My List of Standout Video Game Music

Andy takes a look at some of his favorite tracks from video games.

Note: [All opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect that of GamerXChange]

Music is an art form that anyone can relate to.  It is accessible from nearly any facet of media; from radio to movies, to television shows, and now even video games.  Since gaming back on the Sega Genesis I have heard some of the most magnificent video game music over the years.  Here I will have compiled a list of my favorite songs from video games.  They will not be listed in any specific order, and I will also state whether the whole OST is worth it.

GoldenSunSaturos’ Theme: This theme for the antagonist just screams that something is going down real soon.  You better watch out for Menardi and Alex are never too far from Saturos.  The OST for all 3 GoldenSun games are worth a listen to, with great range from the composer Motoi Sakuraba.

Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake EaterMain Theme: This 6 minute composition still sends shivers down my spine.  The beginning starts slow and melodic before exploding to the “new” Metal Gear Solid theme and goes into the Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty theme at the 5:10 mark.  Other great songs in the MGS series include Snake Eater, Debriefing, Way to Fall, Calling to the Night, Gene, Love Theme, Desperate Chase, Metal Gear Saga, Here’s to You, and Mobs Alive.

Streets of Rage 2Max Man (Theme of Shiva): The boss fight just prior to the final boss is quite possibly the hardest fight in the whole game.  It’s so hard you have to fight Shiva 4 different times in the sequel SoR3.  Once the theme kicks in and Mr. X raises his arm and gives out a loud “hmph” you know it’s “go time.”  Beware of his flaming kick and final crash attacks!  The whole soundtrack for the game is top-notch as well as the music from the whole series.  Yuzo Koshiro knew what he was composing at the time.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution Icarus (Main Theme): Michael McCann’s composition stuck with me from the moment I first laid eyes on the trailer for this beautiful game.  The melody at times reminds me of Freedom Fighters by Two Steps From Hell and it drew me into the game already.  That song alone made me buy the game and I was not let down at all.  Give it a listen and give the game a try!

Mass Effect 3I was Lost Without You, and Leaving Earth:  I was Lost Without You was composed by Sam Hulick and it helps with you connecting with whoever your Shepard’s romance choice.  It plays in the background and just suits every moment it’s in.  Leaving Earth from Clint Mansell helps drive in the feeling of helplessness as you complete the prologue.  Clint Mansell is a master at conveying that feeling as he’s done in Requiem for a Dream, Smokin’ Aces, and the Fountain.  The rest of the OST is worth a listen as well.

Sonic the HedgehogMarble Zone theme: The minute this starts playing before the level is loaded, an eerie feeling should have come over you.  The tone matches the level’s design of dark purples, lava, and metal chains and spikes.  This is a standout from the Sonic series but not the only great composition.  The music by Masato Nakamura on the first two games are the best in the series.

InFamous 2Fade Away by Black Heart Procession: The credits theme for the good ending always gets the goosebumps going!  After the events of the ending and the finale, the melody and the lyrics just frames around the game so well.  The OST is okay, nothing too special but this song stood out.  “Half as long, twice as bright.”

Heavy RainMars – Trailer Theme: Nick Ingman & Terry Devine-King’s composition used in the launch trailer of Heavy Rain strikes many chords throughout.  This is the type of music all Launch Trailers should have to drive up the hype for the game showcase the different emotions that will be prevalent throughout the game.  Action, romance, horror, and drama are properly conveyed through the music.

Killzone 3And Ever We Fight On: Joris de Man’s opening Main Menu theme for Killzone 3 has stayed with me since the slightly disappointing beta of the game.  The opening harmony played by what sounds like a violin to me has an ominous tone to it.  You’re not sure where the game is going to take you after the journey of the first two games, but you know it’s going to be amazing.

Assassin’s Creed 2Ezio’s Family: Jesper Kyd is the true mastermind behind the Assassin’s Creed series.  The music he composed fit in with the era of the games.  From the Third Crusade in the Holy Land in 1191 to the Renaissance period of the late 15th and early 16th centuries in Italy the music pieces flowed with ease.  The theme known as Ezio’s Family is a reoccurring theme through Assassin’s Creed 2, Brotherhood, and Revelations and it signifies everything Ezio has fought for and through.

Max Payne 3Tears by Health: This song was first featured in one of the Max Payne 3 trailers, but the standout moment for this song is in the final level when you get to go guns-a-blazing through an airport.  The song just empowers you to go through bullet time and riddle enemies with great vengeance and furious anger!

Red Dead RedemptionCompass by Jamie Lidell: Red Dead Redemption features an amazing OST but Compass playing while riding through the woods as you are about to be reunited was so touching.  The only thing that could ruin such a moment is a bear or cougar attacking you and your horse en route to the reunion.

Far Cry 3Far Cry 3: Brian Tyler is a great composer, but I’d be lying if I said the Far Cry 3 OST is awesome.  At most it’s forgettable except this one track titled after the game itself.  It kicks in at 2 moments of the game: first during the confrontation with Vaas Montenegro in what is one of my favorite moments of the game, and again during the credits monologue which fits so well.  It drives home the sense of accomplishment that you have done it.  I only wish the rest of the soundtrack matched with this music.

There you go, my list of music in games that I love!  Now that this list has been completed, I must state that this is just the tip of the iceberg.  There were several other songs that I could have mentioned like Hans Zimmer’s work on Crysis 2, Trent Reznor’s work for Black Ops 2, and the respective composers of the Uncharted series, Final Fantasy series, God of War Saga, and the Halo series.

So you see my list – What are some soundtracks or songs from games that you love?  Speak out below in the comments!