If you’ve been following my blog you know that I love music and video games. If you also play video games, you know that the music has a lot to do with the entire playing experience. We want epic music, not silly forgettable songs! Even the music for NES, SNES, and early game boy games had great soundtracks even if they were just simple ‘sounds’ as my mother describes it.
How lackluster would it be to defeat Ganondorf in [many Zelda games] to a song by some crummy ‘pop star’? Or win a race in Mario Kart to death metal? (To some that may sound splendid though.)
Nonetheless, here are ten video games with the best music. Best being very subjective here. I have included one song from each game to give you a general idea of the music found in the game. Feel free to criticize my choices in the comments section because I know I will forget some great video game music.
10. Donkey Kong Country (SNES)
Not only was this a fantastic video game, the music made you feel as if you were immersed in the Donkey Kong Country universe. Here’s the intro song, “Jungle Groove”, for Donkey Kong Country
9. Pokémon Red & Blue (Gameboy)
I could include every single Pokémon game in here. The team at Gamefreak does an incredible job with the music for every game in the franchise, but I’ll go with nostalgia here. I’m no ‘genwunner’, but you cannot doubt the music is great in these games. Here’s the music that would play when you battle the champion (Blue). It always got my heart racing and made the battle intense!
8. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (PS2; then eventually PC and Xbox)
Talk about a game that brings back memories. I loved GTA 3 and GTA: Vice City, but San Andreas always held a special place in my heart. Everything about that game was amazing to teenage me; how I could exercise, I could alter clothing, and the gang wars were awesome, albeit real gang wars are terrible I’d like to note. The radio stations were much improved, as well. I would constantly just drive around like a ‘normal’ citizen on the game just listening to the music on the radio since I didn’t have my license at that age. It was a lot of virtual fun.
7. Diablo 2 (PC, it may have been on MAC as well)
This game was my first foray into online gaming. It was probably the best thing I had ever played at the time because I could play with my friends from the comfort of my family’s desktop computer. It also became the reason my mother hated me being on the computer ‘so damn much.’ Nonetheless, the Gothic elements of this game are what always kept drawing me back, especially the spooky soundtrack. Here’s the soundtrack that would play while you were at the Rogue Encampment, which was a safe spot for you in case you didn’t know, but still very creepy.
6. Banjo Kazooie (N64, and possibly on the Xbox Live Arcade (?))
Banjo Kazooie was quite possibly the wackiest game I have ever played, and the music coincides with that wackiness. The intro theme and opening levels made me feel as if I were at a carnival, or in the deep, deep South. That’s not a bad thing, mind you, because the soundtrack fit perfectly with the game. I mean, you’re a bear with a bird in your backpack. The music has to be crazy sounding, but crazy good sounding as well. Here’s a medley of all the music that appeared in the game. (After listening to this I realized that the xylophone is used so much that it may have become my favorite instrument.)
5. Guitar Hero Just kidding.
5. Age of Empires II (PC)
Not only one of the greatest real time strategy game of all time, but some of the best music of all-time. The crew that organized and created the music did a fabulous job of featuring certain cultures instruments into the music. Here’s the entire soundtrack because I couldn’t decide on a single one to represent the entirety of this powerful soundtrack!
4. Super Mario 64 (N64)
This was a game I didn’t get to fully experience until I downloaded it onto my Nintendo Wii only a few years ago. Not only fun, but the music drew me in, and it still had the peppy and optimistic ‘Mario’ feel to it that we all know and love. Truly one of the best jobs on a Mario game.
3. Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath (Originally on Xbox, but now available on many platforms)
Talk about an odd game, huh! Sorry about that. But seriously, Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath was such an unusual game that it’s very difficult to describe the universe. You just have to play it to understand what I mean. Still a wonderful game that had amazing graphics, at the time, and a memorable soundtrack. It takes several seconds for the song to actually begin.
2. Zelda: Ocarina of Time (N64)
Talk about a game fully utilizing the new 3D aspect of a console. My word, I think Hyrule may be one of the most beautiful video game universes of all time from the physical aspects, to the characters/enemies, and the music. The game was very fun as well! Here is one of my favorite songs from the game “Song of Storms”:
1. Halo: Combat Evolved (Xbox)
Talk about a game that revolutionized first-person shooters, and then some. Halo: Combat Evolved (when the pistol still had a scope!) made gaming cool, which was a good and bad thing, and fun to non-gamers. It showed that all humans can band together and fight off the Covenant, and also destroy one another’s warthogs in Blood Gulch. Plus the music was so damn epic that I had to give it the nod for #1.
Let me know what you think of this list in the comments! Even if you think this list is horrible!