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video game soundsIs your ringtone boring, phone-like and stupid? Don’t be embarrassed – mine was too. Until, that is, I saw the light and changed it to one of the best sounds in the known universe: the Underworld Theme from the original Super Mario Bros. Now every time my phone rings, the people around me gaze in wonder and listen to my awesome ringtone, wishing they thought of that before me.

And don’t get me started about my text message ring – it’s the coin sound from that same game. Every time I get a text I feel as though I’m one percent closer to earning an afterlife.

Keep reading to find just a few sites where you can download music and sound effects from a few of video gaming’s classics. For a while I’ve hidden this knowledge from the web, mainly because of my selfish desire to feel unique. I know the second people realize this is even hypothetically possible everyone on earth will do it, and I wanted to keep it to myself. Sadly the pressures of writing three blog posts a week mean this week I’m caving in and revealing my satisfying secret to the world.

If you live in Boulder, Colorado, however, you are forbidden from reading this. This is my thing, not yours.

Mario Ringtones

video game sounds

Let’s start with the sounds you’re actually looking for – Mario. There are a variety of fansites around the web offering the music and the sounds; I looked through a few and think these are the best. Yes, I basically just Googled, but that’s like half of what bloggers do. Get over it.


Mario Mayhem offers direct MP3 links to songs from almost every Mario game, if that’s what you’re looking for. Alternatively, if you’re more interested in sound effects, The Mushroom Kingdom has an extensive collection.

Legend of Zelda Ringtones

Do you like saving princesses, but prefer to do so wearing a pointy green hat? Fair enough. Here are some site with potential ringtones from The Legend of Zelda.

This site seems to be the best collection of Zelda sounds on the web. You’ll basically find every sound effect from every game.  Are you more interested in music? Zelda Universe offers every song from every soundtrack.

You probably just want this sound, though:


Pokemon Ringtones

If you want your phone sound to be a Pokemon, fine, I won’t argue with you. Kingdom Hearts Insider has a disturbingly complete collection for some reason. For some reason, all of these sounds are followed by what I assume is a Japanese explanation of the sound, so get an audio editor ready for cutting that out. Unless you like it, I guess.

The sounds come from the old Gameboy game, so don’t expect to hear the annoying cries from the cartoon. The original 151 Pokemon are there.

The Sounds of Sonic

video game sound effects

If you like inexplicably blue hedgehogs that run through dystopian landscapes you’ll be happy to know that fansite SonicHQ offers every piece of Sonic music ever, even the terrible ones.

I can’t find any sites with just the sound effects; share it below if you can. Alternatively, if you own Sonic 2, fire it up and go to the settings. You’ll find the “Sound Check” there; record the sounds from there yourself.

Audio Editors

Do you need to edit some of these sounds, or convert them to MP3? You’ll need an audio editor. I recommend Audacity for Linux and Windows. Christian outlined how to create valid MP3 files with it How To Create Valid MP3 Files With Audacity How To Create Valid MP3 Files With Audacity One of the more popular open source audio applications, Audacity, has recently upgraded to version 2.0 and is now no longer in Beta. Audacity has some great tools and effects that can be used to... Read More . If you’re on a Mac you can still use Audacity, but it might be easier to use Garageband or Macsome audio editor Macsome Audio Editor: Quickly Edit MP3 & AAC Files On Your Mac Macsome Audio Editor: Quickly Edit MP3 & AAC Files On Your Mac Quickly edit any MP3 or AAC file on your Mac. If you need to make a quick edit to a file–like creating a ringtone or cropping a hidden track from a song–Macsome Audio Editor is... Read More .

video game sounds

Once you’ve edited your file you can use it as your ringtone.It’s probably easy to find in your phone’s settings, but if not check the user manual.


If you’re done reading this and you’re not hard at work improving your phone, shame on you – you can do better. Find the best sound in all the collections above and change that ringtone now.

I hope you enjoyed this useless article, and that you keep the uselessness going by sharing links to other collections in the comments below. For example, my friend and colleague Dave LeClair used to use the Mario coin as his ringtone, but then discovered this collection of Diablo ringtones.

Together we can make the real world sound like a retro video game, and in no way is that not awesome.

  1. Byron S
    August 14, 2012 at 5:49 am

    Guess what!? I do live in Boulder and I am going to do this to my phone! You kind of brought this on yourself :)

  2. Arron Walker
    August 6, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    I've been looking for a comprehensive Metroid soundtrack for a while: originally I wanted to complete my theme I made for my computer - unfortunately, I couldn't find such a thing.

    As it is, I wake up to Navi shouting "hey, listen! hey, listen!" every morning. It's brilliant, because I never found the little fairy annoying - but my housemates certainly did! And thanks to me, still do ^_^

    • Justin Pot
      August 6, 2012 at 9:52 pm

      The "Hey! Listen!" thing is brilliant. I'm going to download that right now...

      I (disgracefully) never really played Metroid, and am sure I won't have more luck than you finding sounds. Sorry.

      • Arron Walker
        August 9, 2012 at 6:30 pm

        I recommend the games, they're excellent fun! Favourites would be Fusion and Prime. Never 100%d fusion, and I recently rage quit a 100% of Prime. I've done with a guide before, and I've been reminded why I used one -_-

  3. Kannon Y
    August 5, 2012 at 11:11 pm

    Here's my custom Gauntlet ringtone! I used Audacity to cobble it together from bits and pieces floating around on the internet. Came out much better than expected.

  4. shnjd
    August 5, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    Try out the Zedge application on Android - it allows you to download tons of different ringtones, including a lot of game music and sounds.

    • Justin Pot
      August 6, 2012 at 9:50 pm

      If I used Android regularly I certainly would. Thanks for the tip!

  5. Kannon Y
    August 5, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    Great article!

    I scoured the internets in search of a suitable ringtone for my phone, but found only bits and pieces. Audacity made it very easy to cobble together a hodgepodge of sounds:

  6. Dee Wheat
    August 5, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    My ringtone says, "Mom, answer your phone! Hey MOM, ANSWER YOUR PHONE! MOM, MOM, ANSWER YOUR PHONE!" Does that tell you anything about life at my house?

    • Justin Pot
      August 6, 2012 at 9:49 pm

      I do believe it does, and I'm personally glad I don't live there.

  7. Ashwin Divakaran
    August 5, 2012 at 8:44 am

    i really loved playing these games .. the music is awesome!

  8. Begbie86
    August 5, 2012 at 8:40 am

    This can be reformatted as mentioned by 'xenacat3' in itunes without having to download or install extra hardware if you are running itunes.

    windows 7

    start>control panel>appearance and personlization>folder options>show hidden files and folders>untick hide extensions for known file types and click apply.

    import downloaded mario .mp3 track to itunes. right click>get info>options>change .mp3 track to 30seconds. any start or finish just as long as its 30seconds. click ok. right click on song change to AAC format. drag to desktop right click> rename>change extension from .m4a to .m4r> drag back to itunes and you have a ringtone. sounds like a lot of work but really a 2 second job.

  9. Mark Cahill
    August 5, 2012 at 6:23 am

    I did this using MAME and sound capture software to create tones from my favourite games.

    Now I find the sounds in online libraries and use Audiko to convert the sounds online. This site creates both iOS compatible and MP3 tones and you can edit the files as well.

    Click the link to get classic Mario or Galaxian tones.

    • Justin Pot
      August 5, 2012 at 2:04 pm

      I'll have to dig into this...thanks for sharing.

  10. Rishabh Sharma
    August 5, 2012 at 5:35 am


  11. sampath widushan
    August 5, 2012 at 4:15 am

    nice work..thank you..

  12. Ashwin Ramesh
    August 5, 2012 at 3:53 am

    Mario, mario... forever!

  13. xenacat3
    August 5, 2012 at 2:41 am

    Great idea. I actually did this 2 months ago, editing the Super Mario Brothers theme with Audacity so that I got all 3 main parts of the tune into exactly 30 seconds. I was surprised how cross-generational it is; my 24-year-old step daughter thought it was cool. BTW, to make it work on an iPhone it is necessary to save in MP3 format, then rename the file with an M4R file extention. Also, you'll need to download an add-on in order to give Audacity the ability to save to mP3. For a future post, I would suggest some instructions on this with links to the relevant sites, if MYO hasn't done this already that is.

    • Justin Pot
      August 5, 2012 at 2:02 pm

      24 isn't too old to have played Mario! I'm 26 and grew up on that game.

      Didn't know that about the iPhone; I'm not an iPhone user. Thanks for sharing! I did link to an article explaining how to make MP3s with Audacity, but I suppose I could have gone into more detail.

  14. Suman Acharya
    August 5, 2012 at 1:52 am


  15. tarzan2001
    August 5, 2012 at 12:35 am

    I'm thinking about using the StarCraft "incoming transmission" sound for my text message ring tone! :D The only problem is that it's a bit long and would probably get annoying during times of heavy texting!

    • Justin Pot
      August 5, 2012 at 2:03 pm

      Try it out! You might like it...

    • Sabih Ismail
      August 5, 2012 at 2:13 pm

      Haha, great idea!

    • Aditya Roy
      August 19, 2012 at 6:24 am

      Got mine :)

    • Aditya Roy
      August 19, 2012 at 6:31 am

      'this collection of diablo ringtones' redirects me to the MUO homepage.

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