A good soundtrack can make or break a game. It can create a mood and further express feeling and emotion. Some games are defined by their soundtrack and without it they just wouldn’t be the same.
There are of course examples where a bad them song or soundtrack can ruin a game, you can find some of histories shockers here, although I’d personally like to add Sonic Adventure 2 to that list. Choosing just 5 out of the many thousands of games I’ve played is a hard task but the most memorable made the grade.
1. Jet Set Radio Future
Just edges out Jet Set Radio although both are near perfect. The tracks are loud, bold and brash and will have you ‘humming the bassline’ with absolutely no shame. JSRF was defined by its style and without its soundtrack would not have had such a positive reception. It was the reason I picked up an Xbox in the first place and it didn’t disappoint. My favorite track is ‘Aisle 10’ or ‘Like this Like that’. Wild and wonderful!
2. Halo 2
One of the standout theme songs of recent video game times. Love it or hate it the game was worth buying for the brilliance of the theme song alone. The mix of gregorian chanting building up to a epic guitar solo had me in awe and really bettered the original. Other notable songs include ‘Blow me Away’ by Breaking Benjamin. The presence of Martin O’Donnell was notably missing in the inferior Halo 4, hopefully 343 will get their act together in the next Halo.
3. Red Dead Redemption
Red Dead Redemption took us all by surprise back in 2010. Part of its appeal was undoubtedly its soundtrack. It did what many have failed to do before it by providing evocative, co-ordinated backing music that will really stick with the gamer. If you enjoyed the game as much as me then try playing it on mute, you’ll see the impact it has on both story telling and what you feel playing it.
4. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time
Probably a lot of debate whether or not this is the best in the series but Zelda delivers a poignant, unmistakable sound with every game. No other game can set a mood with music like Zelda can, from the urgency created from the uptempo boss battles to the inspiring theme song Zelda is an experience like no other. Listening to the soundtrack again is an emotional, thought provoking experience and is not to be missed.
5. Chrono Trigger
Unforgettable and timeless. Even with the obvious limitations of the SNES this soundtrack is a huge winner. Sometimes haunting, sometimes uplifting, it makes up for the graphical limitations by expressing itself with the music. Soundtracks are not made like this any more, despite the huge orchestral productions of newer games this simple gem has stood the test of time.
Obviously not everyone will agree with these games. ‘Everyone has an opinion’ and I would love to here yours!