Now, I’m not a huge video game guy. Don’t get me wrong, I play a lot of games. I’m just not a huge gamer. However, I am a huge music guy, and so I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorite video game soundtracks. Enjoy!
Notes: Entries are in no particular order, visual novel music is not included, and I tried to focus on OST’s that were great to listen to separate from the gameplay. This first list is mostly my personal favorites, and in the future I will be compiling some suggestions from friends of mine. Also, links to where you can purchase these soundtracks are posted below each entry and I urge you to support the official releases. Thank you.
#30: Imaginarium: Songs from the Neverhood (The Neverhood, Terry Scott Taylor)
One of the oddest soundtracks I’ve ever heard, this OST for the Doug TenNapel game was quite an amusing listen and probably lifted some of the slower moments of the game out of the ditch for me. It’s a combination of weird mouth noises that would’ve given Michael Winslow a run for his money and various strange instruments from what sounds like banjos, steely string guitars and kazoos. Lot’s of fun to listen to on a rainy day and it helps add a little extra whimsy when you’re down.
Purchase here: Amazon
#29: Grim Fandango Soundtrack (Grim Fandango, Peter McConnell)
So damn jazzy! I love it. Tim Schafer and DoubleFine can do no wrong- well that’s not exactly true, but Grim Fandango was a great game, and this OST was one of the reasons I still think so fondly of it. Just as highly stylized as the game itself, Peter McConnell’s noir-jazz soundtrack fits perfectly into the Dios de la Muerte-inspired game.
I chose this soundtrack over something like Brutal Legend or Psychonauts as the token DoubleFine entry simply I like jazz. I think those OST’s are really good too, but I really like jazz.
Find it here: Grim Fandango Network
#28: Wander and the Colossus Original Soundtrack: Roar of the Earth (Shadow of the Colossus, Kow Otani)
Team Ico is strange. They’re like the Dave Chappelle of video game studios. They make really great things, and then stop while they’re legacy is still amazing. Then, they keep hinting a return and put out really great little tidbits. At the end of the day, you can’t decide whether to feel annoyed or anxious.
Either way, their first two efforts, Shadow of the Colossus and Ico, were masterfully done and Kow Otani hit it out of the park with the soundtracks. With great symphonic numbers that have you soaring the vast, grey landscapes of the game, this OST is sure to pull you back to the depressing moments of the Team Ico title.
Purchase here: Amazon
#27: Final Fantasy… any (Final Fantasy, Nobuo Uematsu, Masashi Hamauzu, Naoshi Mizuta, Mitsuto Suzuki)
The entire soundtrack, every last song, is golden to those with nostalgia for the legendary JRPG. While the series may be trying to hard to outlast itself these days, there is no denying the impact it has had on the gaming industry. This OST is just one of the aspects of the series that has stood out, with Nobuo Uematsu spearheading a great team of artists to craft wonderful music time and time again. I’ve put up my favorite song from a Final Fantasy game, Run, but there are so many I enjoy that I could have honestly made this entire list Final Fantasy. Luckily for you, I’m not so naive.
Purchase here: Like, literally anywhere xD
#26: Silent Hill Original Soundtracks (Silent Hill, Akira Yamaoka)
Probably the work that composer Akira Yamaoka is best known for, the Silent Hill soundtracks are a testament to how much of an affect music can have on the atmosphere of a game. From the creepy string intro song which almost everyone knows, to the Mary Elizabeth McGlynn-featuring vocal tracks, the Silent Hill soundtracks is one of the definitive examples of “creepy gaming music”.
Find here: Silent Hill Memories
Alright, that’s enough for now. Thanks for reading and have a great day!