Best Video Game Soundtracks is a blog post about the best video game soundtracks that the entire family can enjoy. This blog is dedicated to providing a download option for any video game that you might want to listen to while you’re out there playing.
Best Video Game Soundtracks
1. Minecraft – C418
When Daniel Rosenfeld (C418) and Markus Persson (Notch) were producing music for and developing Minecraft, you had to wonder whether they had any idea what they were getting into. With over 230 million purchases, it’s challenging to think of any game with as many human hours carefully put into it as Minecraft.
It’s also challenging to envision people returning for thousands and thousands of hours without C418’s exquisite, delicate tunes soundtrack their construction experiences. The OST was always there to make the experience that little bit more unique, whether the player was scrounging for gems, avoiding creepers, or just sitting for a minute and taking in the pixellated sceneries.
C418 was influenced by ambient legends such as Brian Eno and Aphex Twin, and today’s video game soundtrack composer stands beside them as one of the few who succeeded in introducing ambient music to the mainstream.
2. Final Fantasy VI – Nobuo Uematsu
What can be said that hasn’t been saying a million times before? Any list of all-time top video game soundtracks that does not include Final Fantasy music is just absurd. The series is renowned for its epic narrative, and its music is at the center of its love, conflict, and technological sagas.
When the characters in the series were nothing more than randomly organized groups of pixels, the music provided a doorway into the world’s spirit. Final Fantasy VI offers one of the series’ most poignant (and sad) tales. Longstanding composer Nobuo Uematsu didn’t skip a beat, producing a renowned symphony of startling resonance and emotional range.
3. Ico – Michiru Oshima
Sony has always been on the cutting edge of bridging the gap between video games and film. Their first-party releases often strive to present an emotionally engaging tale, and they spare no cost. Music certainly plays a huge part. Therefore it’s no wonder that many of their titles have gone to the top of this list.
Despite being one of the earlier instances, Ico demonstrates how engaging this principle can be when performed effectively. Ico is often seen as a notable example of ‘video games as art,’ blazing a trail that many have since attempted to follow.
Michiru Oshima’s music is crucial in this scene and, despite its restraint, effectively displays the power of music in video games. This soothing video game soundtrack is as good as it gets!
4. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – Manaka Kataoka, Hajime Wakai, Yasuaki Iwata
While maintaining faithful to its origins, both The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild game and soundtrack dared to push new limits rather than reinvigorate an already well-worn property. The piano tone alone is enough to evoke feelings of nostalgia and gladness. It has some of the most pleasing background music for gaming videos we’ve ever heard!
The music perfectly represents the game’s fresh new universe as you gallop over windswept plains and parachute into the skies by embracing elements of ambiance and simplicity. This was a whole new Zelda, a bold new Link, and a superb reimagining of timeless classics.
5. Silent Hill 2 – Akira Yamaoka
The work of Akira Yamaoka on the Silent Hill series is famous. His music remained fantastic even when the games failed to live up to the promise. This makes picking just one game for this list difficult, but we believe Silent Hill 2 has some of the finest tunes for gaming.
Yamaoka developed a striking fusion of two of his main inspirations, Trent Reznor and David Lynch’s legendary composer Angelo Badalamenti, by trading part of the previous game’s rough industrial façade for something more frightening. A work of extraordinary ingenuity that has been mimicked but never exceeded.
6. The Last of Us – Gustavo Santaolalla
While The Last of Us is primarily regarded as a gaming classic, Gustavo Santaolalla’s somber music deserves special mention. The heartbreaking cello solos, earthy percussion, and nylon-plucked guitar lines instill an emotional intensity that should be required for all post-apocalyptic games and gaming playlists.
Like the most refined modern composers, Santaolalla utilizes a remarkable sense of restraint. The actual horror sensation here is brought about by the quiet—one of the finest video game soundtracks ever created, followed by another magnificent effort in the sequel.
7. Super Mario Bros. – Koji Kondo
One of the most incredible examples of “less is more” in the history of composition and video game themes, Koji Kondo was inspired to create melodies that had to be instantly attention-grabbing, not to mention as catchy as they come, due to the limited amount of audio memory allowed on NES cartridges.
Kondo also oversaw the game’s sound design, which meant that, in addition to the Overworld Theme, he developed the now-iconic sounds of coins, bricks, power-ups, and invincibility stars, all of which remain essential threads in the Mario tapestry.
8. Hotline Miami – Various Artists
Calling the Hotline Miami, a cornerstone of synth-wave history, isn’t even selling itself short. Bringing genre stalwarts like Pertubator and M|O|O|N together and crushing them into a soundtrack that was nothing but pedal to the metal was pure brilliance.
With this great soundtrack as a background, Hotline Miami leaned on fast automobiles, macho letterman jackets, bikies, and violent clichés. It’s a cult favorite still holds up its end of the bargain today. If there were a video game music radio station, these songs would be played nonstop!
9. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time – Koji Kondo
Between Ocarina of Time, Super Mario Bros., Star Fox, and a slew of other games, it isn’t easy to distinguish Nintendo from MVP composer Koji Kondo. Throughout the years, he never failed to put together simply infectious tunes – the kind of sequences that would make envious even the most famous pop performers.
Ocarina of Time featured two soundtracks: the exuberant, happy-go-lucky exploits of young Link and the frequently solemn tunes that arose in the impoverished Hyrule that an adult Link was destined to rescue.
The melodies created for the game’s various characters and zones were frequently musically related to the introductory notes players would learn on Link’s ocarina. This music brought the game to life like few others in history, creating tiny brain connections between the characters and locations – often before you even realized they were there.
10. Bastion – Darren Korb
Supergiant Games is more popular now that the world has fallen in love with Hades. Bastion, a lonely, gorgeous, and masterfully soundtracked action game published in 2011 was their debut.
Darren Korb’s music for Bastion is packed with tunes that skirt the boundaries between optimism, adventure, and misery and is peppered with the excellent voice performance of Logan Cunningham as the game’s grizzled narrator.
11. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 – Various Artists
Setting ground principles is essential when compiling a list of all-time top video game soundtracks. Some members of our editorial team were hesitant to include games that relied on music curation over unique soundtracks. What wasn’t debatable was that if we did, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 would be at the pinnacle of such games.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 established the standard for prepared video game playlists, with tunes from punk (Millencolin), hip-hop (Mos Def, Public Enemy), and metal (Anthrax, Rage Against the Machine). Its authenticity drew real-life skaters in and influenced the preferences of a generation of gamers.
12. Halo 2 – Michael Salvatore, Martin O’Donnell
Whereas Halo: Combat Evolved changed what a first-person shooter might be, its music did the same. Following the triumph of Microsoft and Bungie’s era-defining masterwork, they smacked us all with yet another perfect game.
Like Terminator 2: Judgement Day, The Matrix Reloaded, or Aliens, Halo 2 dialed up the ante on everything that made the series’ original entry legendary. The action, technology, soundtrack, and money – particularly the budget – increased, and Halo became a cultural icon.
Composers Michael Salvatore and Martin O’Donnell returned for the Halo 2 OST, but this time they were accompanied by famed producer Nile Rogers and a 50-person orchestra. Not to mention Steve Vai, the genuine guitar god responsible for the guitars added to Halo 2’s updated rock ‘n’ roll Halo Theme.
Read also: Is Halo Infinite Cross Platform? Tips Full Guide 2022
13. Persona V – Shoji Meguro
Persona V’s music is utterly insane, much like the game with it. Seriously, it doesn’t add up even if you attempt to write everything down like I am doing right now. Nonetheless, it’s a fantastic illustration of the power of thinking beyond the box, and it deserves to be considered one of the most original video game soundtracks in recent years.
Its distinct identity is a synthesis of apparently incongruous components. Funk, jazz, opera, pop, 8-bit video game music, and rock all occur – sometimes in the same tune. It’s a lot to take in, yet its ingenuity is unparalleled for the initiated.
14. DOOM (2016) – Mick Gordon
In retrospect, the inhumanly flawless combination of Mick Gordon’s music with id Software’s DOOM is an experience unlike any other. The thunderous drumming and shredding solos on 8-string guitars blend beautifully with the testosterone-charged gore-fest performing the Slayer.
DOOM, a breakthrough smash of the 2010s, was a wonderful homage to ’90s industrial rock while yet felt fresh and modern. The dynamic music is even more stunning since it was created in tandem with how each player experiences the game. As portions become dark, frightening, or outright violent, the music reflects and changes into grandiose structures.
15. Hollow Knight – Christopher Larkin
Hollow Knight is an unusual indie game. It’s a delight to look at, with charming character designs and fantastic backdrop artwork. However, a tremendous amount of sentiment is at the heart of the game’s setting and even its somewhat veiled tale. In the realm of video game theme tunes, this meditative sorrow is hugely shockingly moving.
I’m confident that the beautiful music of Australian composer Christopher Larkin is to blame. Although he is a relative novice compared to many others on our list, he is obviously on the rise – and is one of the significant reasons we can’t wait for Hollow Knight’s impending sequel, Silk song.
16. Jet Set Radio – Hideki Naganuma
Jet Set Radio was a neo-futuristic adventure in which players could ride through Tokyo, leaving a path of graffiti and blazing rhythms everywhere they walked, back when inline skates were hip as crap.
The soundtrack had some licensed tunes, but the main piece of history here is Hideki Naganuma’s unique compositions. These charged-up sounds, inspired by trip-hop, big beat, J-pop, and rave, made you feel like you were skating into the future.
17. Bloodborne – Cris Velasco, Michael Wandmacher, Yuka Kitamura, Ryan Amon, Nobuyoshi Suzuki, Tsukasa Saitoh
Silence is very crucial in Bloodborne. However, somewhat counterintuitively, it helps to highlight the game’s viscerally mesmerizing music. Many of the game’s most memorable scenes, including some horrific boss confrontations, are given additional weight by eerie chanting and choirs that erupt from unfathomable darkness.
Bloodborne ost is like bringing a kettle to a boil; the music is the steam that steadily builds until it explodes in a horrifying blast of sound and frenetic intensity. It’s crazily fantastic, and if you’re not cautious, you can find yourself wondering where your sanity has gone.
18. Legend of Mana – Yoko Shimomura
The Legend of Mana soundtrack is one of Yoko Shimomura’s most acclaimed achievements. The Japanese composer is responsible for some of the golden period’s most beautiful and sweeping video game soundtracks. However, western listeners may ignore her work because it lacks the Final Fantasy seal of approval.
Nonetheless, her work in this game varies between very catchy, energetic tunes that will have the player’s head bobbing along in no time and emotionally evocative symphonic compositions that provide a much-needed sense of story and purpose to the game. It’s flawless and dripping with magical beauty.
19. Dark Souls – Motoi Sakuraba
Motoi Sakuraba’s superb music was most likely the only thing that held a player’s sanity together when they first experienced Dark Souls. Sakuraba created 31 pieces of music that were both stunning and terrifying.
While the Dark Souls 3 soundtrack is a close second, here is when the tone for the horrific fantasy of Dark Souls was first correctly established.
20. Mass Effect – Jack Wall, Sam Hulick
Few games have succeeded in creating a universe as complex, fully out, and mysterious as Mass Effect. The game instantly transports players to our world in the year 2183, when humanity has met extraterrestrial cultures, great moral quandaries, and sci-fi intrigue.
The Mass Effect OST, composed by Jack Wall and Sam Hulick with contributions by Richard Jacques, David Kates, and Faunts, was the ideal companion to the gaming world on offer; mysterious, futuristic, and cinematic all at the same time.
21. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City – Various Artists
Music, notably the revolutionary radio system, plays a significant role in fleshing out the Grand Theft Auto series’ in-game settings. Everything from the outrageous radio DJs to the excellent music selection combines to immerse the player in a fictitious metropolis ruled by adventure, crime, and larger-than-life personalities.
What distinguishes and elevates GTA Vice City from its siblings is simple: the ’80s, baby. While previous editions of the game tended to lean towards the music is a player option’ paradigm, the Vice City team recognized that music was critical to their quest for nostalgia-laced environment creation. It’s also jam-packed with bangers.
22. Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty – Harry Gregson-Williams, Norihiko Hibino
Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima has a long history of using music and sound to create dramatic effects. Throughout the Metal Gear Solid series, he has experimented with many action genres in terms of gameplay mechanics and music associated with the such genre.
Although set in the twenty-first century, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty is inspired by blockbuster action films from the 1980s and 1990s, such as Michael Bay’s The Rock. To create a comparable sense of grandeur and intensity, Kojima enlisted the help of that film’s soundtrack producer (Harry Gregson-Williams).
It’s a terrific piece of work that loudly declares the game’s creative director’s cinematic ambitions and eventually succeeds in assisting him in realizing them.
23. Donkey Kong Country – David Wise
David Wise may make the unusual claim that he denied the great Koji Kondo a game credit. Or, more accurately, what he and Donkey Kong Country producers Rare provided to Nintendo were so appropriate for the SNES game that they couldn’t fathom anything else soundtracking it.
Wise was inspired by the sample-heavy songs of the early 1990s to create a soundtrack that became an immediate classic by chopping together bits of swing, conga, and natural noises. Try listening to Aquatic Ambience without decompressing a little… we’ll wait.
24. Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon – Power Glove
The soundtrack of Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, composed by Australian pair Power Glove, took the synthwave concept and amplified the intensity to levels appropriate for a game characterized by Ubisoft as “grab the lady, kill the bad guys, and rescue the planet.”
Players would hurl retro-futuristic weaponry and laser swords in a neon-lit world teeming with mecha-dragons as a part-human, part-machine super-soldier dubbed power. Power Glove delivered on the brief of pure cheesy music.
25. Super Metroid – Kenji Yamamoto, Minako Hamano
Super Metroid’s music may be easier to admire than adore, with its crackling feedback, deep synthesizer drones, and piercing stabs of melody. It’s a relic from another period, hampered in some ways by the technology of the time, yet it’s brimming with ingenuity and reverence in equal measure.
Super Metroid, undoubtedly inspired by Jerry Goldsmith’s theme for Alien, pushes the discomfort beyond its breaking point. However, the game’s music is elevated to something nearly as significant as the work that inspired it because of Yamamoto’s distinctive sound design, which is the result of Yamamoto working as both a sound programmer and a composer.
26. The Final Fantasy Series – Nobuo Uematsu (1987-)
Nobuo Uematsu, a Japanese video game composer, is undoubtedly the most well-known in the world and a legend in his own country because of his stirring music for the long-running Final Fantasy series. Uematsu’s scores are a staple throughout the series as players struggle through hazardous and magical landscapes. The compositions have grown so popular that Uematsu’s Final Fantasy pieces have sold out performances all over the globe.
27. Tetris – Alex Kostov, George Strezov arr. Korobeiniki
Classics don’t come much more significant than this in video games, but you may be surprised to find that it was inspired by a 19th-century Russian folk song called Korobeiniki. It’s fondly known as ‘The Tetris Song’ due to its tinny debut in Nintendo’s 1989 GameBoy masterpiece. Many of the world’s greatest orchestras, like the London Philharmonic and Germany’s WDR Funkhausorchester, have created superb orchestrated renditions of the song, which you can hear below.
28. Chrono Trigger – Yasunori Mitsuda
Yasunori Mitsuda allegedly worked so hard on Chrono Trigger’s music that he regularly passed out and finally developed a stomach ulcer and was hospitalized. That is devotion. The music for Chrono Trigger and its sequel, Chrono Cross, has been favorably received both in the concert hall and on the big screen. This is strong stuff, with world music influences and nearly Wagnerian dramatics.
29. Medal of Honor – Michael Giacchino
Michael Giacchino was commissioned to record a sufficiently cinematic soundtrack for Medal of Honor, which had a screenplay devised by none other than Steven Spielberg before he became a Hollywood composer in demand for his atmospheric themes for JJ Abrams. The primary theme is a half reverent song, part military march, as one could expect from a game depicting World War II.
30. Uncharted – Greg Edmonson
This action-adventure game’s ‘Nate’s Theme’ comes highly recommended. With a brass chorale sound and booming pounding, composer Greg Edmonson gives this brief piece a cinematic dynamic. Uncharted and its successors have received several honors and sold over 17 million copies.
The Final Fantasy
This list of the top video game soundtracks would be incomplete without Final Fantasy. I mention Final Fantasy because of how prolific the music is across the series.