Like a movie soundtrack, the music playing while you explore enchanted lands or blast away alien enemies in a video game sets the tone and propels the story forward. To celebrate this art form, we’ve compiled a list of the best video game soundtracks of all time.
1. Journey (2012)
One of the few video game soundtracks nominated for a Grammy award, Austin Wintory’s cello-driven orchestrations might be the greatest video game music of all time. This adventure game soundtrack emanates Eastern influences and angelic vocals, adapting to the player’s movements and adding an interactive element.
2. Minecraft (2011)
German composer C418, also known as Daniel Rosenfeld, created an otherworldly instrumental soundtrack for Minecraft that mirrors the freedom and creativity of the game and pays homage to the 8-bit game era.
3. Chrono Trigger (1995)
When it comes to retro video game soundtracks, the complex electronic compositions of Yasunori Mitsuda and Nobuo Uematsu are a perfect match for the intricate storyline of this classic 16-bit role-playing game (RPG).
4. Final Fantasy VI (1994)
Regarded as one of the greatest roleplay games ever for its in-depth narrative, Final Fantasy VI also has stellar music backing it. Composer Nobuo Uematsu outdid himself with this awe-inspiring soundtrack, elevating every scene from action to romance.
5. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (1998)
Composer Koji Kondo’s impressive discography shines with classical string and woodwind instrumentals, inspiring you as you journey through the land of Hyrule to defeat the evil wizard.
6. Bastion (2011)
Rebuilding your world after the apocalyptic “Calamity” is all the more entertaining with Darren Korb’s marriage of folk and country music and hip-hop beats. This iconic soundtrack mimics emotions like despair and hope as the story progresses.
7. Persona 5 (2016)
Shoji Meguro takes this spirited RPG to another level with a lively funk foundation infused with operatic, pop, rock and 8-bit game electronic tones.
8. Doom (2016)
A brutal game demands an equally brutal soundtrack. Mick Gordon’s hard-hitting industrial hard rock and metal arrangements set the scene as you rip through demonic aliens in this first-person shooter (FPS) action game.
9. Halo 2 (2004)
Epic orchestral instrumentals peppered with 90s hard rock and metal featuring guitar legend Steve Vai make these Michael Salvatore and Martin O’Donnell compositions the perfect backdrop for this action-packed FPS game.
10. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 (2000)
Punk, rock and hip-hop collide as you pop, flip and grind your way through multiple levels and park goals to this soundtrack compilation featuring artists like Bad Religion, Rage Against the Machine, Anthrax and Public Enemy.
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As one of the most-loved record and game stores in Milwaukee for over 50 years, Record Head sells, buys and trades a broad range of records, CDs, video games and more. Browse our vast catalog of soundtracks today or contact our game and music buffs to find your favorites.