to play the solo. This song is the most famous from Guns N’ Roses album, Appetite for Destruction.
9. Heart-Shaped Box by Nirvana
This song is in Guitar Hero II. In the game, the song plays at a slow pace. It features more sustains and single notes than chords but its chorus is only chords. Its solo riff is easy to play.
8. Monkey Wrench by Foo Fighters
Foo Fighter’s Monkey Wrench appeared in Guitar Hero II. The sequence of the chorus challenges first-time players but veteran players find it easy to play.
7. Message in a Bottle by Police
Police’s Message In A Bottle is one of the top Guitar Hero songs that appeared in Guitar Hero II and Guitar Hero: Smash Hits. Gamers love playing this track because of its continuous riff with single notes and sustain.
6. You Really Got Me by Van Halen
You Really Got Me has some of the hardest solos in the title. This song also appeared in Guitar Hero Air Guitar Rocker and Guitar Hero 2nd Edition Carabiner as a master track.
5. Dead! By My Chemical Romance
Dead! appeared in Guitar Hero II. Although it is a tier 6 song, it presents pretty basic riffs. The chords in its chorus can be challenging to play but first-time players can play them perfectly with practice.
4. Spanish Castle Magic by Jimi Hendrix
Spanish Castle Magic is an instrumental song. Originally, the song was to have lyrics but the Hendrix estate was not okay with the impersonation of Jimi’s voice.
3. Hotel California by Eagles
This song appears in Guitar Hero: World Tour. In the game, the song presents subtle pitch changes and a long solo. The last part of the solo applies a series of triplets. Its laid-back pace makes it easy to play.
2. Livin’ on a Prayer by Bon Jovi
Livin’ on a Prayer is in Guitar Hero World Tour, and is the first track of the game. The song has a short solo with about 10 slide notes in a pattern that even beginners can play with ease.
1. Take Me Out by Franz Ferdinand
Take Me Out is one of the best Guitar Hero 1 songs. The same year, the song appeared on other games such as Madden NFL, NHL, and SingStar. Although the song is easy to play, its repeated notes make it challenging for first-timers and interesting for experienced players.
Guitar Hero Songs FAQs
Why Was Guitar Hero Discontinued?
Activision announced in 2011 that they would discontinue the game due to a significant decline in rock and roll. According to gamers, there was an over-saturation of the game titles and songs without major creative ideas. Activision still released Guitar Hero Live in 2015 before being discontinued.
Will Guitar Hero Ever Return?
As of this writing, there are no reports that Guitar Hero will return anytime soon. However, a patent filed by Activision in early 2020 can bring back the best guitar hero songs. The patent is for a game controller.
Can You Play Guitar Hero on PC?
There are several Guitar Hero titles available for PC and Mac. These include Guitar Hero III, Guitar Hero Aerosmith, and Guitar Hero World Tour.
What’s Your Favorite Guitar Song?
Guitar Hero III was one of the most popular titles. Besides the five original titles, there were several other titles released for PC, Mac, and mobile. The best Guitar Hero songs are in Guitar Hero III but you may like songs in other titles too.
As a “senior” my favorite guitarist was Chet Atkins. I’d bet that most of the guitarists listed are playing Atkin’s guitars. He was so good at playing his guitar, it was like you could hear the words of the songs he played. Other instrumentalists, not just a guitarist, whose playing could be described in that same manner, during their era, was, pianist, Floyd Cramer, saxophonist, Boots Randolph. There are so many great instrumentalists, I know that I could not begin to name them all.