There’s no doubt that video games are one of the finest forms of art we have. It takes millions of hours of collective effort to create a good video game. Creators have to design entire worlds from scratch that need to hold our attention for hours on end. And one of the most crucial aspects to creating a timeless masterpiece is a good soundtrack.
Many of the games in this list have soundtracks that are as good or even better than many movie scores. Most of them even better, but in our excitement as well as a growing fetish for graphics, a good score is not that well appreciated. Here is our list of our favorite and most iconic Soundtracks in the Gaming Industry!
Arguably the greatest first person shooter series of all time, Halo: Combat Evolved blew everyone’s mind after its release on the first Xbox. The Gregorian chants and operatic pieces shot Martin O’Donnell to fame. The soundtrack added to the grand spectacle of the storyline and was a new take which differed from the typical sci-fi synth blasts. The Halo theme is one of the most recognizable pieces of music in the entire industry.
2. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
naal ok zin los vahriin
wah dein vokul mahfaeraak ahst vaal!
Ahrk fin norok paal graan
fod nust hon zindro zaan
Dovahkiin, fah hin kogaan mu draal!”
Bethesda made an ENTIRE FREAKING LANGUAGE for this game! The lyrics above are part of it. We could write a book about how Skyrim is a masterpiece and the biggest chapter would be about it’s amazing soundtrack. A choir of over 30 people were singing in the language created for this game. The operatic soundtrack makes battling dragons all the more rewarding. But you realize just how good it is when you can just walk through the plains of this massive open world without doing anything but simply listening to this music. It’s just THAT good!
3. Final Fantasy VI and beyond
The hardware of the Playstation and the SuperNintendo makes it difficult to make a video game soundtrack but Uematsu made history by simply composing music, not video game music. The result was Final Fantasy VI, acclaimed at the time as possibly the best game soundtrack ever made, and still holds that honor for many. Uematsu composed a vast amount of songs before and after FF5, but with the game’s success, the immortality of its music is certain. To this day audiences take in his score performed on piano, strings or entire orchestras.
4. Red Dead Redemption/L.A Noire
Rockstar had a massive challenge when it came to recreating spaces they were not used to, but they really outdid themselves with Red Dead Redemption (which was better than GTA IMO). The whole game felt like a Sergio Leone Epic and the reason for that was a southwestern influence featuring guitars, violins, and that iconic whistling. It makes the game so much more amazing. L.A Noire was set in the 1940’s and because of that, has jazz dripping out of every corner; it comprises saxophones, drums and pianos, and effortlessly captures the spirit of 1940s music.
5. Souls Series/BloodBorne
These are games that punish anyone who plays them- relentlessly. What better to remind you that you’re in for the toughest battles than the gloomy gothic pieces that play throughout these games. There are many Celtic – inspired themes and dark melodies, which add beautifully to the brutality.
6. Uncharted/The Last of Us
Uncharted has one of the most engrossing soundtracks of all time, with it’s typical action movie riffs and fast paced beats. Yet, it’s so surprising that the same developer can come up with something equally amazing in The Last Of Us, and that too which was made entirely out of singular guitar notes. These have definitely been one of the most innovative soundtracks of all time.
7. Mass Effect
The super cool synth opera and the 80s sci fi feeling which are featured in Mass Effect simply adds to an already engrossing Universe. It sounds a lot like Star Wars went completely dark, like a mash up between a synthesizer and a harmonica. The cool filler Techno beats also keep you immersed when the action pumps up.
8. Hotline Miami
Speaking of Techno beats, have you guys played Hotline Miami? It’s a brilliant action game where you wear animal masks and tear through buildings, killing everyone and everything in sight. It’s an 8-bit game which has extremely energetic music that pumps you up as you bathe yourself in glorious pools of blood. The soundtracks will make you feel like a bee on cocaine as you play the game. It takes a lot from the 80’s electronica and that definitely makes it a soundtrack worth listening to, even standalone.
Not much needs to be said here. The Mario sound track is one of the most iconic and identifiable soundtracks ever made. Almost anyone can associate the 8-bit tune of this legendary melody!
It can arguably be said that the soundtrack of Journey is the very core of the game; without it, the game is just a marathon at a walking pace, and rightfully so. The music of Journey is an ambient masterpiece. A full assortment of stringed instruments evoke senses of both tranquility and discovery, making this an incredibly relaxing listen, perfect to unwind at the end of your day. And did we mention it was nominated for a Grammy? Yes, that happened!
Some of these epic sounds did not make it to the list, but surely deserves a mention.
Metal Gear Solid
and the Half Life Series
Let us us know what you would add in your top 10 soundtrack list. Fire away in the comments section!
Enough with the nostalgia, check out this heart pumping – head banging version of one of our favorite soundtracks from our top 10. We DARE you to not love it!
FUS RO DAH!
SKYRIM MEETS METAL