Music is an integral part of a game. Its important to atmosphere, describing situations, or manipulating the emotions of the player. Sometimes they’re beautiful music that match the game’s tone perfectly and sometimes they’re exhilarating tunes which hype you up for an epic battle.
I’ll be sticking to one song per franchise so I wont saturate the list with Sonic the Hedgehog soundtracks. I’m also avoiding music games since they aren’t just integral to the game-they are the game, so its a bit of an unfair advantage (sorry Osu! fans).
This is not a list of original soundtracks: This is the best music that appeared in a video game, which includes licensed music.
Sonic Adventure 2: Escape From the City
Yeah this one was an easy pick. It was between Sonic Color’s Reach For the Stars and this, but I decided that Escape From the City stands a little better on its own. The song is just so memorable and catchy I couldn’t resist putting it on this list.
I haven’t even played this game and after watching lets plays of it, I dont intend to soon. That doesn’t mean I can’t say this game has one of the most diverse, but incredible soundtracks i’ve ever heard from a turn based RPG. Megalovania is exciting in every single way, and just throws so much of the energy the game has to spare right into the player’s face. Also, I’ll be damned if this song doesn’t fit the kazoo better than anything else.
Cargo Commander: Down The Drain
Cargo Commander is not a very well known game. It did fairly well considering the scope of the game, having sold over 120k copies as of today. It also has one of the most memorable songs I’ve ever heard in a video game in my entire life and I have literally listened to this song every day for the past three years, as well as the game’s even LESSER known song, I Surely Hope. Good lord this song is easy to liste
Tales From the Borderlands: To the Top
Warning, the video contains very minor spoilers
The Borderlands games are known for licensing the best music for every single game. From Ain’t no Rest for the Wicked to Short Change hero, The Borderlands series has perfectly used music to exemplify atmosphere. To the Top is the series best use of licensed music. I got video of the actual scene its used in to clarify this point in the best way possible.
Mirror’s Edge: Still Alive
Mirror’s Edge is a game that makes the player feel very alone in a its large environments. Still Alive is a fantastic reflection of the game’s sense of loneliness, as well as a reflection of the story which focuses on the refusal to back down despite near-insurmountable odds.
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater is known as one of the greatest stealth games of all time. Listening to the game’s theme Snake Eater is like watching every ever James Bond movie ever in 3 minutes. Its perfect to say that, because the game took heavy influences from the early James Bond films.
Chrono Cross: Voyage (Home World)
Chrono Cross, the fantastic sequel to legendary Chrono Trigger, has a fantastic soundtrack. Voyage is just my favorite, even though almost every song is fantastic. Something about the game’s soundtrack is just soothing, and makes Chrono Cross seem like a much more inviting game.
HearthStone: Main Title
This is the kind of song you hum to yourself every time you think of the game. I catch myself humming it every time I play this game even when the game is muted. It catches the theme of the game so well, which is a couple of people sitting in a tavern playing a card game. You get that medieval party feeling from the violins, guitar, shaker, drums and flutes.
Red Dead Redemption: Far Away
Submitted by sfrost, text by GeoStar
Partway into the game, Red Dead Redemption takes the player to Mexico, and upon entering the landscape, this song plays. Its a wonderful moment as the beautiful, barren landscape comes into view.
Halo 4: 117
Submitted by TGFTW
Halo 4’s best track, and oddly enough one of the few not composed by Neil Davidge. Also one of the few times the game’s score outdoes Marty O’Donnell’s work (YEAH I SAID IT). Perfectly captures the mix of the games quieter, softer moments, against the series’s standard, blockbuster set pieces.
Forza Horizon: Language
Submitted by TGFTW
Relaxing, almost zen, yet so energetic that you’re pumped up, all at once. Just like the game it’s from.
Author’s note: Racing games LOVE these electronic soundtracks, because they match the the game’s sense of speed it tries to give the player. The fast-paced, energetic music supports this.
Final Fantasy XIII: Saber’s Edge
Submitted by Meathead373
It’s the general boss fight music for the game, and I always felt like it really captured the grand feel that should accompany a boss fight. The piano in this one is one of the best examples of what makes Final Fantasy music such a stand out in the industry as well.
Bastion: Build That Wall
Bastion knew how to make the player’s ears cry tears of joy. From the beautiful melodies of Darren Korb to Logan Cunningham’s godly voice akin to a grizzly old white man with a white suit, white tophat, and handlebar mustache, Bastion sounds amazing. You could give the game a 10/10 on audio alone. Build That Wall is such a weird piece you’d never expect to hear it in a video game. You’d expect it to be an indie musicians first single. The song doesn’t sound like it fits but somehow this song alone elevates Bastion in a way never seen before in gaming.
Darksiders II: The Corruption
Submitted by Watfen64
The OST for Darksiders II sounds friggin’ incredible. Few games can come close to matching the beauty and melody conveyed through DarkSider II’s music.
Persona 4: I’ll Face Myself
Persona 4 is a legendary JRPG, and with legendary JRPG comes some kickass Japanese music. I’ll Face Myself pumps up every battle with the sickest of guitar riffs ever heard in a turn based game.
How has this list changed? Read back through our update history:
Update 01/19/2016: Firstly, I shortened the lead from “The Best Songs Ever In Games, A Constantly Updating List” to “The Best Music In Games, An Evolving List” because the previous name was too long and sounded awkward. Secondly, to make the list a little easier to read, I shortened it to 15 songs. This means Assasin’s Creed Brotherhood’s City of Rome went bye-bye to accomodate. Deponia’s Oh Oh, Organon was knocked off for Undertale’s Megalovania. Silent Hill 2's Theme of Laura was knocked off for Hearthstone’s Main Theme. Deus Ex Human Revolution’s Icarus was knocked off for Bastion’s Build That Wall.
Please note that any song not on this list is not necessarily bad, but rather I feel that these songs are superior in some way or another.
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