Sunday, 18 November 2012

Video Game Tracks: 10 Themes You Should Listen To

Inspired by a post I saw on another blog about great music in Halo, I decided to list my favourite video game music of all time. Music in games can really add or subtract from the gameplay itself, and can really immerse the gamer. Plus, lets face it, boss battles are made a hundred times better by fast paced music that makes you feel epic. The best video game music stays with you forever, and can bring back the feelings you felt the first time you heard it. Here I have compiled a list of my very favourite music and a few reasons why I think it's great. Hope you enjoy listening (or re-listening in some cases!) to these brilliant pieces of art.

Pokémon Gold/Silver - vs Champion Lance/Red

No list of great game music is complete without pokemon appearing in it, it's been around for decades and it's something a lot of us grew up with. That said, it's rather hard to pick just one track (how could I not mention N's Castle theme and Lavender town?!), but I wanted a little of variety so had to pick a favourite. It really has to go to this piece. Lance was a great champ, and Red was the toughest trainer I've ever face. This music really emphasised the battle, and made it feel like a true showdown.

Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time - Saria's Song

Alright, this one isn't upbeat and motivational, but just a lovely piece of music in it's own right. It's just got that "friendship-y" feel to it, and anyone who played this can't help but adore Saria. Again, it was hard to pick just one song from this game as it had a great soundtrack, but I easily came to the conclusion that this one is superior (confession time: i made myself sick of this song for ages by having it as my alarm and ringtone. protip; never do this with a song you like).

Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Sons of Skyrim

Before I comment on this; I have to share something hilarious with you that just happened. I was playing this quietly to test it was the right song, and during the startup where it sound like a hundred angry vikings chanting and grunting together, one of my housemates shouted at the other to stop breathing so heavily. Brilliant. Anyway; this song is wonderful. I don't think I've hung around on a title screen as long as I did for this. It sounds like a nordic war song and gives me major goosebumps. I've always loved the Elder Scrolls title theme, but this is by far the best rendition of it. Props to you Bethesda.

Mass Effect 3 -The Fleet Arrives

Maybe I have a sentimental attachment to this song because it's the last song I heard before everything on Earth took place and Mass Effect was ruined for me. But this small piece of music is perfect. If we ever got into a war and the whole planet united against one threat, this is what I'd blast through the speakers to inspire them all. That's what this song is all about. One man/woman, against all odds, united the whole universe against an outside threat. It's a stunning climax, all your hard work at trying to get everyone to listen finally pays off, and it's the last great part before the infamous "artistic integrity" of the irrelevant god analogy (fuck you Bioware/EA, religion was never a main theme in mass effect).

"Turian fleet standing by"
"Asari fleet standing by"
"Salaraian fleet standing by"
"Quarian fleet standing by"
"Geth fleet standing by"
Joker: "All fleets standing by Commander, waiting on your orders"
So many man tears. I love you Shepard.

Sonic R - Can You Feel The Sunshine?

This one's a little obscure. Sonic R was Sega's excellent reply to the success of Mario Kart (and a superior game in every way, but of course that's just an opinoin). It involved running around tracks as your favourite Sonic character and trying to beat the other guys. My Dad, Brother and I used to have weekly racing competition on this and Crash Team Racing, with one of my Dad's old trophies being the prize. Nostalgia central. This is my favourite song from the game, it played on a beach track. I have this on my iPod too, such a feel good song.

Portal - Still Alive

As if I could have a list of favourite games and not put this in. I know, I know, it's overdone to death and we're all sick of "THE CAKE IS A LIE XDXD" but this song will never get old. The lovely GLaDOS sings us a sweetly sinister goodbye song, filled with terrible puns. Valve really hit the nail on the head with this, I wonder if they ever expected Portal to become as big as it did?

Ace Attorney: Phoenix Wright - Cornered

You're in a courtroom, you know your defendant is innocent, you know the perpetrator is in front of you testifying his innocence/your defendants guilt. But oh my, he trips up over the evidence, a contradiction! OBJECTION! You've got him now, this is it, the final showdown, cue this music.

Not everyone is a fan of the Phoenix Wright series. But you can't deny the soundtrack is great. Everyone has their own theme, and each game builds upon the last with more music. A symphony of funky songs, so funky infact, that a jazz album was made in commiseration to it.

World of Warcraft - Teldrassil Theme

This game has gone in a direction I'm not a fond of so I don't play anymore (personal choice, if you can still enjoy this game I envy you), but this song will always remind me of it. I think it's probably because I started as a Night Elf. It just has that feeling of being immersed in a whole world, it has a feeling of being lost, it has a feeling of adventure. A really great piece of music.

Earthbound: Pokey Means Business

This piece of music fit the situation perfectly. I love the build up, it has a childish vibe to it, then when it drops its a serious battle theme. It's kind of like "Growing up: the song". It's the most iconic piece of music from Earthbound in my eyes. I really love this game and this music.

Bioshock - Welcome to Rapture

The bathysphere rises just as this music hits, and with perfect timing, a fallen underwater utopia comes into view. Tragically beautiful. Welcome to Rapture. Tingles down the spine. This still gets me, its perhaps one of the most iconic starts to any video game ever, made up in 3 parts; Andrew Ryans speech, Seeing Rapture for the first time, and this music. 

Well, there you have it, my favourite video game music. I'd share more but a most of them are are from the same games and I don't want to get repetitive.  There's also something you guys should check out, an album of  gorgeously performed video game songs by a classical band, a link to it here. What are your favourite tracks from games? Comment and share!


  1. The Lance theme is top notch! I love that metal remix of it too, which seems more popular than the original. Great post anyway!

    1. The metal version of it is wicked! There's a lot of good mixes of it out there, probably because it's sounds so awesome no matter how you fiddle with it.