I sometimes have a few off days where I rather sit in silence, but overall I love to have some background music for whatever I’m doing. Lately, I have been all over the live streaming YouTube music videos. Particularly lofi jazzhop. It makes such great background music while getting things done! However, I make sure to turn it off when going in a game because I like enjoying whatever music the game has. Which brings me to today’s topic. The BEST video game soundtracks!
Just this year Nier: Automata released with stellar reviews, which is the sequel to the 2010 game simply titled Nier. Its soundtrack might just make some great music to get in the Halloween mood with its melancholy sound. This is a super popular video game music that got itself five albums! Holy moly! The music is classically inspired and expertly done. Also, the sequel’s soundtrack was done by the same people so both might be worth a little listen. Here is Nier’s original soundtrack:
#2 Final Fantasy
Yes, Final Fantasy in general, take a pick. There are a ton of soundtracks, including spin-offs of the specific games. Which one is the best though? Sounds like a debate I don’t want to start. Really I think it boils down to personal taste and if a particular Final Fantasy has the most memories for you. I will pick Final Fantasy X as a great one to point out. It was the very first game in the series where the original composer (Uematsu) was not solely responsible for the music. Two new composers were brought in. It was also the last soundtrack where Uematsu was the leading composer.
#3 Halo 2
There is a chance I was swayed to pick this one because Halo was my life for a while. I still have a Halo 2 shirt. In reality, I probably played Halo 3 a lot more than 2. However, Halo 2 was the first game I received for my brand new Xbox on Christmas. It was glorious. Though it’s not just memories that have me clinging to Halo 2‘s soundtrack. It is a great soundtrack that includes orchestral music and alternative rock, pieces from the game, as well as remixes.
#4 Legend of Zelda
Here is another series where it’s really “take your pick” for which game has the best soundtrack. However, I am going to be more bold with this series and just say Ocarina of Time. If you are unaware, an ocarina is an ancient wind instrument, so is it really any surprise this game is considered to have the best soundtrack by many? What makes this Zelda soundtrack so impressive is each situation was given its own music.
#5 Chrono Trigger
Chrono Trigger is a 1995 role-playing game that has been called the best video game of all time on a few occasions. What’s cool is you can pick this game up for your Android or iOS phones, though it’s a pricey $10. This soundtrack has a sound more popular in older games. Something like orchestra meets machine.
Bastion is very highly rated action role-playing game from 2011. The soundtrack was done all by one composer–Darren Korb. He describes the music as “acoustic frontier trip-hop.” It certainly has a unique sound compared to most video game soundtracks.
As a bonus, I’m going to throw the video game Transistor under this one. It was composed by Darren Korb as well and deserves a shout out for being awesome. It’s easier going than Bastion and makes excellent background music.
#7 Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2
Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2 came out back in 2000. Its soundtrack is packed with awesome skater music from prominent artists, like Rage Against the Machine and Powerman 5000. It has a great, gritty 90s rock thing going on that is precisely what I need some days. This soundtrack is definitely energy fueling. The whole Tony Hawk Pro Skater series has the same quality.
#8 Mass Effect 2
Mass Effect 2 came out back in 2010. What I like about this soundtrack is part of the inspiration was from the Blade Runner soundtrack. Which I feel the need to bring up since the second Blade Runner movie just released after decades of waiting! Anyway, the music has a melancholy sound to it and feels somewhat emotionally driven at times. It’s a beautiful soundtrack that works to create an image or feeling in your mind.
#9 Fallout: New Vegas
What is so unique about Fallout: New Vegas is the radio stations. There are three–a country, popular 40s/50s music, and jazz and classical. I am a sucker for jazz and 40s/50s music. I’m no die hard, but I think jazz is a fantastic music to live in the background of your life. I also love the lyrics of the old-timey music from that era. It’s just fun!
I mentioned Journey a few weeks back, not only because it is an excellent game, but also because the creators are making a new game called Sky. Journey is a fantastic game that sometimes gets swept under the rug a little. The game sought to give players a new experience in gaming. Instead of fast-paced, it’s slow and refreshing. The soundtrack is emotive.