​The Best Video Game Music Of The Last Generation

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​The Best Video Game Music Of The Last Generation


There may be no one part of a game that connects to our memories as immediately or intensely as music. Of course we remember a game’s music: Those were the melodies that accompanied us on adventures in other worlds, through trials and triumphs, through victory and defeat. A musical score exists outside of visuals and gameplay; it’s the closest thing a video game has to a scent.

Today, as part of our Last-Gen Heroes series, we recognise the best music of the last gaming generation. This time around, we’re all going to contribute to a master list, because there’s simply been too much great music from the last eight years for one list to possibly contain it all.

Guidelines

If we stick to these guidelines, we can make this into a list that’s easily searchable and reads well. So let’s do.

1) Yes, this list is technically for console games only. That said, if you really want to post music from a handheld game or a PC game, I won’t hold it against you. Though don’t post stuff from before 2005.

2) Please follow this format, including bold text:

Youtube Link/Embedded Video

Game: The name of the game

Platform: Which platform/console the game was on

Song: The name of the composition

Composer: Who wrote the music?

Where it plays: Describe where in the game the song plays.

Why it’s great: Why is this song so great?

3) Feel free to enter more than one song! After all, no one’s got one favourite song. Unless they’ve only ever heard the one song.

Everybody ready? We’ve made some great playlists together in the past, but I think this one could be our finest yet. Let’s do it.


Last-Gen Heroes is Kotaku’s look back at the seventh generation of console gaming. In the weeks leading up to the launch of the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One, we’ll be celebrating the Heroes — and the Zeroes — of the last eight years of console video gaming.

Comments

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTsD2FjmLsw
    Game: Mass Effect 2
    Platform: PC, PS3, 360
    Song: Suicide Mission
    Composer: Jack Wall, Sam Hulick, David Kates & Jimmy Hinson
    Where it plays: The final mission
    Why it’s great: The intensity of that final mission is brought out in the music, especially if your choices result in certain crew members dying.

    Honorable mention to: Deus Ex: HR, Mass Effect 3, Last of Us, Journey, Papers Please and Bastion

  • I’d have to say that Power Glove’s Blood Dragon score is the only music from this gen that has stuck in my mind. There hasn’t really been much anywhere near as memorable as earlier ones. It’s mostly been pretty bland.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypNgvc6c6Cc

    Game: Journey
    Platform: PS3
    Song: Apotheosis
    Composer: Austin Wintory
    Where it plays: During the very last part of the game.
    Why it’s great: This is the pinnacle of what I regard as the greatest video game soundtrack to date. It perfectly suits the part of the game that it plays over – just when you think the journey is over and has ended on a bit of a down note, you get that amazing ending, and the music just makes it soar. I ended the game with a huge smile on my face and chills running down my spine from this music. Even now I’ll still play through Journey every now and again just to experience that ending again.

    • Wow, that’s really pretty. Like Halo’s music, it transcends the medium and sounds like it belongs to something greater than a humble video game soundtrack.

    • I listened to this song as I ate breakfast to get me pumped for a big day of PhD writing. Then I saw this article and instantly thought: Apotheosis. It’s such a great song. Having played through Journey it’s impossible not to mix the music with images of the game in my mind. Definitely in my top five games of all time, which was entirely unexpected going into it. I traded my PS3 and a bunch of games towards an xbone thinking there was nothing I would ever play through again, then literally minutes after walking out of EB I thought of Journey and could have cried. Now I just have the soundtrack to dry the tears. Good thing it’s an amazing soundtrack in its own right.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQJGlhWVaic

    Game: Halo 3
    Platform: Xbox 360
    Song: Finish the Fight
    Composer: Martin O’Donnell & Michael Salvatori
    Where it plays: This is simply the song from the teaser trailer which is a fitting prelude for one of the greatest video game soundtracks ever.
    Why it’s great: This is Marty’s trademark music that sounds like it’s not from a video game, but something greater. Without Marty’s chanting monks, the Halo ring is just a floating metal ring. Things that separate this style of music is the unconventional instrumentation, most action games/movies have an expected drone of a major/minor string section but Marty’s score sets itself apart with shrill piano and a fanfare trumpets and unique modes that cannot fail to get you excited. This is the kind of music that captures the ears of non-gamers and draws them to the TV to watch what you’re playing.

  • BIOSHOCK INFITNITE SPOILER ALERT:

    I loved Bioshock Infinite and it’s reimagining of some well known music, and the way they weaved the new-old songs into the storyline using the tears. There’s also a particularly awesome Voxophone recording where the industry dude (can’t remember his name right now) admits that he’s stealing music through the tears and claiming them as his own, stating that he’ll be his generations Mozart.

    Particularly awesome was the use of Fortunate Son by Creedence Clearwater Revival first through a tear, with Elizabeth stating “I don’t think anyone’s ever heard anything like that” and later being sung by a begger in the slums.
    The reimagined versions and the use of God Only Knows by the Beach Boys and Everybody Wants to Rule the World by Tears for Fears is also awesome.

    The Soundtrack can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=bioshock+infinite+soundtrack+&sm=1

    (Sorry for not sticking to the format, between the spoiler warning and the variety of artists it didn’t really fit).

    • The only problem with that is, if someone from that era could see through time and hear music from the 80s onward, he wouldn’t steal it, he would weep over how malnourished the art had become.

      He’d say “what happened to music? There’s no woodwind or brass, there’s no clever instrumentation, everything is written in 2 keys, there’s only 4 instruments being used and it all follows the same verse chorus verse chorus change chorus structure. And worst of all, the musicians now take themselves so seriously, they’re such a joyless bunch. Oh the humanity.”

      • Did you have to put down your soy chai-latte and put on your non-prescription hipster glasses to write that one?

        Hate to tell you buddy, but all most all of the music being written in the late 1800s-early 1900’s period was complete fluff. Short, happy tunes about pretty generic themes (love, sunshine, drinking).

        Yeah ‘classical’ music was popular in places, and still is, but the idea that your average joe musician was some kind of virtuoso who’d be horrified by the shallowness of those songs is ridiculous. Lyrically, at least two of those songs would have more depth than 99% of the stuff being written in those days.

        Not saying someone from that time would be instantly enamoured with the style or the lyrical themes (depression, conscription….. uhhhhh Pop Music something?) enough to steal the songs, just that the idea that old-timey folk were some kind of deep thinking cultural elitists who is ridiculous.

        • I hate lattes, cafes and coffee in general.

          Hate to tell you buddy, but all most all of the music being written in the late 1800s-early 1900’s period was complete fluff. Short, happy tunes about pretty generic themes (love, sunshine, drinking).

          I think music in the early 1900s was at least creative in terms of instrumentation and composition. Not to say artists these days aren’t capable, but apart from a few ‘artsy’ acts like Beck, there’s really only drums, bass, guitar and keys. And 95% of successful modern rock music uses the same 3 guitar tones with little variation. There’s some absolutely phenomenal artists these days, like Regina Spektor. But I’m talking specifically about the most successful music, which you’d have to agree does not have a lot of variety and is extremely homogenized.

          It’s all about image these days, handsome guys will go really far in the industry if they meet the minimum standard of talent. I want my musos ugly as sin dammit! Not that a high standard of talent is necessary (Paul McCartney didn’t know how to tune a guitar when they started the Beatles). But there’s at least some sense of enjoyment the further you pick back through the years. Most ultra successful artists these days take themselves so seriously I wouldn’t be surprised if they shat an autobiography. It’s just privileged entertainers that roll around in $100,000 cars with a look on their face like they just found half a rat in their salad. When was the last time you heard someone on the radio singing with a smile on their face? What percentage of bands smile in their photo shoots.

          Sorry, I’m not a hipster, just a jaded beyond belief veteran of the industry that sees a therapist to help deal with how shitty my life became. The bottom line is that music today is so limited in scope. Music 100 years ago was at least diverse. Today it’s two-tone, it’s no longer a boquet of instruments and techniques, just a handful of repeated techniques. I could listen to the radio for an hour and hear nothing but major and minor chords. It frustrates me! There is an absolute universe of interesting aspects of music, an all you can eat buffet. But to me, modern popular music is like sitting at that expansive buffet and eating just the bread.

          Edit: Also, I hate hipster glasses. Fuck hipsters anyway. I hate most things that aren’t video games.

          also, sorry for the ridiculous rant.

          • Oh man you’ve missed the mark.

            While YOU might be jaded, think of the variety of different sources, styles and types of music which you’re subjected to from day to day and consider what it would have been like to be a musician living ANYWHERE in the early 1900’s.

            Think of the full spectrum of music you can hear on dozens of radio stations, to the international sounds you have access to via the internet, or the music you hear through successful film and game scores. None of that would have existed in the 1900’s.

            You’re also comparing completely different markets for popularity. Yeah music seems to be regressing if you compare say, listening to Kei$ha on the radio with a night out at the opera, but that’s a completely unfair comparison. It’s not like nobody appreciates a brilliant film score or a properly orchestrated game soundtrack, it’s just that time, cost, technology and a million other factors mean that people access that kind of music differently.

            Comparing a handful of classic compositions which have been good enough to remain known 100+ years later against the full suite of sounds you’re subjected to today doesn’t exactly allow you to determine comparable mean to assess the standard of music. Especially when popular music at the time essentially covered 2-3 genres while in the modern world there are hundreds, many of which you probably don’t like at all.

            I’m not trying to be a dick, but I strongly disagree that music was deeper in 120 years ago.

          • While YOU might be jaded

            Wait, are you suggesting that my own personal experience has skewered my perspective …. actually, I wouldn’t argue that. You’re dead right.

            One of my friends has 3 Grammy awards and he’s in the drummers hall of fame. And one of his Grammys fell off the mantle and broke so he sticky taped it back together. And there it is, on his shelf, a sticky taped Grammy. He’s currently driving The Wiggles’tour bus. He out-does me in the jaded department.

            think of the variety of different sources, styles and types of music which you’re subjected to from day to day

            Thing is, I don’t seek out music like that, so I’m just subjected to whatever’s on TV or in the mainstream, which is all dreary and repetitive. So I have myself to blame for that.

            Think of the full spectrum of music you can hear on dozens of radio stations, to the international sounds you have access to via the internet, or the music you hear through successful film and game scores. None of that would have existed in the 1900’s.

            How nicely put, I had to chastise myself a little for not fully appreciating how lucky we are. It’s easy to take stuff like this for granted. I also wonder if it contributes to music becoming disposable though. But ultimately I think the progress is worth it.

            You’re also comparing completely different markets for popularity. Yeah music seems to be regressing if you compare say, listening to Kei$ha on the radio with a night out at the opera, but that’s a completely unfair comparison.

            I went to the opera for our 10th wedding anniversary. At first it was like sex, but after 3 or 4 hours it wore me out. My problem is the regression though. I’ve taught advanced music theory and I’ve seen how kid’s minds come alive and their imagination blossom when they discover how deep and beautiful music can be. And it’s disappointing that more mainstream artists fail to exploit even the simplest musical knowledge. I don’t know why, are their song writers afraid people can’t handle it? Cause that’s not the case. Some of Stevie Wonder and Louie Armstrong has such simple but elegant variations of standard chord structure and it’s makes it jump out of your radio. I think people need more of that. But it seems it doesn’t sell.

            And that’s kinda my biggest beef, and I’m going into personal jaded territory again here. Experimentation is discouraged, but imitation is encouraged. We were signed to an Australian label, a subsidiary of Sony, and we became our label’s top selling band. I remember explaining to our producer how we wanted to cover an ABBA song in our style (a heavier rock style) and I can remember how he blanched, almost in fear. These days, people want you to ride your success and replicate that success, completely at the expense of your creative integrity. Struggling musicians get rejected every day but the moment one of their quirky songs breaks them into the mainstream and makes them money, then you’re encouraged to get in line behind the new hotness and channel them and even imitate them. I am mates with one of Christina Aguelera’s main writers and he harps on about how fickle and constrained he has to be to get his stuff accepted and get paid. It just comes down to the whole business side of the industry unbalancing and strangling the art. I don’t blame artists at all for this.

            It’s not like nobody appreciates a brilliant film score or a properly orchestrated game soundtrack

            That’s pretty much all I have on my iPhone these days. I like how soundtracks are free from the dry modern formula and are an excersie in story telling, how they use different instruments and notes to paint a picture.

            Comparing a handful of classic compositions which have been good enough to remain known 100+ years later against the full suite of sounds you’re subjected to today doesn’t exactly allow you to determine comparable mean to assess the standard of music.

            Y’know, you totally have me there. No argument. But it’d be nice to not have to hear people freak out when they hear a Carmen Miranda song because it’s more than 5 minutes old. But that’s not a problem specific to music.

            I’m not trying to be a dick, but I strongly disagree that music was deeper in 120 years ago.

            Yeah, I hear ya. I still disagree somewhat, particularly when it comes to what’s popular. But maybe my problem is that I’m constantly getting smacked in the face with what’s popular, and I find it so unfulfilling and wafer thin and it’s easier for me to look at older and more established stuff than it is to seek out modern gems. But I have baggage like you wouldn’t believe. I haven’t picked up my guitar since 2010 because when I do I get physically ill and develop headaches. So yeah, I’m not the most reliable person to have a conversation with.

            But I will say though, when Finkton’s brother looked through time to plagiarize futuristic ditties, he chose good stuff, Beach Boys, REM. And stuff like Tainted Love felt like it was rewritten better than the original, with much more meaty form.

      • if you really are sticking by that music used to be better in my day bullshit, have a read of “How Music is Made” by David Byrne. There’s a whole chapter on the creation of music and the reason it is how it is. Music is created for the people listening to it and how it is performed. Do you think any musician out there will dare break the same verse chorus verse chorus change chorus mould you bemoan? Imagine how it would be taken. There are a few artists out there who have had minor successes for being different but it is just that, a minor success.

        Music isn’t better now or back then. It is a reflection of the times we live in. The creativeness is a reflection of the society that listens to it. No kid now wants to listen to a deep and meaningful song and since Music is a business musicians need to do what sells the most to get paid. Imagine you were a musician and needed a payday, what would you do? Try and break the mould and get maybe 1 person out of a 100000 listen to your song or listen to the same song and get from 60000 listens?

        I don’t love the music released today but i don’t think it is any better or worse than music released back in the day. For every good song back in the day there were thousands of bad songs, you only remember the good ones.

        • Do you think any musician out there will dare break the same verse chorus verse chorus change chorus mould you bemoan?

          Exactly my point.

          No kid now wants to listen to a deep and meaningful song

          100% disagree

          Music is a business musicians need to do what sells the most to get paid.

          Exactly my point. People don’t want bands anymore, they want brands.

          Imagine you were a musician and needed a payday, what would you do?

          I was, for 15 years. I was signed, toured overseas, signed autographs for hours, crowd surfed on a sea of adoring fans. In order to get there I had to completely sacrifice my artistic integrity and appeal to the lowest common denominator while truly great artists starved. I had to sit in a room for weeks on end forcing songs out like I was constipated. Like every act I toured with, we performed with more pre-recorded tracks than actual musicians on stage and every element of our show was coldly rehearsed, from the antics on stage to the witty banter between songs (just like all the other major artists we toured with).

          The business side of music long ago eclipsed the art itself.

          • ok when i said “No kid now wants to listen to a deep and meaningful song” i was over generalising. I just meant the main people who are using spotify (even buy songs off itunes – seriously why is so much crap on the top of the itunes charts) etc seem to disregard anything that has some musical integrity.

            On another note as much as i hate Spotify and other streaming services for the dismal royalties it pays artists, it seems like the way forward.

            I still think if you don’t think a song is worth at least $1.69 you don’t deserve to listen to it for free, but im in the minority here.

            P.S. i respect your anonimity but which band were you in?

          • I just meant the main people who are using spotify (even buy songs off itunes – seriously why is so much crap on the top of the itunes charts) etc seem to disregard anything that has some musical integrity.

            Are you trying to argue for me or against me? I’m confused.

            I think it’s less about complexity and more about variety. Songs don’t have to be written by musical prodigies to be appealing.

          • Are you trying to argue for me or against me? I’m confused.
            I’m confused too now. But originally it was againts the whole old music is better than new music and then we seemed to agree on some points afterwards so afterwards it was in agreement to you.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ktkI3m7OugI&list=PLXSaJ1VYkIYsHqLOhLpORUKvYwBbqpIyB

    Game: Shatter
    Platform: Originally PS3, I believe, but I think you can get it on all platforms now.
    Song: Kinetic Harvest
    Composer: Module
    Where it plays: During one of the levels, but I can’t remember when. I’ve actually spent more time listening to the album than playing the game!
    Why it’s great: I just think it’s awesome music. The whole album is great.

  • I know I keep bringing up Alan Wake in these articles, but it had one of the best soundtracks of any game I’ve ever played. Specifically “The Poet and the Muse” by Poets of the Fall aka Old Gods of Asgard. The song is great in itself, but the way the lyrics work into the story of the game is spine chilling every time I replay it.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ABxyptx2mC0&list=PL4F259F290DAE85BA

    Game: Bionic Commando Rearmed
    Platform: PS3 & 360
    Song: Rise of the Albatross
    Composer: Simon Viklund
    Where it plays: One of the later levels of the game, I believe. Haven’t played the game in years, but still listen to the soundtrack.
    Why it’s great: Since the eighties became cool again, there’s been a bunch of 8 bit mixes/mashes/rehashes (whatever the fuck they call them these days), and the only ones I’ve enjoyed are off this album. All the tracks are either remixes, or contain some sort of element from the soundtrack of the original Bionic Commando NES game.

  • House of the Dead: Overkill’s soundtrack was incredible, and the de Blob games were both so good I burnt them to CD and had them on endless rotation in my car for time probably measurable in years.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-_g8NZr1tA

    Game: The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim
    Platform: PC, Xbox 360, PS3
    Song: Dragonborn
    Composer: Jeremy Soule
    Where it plays: At the title screen, a reprised version sometimes plays when you fight a dragon.
    Why it’s great: It’s scientifically proven you grow up to 2cm taller and gain 3% muscle mass when you hear this song. It has even been proven to speed up beard growth if you listen to it while you sleep. If the word EPIC had an iPod it would have only this song on it. There’s no feeling like smiting a gigantic dragon into the bloodied snow with your Nordic great-sword while this anthem of heroism infects your mood. This music can make the most mundane task, like opening a can or doing the dishes, feel like an epic feat of heroism and strength. Like a Nord charging into the front lines of an Altmer army, this song has permanently invaded the collective consciousness of all video game enthusiasts.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LnSp9rgfel8
    Game: Borderlands
    Platform: PS3
    Song: Aint no rest for the wicked
    Composer: Cage the Elephant
    Where it plays: The trailer for Borderlands
    Why it’s great: It sold the game to a great many people

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UsnRQJxanVM
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MLvjwrthO4
    Game: Elder Scrolls V : Skyrim
    Platform: PS3
    Song: Dragonborn
    Composer: Jeremy Soule
    Where it plays: I honestly don’t remember
    Why it’s great: Lets face it, it is all kinds of epic

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mrE-t5my51s
    Game: The Last of Us
    Platform: PS3
    Song: All Gone (No Escape)
    Composer: Gustavo Santaolalla
    Where it plays: When you are carrying Ellie through the hospital at the end
    Why it’s great: Much feels, many emotion.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6ljFaKRTrI
    Game: Portal
    Platform: PS3
    Song: Still Alive
    Composer: Jonathan Coulton
    Where it plays: Credits
    Why it’s great: If I need to answer this one, then let me be the first to welcome you to the internet!

    Alright, I’ll stop

  • Game: Mass Effect
    Platform: XBox 360 / PC
    Song: Uncharted Worlds
    Composer: Sam Huilick – samhulick.com
    Where it plays: Accessing and navigating the Galaxy Map on the Normandy.
    Why it’s great: I think this theme sums up what makes Mass Effect great. It just fits so seamlessly in to the narrative and feels like a natural extension of the universe that has been created. You access the galaxy map and the music fills you with a sense of adventure; what’s over the next horizon? I recall when I first got to the map screen I just sat back and listened to the music for a while. It’s a great piece in a great overall soundtrack.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lpu5cTk_qvI

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMGC6JHEpEA
    Game: Sang Froid: Tale of werewolves
    Platform: PC
    Song: Les deux vendredis
    Composer: LA VOLÉE D’CASTORS
    Where it plays: Intro and loading screen
    Why it’s great: Suits the game down to a tee. Provides the right measure of common and foreign sounds to let you know their is a strong influence from another culture. And pretty to boot

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a70h0cX8AMM
    Game: Halo 3: ODST
    Platform: Xbox 360
    Song: Deference for Darkness
    Composer: Martin O’Donnell & Michael Salvatori
    Where it plays: In the Covenant-filled streets of New Mombassa after discovering what happened to Mickey.
    Why it’s great: The whole soundtrack was incredible, honestly the best I’ve ever heard in a game, but this track in particular captured the atmosphere of New Mombassa perfectly and added so much more. Sounds hopeful and lonely at the same time.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1lSBUYXRwvQ
    Game: Halo 3: ODST
    Platform: Xbox 360
    Song: Finale
    Composer: Martin O’Donnell & Michael Salvatori
    Where it plays: The end of the game, during the credits and epilogue.
    Why it’s great: Not sure if it counts since it doesn’t play during gameplay, but it is sort of the all the best bits of the soundtrack throughout the game rolled into one. Awesome sense of finality and again matches the mood perfectly. IMO would have become a far more iconic melody than other Halo tracks had ODST gotten more attention.

  • https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1E5A61D291A590A5
    Game: Call fo Duty 4: Modern Warfare
    Platform: PS3 / 360 / PC
    Song: Entire album – work doesn’t let me goto YouTube so can’t find the single track, but Bone Yard is my favorite.
    Composer: Hans Zimmer
    Where it plays: Whole game – Bone Yard specifically is the level with destroyed planes all over the ground, like a plane graveyard
    Why it’s great: Hans Zimmer perfectly captures the emotion that the designers were wanting you to feel. Music is played at the right volume to be heard, not hiding in the background, but doesn’t detract from the overall sound design. Can still hear people yelling, talking, and firing. Best COD game I’ve ever played because of this music, the others haven’t even come close.

    • Uhh… Hans Zimmer only did Modern Warfare 2. Harry Gregson-Williams and Stephen Barton did the soundtrack to the first modern warfare game. Although, yeah, it was a great soundtrack.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xzGEiER7mkc

    Game: Bastion
    Platform: 360 / PC / iPad
    Song: A Proper Story
    Composer: Darren Korb
    Where it plays: First level, just as you start playing.
    Why it’s great: With the voice over work of Logan Cunningham, really pulls you into the world and lets you know it’s something a bit different to what your otherwise used to. It doesn’t try to be all super grand and epic. Hearing this music while playing this is the game let me know why Indie scene is so fantastic. Small budgets can make incredible works and don’t have to stick to the norm.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKKStpvGGDM
    Game: TLOU
    Song: Smugglers
    Composer: Gustavo Santaolalla
    Where it plays: When escaping with Ellie and Bill
    Why it’s great: It perfectly captures the obscure, gritty and improvised feel of the world. One of the more punchy items from the OST! Most of the tracks from the soundtrack are brilliant, this one is catchy too however!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OgNo9fL5CRc
    Game: BIT.TRIP presents Runner 2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien
    Platform: Wii U, PC/Mac/Linux, PS3, Vita, Xbox 360
    Song: Most of the OST, but especially ‘Welcome to Brine Time’
    Composer: Petrified Productions
    Where it plays: Bits and pieces of it and inserted in the second world’s background music, which builds up as you play it!
    Why it’s great: Just listen to it, c’mon! It’s energetic, bit experimental and a nice tune! Still one of my most played tracks from any video game’s OST!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjwHNAMSHdw
    Game: MotorStorm Apocalypse
    Platform: PS3
    Song: Bullitt (Elite Force vs Lalo Schifrin)
    Composer: Elite Force
    Where it plays: It’s part of a selection of the soundtrack during gameplay.
    Why it’s great: Captures the manic, hectic chaos of racing a variety of motor vehicles through a cataclysmic event and does it justice. Not that I’ve had experience, but it’s what I’ll be listening to in the event!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1aXrLt9a6eE
    Game: Far Cry 3
    Platforms: PC, 360, PS3
    Song: Make it Bun Dem
    Composer: Skrillex (feat. Damian Marley)
    Where it plays: The famous weed burning mission!
    Why it’s great: I know it’s a stereotype of reggae being a stoners soundtrack, but seriously, what better song would have suited being given a flamethrower and being tasked with burning down 5 fields of marijuana whilst progressively getting high as a consequence? Exactly. It’s perfect.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TM6TCGltfHM
    Game: Lumines: Electronic Symphony
    Platform: PS Vita
    Song: Bang Bang Bang
    Composer: Mark Ronson & The Business Intl
    Where it plays: During the stage/skin ‘Bang Bang Bang’
    Why it’s great: The Lumines series is famed for it’s awesome music and Electronic Symphony, to me, was kinda losing that reputation until this track started up. Faith in series; restored! It’s a great pop song, long and far between as they are.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_jlDzIAlzU
    Game: SSX
    Platform: PS3, 360
    Song: Its Tricky (Pretty Lights SSX Remix)
    Composer: Run DMC/Pretty Lights
    Where it plays: When in Super Tricky mode during any run!
    Why it’s great: It’s a homage to the series’ past, and the fact that they commissioned an updated version for this reboot just says loads. It’s amazing!

    I have a few more, but I have work to do!

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2wiskH1UE4c

    Game: Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War
    Platform: PS2
    Song: “Zero”
    Composer: Keiki Kobayashi, Hiroshi Okubo, Tetsukazu Nakanishi, Junichi Nakatsuru;
    Where it plays: It’s the theme song and plays during mission 18
    Why it’s great: Epic climax that definitely suits you soaring above the clouds unleashing a blaze of fury at your enemies

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2yTsbN9BqmY
    Game: Shadow of The Colossus
    Platform: PS2/PS3
    Song: To The Ancient Land (Intro Theme)
    Composer: Kow Otani
    Where it plays: As soon as you boot up the game (Intro theme)
    Why it’s great: Epic orchestral soundtrack. This song kicks it off and really helps to deliver the atmosphere of what is arguably PS2’s best game!

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1s-eCBVedw
    Game: WipEout HD (FURY Expansion)
    Platform: PS3
    Song: Fury menu music (no title)
    Where it plays: Menu
    Why it’s great: Think of the word ‘Fury’… Ok, now listen to this background music. Can you tell the difference? No, I didn’t think so. The best bass and beat I’ve ever heard in a video game, and by far my favorite menu music. Can’t believe I forgot it.

  • The first I thought of had already been done. So I’ll Copy and Paste (Thanks Nexi)
    —this is courtesy of Nexi—
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6ljFaKRTrI
    Game: Portal
    Platform: PS3
    Song: Still Alive
    Composer: Jonathan Coulton
    Where it plays: Credits
    Why it’s great: If I need to answer this one, then let me be the first to welcome you to the internet!
    —the end of Nexi copy paste—

    I didn’t play it on console. I played it on PC. But it covers console so nyah..
    HOWEVER, I propose an entire game soundtrack.
    Stubbs the Zombie.
    Released 2005 on XBox.

  • http://freebirdgames.bandcamp.com/album/to-the-moon-ost
    Game: To the Moon
    Platform: PC
    Song: Main Theme, For River, Everything’s Alright
    Composer: Kan Gao
    Where it plays: Different points in the game. All so poignant.
    Why it’s great: The game is essentially an interactive novel, and the songs MAKE the mood. I don’t think I would have enjoyed it half as much without the music. By the time we got to Everything’s Alright, I may or may not have had a tear or two pricking my eyes.

  • Hmmm I reckon my favourite game music if the generation was the soundtrack to Crysis 2. Especially the music in between online matches

    Also Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker has the best rendition of the series’ theme to date

    http://youtu.be/OIvdj2dwfxE

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qo3VAltxlr8
    Game: Skyrim
    Platform: PC, PS3, X360
    Song: Streets of Whiterun
    Composer: Jeremy Soule
    Where it plays: Whiterun, etc
    Why it’s great: The most evocative and atmospheric piece in the Skyrim soundtrack, and that’s saying something.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8cELTdtw6U
    Game: Bastion
    Platform: XBLA, PC, Mac, Linux, etc
    Song: Build That Wall
    Composer: Darren Korb
    Where it plays: Prosper Bluff
    Why it’s great: There the Kid hears something he ain’t heard in a long while.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mEgE5z6Sl7Y
    Game: Assassin’s Creed II
    Platform: PC/PS3/X360
    Song: Ezio’s Family
    Composer: Jesper Kyd
    Where it plays: A version of this plays over the title sequence, and in other parts of the story.
    Why it’s great: The AC series has some great music, but this is the song most closely associated with Ezio and his story, and is the most iconic song of AC2, the strongest game in the series.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_kPyGvqNn4Y
    Game: Portal 2
    Platform: PC, Mac, PS3, X360
    Song: Cara Mia, or more commonly the “Turret Opera”
    Composer: Mike Morasky
    Where it plays: At the end
    Why it’s great: You think you’ve been playing a comedy game, but then Valve hits you right in the feels.

  • This is cheating, since this is a DS game. But I would like to nominate “Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Darkness and Time.” This is one of the saddest games I have ever played. This is an incredibly underrated game. Sure, the gameplay was sort of mediocre and a tad too difficult, but it had a magnificent story and soundtrack.

    I don’t want to say goodbye:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMApAZsbZwY

    It also has one of the greatest final battle themes out there

    Primal Dialga:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61oFE03ZFAY

    Sacrifice:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rP_AUhCJP6I

    (Note: The fact that sacrifice and primal dialga sound similar is a deliberate and brilliant design choice, if you have played it you will see why)

    (Note: Do not hold me responsible for the spoilers that may/may not be in YouTube comments)

  • Game: Minecraft
    Platform: PC, Xbox 360, Coming to PS4 and Vita
    Song: Calm 1.ogg and Far
    Composer: C418
    Where it plays: Random, Music Disk
    Why it’s great: Calm 1 gives off a feeling of nostalgia, sadness and pride, perfect for remembering your countless adventures and lost worlds in Minecraft, a mixture of pure bliss and real sadness. Far is one of the most beautiful songs I have ever herd, with an oriental and simplistic feel. Amazing.
    (Mentions to ”Mall” and ”Wait”, also great Minecraft songs)

    Game: Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
    Song: Ballad of the Goddess
    Where it plays: Various
    Why it’s great: This song just gets me pumped every time! In some ways Skyward Sword was a letdown(far from a bad game though), but this song still gives me the chills and gets me excited!

    Game: Fallout New Vegas
    Song: Basically the Whole Soundtrack
    Composer: Various
    Where It Plays: Radio New Vegas
    Why it’s great: The entire New Vegas Radio playlist is a mixx of 50’s/60’s and other such styled songs. Each one has it’s own feel to it. Traversing the Wasteland at sunset with ”In The Shadow of the Valley” playing is an oddly profound experience, and planning to take out some Legionnaires while watching with ”Big Iron” playing is one of the best moments in the series. There’s jsut too many songs to choose from, it’s an awesome soundtrack <3

    Game: Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
    Song: Far Horizons
    Composer: Jeremy Soule
    Where it plays: Exploration
    Why it’s great: The beautiful french horn at the beginning opens this atmospheric peice, and walking through the snowy or rainy peaks of Skyrim to this is hauntingly beautiful 😛

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DuWfjtZRN6w
    Game: Fez
    Platform: XBLA, PC
    Song: Sync
    Composer: Disasterpeace
    Where it plays: Secret Level
    Why it’s great: No other game I have played incorporates music as sharply as this (maybe wind waker gets a mention). The music and level are just so intertwined it just blew me away the first time I witnessed it.

  • Game: Halo 2/3/4
    Platform: Xbox/360(sort of cheating?)
    Song: Never Forget/Unforgotten(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmuFBK26TtE [Halo 2/3] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5WqKJJrY6AM%5BHalo 4])
    Composer: Martin O’Donnel/Neil Davidge
    Where it plays: Various places throughout the games, most notably Halo 2 and 4s Credits.
    Why it’s great: This song is perhaps one of video gaming’s most beautiful pieces, almost bringing me to tears most times I hear it. (And ACTUALLY bringing me to tears at the end of Halo 4…) Ah, the memories. Probably biased with Halo being my favourite franchise…but still, beautiful music.

    Game: Spec Ops: The Line
    Platform: PS3/360/PC
    Song: The Battle(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eb7Uu6Bz_wM)
    Composer: ???
    Where it plays: Various battle moments towards the end of the game
    Why it’s great: The intensity and riffs of this song really do help to add a new feeling of desperation and feeling to the doomed conflict in Dubai, especially as Walker falls to pieces. Plus, dat guitar.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7j-wMHQbXjA
    Game: Xenoblade Chronicles.
    Platform: Nintendo Wii
    Song: Confrontation with the Enemy
    Composer: Yasunori Mitsuda
    Where it plays: During certain high tension cutscenes and battles, used in very key story moments.
    Why it’s great: Every time I hear it, it feels like I’m playing the game again, it was such an epic adventure and reliving it feels amazing.

  • Game: God of War series
    Platform: PS2-3
    Song: The whole soundtrack
    Composer: Numerous
    Where it plays: Whole series
    Why it’s great: What the PS2 generation games started no:3 on the PS3 finished epically. What the story of god of war lacks (which i love don’t get me wrong but by GoW: 3 its basically rawr Kratos smash) the music powers through. Tearing gods heads off needs epic head tearing music after all.

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