I love music, it’s the staple of my creativeness. A good soundtrack, or thumping album, can take me through hours of gaming, painting or writing. Musical inspirations are something that I really appreciate, but a great games soundtrack is another. What I present are, what I consider, to personally be my top five game soundtracks that have ever graced my ears. I will seriously mix it up, but I have also had to miss some games for which the soundtrack is outstanding.
Obviously some people will think “jeez Len, talk about mainstream”, well, no. I rarely played one of the games in the list and I barely played another. Yet both soundtracks are on CD’s or iTunes somewhere on, or around, my laptop. So sit back and be prepared to lose nearly a full 24 hours in great music.
5: Hotline Miami
This 2D top down shooter, released in 2012 by Devolver Digital, was inspired by the film Drive. One of the things that makes the game so outstanding is the soundtrack. At first you mistake the menu music for something akin to a relaxing meditation ritual, but that’s just the intro soundtrack.
If you recognise the artist list you’ll see artists like Sun Araw, M|O|O|N, Perturbator, Jasper Byrne, Scattle, Elliot Berlin, Eirik Shurke, CoConuts & El Huervo. All these are heavy on the electro, base and thumping beats. It’s a fantastically energetic soundtrack, one that I listen to when the word count needs to be here.
The game for Xbox’s exclusive first person shooter, released way back in 2011, should need no introduction. The soundtrack, created by Martin O`Donnell, was the first of its kind. Martin purposely went back and forward between writing and composing the music within the game, with the actual developers so he could get the atmosphere just right. A third of the depth of the single player game comes from the musical addition, which we can thank Martin for.
Skyrim, an action adventure RPG, was the long awaited ‘sequel’ to Oblivion. Skyrim is a game where the graphics, characters and world all come together, and the music is the glue that binds it all. Jeremy Soule has written the music for many a gaming title, for example Morrowind, Oblivion, Star Wars: KOTOR, Company of Heroes and Dawn of War to name a few. The Skyrim soundtrack has the gentle appeal that the world of the game presents at points, with the violent thrust of a blade at others. It’s a fantastic soundtrack, great for relaxing, getting motivated or just if you want to feel epic.
Eve: Online, released by CCP Games in 2003, is a persistent MMORPG set in a science fiction setting. Eve itself is a life within a life, you need to live within the game to get the full gist of what it’s about. It is a beautiful game, but for me the chill-out techno vibe of Jon Hallur Haraldsson and his original score created the game for me. I could sit for hours and hours playing this game, so long as the soundtrack was playing.
It’s the ultimate space based chill out soundtrack and without it, I think a chunk of Eve players wouldn’t be playing the game right now. So much so that actual real life radio stations were created to bring music to the Eve masses. None, in my opinion, could come close to Jon. I bring you six hours of Eve music, I dare you. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.
Final Fantasy first came out in 1987, released by Square Enix (formally known as Square). The game has since had various sequels added to its universe, but one man has composed the majority of music for the titles; Nobuo Uematsu. Apart from the last couple of years this man has been the sole driver behind the Final Fantasy musical score, and my god does it sound sweet. Although I cannot include each and every single soundtrack, I can include my personal favourite, Final Fantasy VII.
What are your favourite game soundtracks? Let us know here at Geek Pride, we’d love to hear what your favourites are. Thanks for reading, and more importantly, listening.