Alongside gameplay, graphics, and story, the soundtrack is one of the cornerstones of a memorable game experience. With updated versions of games with awesome soundtracks releasing soon — Persona 5 Royal and Final Fantasy VII Remake — now is a great time to rundown the top 10 most memorable video game soundtracks of all time.
The original release of Persona 5 came with a soundtrack worthy of a vinyl purchase. Every menu and interaction in the game is met with music that both fits the experience and is easy to listen to. This is especially helpful seeing as you’ll be listening to these tunes for at least 100 hours in total.
Both Nier: Automata and its predecessor Nier boasted some of the finest music you can find in gaming. Of course, it won’t be for everyone, but the tracks that you’ll find in the game will more than likely make their way into your thoughts. It isn’t even uncommon for these terrific pieces to find their way into some playlists to help with everyday activities.
It is highly recommended for anyone unfamiliar with this series to go and listen to a bit of the soundtrack. It might just interest you enough to give these wonderful games a try.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
In a game that has so much emphasis on music, Ocarina of Time was always going to have a high-quality soundtrack. However, the songs that accompany with Link’s Hyrule adventures are immediately recognizable. The impact that this soundtrack had on the series and an entire generation of players is pretty astounding.
The themes of Saria’s Song, Zelda’s Lullaby, and Epona’s Song are still very recognizable today. However, it’s important to remember that there were also tons of other songs and themes that the game offered. Each of them just a great as the last, as well!
Simply hearing the Halo 3 theme on the main menu of the game is enough to stop some players in their tracks. The music featured in Master Chief’s finest moments was top tier when the game released back in 2007. However, these tracks have only gotten finer with age and now carry a heavy nostalgic weight behind them.
Supergiant Games’ surprising little adventure certainly hit its mark in many respects. However, the soundtrack that accentuates the on-screen action really pulls the experience together. The soundtrack plays with a good variety of genres, mixing them into something special. This allows these tunes to take the player off guard and move them while they continue their game. Fortunately, this level of musical quality carried over into Supergiant’s next big game, Transistor.
Including two different Supergiant Games experiences may be considered cheating, but both of these soundtracks absolutely deserve a spot here. The story of the quiet Red and her trusty Transistor is a distinctive experience with its very own style. The music found within reflects that perfectly.
It’s clear that the folks at Supergiant believe that music helps create an immersive and atmospheric experience. This is all the more impressive when you take into account that majority of the sound design came from a home studio.
Journey is a masterclass in video game storytelling. The soundtrack that the game offers is itself a journey, as simply listening to the tracks in order conveys its own story. From the highest and most magical of highs, to the lowest, most somber valleys of emotion, the listener can close their eyes and simply imagine a story taking place as the music plays. When paired with the gorgeous environments and story of Journey, you get a game that really sticks with you.
The Soulsborne Series
The Soulsborne series as a whole has had some incredible soundtracks. From Demon Souls to Bloodborne and everything in between, you’re going to enjoy the sound of death. To go along with some of the best boss battles ever seen in gaming, you’ll find music that fits the quality perfectly.
This also extends to hub areas, such as Majula from Dark Souls 2. While the sequel to Dark Souls may not be everyone’s favorite, you have to admire the excellent themes to be found. In a more overarching example, Gwyn’s Theme is enough to both deeply move and inspire players with each listening.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
A game as big as The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt had to have a soundtrack to match the epic scale. This gave way to the beautiful sounds of Novigrad, Skellige, and Gwent. That’s right, even the theme of Wild Hunt’s standout side-game is awesome.
This extends to the combat themes, exploration music, and especially the assortments that accompany some of the moving cutscenes. All in all, Wild Hunt is the full package, even when it comes to the soundtrack.
Red Dead Redemption
The soundtrack of 2010’s cowboy epic Red Dead Redemption was a real work of art. Simple and subtle in most cases, the tracks included in the game were truly effective in setting the atmosphere for John Marston’s journey for redemption.
Naturally, whenever the action would pick up, the music would follow suit. Engaging and exciting enough to match the tension, it was also catchy enough to stick to your mind for a while after you set the controller down.
Of course, there’s also the scene of John finally entering Mexico for the first time. The song “Far Away” may not have been original to the game, but its inclusion and execution are just too good to ignore here.
What are your favorite video game soundtracks? Tell us in the comments below!