Find out which game soundtracks we love and why you should listen to them too.
Games are nothing without the music that comes with them. Whether it’s the soft strum of guitar strings, a heavy bass line, or the lightning fast beating of drums, music can make scenes, have you breaking down in others and enhance the overall experience to epic proportions. That’s why I am here to bring you Thumb-Culture’s list of our favourite 15 game soundtracks so you know just what album to download *cough, cough* I mean buy when you are looking for a new selection of music.
Now a lot of you may not have actually heard of Shatter – it’s a retro-inspired brick-breaking game available via PSN for PS3 and Steam for PC. Simple game, not so simple soundtrack. The soundtrack actually won quite a few awards including the ‘PSNstore.com’s Best Soundtrack of 2009′ and ‘Digital Download Game World’s Best Soundtrack of 2009.’ The electro rock retro inspired album is a great listen, it’s up-beat and its techno undertones will have you bobbing your head along with the beat to every track.
PRO EVOLUTION SOCCER 
A weird choice you may think? Well no, the soundtrack to Konami’s infamous football simulation – or at least the 6th version is amazing. I’m not really a fan of football games, but I do have the soundtrack to this bad-boy on my iPod. Why? Every track on the album may not be to everyone’s liking, but it’s mix of ambient jazz, funk and techno will have you relaxed and yet to revving to play the game. Give it a go, and tell me there isn’t at least a couple of songs you like.
Mirror’s Edge – who remembers that? One of the first games to be released on the PS3 its reception was mixed. However, one thing that everyone does agree upon is that it had some brilliant pieces of music. The game may not be a classic, but the soundtrack certainly is – ambient tones with a touch of chill out make the soundtrack perfect to just sit down, take a moment and relax.
GRAND THEFT AUTO: VICE CITY
GTA: Vice City was the first game to make use of a licensed soundtrack that really complimented its specific style of gameplay. The in-car radio filled your room with the sounds of famous 80s tracks by artists such as Michael Jackson and Blondie, while anthems like Cutting Crew’s Died in Your Arms, Mr. Mister’s Broken Wings, and the Outfield’s Your Love made you really feel like you were [or wished] you born in the eighties.
DEVIL MAY CRY 3
Now it’s not new news that the Devil May Cry series has some pretty amazing music [with the exception of DMC 4] but which game had the best soundtrack? Well Devil May Cry 3 stands out by far. Not only was it probably the best of all the games, it was accompanied by an astonishing soundtrack that made you tremble with excitement and anticipation. The mostly rock inspired album mixed with operatic tones never left you going ‘What the hell is that annoying sound in the background!’
FIGHT NIGHT CHAMPION
Fight Night is a boxing game, with an incredible soundtrack. I have to say, when I was playing, I was quite surprised at the selection of songs, and it soon became one of my favourite albums. Sports games are often riddled with songs that seem like they don’t belong, but in this…you really feel like a boxing champ. I recommend you turn the bass up for this track.
Metroid Prime is a first-person adventure game for the Nintendo Gamecube made back in the early 2000′s. Its success is well-known, and this was helped but it’s beautiful scored, moody soundtrack. Emotional, mind-blowing, amazing. Upon entering certain areas of the game, you would find yourself immersed in the story, stirred by the gloriously soothing and imaginative music. Definitely a must-have album.
SHADOW OF THE COLOSSUS
This action-adventure game by Sony is a classic PS2 game in some’s eyes, and completely forgettable in others. What is not forgettable is the effortlessly beautiful soundtrack that comes with it. It’s both dramatic and majestic, atmospheric and will give you the chills. It suited the game perfectly, every scene felt epic, every moment emotional, often overlooked as a game, the soundtrack should not be however.
Halo really needs no introduction, nor I’m sure does its soundtrack. It’s a hard choice, picking which Halo had the best soundtrack, but in the end No.3 stood out. The soundtrack took an epic leap from the last two installments, with some pieces of the game’s music produced with a much larger orchestra. Funnily enough, it was also the first Halo that let you replace in-game music with your own custom tunes, but who would want to do that when the music is so charming?
DRAGON AGE II
Everyone knows that RPG’s always have incredible soundtracks, well most of them anyway – and Dragon Age II is no exception. Though the game left quite a few disappointed, but all the more geared up for Skyrim, the soundtrack stood graceful and proud, it may even be more popular than the game itself. There are probably quite a few of you who think Dragon Age Origins had a better OST but never has a game [in my opinion] ever had a song more ‘mood setting’ then this, especially for a love-making scene. In fact, the entire album is filled with ‘mood setting’ songs.
DEUS EX: HUMAN REVOLUTION
Deus Ex: Human Revolution – when it comes to the soundtrack, ‘masterpiece’ is the phrase that comes to mind, amongst fantastic, amazing and several other pretty words. The main theme is merely the beginning of a monumental soundtrack that deserves just as much credit as the game. Extravagant, jaw-dropping, and will never get old.
SILENT HILL SERIES
The Silent Hill series is great, and is extremely well-known for its mood setting, gorgeous OST. To be honest, each soundtrack is so amazing it’s almost impossible to recommend just one installment, so instead I recommend that you take a look at them all. But to give you a taster, here’s a stunning song from the Silent Hill 2 OST.
ASSASSINS CREED 2
Assassin’s Creed 2 has one of the most exquisite soundtracks I have ever heard. There’s not a single moment that the soundtrack doesn’t perfectly suit the setting. Especially in those heart-wrenching moments. But it doesn’t just work in-game, but out of game too. Listen to the song beneath on the train, out shopping, eating – it will make all of those mundane things seem epic, whilst reminding you exactly what happened when this song was playing. I warn you…you may get emotional.
METAL GEAR SOLID SERIES
Oh yes, you didn’t think we’d leave this out did you? Who can blame us, the soundtracks that accompany the games are as legendary as the games themselves. Once again, no particular installment stands out amongst the others in the way of music, because they are all to good. So much thought and effort is put into each song, each piece representing a specific moment. Metal Gear Solid has the amazing ability to have you so deeply involved in the game, so immersed you feel you are really part of it, and this could not be done without the extraordinary music.
FINAL FANTASY SERIES
Ah, it just seems no one can beat the brilliance that is Final Fantasy when it comes to music. I mean, what would we do without the infamous Nobuo Uematsu and his gift for creating music that sweeps us off our feet every time? Notable soundtracks are those from Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy X, however, one that is over-looked is Final Fantasy: Crisis Core. In Crisis Core you took control of Zack Fair before he dies, and whilst you travel the emotional, roller-coaster ride of his story – every piece of music will set off a different emotion to go with the scene. It is one of the most beautiful, emotionally stirring albums I have ever had the pleasure of listening to. As Final Fantasy is our No.01 Game Soundtrack, here is two songs from Crisis Core for you.
PRICE OF FREEDOM:
UNDER THE APPLE TREE:
Picking your favourite game soundtrack is like…well picking your favourite game, and of-course there are far more game soundtracks we love that didn’t make this list. Honourable mentions go to:
Portal 2, Legend of Mana, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Mario, Streets of Rage 2, Ridge Racer, Batman: Arkham City, R:Racing, Chrono Trigger, Fallout 3, Sword and Sorcery and a load more.
All in all, there are just too many games with priceless soundtracks, but at least you will never run out of good music.