What makes a video game soundtrack the "best of all time?" Is it simply the most iconic? Perhaps it brings about the most pathetic, baby-faced weeping imaginable out of you. Maybe it's just a nostalgic longing for the past when you were care-free enough to actually play games.
I don't really know. Regardless, this list is 100% factual and all differing opinions are completely wrong.
8. The Golden Sun Series
Surprise! I bet the majority of you have never even heard about these games, much less absorbed the soundtrack. Despite appearing on the Game Boy Advance, the original Golden Sun games had incredible depth which was never surpassed by any other games on the system. Hell, I doubt they've been surpassed by any handheld game to date.
The themes were no exception to the outstanding quality exhibited in all other aspects of the series.
Golden Sun: Main Theme
Golden Sun's theme is adventurous, energetic, and catchy. What more is needed for an epic adventure on your handheld while your mom drives you to Wal Mart?
Golden Sun: The Lost Age
While more broad in scope and style than the original game's theme, TLA's track certainly doesn't disappoint.
After largely defining my childhood, these themes hold a special nostalgic place in my heart... So they're on this "best of all time" list. Deal with it.
Female vocalizations are commonly used in movie soundtracks to induce a sense of ancient sword-and-sandals warfare (Gladiator, Troy, Kingdom of Heaven, etc). Taking this lesson to heart, the producers behind the Halo theme clearly believed that, in turn, surely male vocalizations must bring about a futuristic, alien-warfare-esque feeling.
Okay, maybe I made that up. It doesn't matter how they came up with it - it clearly worked.
The following combines both the famous vocalizations in the opening suite and one of the better action-oriented themes that's become synonymous with the series.
It's unusual when a game in a futuristic setting utilizes instrumental music almost exclusively. I'm certainly glad they decided against the easy electronic/organic cop-out, because the final result was great.
6. Assassin's Creed II
It's often difficult for games to capture the emotions and magnitude of terrible events in the lives of the characters. Fortunately, AC:II nailed it - and it has the following track to thank.
IT WAS HIS FAMILY, DAMN YOU.
Manly tears were shed.
5. Metal Gear Solid
Metal Gear Solid has blessed us with many fantastic games and music over the years. The following two themes, however, are worthy of their own specific mention.
Metal Gear Solid 2
Sure, it may start out rather slow (skip to about 3:04 for the memorable part of it), the composer may have ripped it off from some vague Russian composer, and it may have grossly inconsistent sections, but...
Isn't that shit just great?
Metal Gear Saga
God I loved this theme playing MGS4. In fact, it's one of the only video game themes that I actually have on iTunes and my player. Don't judge me; you're reading this loser's article.
Unlike MGS 2's theme, the pacing is excellent; it really builds off of the best of the previous soundtracks in the series.
4. The Elder Scrolls Series
There is simply no series that has main themes more absolutely fucking epic and content-appropriate than those in The Elder Scrolls. Seriously, find one. Try. I dare you.
Morrowind Main Theme
It's much more subtle than either of the more recent Oblivion or Skyrim themes, but that's certainly not a mark against it. If you're not necessarily a fan of "subtle," it really picks up around 1:10; you're missing out if you don't listen to it all the way through.
Oblivion Main Theme
The scope of the theme is just as impressive and dignified as that of the game. The opening is aggressive and really just utterly fantastic all around.
Skyrim Main Theme
As an ardent theme critic, I was almost more anxious about Skyrim's theme than the game content itself prior to release. How could a theme possibly live up to the two predecessors above? It wasn't likely, I said. Not likely at all.
I was wrong. Can you even imagine a more perfect track for the game's Scandinavian roots? I can't. I swear this video was me when I first watched the trailer.
3. The Legend of Zelda
Cue the flaming because this isn't number one.
The Legend of Zelda series has a pretty big case for having the number one soundtrack of all time. Choose a game, any game, and it has a great compilation of music.
The Wind Waker: Main Theme
One of my favorites. It's an original take on the well-established Zelda themes, and is catchy as all hell.
Hmmm... hm. Hmmm.. hm. Do dee da do dee da da da-da do dee da da da-da do dee do da da da dadadadeeedaaaaa...
Damn, that's too fast to keep up to and I type 100+ WPM.
Now this is just about as classic as you can get.
Listen to that and tell me you don't want to go cut grass and save a princess, eh? Maybe this time she'll put out.
2. Final Fantasy VII
Annnnd here we are, numero... Duo? Yep, that's right - FF7 isn't number 1 either. It does, however, easily deserve one of the top spots in any soundtrack list. I'm going to carry this game's banner forever; the haters may as well get used to it.
There are few games that have as many iconic, genre-defining tracks. Those of you who STILL have yet to play it are missing out. Trust me. I played it for my first time just a year or two ago and the story still holds up very well.
One Winged Angel
One of the best boss themes for inarguably one of the most iconic game villains of all time.
The theme is intimidating enough without having to face the most hyped-up, all-powerful video-game demi-god of all time. Holy hyphens.
Those Chosen by the Planet
Aggressive. Menacing. Sephiroth! Wait, shit - where?!
Tell me you can listen to that without having a slow trickle of urine running down your pant leg.
This is just plain sad. Again, many of you probably haven't played the game to know why, but jesus, can I just have a minute here? There's something in my eyes.
I had a sad.
1. Final Fantasy X
Say what you want about the over-the-top voice acting and other odd Japanese-style antics in Final Fantasy X... You just can't say their soundtrack was bad.
The reason FFX is our top choice - and a resounding one at that - is because you could list virtually any of its tracks as an example of a phenomenal soundtrack. With that said, here are three of the best it has to offer.
I turned on the 'ol PS2 and loaded up FFX to the start menu. Then I heard this.
It's one of my favorite piano pieces of all time, including those in traditional classical music. In a game as reliant on emotion as this one, it's a good thing they had such a powerful theme.
The Hymn of the Fayth
If the following was actually the basis of a religion...
I would join it. I don't care how ridiculous the concept is, that is some powerful stuff.
A simple melody for one of the more beloved female heroes in the FF universe. This track is sure to summon the nostalgia of FFX fans.
Let's just leave her character with this and pretend FFX-2 never happened.
Unfortunately... That's it! Feel free to cry out and bemoan about how I'm a jackass in the comments below to your heart's content.
- Apr 03 2013 08:36 PM
- by David