Top 8-bit Bands

Forget Top 40, these bands top the 8-bit list of best video game cover bands.

The Minibosses only play covers of original NES games and have experienced huge success in the USA.  You can find them constantly on tour and as of this writing they were heading from Arizona over to California still going strong and playing a show almost every single night!  On their website at you can find more nostalgic tunes to kick you back to the NES old school days.

*Listen: Minibosses – Castlevania

*Listen: Minibosses – Contra

*Listen: Minibosses – Ghosts & Goblins


The Advantage have been covering retro game music since 1998, making them the forefathers of the 8-bit gaming music revolution.  Hailing from California these crazy dudes cruise the US slathering their 8-bit goodness all over your mother.

*Listen: The Advantage – Goonies 2

*Listen: The Advantage – Ninja Gaiden

*Listen: The Advantage – Zelda


Powerglove takes a bit of a different approach to their 8-bit musical addiction by throwing metal into the mix.  This makes for some great renditions of some of the classics, my absolute favorite being TETRIS (one of my top 5 fav games).  On stage they dress up like Viking warriors and attack their music with the same ferociousness, speed, and perfectionism that true Viking warriors conducting a raid would.  They are named after the infamous NES controller that was a huge pain in the ass to use back in the day (a glove you wore and tried to play games with).  If you check out any of the songs on NERD TREK at least check out TETRIS!

*Listen: Powerglove – TETRIS

The Black Mages tops my list for best video game cover band in existence.  My strong love for the older Final Fantasy games definitely makes me a bit biased, but after you listen to these songs I don’t think you’ll have any doubt who holds the crown in the video game cover band world.  The Black Mages was a Japanese instrumental rock band formed in 2002 by Nobuo Uematsu, Kenichiro Fukui, and Tsuyoshi Sekito, three composers for Square Enix. Uematsu is the composer of the majority of soundtracks in the Final Fantasy video game series. The band arranged Uematsu’s compositions in a rock style often similar to progressive metal, achieved with the additional use of synthesizers. Since its inception, the band had expanded to six members with the addition of Keiji Kawamori, Michio Okamiya, and Arata Hanyuda. On August 7, 2010, Nobuo Uematsu announced the band had disbanded, though he would continue to perform rock arrangements of his music as a part of another band, the Earthbound Papas.

*Listen: The Black Mages – Final Fantasy I Battle Music

*Listen: The Black Mages – Final Fantasy 7: JENOVA

*Listen: The Black Mages – Final Fantasy 7: Those Who Fight Further



Come back and enjoy the music whenever you would like and make sure you share the 8-bit love with your friends on Facebook!


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About Jonathan G. Nelson

Jonathan G. Nelson is the editor-in-chief and owner of NERD TREK. He is also owner/publisher at AAW Games /, a tabletop gaming company based in Snoqualmie, WA. Connect with Jonathan via Facebook.