(some of) The Best Music in Videogames

[UPDATE – 16/05/2014] – You can now find most of these on my new Spotify playlist. They are not all there, some are not available on Spotify, and some are only available in really bad covers which I have ignored. Thos that are there are not necessarily the originals. Videogame music availability on Spotify seems patchy at best! I shall be adding to this when I write part two of this blog post. Eventually.

[ORIGINAL BLOG POST – APRIL 2014] – This will be a blog short on words, high on listening.

The inspiration for this comes from the fact that a large proportion of the mucic I seem to listen to these days is that from videogames. In fact, right now I am listening to a Spotify playlist put together by the Facebook page ‘Get Video Games into the Classic FM Hall of Fame‘. The playlist can be found here, for those that are interested. They are on Twitter too, here.

What made me choose today to write this, though, is that Classic FM are counting down their Hall of Fame again. So it seemed kind of appropriate. Over the last few years a number of videogame tracks have made it in there, a couple of which are included here; hopefully this trend will continue as there are some very worthy pieces of music.

What I include here may not necessarily fit with what Classic FM are looking for and, certainly, my criteria are not quite the same as theirs. I am basing my judgements on: A) is it a cool piece of music, i.e. does it just sound good, and B) does it fit the game from which it comes, does it enhance what you feel about that game or, even, a particular scene within the game.

This list is not exhaustive, it couldn’t be, but should hopefully give a good overview of soem of the best music gaming has to offer. It also includes no licensed tracks. Only tracks that were written specifically for their respective games.I am also attempting to stick to one track per game/franchise. Otherwise it would probably end up being nothing but Final Fantasy 7. I would be that bias, I openly admit it.

Skyrim Theme – Jeremy Soule

Close your eyes, turn the volume up, and just soak it in.

Aerith’s Theme – Nobuo Uematsu

Crying yet?

Escape From the City – Ted Poley and Tony Harnell

The first game for my Dreamcast. The best game for my Dreamcast. I definitely do not also own the Gamecube and Xbox 360 updates to this …

The Poet and the Muse – Old Gods of Asgard (Poets of the Fall in disguise)

Plays a part in the story of the best horror game on Xbox 360. I urge you toheck out the whole soundtrack.

Halo Theme (Mjolnir Mix) – Martin O’Donnell and Michael Salvatori

This is Halo in one track.

Icarus (Main Theme) – Michael McCann

Mixes old world and future world perfectly; much like the cyber-punk design aesthetic of Deus Ex: Human Revolution itself.

Lums of the Water (Glou Glou) – Christophe Héral

Captures the feeling of Rayman Origins underwater sections perfectly. Also check out ‘Land of the Livid Dead’. The level to which may inspire me to write a ‘Best Levels in Videogames’.

Police Station, Main Hall – Masami Ueda, Shusaku Uchiyama and Shun Nishigaki

This is as much ambience as it is music, but it most certainly has the palpable sense of dread required of Resident Evil 2.

Silent Hill Theme – Akira Yamaoka

If this doesn’t send shiversdown your spine then you clearly do not have a spine.

Snake Eater – Norihiko Hibino

This is what happens when you let Hideo Kojima and Metal Gear Solid near a Bond theme.

Hell March – Frank Klepacki

Perfectly named. The sort of intro song that stops you from pressing start.

Gerudo Valley – Koji Kondo

I didn’t go for the obvious one here. Brilliantly conjures up images of our hero battling through sandstorms to carry out his quest.

Donkey Kong Country Returns (Menu Theme) – Kenji Yamamoto

Fits the jungle vibe of the DKC series perfectly. I challenge you not to have a little boogi to yourself.


So, there is my list. It is longer than I had planned. And there is no Mario! I think a ‘part two’ is going to have to happen at some stage.

What do you think? Is this a fair collection? What would you have chosen? What could I add in next time?

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