In the vast realm of video games, certain soundtracks have the extraordinary power to transport me to otherworldly dimensions. There are moments when the music resonates with me more deeply than the game itself. For true music enthusiasts, the origin of a melody—whether it arises from a movie, a game, or a concert—matters less than the emotional journey it evokes.
Games, in particular, boast an unparalleled ability to craft incredible musical experiences. As you immerse yourself in the gameplay, the music becomes more than a mere backdrop—it becomes a conduit for emotions and a repository of cherished memories. Video game music serves a dual purpose: to enhance concentration and stir emotions, making the gaming experience truly unforgettable.
Navigating through the extensive universe of video games to uncover the most exceptional soundtracks can be a daunting task. In this article, I present to you the 10 best video game soundtracks that possess the rare quality of making you yearn for the game long after you’ve put down the controller. These musical masterpieces have the enchanting ability to draw you back into the virtual worlds they accompany, fostering a connection that transcends the pixels on the screen.
Assassin’s Creed 2, Ezio’s Family
Ezio’s Family is undeniably one of the finest video game soundtracks you’ll ever experience. It gracefully weaves a melody that resonates with the charm of a classic film song, though with a heightened quality that amplifies its emotional impact. The game adeptly captures the nostalgia of a bygone era, immersing the listener in a flood of cherished memories.
Back then, spending hours playing the Assassin’s Creed game in solitary exploration was a great time, offering a deep insight into the narrative the game creator meticulously developed. The soundtrack of Assassin’s Creed was, without a doubt, one of the best things that happened to the gaming genre. It added a layer of emotion and depth that made the gaming experience truly unforgettable.
Little Big Planet 2, Victoria’s Laboratory
There are numerous people who have played the game 24/7 and know how beautiful the music felt back then. The soundtrack has a slightly eerie vibe, but it possesses its own unique charm that resonates with the listener. The gradual progression from silence to a powerful guitar riff adds to its allure.
Upon listening to it for the first time, the song stands out, feeling even better than most popular songs of today. It holds a special place in players’ memories, with some recalling specific moments like the unplugging of the giant machine in the game Little Big Planet 2. This song not only enhances the gaming experience but also becomes a soundtrack to cherished in-game memories.
God of War Soundtrack
The specific song is named ‘God of War Ragnarok.’ The sound feels like listening to an epic composition by Beethoven, creating an immersive and powerful experience. The God of War soundtrack is not just uplifting; it gives you a special boost of adrenaline, almost like being infused with testosterone when you listen to it. It’s an experience that transcends typical game soundtracks, making it extremely motivating.
Back then, God of War was not just a popular video game; it was a phenomenon. The game was known for its brutal gameplay and featured some of the best boss fights in gaming history. Each part of the game had its unique perk—some had the best storytelling, some had engaging gameplay, and some had the most memorable soundtrack. ‘God of War Ragnarok’ was a standout in the latter category, leaving players with a lasting impression of the epic journey they undertook.
Nier: Automata, City Ruins
It’s a definitive pleasure to hear beautiful music, and the Nier: Automata soundtrack is truly exceptional. Much like J.R.R. Tolkien, the composer ingeniously crafted a new language exclusively for the game, adding a layer of depth and uniqueness to the musical experience. The specific song in focus is the haunting theme of the Ruined City, which skillfully captures a dystopian feel, immersing the listener in the atmospheric melancholy of the game world.
What adds to the enchantment is the fact that the vocals on the soundtrack are a product of a made-up language, drawing inspiration from old Gaelic, as shared by the composer. This intentional linguistic creation is aimed at delivering an ethereal quality, as if the voices themselves are akin to that of angels, enhancing the immersive and otherworldly ambience of Nier: Automata.
Genshin Impact, Fontaine Soundtrack
People widely acclaim this game as the greatest Archon quest to date. Throughout the entire Genshin Impact experience, players are treated to one of the most captivating soundtracks in gaming. The Fontaine soundtrack, in particular, exudes an orchestral grandeur. The haunting melodies of the violin in the background infuse a pure classical essence, creating an epic ambiance that enhances both gameplay and the listening experience.
What makes Genshin Impact even more extraordinary is the distinct sound associated with each region. Fontaine is just one example, with Sumeru and Inazuma contributing their own exceptional soundtracks to the game. Each musical piece is not just a composition; it’s a meticulously crafted work of art, providing players with a beautifully immersive and surreal vibe throughout their gaming journey.
Horizon Forbidden West, Aloy’s theme
Some soundtracks have the power to stay with you forever, and Aloy’s theme from Horizon Forbidden West is precisely that kind of music. Its pleasing melodies will linger in your mind until the end of time. The game combines two themes, one ancient and one modern, blending them seamlessly to enhance the synergy in the gameplay. Aloy’s theme perfectly aligns with her mission of conquering the unknown land.
Aloy’s theme also exudes a heroic quality. The song starts slow and mysterious, mirroring the gameplay and imparting a sense of purpose to the player. Tribal elements in the sound, coupled with a hint of synth wave, contribute to the overall atmosphere. The music of Horizon Forbidden West can undoubtedly be considered one of the best game soundtracks, making it an integral part of the game’s immersive experience.
Instrument of Surrender: Disco Elysium
The richness of horns in the soundtrack has never been this beautiful. The song is melancholic, giving a feeling of strolling through a ghost town, reminiscent of the aftermath of multiple attempts at achieving something, each ending in failure. The creator of Disco Elysium should be proud of crafting such a beautiful soundtrack.
Another wonderful song in Disco Elysium is the Joyce music and the church theme. The church theme, called ‘Saint-Brune 1147’ on the official Disco Elysium album, has a strong impact. Playing this game feels like diving into a good book where you’re taken to a different world. The music in Disco Elysium is well-made, making the game even more enjoyable.
Final Fantasy XV
The soundtrack ‘Veiled in Black’ stands as one of Yoko Shimomura’s masterpieces, particularly known for its uplifting and intense battle music used in the game. Across the entire Final Fantasy franchise, Final Fantasy XV, in particular, shines with the best soundtrack. The music kicks off with a powerful blast, and its catchy and satisfying essence consistently draws me back to it.
In Final Fantasy XV, the ‘Veiled in Black’ soundtrack shares similarities with Kingdom Hearts, another iconic series also composed by Shimomura. However, it carries a distinctive epic battle feel that adds a unique flavour to the Final Fantasy universe. Yoko Shimomura’s reputation as one of the best game composers is well-earned, with some of her greatest work showcased not only in Kingdom Hearts but also in Street Fighter and, notably, Final Fantasy XV.
The Last Of Us, the Main theme
Well, it’s this soundtrack that keeps drawing me back to the game. The song is beautifully crafted and fits seamlessly into the storytelling of the game. There are very few games with the best narration, and this game is one of them. Strangely, the soundtrack reminds me of the movie ‘The Godfather.’ Even when I’m not playing the game, I can listen to this masterpiece for hours.
The composer of this theme is Gustavo Santaolalla. One beautiful aspect of this game’s soundtrack is that there are users who keep returning to the music, even if they’ve never played the game. The track is a moment of peace and calm amidst the chaos, easily surpassing the best soundtracks out there.
Silent Hill 2, Betrayal
When life is full of suffering, this is the only soundtrack that can push you through. The atmosphere created by the ‘Betrayal’ soundtrack from Silent Hill 2 is brilliant and stands as a modern masterpiece. This soundtrack mirrors life, where things are not fair, heartbreaks occur, and suffering persists. The mood it creates is dark and mysterious, and somehow, I feel this track gives off a Black metal vibe.
Despite its tragic nature, the song also carries an industrial feel. The composer of the track ‘Betrayal’ is Akira Yamaoka. The sound is beyond beautiful, although tense and a little creepy. The continuation of this sound leads to another beautiful track called ‘Blank Fairy.’
Akira Yamaoka has done beautiful work on the entire Silent Hill 2 album. The theme of Laura is equally beautiful as well.