When people think of iconic RPG games that became bastions of the genre, several come to mind. World Of Warcraft, EVE Online, EverQuest, and the subject of this listicle, Runescape. Runescape has been through several iterations since it was first released in 2001, with two versions currently available: Old School RuneScape (OSRS) and Runescape 3 (RS3).
The now-iconic songs of Old School Runescape (OSRS) were developed thanks to a digital software synthesizer created by the game’s developer, Andrew Gower. These digital tunes became timeless pieces of nostalgia for long-time Runescape players and returning fans (myself included), while also being an alluring pull for new players.
Believe it or not, RuneScape has some quirky tracks that are worth a listen. Here are the best 10 from OSRS!
1. Scape Main
It would be a sin to make a list of RuneScape’s best songs and completely disregard its login screen music. This has become the quintessential point of nostalgia for me every time I return to the game (which I do often), and never fails to bring me memories and a smile.
Its magical keyboard introduction and loud, inspiring trumpet blares get you ready for your next adventure before the galloping instrumentals burst in and fill any RuneScape player with immediate happiness. It’s the perfect introduction to one of the best games ever created.
2. Eye Of The Storm
So far I’ve covered location-based songs that bring a warm, comforting sense of nostalgia to RuneScape players. This entry, however, is nothing but comforting, and instead of warmth, we’re met with the red-hot, deadly fire of the first boss of RuneScape: the deadly dragon Elvarg.
Unlocked during the boss fight, “Eye Of The Storm” added a whole new level of terror to my younger self as he battled the dragon for the first time. Its chaotic, dramatic build-up made beating the dragon feel all that more important, and immensely rewarding when she finally fell.
Just like the main menu soundtrack is iconic and timeless, “Harmony” is another precious gem in OSRS’ soundtrack collection. The track is played at Lumbridge Castle, the primary spawn point for players and the first location you spawn in after completing the game’s Tutorial Island.
For me, and many others, this location and the ensuing track is a point of extreme nostalgia. It’s also a point of frustration, as you’d respawn here after dying and losing the majority of your inventory.
One of my most memorable moments in OSRS is first entering the God Wars Dungeon once I’d reached high enough combat levels to successfully attempt this dangerous area. “Armageddon” plays upon first entering the area, and it’s the perfect track to accommodate the fear and adrenaline that comes with battling in an arena of the gods.
The mystical backing elements and powerful, bellowing war drums make it a cacophony of wonder and terror as players fight the generals of RuneScape’s mighty gods.
5. Newbie Melody
Our final nostalgic offering of this list is the soothing “Newbie Melody”. Aptly named for being the very first song new players will hear, it sets a delightful tone for Tutorial Island and the player’s upcoming journeys.
“Newbie Melody” is also a common favorite amongst OSRS veterans for its nostalgia and warm melodies.
6. Pick & Shovel
The Motherlode Mine is a mining skill minigame that was added to OSRS in 2014, where players mine ore veins in the hope of receiving additional ores and mining EXP. They can also receive golden nuggets here to exchange for rewards such as the Prospector’s Outfit, which boosts Mining EXP by 2.5% if wearing the full set.
While it might not necessarily match the minigame, “Pick & Shovel” is an upbeat bop with catchy synth leads and basslines that make it a fun listen no matter where you’re leveling.
7. Amascut’s Promise
Despite its old age, OSRS is still getting plenty of love and care from its developers in the form of new content. Tombs Of Amascut is a 5-boss raid that was added in the summer of 2022, and it features some of the best new content for the game, both in gameplay and music.
I recently completed Tombs of Amascut for the first time, and the final boss’ soundtrack made the fight all the more exciting. Had it not been for the unexpected morale boost of its energetic synth tones, I probably would have failed the fight.
RuneScape isn’t exactly a scary game, but one thing that frightened the life out of me as I played it growing up was the Wilderness. A wild expanse filled with monsters, dragons, and even worse: other players who could kill you if they wanted to reap your hard-earned gear.
The ominous, terrifying air of this track pairs perfectly well with the overall feeling you get when you step into the Wilderness either for the first or 100th time. Anything could happen at any given moment, and you could be fighting for your character’s life in an instant.
2. Sea Shanty 2
This one might not have as meaningful weight behind it as “Eye Of The Storm”, but “Sea Shanty 2” became a recurring song in my playlist as I navigated Port Sarim and traveled to Karamja to fish for lobsters in my youth.
Its dainty, sea-ready bounce perfectly matches its relevant location: a seaside port with pirates, merchant traders, and adventure aplenty.
10. Flute Salad
In this list, I’ve visited some classic moments in RuneScape, and also some simply brilliant beats. “Flute Salad” sits strongly in the latter category and became a core memory for those who have previously played the game.
Its mamba-like beat and funky sway are unmistakable, and despite the synthesizer software’s simplicity, manages to create a vibrant and fun atmosphere overall.
Justin is an audio engineer with years of experience in the field. He has been creating and playing music his entire life, but he really found his passion for engineering when he was introduced to Logic Pro at age 10. Justin has spent countless hours perfecting his craft and now works as a freelance engineer out of Boston, MA.