Creating soundtracks for video games is a unique challenge. The music must catch our attention, but at the same time, not distract us from the game. It needs to increase our immersion rather than pulling us out of what we are doing. And in many cases, the tracks need to be something we can listen to over and over and over again without losing our minds.
In this article, we share some of the best video game soundtracks of all time with you. Consider signing up on a top gaming forum to discuss these and other video game soundtracks you love with other players.
These are the Top Video Game Soundtracks of All Time
Jeremy Soule’s soundtrack for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has become a classic. His compositions capture the austere beauty of Skyrim in a way that is simply magical. Every track is distinctive and memorable, but in no way tedious or distracting. No matter how many times you hear them as you pour hundreds of hours into Skyrim, you never tire of them.
While “The Tetris Song” started life as the 19th century Russian folk song “Korobeiniki,” today, just about everyone associates it with falling blocks. The entire soundtrack of Tetris is extremely memorable. Even if you have not touched the game in many years, no doubt you can hear the entire soundtrack vividly in your mind if you just stop to think about it.
3. God of War
Who could fail to mention God of War’s soundtrack in 2018? Few can match Emmy-award-winner Bear McCreary’s talents for creating phenomenally epic scores. McCreary himself plays video games, so he knew exactly what was called for. Along the way, he did research on traditional Nordic music. That way, he could weave authentic ingredients into his soundtrack.
4. The Last of Us
Gustavo Santaolalla’s soundtracking for The Last of Us is minimalist in nature, which makes it a match for Neil Druckmann’s writing style. His mastery at composition comes as much from knowing the moments to not put in music as it does knowing what notes will grab us and gut us emotionally when needed.
There is a part in the game where the player as Joel is searching for Ellie, and the soundtrack more or less is silent. The removal of the music during this sequence makes the situation feel starkly real and present. We are no longer playing an action survival game; we are simply a man searching for his surrogate daughter.
5. Spec Ops: The Line
Spec Ops: The Line features a soundtrack with tracks from artists like Jimi Hendrix, The Black Angels, Mogwai, Deep Purple, Alice in Chains, and others. What makes this soundtrack worth noting on this list is that every single song was picked with a great deal of deliberation and thought. Not only do the tracks work together to add to the intense atmosphere of the game, but they really help tell the story of Captain Martin Walker. In particular, 1983 … (A Merman I Should Turn to Be) by Jimi Hendrix feels deeply meaningful as the end credits roll.
There are so many more video game soundtracks that could easily have made this list: Stardew Valley, BioShock Infinite, Medal of Honor, Chrono Trigger, and multiple games in the Zelda and Final Fantasy series. We hope you enjoyed our selections though. If you missed playing any of the games on this list, check out their soundtracks sometime. Just hearing their music could be enough to inspire you to grab copies of the games and play them.