Top 100 Games of All-Time: #49

Rock Band 2

Release Date: September 14, 2008

Platform Played On: PS3

2018 Placement: #44 (-5)


What It Is:

The sequel to Harmonix’s perfection of the plastic music instrument genre – Rock Band 2 was a little bit of an advancement as the guitar and drum controllers were better and there were some extra modes added to the game. The game used the same rhythm controls set up by the previous games of Guitar Hero and Rock Band, where you have to hit notes on musical instruments in time with the music. You get score modifiers based on how long you go without mistakes and at the end of each song you get a star rating.

The fun, of course, comes from getting to jam out with your friends locally. Setting up impromptu band sessions with buddies and putting on playlists of your favorite songs was just an absolute blast, even if the peripherals took up a ton of space when they weren’t in use. The Rock Band store allowed for more songs to be downloaded and added to your set lists and gave the game infinite replayability.

Why It’s Important To Me:

Rock Band was a fundamental fixture in hanging out with my friends during the late 2000s and early 2010s. Rock Band 2 was my favorite game of the series with my favorite base playlist – Almost Easy by Avenged Sevenfold, Ace of Spaces by Motorhead, and Hungry Like the Wolf by Duran Duran amongst others. More importantly, it doesn’t have Creep, Say It Ain’t So, or Maps.

As has been evident by nearly every other entry in this list, music is very important to me. So of course a game based around music AND hanging out with friends would obviously end up being a game I loved very much. I was extremely sad when the genre was scuttled due to oversaturation – while I mostly blame fucking Bobby Kotick, some of the blame was also on Harmonix – Rock Band: Beatles? Rock Band: Green Day? C’mon. Still, this was karaoke combined with air guitar, except you were actually playing something on the air guitar. It was just an absolute blast and I still love bringing out the old plastic instruments on occasion.

My Strongest Memory:

There’s a lot I could go for here. There’s the first time I got my first complete gold star 100% on Hungry Like The Wolf. There’s the time and effort I put into mastering Almost Easy and nailing a near 100% on it – being able to hit the hammer-ons was so satisfying. There’s also getting up the courage to actually sing some of the rock songs in front of friends (I’m petrified of singing in front of other people because I can’t sing). There’s the times of laughter when my friends tried to rap through Beastie Boys or trying to hit the high notes of Judas Priest.

There’s just so much good music in this game and the joy of getting the rhythm down and nailing five stars as a foursome is unmatched. It’s one of my favorite local gaming activities of all-time.

Why It’s #49:

Look, it’s Rock Band 2. If you played games in the late 2000s this was a part of your life. Do I really need to elaborate any more than that? It was a phenomenon unlike any other and it deserved it because it was pure fun. It deserves it spots on the top 100 because it’s an iconic game that will always live on in my heart and memory.