I’m a firm believer that music really does make or break a game. You can have an amazing game, but the wrong soundtrack can change it from a great experience to one that’s merely “OK.”. I love music, particularly video game soundtracks. They can set the mood, get you pumped, give you a good scare and even make you tear up. That’s why I’m going to share some of my favorite video game soundtracks. Keep in mind that music is all about taste. My preferences may not be the same as yours, so feel free to share your favorite game tunes in the comments. These are some games and game series that have some great original soundtracks (in no particular order).
The Castlevania series
Ever since I was a little kid playing my old NES, I was a fan of the super difficult Castlevania series. What always stood out was the music in those games. There were always one or two songs that would be so catchy, it would be stuck in your head for days on end. Vampire Killer, Bloody Tears, Tragic Prince, and Beginning are just a few of the classic songs that set Castlevania’s mood and reoccurring themes throughout 20 years of games. Symphony of the Night’s composer Michiru Yamane wrote some fantastic songs for the game. It was the first game to start the trend of mixing classical tones with hard rock. I mean, just listen to the awesomeness coming from Tragic Prince.
The Mega Man series
You knew I was going to bring this series up. There’s a reason. Practically every Mega Man game that has been released has had an amazing soundtrack. Mega Man is called Rockman in Japan. There’s a reason why. Its music is so popular, remixes can be found everywhere. Even going back to the older games at 26 years old, I still whistle the tunes of Mega Man 3. Even the 10 second looped stage select music is great.
Super Meat Boy
Amazingly, a rather new game is on my list of favorites. Danny Baranowsky’s mix of 8-bit sounds with drums and guitar really makes this game’s soundtrack shine. He released the soundtrack, which is comprised of over 70 tracks, as an album. For a game like Super Meat Boy where you’ll be spending a lot of time on just one level, the music had better be great if you want your players to keep moving forward. Luckily, the Original Soundtrack (OST) is fantastic, so there’s one less thing to worry about.
The Persona series
This is another series I have fallen in love with over the years, not just for its unique story telling and game play mechanics, but also for its soundtrack. Persona 3 and Persona 4 have a very unique soundtrack that you don’t see too much in other games. They use Japanese Pop and Japanese Rock influences for their all-original songs. They’re so popular in Japan that they even have concerts for just the soundtracks. Sure, the music may not be in everyone’s wheelhouse, but even a guy like me that listens to heavy metal can get down on something like this.