Jan 27 2012

My Ten Favorite Tracks from Video Game Soundtracks

Published by at 12:00 pm under Lists,Video Games,Videos

My friends all laugh at me, because whenever I drive anywhere, the first song playing from my iPod is generally from a video game or movie soundtrack. I’m a product of my environment, and my musical tastes are heavily influenced by movies, trailers, tv shows and games, and as such I have “terrible” taste in music according to everyone else. So be it.

But I think there are some damn good tracks out there, particularly on video game soundtracks. You might not notice them as you’re playing, but if you do, chances are they’re pretty damn good to distract you from your task at hand.

These ten tracks I’ve been listening to long after I put down the controller. See if my terrible musical tastes might actually match your own with a few of these.

10. Portal 2 – Science is Fun

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgqaGW0QIc4

It’s too stereotypical to put “Still Alive” on this list, and honestly, it wouldn’t be truthful if I did. While that was a hilarious track from the game, I haven’t listened to it more than a handful of times since. But “Science is Fun?” It’s a kickass electronic track that really motivates me when I work out.

9. Mirror’s Edge – Still Alive

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TERyxFfMqDk

Aha! I did manage to get Still Alive in here, but not the one you were thinking. MIrror’s Edge’s titular track had the same name, and I though it made for a nice contrast with the tone of the game. It’s a pretty damn good song to boot.

8. Ocarina of Time – Epona’s Song

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BClFe2U8p7E

Zelda games are known for their music, but Epona’s Song is still stuck in my head after all these years. It’s sort of relaxing, but vaguely creepy. I thought about replacing it with Saria’s Song or Song of Storms, but those kind of stress me out.

7. Mass Effect – Vigil

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w097Q0fZE-A

I love the soundtracks for both Mass Effect games, but now Vigil is actually a nostalgic track for me, as it’s what played when you first loaded your character every time in the original game. It’s ambient and lovely, and I’ll never forget it.

6. Bastion – The Singer

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-95BeFyMFYY

I  just finished playing Bastion about a week ago, but The Singer is already cemented in my mind as a classic track in a game filled with wonderful music.





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48 responses so far

  • XenoIrish

    This is a decent Rock cover of Icarus from Deus Ex:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=liHq08Cayp4

  • banko

    To me, videogame music will always be midi. Terra’s theme from FF6, Schala’s theme from Chrono, One winged angel from FF7.

  • JB

    The twisted metal 2 loading screen has a good finger snapping tune.

  • Steve

    There’s so much great videogame soundtracks, I wouldn’t even know where to begin. I’ll try a top ten:

    10. Sonic 1 – Sonic 3/Sonic & Knuckles
    9. Mega Man X1 – X3 (X5 had a few good tracks)
    8. Mega Man 1 – 4 (8 had some damn good music as well)
    7. Ninja Gaiden NES Trilogy
    6. Castlevania SOTN (I’m sure the earlier games ost’s could go here, but I’ve only played Simon’s Quest)
    5. Chrono Trigger
    4. Need For Speed 1-5
    3. Resident Evil 1&2 (spooky ambiance FTW)
    2. Pretty much ANY Mario game (the original trilogy on NES, Mario World 1&2, RPG on SNES, and Mario 64)
    1. Metroid series, but most importantly, SUPER METROID. No game soundtrack does it better.

    Paul, I hope you’re as familiar with gh.ffshrine.org (Galbadia Hotel) as I am, because if not, GO THERE RIGHT NOW and prepare to spend the entire weekend doing nothing but downloading original vg music, as well as a PLETHORA of AWESOME remixes.

  • mike hunt

    no mention of halo soundtracks?

  • Jacob

    This here is one of my favorites
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tb8PQXPOkCc

  • Bernardo

    Uhh I’m currently playing Deus Ex and I really hope that picture isn’t actually part of the game. Otherwise it’s a huge spoiler D:

  • Paul

    I’m aware that all the tracks are available elsewhere, but the soundtrack to SSX3 is pretty killer for good road trip music. Just my 2 cents worth.

  • http://www.unrealitymag.com Paul Tassi

    @Bernardo

    It’s not.

  • poguemahone

    In my opinion, Mass Effect 2 had the greatest soundtrack of any game ever. It’s just far and away better than the generic stuff most roleplaying games (Fable, Morrowind, Oblivion, Skyrim to a lesser degree) throw at you.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCk4RiKH9H0

    Unfortunately they got rid of the guy who did that soundtrack and replaced him with a film score veteran for the third game. I’ll keep my mind open, but the dude has his work cut out for him if he wants to top ME2’s music.

  • Pedro Machado

    Note – the Portal soundtrack is avaliable for free download here

    http://www.thinkwithportals.com/music.php

  • ALex

    No Kingdom Hearts 1 AND 2!!! Those were some of the best piano songs I ever heard on a video game. And lets not forget Utada singing the themes songs for both of them.

  • STX81
  • Tora

    No Skyrim theme or Pokémon fight music? :O Are you ill?

  • Gabriel

    My favorites will always be:

    To Zanarkand – FFX
    Breath of Fire theme
    J-E-N-O-V-A – FFVII
    Ronfaure- FFXI

  • http://derekhuelsman.com Derek

    Civilization IV – Baba Yetu
    Chrono Cross – Time’s Scar and Dreamwatch of Time
    Chrono Trigger – To Faraway Times
    Secret of Evermore – Greek Temple and Introduction (still Jeremy Soule’s best soundtrack)
    Secret of Mana – The Second Truth from the Left
    Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles – Kazezone
    Tales of the Abyss – Karma

    Clearly I’m a sucker for great intro and ending themes.

  • Andy

    Soul Blazer – Sad Town

    Secret of Mana – The Color of the Summer Sky

    Final Fantasy VI – Kids Run Through the City Corner

    Final Fantasy VI – Terra

    Mega Man 2 – Dr Wily’s Castle

    Street Fighter 2 – Guile’s Theme

    Castlevania SOTN – Dracula’s Castle

    Metroid – Kraid’s Theme

    Dragon Warrior – Chateau Ladutorm

    Final Fantasy – Town

    It’s possible I missed something, but this is a pretty good lineup off the top of my head. NES and SNES really can’t be beaten in the music department…

  • Frank

    Final Fantasy VIII – Fisherman’s Horizon
    Chrono Cross – the entire soundtrack is great
    Heavy Rain – Before the Storm
    Rival Schools (opening theme)
    Legacy of Kain Soul Reaver – Ozar Midrashim

  • Kimberly

    The entire Suikoden 2 soundtrack. Enough said.

  • trashcanman

    Every single track from Final Fantasy IV. Also, the Halo theme cannot be beaten. Search your heart, you know this to be true.

  • random

    it has anything from the first 2 tony hawk games, influenced what i listened to today

  • StephieOcelot

    That song isn’t from Final Fantasy X. Here is a link that shows the music of FF X:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Final_Fantasy_X_soundtrack#Final_Fantasy_X_Original_Soundtrack

    There are a lot of good FF songs.Here are a list of a few great FF songs:

    FF X – Besaid Island
    FF X-2 Eternity~Memories of Waves and Light
    FF VII- Cosmo Canyon
    FF VIII – Blue Fields
    FF IX – Vamo’ Alla Flamenco

    As a video game list well…

    1) Old Snake – Metal Gear Solid 4
    2) You Were There – ICO ( I find it fun to sing the course)
    3) (Sorry) Besaid Island – FFX
    4) Cohens Masterpiece – Bioshock
    5) Witchcraft – Silent Hill Homecoming
    6) Dog Ending Music – Silent Hill 2 (have that as a text ring tone pretty awesome to here people tell you that your phone was barking)
    7) Megacorp Outlet – Ratchet and Clank Going Commando
    8) King of King’s – We <3 Katamari (crazy ass song but pretty awesome)
    9) Snake Eater – Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
    10) Pool of Tears – American McGee's Alice

    ^_^

  • http://www.torchship.at Aether McLoud

    No love for the epic Crysis 2 theme?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7d2axjnG58g&t=1m28s

  • Mike aka MonolithTMA

    The Myst games have great music, so do the Elder Scrolls and Fallout games from Bethesda. A lot of good choices here.

  • filipakos

    FFxiii has a lot of awesome soundtracks(not the pal version).Its one more reason why i liked this game.
    Haters gonna hate

  • Cole

    I bought the whole Borderlands Soundtrack. I loved the futuristic western feel of it.

  • JoeSchmoe

    I praise you for including Vigil.

  • RemyCarreiro

    Icarus may be the best theme of any video game ever. That song is (almost inexplicably) haunting and the musical composition itself is brilliant.

  • Kjay

    Bayonetta! There’s some great upbeat stuff, and one Nocturne that just makes me want to sit by the fire with a drink and chill.

  • André
  • JStew

    Some of my favorites, can’t remember individual song titles at the moment:

    Metal Gear Solid. MGS2 was also incredible.
    Serious Sam (original). Always pumped me up to kill wave after wave of baddies.
    Quake 1. Trent has perfected the art of gloomy environments.

  • fraggerron

    what no snake eater mgs3

  • Nick S

    No real addition here other than to add that I’ve had Kefka’s theme and Celes’ opera on my ipod since it came out.

    Oh, and the final Kefka battle (around 28 minutes; two tracks)… greatness.

    Excellent post…. just excellent.

  • Keith B

    Anything from Outlaws, especially Sanchez the Outlaw (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFWOl9XoxC4).

  • Beerba Fett

    Streets of rage soundtracks.

  • artur

    Icarus from deus Ex is great.
    Also in the same style and atmosphere of McCanns work on Deus Ex, – Crysis 2 main theme by Hans Zimmer which I think is in first equal with Deus.

    http://youtu.be/sw6cJCNXxHg

  • selunesmom

    Silent Hill 1: Hometown

    Silent Hill 2: Room of Angel

    Silent Hill 3: You’re Not Here, I want Love

    Rule of Rose: A Love Suicide

    Dragon Age Origins: Leiliana’s Song soundtrack

    Bioshock 1: Ocean on His Shoulders, Empty Houses, and Cohen’s Masterpiece

    Seventh Guest: The Game

    Final Fantasy 10: Guardian’s sending

    Max Payne: Main Theme (Tragedy of a Bullet)

    Parasite Eve: Beauty’s Abomination

  • Ross

    Any of the Myst series soundtracks, though Riven (Myst 2) is my favourite. Composed by Robyn Miller.

    Jack Wall did the later ones and also worked on games like Mass Effect. Myst is an extremely immersive game and the soundtracks really capture the amazing worlds.

  • Elie

    Frozen Synapse music is something I cannot but hear everyday.

  • WOLead

    Quest for Glory 1: Erana’s Peace
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Bumra26tjI

    Quest for Glory V: Dance of Mystery and Intrigue
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3eUJ27MQYs

    Quest for Glory IV: Wraith Battle
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dR8oSOXPlh0

    Bastion has more that I really like, but I’m still trying to identify which is which. And The Singer is already listed.

  • Steve

    Skywire.

  • TextualChocolate

    The pause music from Battletoads.

    The end theme of Fatal Frame 2 – Chou.

    Megaman 2 – Wiley’s Theme.

  • Kyle

    To Zanarkand from FFX keeps me up at night listening to it to this day.

  • jfvb2

    Lunar Silver Star Story the boat song

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Azmm2pN0sfA&feature=related

  • TK

    Chrono Cross – Garden of the Gods, Shadow Forest & Predicament

    Okami – Harami Lake, Ushiwaka’s Appearance, Kusanagi Village & The Tribe of the Heavenly God’s Theme

    Castlevania: Symphony of the Night – Lost Painting & Prayer

    Final Fantasy VI – Terra’s Theme

    Silent Hill 3 – You’re Not Here & Memory of the Waters

    Parasite Eve – Missing Perspective, Wheel of Fortune & Kyrie

    Kyrie from Parasite Eve is probably one of the most haunting/creepy songs I’ve heard from a game soundtrack. I would really recommend the whole Parasite Eve Soundtrack since it is one of the most unique soundtracks I’ve ever heard for a game.

    On a side note: my friend gave me some Mt. Eden dubstep for Still Alive from Mirror’s Edge. I’ve been trying to find out where the original came from ’cause I really wanted to hear the song in a non-dubstep format. Now I know where the song is from, so thanks for that! I really don’t like dubstep, but that one is actually pretty nice.

  • xdr

    I used too insert carmageddon cd in my car stereo and listen to the soundtrack. You might say that it influenced my driving style a bit :)

  • MaDSaM
  • Mike

    For me Chrono Trigger has always held a special place in my heart for all of the music in it. To me, nothing else will ever quite come close to the musical brilliance that is Chrono Trigger. From the opening of the game, to each character’s own music to battle fights and the end of the game it is a masterpiece.

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