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Is your text notification still the generic default sound that came with your Android phone? Do you hear the stock iPhone ringtone in public and wonder if it’s yours?
If you’re a video game fan, you can fix this problem in style. Video game music makes for awesome ringtones and notification sounds. Plus, nobody else will have the same tones as you.
Whether you’re an Android or iPhone user, we’ll show you the best places to download retro video game ringtones. Once you’ve chosen some tracks, we’ll review setting them up on your phone.
Video Game Ringtones and Notifications: The Basics
Ringtones are obviously intended to alert you when you get a phone call, but they work great as alarm sounds, too. Notification sounds are perfect for incoming text messages, emails, or any other quick pings.
To download a track from these sites, right-click on it, choose Save Link As, and save it to a folder on your computer. We’ll highlight a few recommendations from each franchise if you’re not familiar with them.
The Mario series is one of the most iconic and important franchises of all time. Super Mario Bros. on the NES made a name for Nintendo and marked the dawn of the platformer. And the series hasn’t slowed down since. Its variety of music makes for great ringtones.
For ringtones, check out Mario Mayhem’s soundtracks page, which contains links to MP3 collections of many Mario games. We recommend visiting The Mushroom Kingdom for your Mario notification needs. It has a great collection of sound effects, divided by category for each game (such as the character speaking them).
A few Mario highlights:
- Super Mario Bros.—Main Theme
- Super Mario World—Athletic
- Super Mario 64—Koopa’s Road
- Super Mario Bros.—1-Up
- Super Mario Bros. 3—Coin
- Super Mario World—Riding Yoshi
The Legend of Zelda Ringtones
The Legend of Zelda is second only to Mario when it comes to prolific Nintendo franchises. This incredible action-adventure series blends epic fantasy stories with challenging puzzles and tight combat.
Whether you’ve been playing since the original or are nostalgic for Ocarina of Time, there’s a piece of Zelda music waiting for your phone. And if you’re new to the series, why not check out our guide to the Zelda franchise?
You’ll find all the Zelda sounds you need at Dayjo. It covers all of the main games in the series, as well as spin-offs like Hyrule Warriors and Link’s Crossbow Training. For Zelda’s legendary music, check out Zelda Dungeon’s music page. Here, you’ll even find some official remixes and Japan-only tracks.
Nobody can go wrong with these Zelda tunes:
- A Link to the Past—The Dark World
- Ocarina of Time—Lost Woods
- Twilight Princess—Hyrule Field
- The Legend of Zelda—Secret
- Ocarina of Time—Get Small Item
- The Wind Waker—Item Fanfare
Pokémon got a strong start with the original Red and Blue titles on the Game Boy. Since then, the series has seen many successful sequels, TV shows, movies, a trading card game, and more. Its mobile iteration, Pokémon Go, was a smash hit in the summer of 2016 and is still going strong today.
KHInsider holds a ridiculous amount of Pokémon music. Choose the game you’re interested in and you’ll find its complete soundtrack. For sounds, you’re a bit more limited. There’s a collection from KHInsider, but it only includes cries for the 151 original Pokémon. And for some reason, they all have several seconds of Japanese speech after them.
If you want a specific sound not found here, you’re better off finding and downloading it from YouTube manually. You’ll also find a huge selection of Pokémon sounds available to download linked in this Reddit post.
Any Pokémon fan should enjoy these tracks:
- Red/Blue/Yellow—Pokémon Center
- Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald—Pokémon Gym
- Gold/Silver/Crystal—Wild Pokémon Battle
- Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald—Pokemon Center Heal
- Red/Blue/Yellow—Level Up
- Red/Blue/Yellow—Charizard Cry
Sonic the Hedgehog Ringtones
Sega created the Blue Blur to challenge Mario, and the hedgehog with an attitude gave the plumber a stir back in the ’90s. Those days are long gone, as Sonic games now appear on Nintendo systems.
And while most modern Sonic titles don’t match up to the classics, you can relive the glory days with some awesome Genesis music. You might also enjoy reading up on the history of Sonic the Hedgehog while you listen to these tracks.
Sonic HQ is our destination for Sonic’s fantastic music library. Choose a game from the hedgehog’s catalog and you’ll find all its tunes ready for download. SoaH CITY is another good choice if you need an alternative, though the music comes in ZIP files there.
For sounds, a user on the SonicRetro forums provided zipped files with all the sounds from many early Sonic games. But they’re not named properly, which makes finding the right one a chore. Thus, a YouTube download is probably faster.
Some of our favorite Sonic sounds and tracks are:
- Sonic 2—Chemical Plant Zone
- Sonic 3—Angel Island Zone Act 1
- Sonic CD—Stardust Speedway Present (USA)
- Sonic 1—Collect Ring
- Sonic 2—Checkpoint
- Sonic 1—Jump
Donkey Kong Country Ringtones
The big ape got his start as the antagonist in 1981’s Donkey Kong arcade game, but he didn’t receive a proper starring role until Donkey Kong Country in 1994. This masterful platforming experience created by legendary developer Rareware used (at the time) cutting-edge pre-rendered graphics for a more realistic look. Even better, it had an incredible soundtrack to match.
We’ll visit KHInsider again, this time on its Donkey Kong page. The three original Country games are the highlight here. For notifications, DKC Atlas has collected almost all the DK Country sound effects in one ZIP.
Get your gorilla groove on with these highlights:
- DK Country—Forest Frenzy
- DK Country 2—Hot-Head Bop
- DK Country 3—Rockface Rumble
- DK Country—Character Change
- DK Country—Bonus Room Opened
- DK Country—Level Clear
Crash Bandicoot Ringtones
The Crash Bandicoot trilogy hosted some of the best platformers on the original PlayStation. While the bandicoot didn’t see too many great games after his PS1 days, we’ve thankfully gotten some remasters of classic Crash titles. Celebrate this with some Crash ringtones.
Try these on for size:
- Crash 1—Heavy Machinery
- Crash 2—The Eel Deal
- Crash 3—Desert Town
- Crash 1—Collect Aku Aku
- Crash 2—Collect Crystal
- Crash 1—Woah!
Miscellaneous: Nintendo Ringtones and More
Some video game music and sound doesn’t belong to any of the series above, but it’s so awesome that we had to mention it. Here are a few bonus tracks we recommend adding to your video game ringtones and notifications collection:
- Banjo-Kazooie—Treasure Trove Cove
- Super Castlevania IV—Theme of Simon Belmont
- Spyro 2—Glimmer
- Earthworm Jim—New Junk City (SNES)
- TMNT IV—Big Apple, 3 A.M
- Yoshi’s Island—Flower Garden
- F-Zero—Big Blue
How to Get Video Game Ringtones Onto Your Phone
Now that you’ve downloaded some awesome video game ringtones and notification sounds, it’s time to get them onto your device. To keep everything straight, it’s a good idea to separate ringtone and notification clips before transferring them. If you want to adjust the volume of any tone or shorten it, you can easily make audio adjustments using an editing app like Audacity.
We’ve looked at the best ways to send files to your phone before. You can use cloud storage like Dropbox, an easy-sharing app like Pushbullet, or just an old-fashioned USB cable. If you don’t want to transfer anything, open this page on your phone and download the files directly on your device.
On Android, you’ll need to place the audio files into the appropriate folders, so the system recognizes them as ringtones and notifications. Use a file manager app to move them from their current location (probably Downloads) to the Ringtones or Notifications folder in your phone’s storage. Then, go to Settings > Sound and tap Phone ringtone or Default notification sound to change them. The new audio effects show up when you picking a notification sound for a particular app, too.
For iPhone users, this is a more difficult task. You can’t easily browse the file system like Android, so you’ll have to perform some trickery with iTunes on your computer to convert a track into a ringtone. Check out our guide explaining how to add new iPhone ringtones through iTunes, or how to create new ringtones on your iPhone.
If you don’t want to go through the trouble locating tones on your own, check out the free Zedge service. It’s available on the web as well as offering apps for Android and iOS, but the iPhone app redirects you to iTunes to purchase ringtones. Thus, you’re better off browsing the website and transferring ringtones to your device using the guide above.
The service lets you browse hundreds of ringtones and notification sounds that you can download right to your device. Note that users upload Zedge’s content, so tracks might have incorrect labels or suffer from poor quality. There’s lots of video game audio on Zedge, so it’s a great resource regardless.
Enjoy Your Awesome Video Game Ringtones!
Now you have everything you need to replace your boring stock ringtones with classic video game sounds and music. There are dozens of other games with excellent sounds and plenty of websites for cool ringtones, so feel free to substitute any of the music above with your favorites.
If you need some inspiration, have a listen to the best video game soundtracks for studying or relaxing.
Image Credit: Syda Productions/Shutterstock