Were you somebody who grew up during the early 2000s? If so, there’s a very probable chance that you played Guitar Hero 2 with your friends.
While the series is undoubtedly famous, Guitar Hero 2 was most people’s entry to the game because it was released on multiple consoles. Whether you’re picking it up for the first time, or just want to reminisce, the following songs are some of the best in the game.
The Rolling Stones – Can’t You Hear Me Knockin’
Initially, you’d probably think to yourself that you wouldn’t play a song by The Rolling Stones all that much in Guitar Hero 2. But, surprisingly enough, Can’t You Hear Me Knockin’ has a sort of infectiousness that cannot be denied.
In fact, it’s a song that you’ll surprise yourself with time and again each time you return to it. If nothing else, Can’t You Hear Me Knocking is an enjoyable track that will get your fingers properly warmed up.
Rush – YYZ
Many people consider Rush to be the greatest progressive rock band of all time. For a band with only 3 members, such a title has not been acclaimed for no reason.
Give YYZ a go and you’ll quickly see why so many people revere Rush to the degree that they do. Some of Alex Lifeson’s most epic guitar parts are to be found in this song, but don’t be thrown off by its unique rhythm.
Black Sabbath – War Pigs
Featuring at least 1 Black Sabbath song in a Guitar Hero game became somewhat of a tradition in the series. The 2nd installment of the Guitar Hero series saw War Pigs being added to the soundtrack.
This scathing anti-war track remains as relevant today as it was during the era of the Vietnam War. The song starts out relatively simple but dials up the difficulty when the sprawling guitar solo comes about.
Toadies – Possum Kingdom
The 1990s spawned some of the heaviest rock hits to ever grace the mainstream airwaves. Possum Kingdom is one of those songs that could be considered a forgotten classic — people are familiar with it but might not be able to recall its name or who played it.
Fortunately, Guitar Hero 2’s inclusion of Possum Kingdom puts the song back into the modern cloud of the collective unconscious. Its distinct rhythm and spiraling guitar leads are just as potent today as they were in the 1990s.
Dick Dale – Misirlou
You better make sure your wrist is in shape before attempting Dick Dale’s hit surf-guitar song, Misirlou. This song has some ridiculous tremolo picking that does not give up and will eventually exhaust your arm.
Of course, the song’s difficulty is definitely part of its charm, partially because it’s one of the coolest songs ever written. Even Dick Dale himself would shred guitar picks down to a nub when playing this song live.
Kansas – Carry On Wayward Son
Kansas has a number of hits that just about everybody and their distant cousins are familiar with. Carry On Wayward Son is perhaps their most iconic in the sense of being a classic rock anthem.
This track appears toward the beginning of the game, with the exact location dependent on the console you’re playing. On the PS2, it appears in the 2nd level, while it’s in the 3rd level on the Xbox 360.
Nirvana – Heart-Shaped Box
Considering that so many young people are into Nirvana, it makes sense that Nirvana would be included in the game. In fact, this would come to be a sort of tradition that would be followed in later installments in the series.
This is another song where the placement depends on the console. Nevertheless, you will get to enjoy playing through it within the first couple of levels.
Rage Against The Machine – Killing In The Name
Rage Against The Machine is known for being slightly inflammatory in the lyric department. That’s why it’s so surprising that Guitar Hero 2’s developers included what is perhaps their most inflammatory song.
But, rest assured, young audiences will be able to play through the song without having to upset their parents. The many F-bombs in the song have been edited due to the fact that the majority of the songs have been re-recorded for the game.
Anthrax – Madhouse
Anthrax is one of those bands that everybody seems to know about but whose catalog escapes them. If there is a song that somebody can name, it’s usually Madhouse, which is one of their biggest hits from the mid-1980s.
This is a track that people will enjoy playing through if they listened to V-Rock while playing GTA: Vice City.
Warrant – Cherry Pie
While it’s always been present in music, the notion that sex sells got ramped up to a new level in the 1980s. One of the finest examples of this can be heard (and seen in the music video) with the Warrant track, Cherry Pie.
This song is the epitome of the lewd stylings of the hair metal bands. There are some golden guitar riffs here that you’ll love mastering in the game.
Thin Lizzy – Bad Reputation
While Thin Lizzy might be a household name today, the band arguably did not blow up to the successes they deserved. That’s why it’s always a blessing when Thin Lizzy gets included in something that reaches massive audiences.
Bad Reputation is a song you’re probably familiar with that you may not have initially known was a Thin Lizzy track. This barn-burning track is filled with glorious riffs and a tricky guitar solo section.