Sure, people will more than likely tell you their favorite aspects of gaming include the storyline, the characters, the gameplay, but what about another central element to videos games? Yes, I am indubitably referring to video game soundtracks because, frankly, video games without music would be like…I don’t know, something painfully dull (such as having to wake up to go to school in the morning). Seriously though, think back for a moment and just tell me that some of your fondest gaming memories were not due to the fantastic music within.
Dating far back to the primitive and old school sound chips of the ’80s all the way to world-class musicians and full-on orchestras à la Uncharted; it is beyond impressive, the evolution. So, in honor of music in gaming, here are some of the best video game soundtracks you need to listen to, even if just for nostalgic purposes alone.
1. Sonic The Hedgehog 3 (1994)
Any child, growing up in the ’90s, who was awesome enough to have a Sega Genesis rather than a Super Nintendo will definitely remember hearing some of the greatest music they have ever heard in the short time that they’ve been on this earth, myself included. I don’t think there was a single zone that didn’t have memorable music.
2. Uncharted 2 (2009)
As mentioned, Uncharted 2 basically sounds like an entire orchestra worked on this project, but it was the genius Greg Edmonson who mustered up one of the utmost remarkable video game soundtracks in the history of gaming. That being said, listen to Nate’s Theme. You won’t regret it.
3. Zero Escape Series (2009/2012/2016)
This series’ music was just as eery and terrifying as the gameplay and storyline itself. You seriously need to do yourself a favor and listen to the music, composed by Shinji Hosoe himself. You will be comfortable enough to admit that it is one of the best video game soundtracks that your ears have ever had the pleasure of encountering. That, or, in sheer terror, you’ll lock yourself in your bedroom for about 14 days.
4. The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (1998)
You’d be insane if you did not think, even for a second, that this masterpiece of a game has one of the best, if not the best, video game soundtracks of all time. Ask any true gamer and they will ponder (otherwise they aren’t real gamers) and come to a universal agreement for the first time in their lives. Being honest, just giving thought to the game and I have Saria’s Song playing in my mind. It’s that good.
5. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (2002)
If there is one thing Rockstar is known for, other than mastering their gameplay, it is perfecting their video game soundtracks and, to tell the truth, GTA Vice City probably has the best of the bunch, nine hours to be exact (more than 113 songs and “commercials”). That is, who doesn’t enjoy cruising down the streets of ’80s Maimi listening to Billie Jean and Hall & Oates? I know I do.
6. Resident Evil 2 (1998)
This legendary title honestly needs no introduction. Resident Evil 2’s music was composed by Masami Ueda, Shusaku Uchiyama, and Syun Nishigaki, with one sole track composed by Naoshi Mizura. As stated by the composers themselves, the compositions were supposed to convey “desperation” as their underlying theme and oh boy did they ever! Any child or teen, growing up in the late ’90s, sure as shit know what they are talking about; myself included.
These marvels can be considered as having some of the world’s best video game soundtracks. Although I know there are plenty more out there so please, tell me, what are some of your all-time favorite video game soundtracks?
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Helllllloooo ladies and gents, I am from Montreal, Canada and a recent Concordia University psychology grad. My topics of interest are, of course, psychology, music, gaming, health and nutrition, pharmaceuticals, lifestyle, among others. My end goal is to become an editor and/or find the world's best beer. Luckily for me, Montreal already has the latter covered. Cheers!