As any good gamer knows, a soundtrack is one of the key aspects of game creation and, if done well, can become one of the most memorable aspects of it. Soundtracks and the songs within them can engage you in a storyline and its characters, be it shouting at the screen when the hero dies or pumping you up ready for battle. The following 10 soundtracks really stood out in my gaming life as ones I will always remember, ones that made me stop and just listen or made me fully appreciate what I was doing.
PS. As much as I love Final Fantasy – they aren’t here
Coming in at last place, but by no means least, is the ingenious use of Gary Jules’ Mad World in Gears of War 3. With the removal of the lyrics this song was perfectly timed within a slow motion hectic scene and it, and the action around it, made me gasp. If you dont want the spoilers, don’t read the words on the video.
At number 9 we have the soundtrack of Fallout 3. Although perhaps one of the more obscure on the list this soundtrack really underlined the theme of the whole game. There was nothing quite like travelling the Capital Wasteland listening to 30′s-50′s music – it was also optional and therefore could never become annoying like others have done.
DJ Hero, one of the most underappreciated games I know also happens to be one of my favourite soundtracks. I could not point out a single song I didn’t like, every single mix works absolutely perfectly. This soundtrack made me appreciate ‘Hollaback Girl’…I didn’t think it was possible either…
At number 7 we have the extremely memorable Fable II soundtrack by Russel Shaw. Composing all three game soundtracks each song has suited the varied environments Fable contains yet this one in particular remains my favourite. It’s called Marcus Memorial in memory of one of the developers that died during the creation of the game and it’s beautiful.
It had to happen sooner or later – everybody knew this song and its soundtrack before the game was even released due to fantastic trailers and fan hype. The amount of times I found myself whistling this over the year is ridiculous and it just had to be in the list. Jeremy Soule’s soundtrack created the energy for Skyrim and for me, is one of the most memorable things about it.
Although not the newest game in the series this is the one that really took my attention. Learning from the mistakes of its predecessor this game’s soundtrack was one of the best I’ve heard and is played on my laptop every single day. Ezio Auditore would have been nothing without the work of Jesper Kyd and his soundtrack.
An amazing game and one of the best soundtracks around – I can’t count how many covers and acoustic versions I have seen of these songs! Mass Effect 3 was a conclusion to an epic saga and the intensity of the music provided a brilliant background to both character and story conclusions. Mass Effect 3 saw the return of many composers from the series and I think its fair to say these composers really stepped up to the mark and created many breath-taking songs; this is just one of them.
Moving into the big 3 now I didn’t think I could write this article without including Zelda Ocarina of Time as one of the most memorable soundtracks of all games. Although it didn’t have the quality of others every one of us who has played it will remember somewhere in their subconscious each tune. The Title theme was just one of many that’ll never leave my mind.
Halo Reach was undoubtedly a great game for Halo fans all around the world. Providing a new storyline aside from the Master Chief was a ingenious move by Bungie and the game really took off. But as always one of the underpinning elements for Halo is its soundtrack – ever since the first game people know it, and people love it. Here is Overture by Martin O’Donnel and Michael Salvatori original composers of all four games.
Lastly and, I expect, by complete surprise is my number one soundtrack of all time. This is one of the most haunting pieces of music that I have ever heard in a soundtrack and, for its time, was one of the best soundtracks ever heard on any 2002 console. If you haven’t heard it I urge you to listen to it and others by Michael Giacchino who later, and quite rightly so, went on to compose the new Star Trek music, Incredibles and MI3.