The Top 15 Video Game Soundtracks Ever, Which Turned Players into Video Game Aficionados

  • Reading time:14 mins read
  • Post category:Music Discussion

You have to acknowledge that certain game soundtracks are really dang good, whether you’re a gamer or not. In some cases, they even outperform the music from movies and television shows. It’s possible that this is the reason the Grammys added new categories this year, one of which is “Best Score Soundtrack for Video Games and Other Interactive Media”, which will be awarded on February 5.

This makes perfect sense given that the music in video games merely serves as a collection of tools for making stories that provide us access to various worlds filled with fictional people that interact with one another in order to tell their stories. Giving excellent composers recognition is a significant step toward encouraging more artists. The gaming experience can be greatly enhanced with a full soundtrack that is masterfully produced and synced with the screen action.

There are so many outstanding soundtracks in the gaming industry that compiling a comprehensive list would be nearly impossible. A fantastic soundtrack might mean different things to different people. This list isn’t made by a music critic; instead, it’s made by gamers who have played the majority of these classics and who spent countless hours listening to tunes in order to come up with the phrases you’re about to read.

We’d therefore be the one to blame for creating this seems like a rating; so, we won’t do that. Don’t misunderstand us; this list doesn’t contain the top candidates in any particular order. You guys are in charge of the ranking part, we’re just lining the soundtracks up by the year of appearance (and quality)…

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (1988)

This video game is among the best we’ve ever played, and a significant reason why the soundtrack is among the best too. With songs like “Gerudo Valley” and “Hyrule Field”, Koji Kondo’s score aptly depicts the game’s grand scale and adventure. Aspects of the game like Link’s investigation of the gloomy dungeons beneath Hyrule Castle or Ganondorf’s first entrance are made ominous by the music’s evocative qualities. There are plenty of humorous and upbeat songs as well, including “Shop” and “Hyrule Castle Courtyard”, so it’s not all serious. 

In conclusion, even if you don’t like the game itself, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time’s soundtrack is among the most distinctive and memorable in video game history and is well worth revisiting or listening to.

Donkey Kong Country (1994)

One of the most cherished video games ever created is Donkey Kong Country, and a significant factor that makes it so exceptional is its outstanding soundtrack. 

The game’s score, which was written by David Wise, has a contagious intensity and hypnotic mood. Each track is meticulously constructed to compliment the game’s visuals and offer a completely immersive experience, ranging from the calming tones of “Aquatic Ambiance” to the heart-pounding “Gang-Plank Galleon”.

The Gamer Informer Show podcast featured an intriguing 48-minute discussion with David Wise on Donkey Kong Country’s best soundtrack in a 2019 episode. Additionally, the soundtrack’s deep, organic feel sets it distinct from all other video game soundtracks because it was created utilizing actual instruments. The music in the game is guaranteed to thrill and astound anyone, whether they are exploring Donkey Kong Country for the very first time or returning after a long absence.

Final Fantasy VII (1997)

It’s difficult to overstate the influence of music on a game as a whole. The perfect soundtrack may increase the emotional impact of the story and immerse us in the experience by taking us to a different universe. Few video games have done this as well as Final Fantasy VII (FFVII).

When it was launched in 1997, FFVII set several precedents. Its innovative utilization of 3D graphics contributed to the Westernization of console RPGs. But what really distinguished the game was its soundtrack, one of those wonderful things. Nobuo Uematsu was the composer of the soundtrack, which ranged from more personal compositions like “Aerith’s Theme” to sweeping epic themes like “One-Winged Angel”. It served to establish the mood for the game’s dark and intricate narrative. 

And even though many of the series’ later installments have excellent music, FFVII’s soundtrack continues to be the best of all time. This masterpiece is genuinely ageless thanks to Uematsu.

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (1997)

The soundtrack to Castlevania always strikes the proper mood, whether you’re exploring Dracula’s castle or just strolling through Wallachia. The soundtrack album for Akumajo Dracula X Gekka No Nocturne continues the Castlevania series’ tradition of great music. It was written by Michiru Yamane and combines fast-paced rock music with mesmerizing melodies to perfectly convey the game’s gloomy atmosphere.

The theme for the franchise, “The Tragic Prince”, is one of the album’s standout songs. The music is excellent for killing vampires because it’s both catchy and energizing. “Wood Carving Partita”, “Lost Paintings”, and “Wandering Ghosts” are a few further gems. They undoubtedly contribute to memorable video game music.

Silent Hill 2 (2001)

The music for Silent Hill 2 was composed by the famous Akira Yamaoka. It sets the alien mood of this horror game, which is essential to the gorgeous yet terrifying in-game experience.

The soundtrack by Yamaoka perfectly complements the game’s dark and frightening story, starting with the unsettling “Promise” and continuing through the “Theme Of Laura”, “Null Moon”, “White Noiz”, and “The Day of Night”.

Additionally, it’s jam-packed with tunes that you’ll remember long after you’ve played the game. Looking for a video game soundtrack that will give you chills? Then you should absolutely keep this in mind. The game’s landscape is unmatched by any other because of Yamaoka’s outstanding piece of artwork.

Halo: Combat Evolved (2002)

A ground-breaking first-person shooter at the time was Halo: Combat Evolved. It set the ground for the popularity of the game genre that gave some of the most popular video games of today who found their way to the eSports scene (CS: GO, Overwatch…), as well as the bookmaking scene of sites here. Halo’s music track? Just as famous. 

Martin O’Donnell and Michael Salvatori collaborated to create stirring and emotional music that complemented the sci-fi scenario and action-packed gameplay of the game. Nothing enhances the gameplay more than listening to the soundtrack loudly on your headphones or speakers. Grandiose music permeates Halo, first from the opening theme towards the ambient background music. This is a timeless masterpiece, plain and simple.

Super Mario Galaxy (2008)

The name Kondo is closely associated with the video game soundtrack. He has contributed to defining the tone of gameplay for a generation of gamers as the musician of such masterpieces as Super Mario Bros. and, as mentioned, The Legend of Zelda.

With Super Mario Galaxy, Kondo and Mahito Yokota have produced one of the best video game soundtracks. The Super Mario Galaxy soundtrack is nothing short of stunning, ranging from the otherworldly elegance of the primary theme song to the booming symphony of the ultimate boss battle. It captures the vibrant aesthetic and mood, as well as the spirit of discovery and amazement that is at the core of the Super Mario franchise.

Minecraft Volume Alpha (2011)

How much we adore the music in Minecraft is a mystery to us. Some of us here precisely recall the first time several of our buddies played it a decade ago in a home atmosphere. We’d just play the music in the background, at first but then, we began to pay close attention to it and see how perfectly it complemented the blocky realm of Minecraft.

There are some uplifting pieces mixed in with atmospheric and ambient music. All of it is calming, introspective, and occasionally energizing. For a video game like Minecraft, in which you’ll spend many hours exploring and building, it’s ideal. 

In order to further capture the unsettling atmosphere of someone being underground or at night, a few ominous songs also play while you’re in a cave or as it starts to get dark. A few well-known game tunes, such as “Mice of Venus”, “Moog City”, and “Subwoofer Lullaby” may be found on the Volume Alpha soundtrack CD, which is the first official publication of C418’s music. Whether you’re a devoted Minecraft player or otherwise, Volume Alpha is a must-have original music collection.

Hotline Miami (2011-2015)

The Hotline Miami franchise is renowned for its tight action, chic production design, and upbeat music. The music, which combines synth-wave, techno, and experimental electronica, perfectly captures the 1980s setting and retro visuals of the game, as well as its tense, violent atmosphere.

This is one of the many excellent video game tunes you don’t want to miss if you enjoy electronic music. With Scattle’s “Knock Knock” or Moon’s synth-heavy “Hydrogen” you may imagine yourself rushing through neon-lit streets in a deadly showdown with opponents. These heart-pounding songs will keep you completely submerged in the Hotline Miami world. In order to prepare for some hot throwback action, turn up the volume.

Bastion (2011)

Bastion was published in 2011 with favorable reviews. The game’s beautiful soundtrack was picked as a standout in addition to its inventive gameplay and moving tale. It was written by Darren Korb and combines folk, rock, and digital elements to create an oddly comforting sound.

Bastion tells the tale of a young child who must navigate his way to the named place of refuge for survivors in a post-apocalyptic fictional planet called Caelondia which has been devastated by an unidentified calamity. Bastion’s soundtrack successfully conveys the feeling of optimism in the midst of a disaster, which is the theme of the game.

The music in the game frequently has a melancholy undertone of loss, longing, and loneliness. However, they also inspire a sense of promise and hope, as though the world is just waiting to be restored. The Bastion soundtrack is one of the greatest video soundtracks of all time; it’s memorable and expressive. It ranges from the soft strains of “Build That Wall (Zia’s Theme)” to “Setting Sail, Coming Home (End Theme)”.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (2011)

Few gaming experiences are as engrossing as exploring Skyrim’s enormous open environment. And a significant factor in the game’s allure is its magnificent soundtrack, a true masterpiece.

The Skyrim soundtrack, which was written by Jeremy Soule, captures the game’s epic scope and grandeur as well as its core themes of discovery and adventure with a dash of mystery and enchantment. From the soaring primary title theme to the quieter tunes that play when in towns and villages or you’re exploring the wilderness, the music is consistently intriguing and varied.

In addition to that, the soundscape is remarkably adaptable, switching between various moods and styles according to the events taking place in the game. The music will always make you goosebumps, whether you’re in a tense dragon battle, exploring the old monastery dubbed The Throat of the World, plunging into a witches’ lair, or just taking in the gorgeous surroundings.

Undertale (2015)

Toby Fox’s soundtrack is a one-of-a-kind creation. Every song is emotionally charged and captures the mood of the game with a blend of fun nostalgia for the 8-bit era. “Heartache”, “Death by Glamour”, “Megalovania”, and “Battle Against a True Hero” are a few of our favorite songs.

Fox’s music skillfully portrays the both highs and lows of the game’s plot while still being upbeat and evocative. Of course, Undertale deserves to be included on this list.

Doom (2016)

The exhilaration of finally defeating a demon just after protracted and exhausting combat is difficult to match. Before you ultimately smash it apart using your shotgun, you almost can feel the sensation of dread coming from it as you remove its armor. The industrial and heavy metal soundtrack roars in your ears as its insides erupt across the screen, providing you the necessary inspiration to keep battling.

One of the most graphically horrific video games ever made has this as its go-to audio accompaniment. With his blood-pumping beats and bone-crushing chords, Mick Gordon’s soundtrack for Doom does a fantastic job of conveying the fury and carnage of the game, and it’s obvious that he had the pleasure of making it. There’s no better soundtrack for gaming if you want to feel successful.

Persona 5 (2017)

Among the finest video soundtracks ever created is Shoji Meguro’s for Persona 5, with songs like “Last Surprise” and “Life Will Change” standing out and quickly becoming classics. It’s difficult to pick just one song out from Persona 5 OST, however, if we had to, “Rivers in the Desert” would be our top pick.

Because it’s – for want of a better word – well-crafted, stylish, cool, and evocative, exactly like the game itself, the Persona 5 soundtrack is unique. It features a variety of genres, including J-pop, rock, and jazz music. This variation provides the soundtrack with a distinctive flavor that contributes to the game’s mesmerizing qualities. The elements are in perfect alignment and collaborating to produce a superior adventure.

Cuphead (2017)

The run-and-gun platforming video game Cuphead was created and released by StudioMDHR. Players battle a number of bosses as Cuphead to pay back a loan to the devil. The game’s aesthetics were largely influenced by 1930s cartoons, and both its audio and visual elements, such as the hand-drawn animated graphics and the original jazz records, reflect that era.

This is among those exceptional games where every aspect, including the gameplay, difficulty, and, of course, the soundtrack, is absolutely right. The compositions of Kristofer Maddigan are the ideal fusion of big band sounds, vintage jazz, and ragtime, with a dash of wit and charm. The songs are distinctive and catchy, making them ideal for playtime (or even just background music). “Aviary Action” is one of our favorites. 

The Cuphead soundtrack serves as a wonderful illustration of how a great video game soundtrack may elevate the tone, vibe, or mood of its source material. We simply can’t stress this enough.

What Music from a Video Game Is Your Favorite?

The finest music can take you to another planet, elicit every emotion imaginably, and keep you interested all the way through. It can be difficult to define these kinds of lists, but we believe that some of these choices are on point.

What do you think, then? Are we overlooking any of your favorite video game soundtracks? Tell us in the comments on our social media. While you’re here, be sure to look at our other soundtrack stuff.

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