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Top 25 Most Awesome Songs and Music From Video Games

Author:

Poppy is the author of "A Bard's Lament." She lives in Enoshima and likes to read novels and play video games, especially open-world RPGs.

There are many movies renowned for their accompanying theme music. The Harry Potter series, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Star Wars, and The Last Samurai are just a few examples. Video games also have some incredible soundtracks and are well remembered for them. They add emotion and excitement to any battle or cutscene, accompany us on those long journeys across the world, and stay with us and connect our memories to the story or nostalgia of playing them.

Here is a list of my top 25 soundtracks from great games, some of which are instantly known by players, and even recognised by non-players. They have been selected either for inducing emotions, being nostalgic or catchy, or for making us laugh.

Super Smash Bros. Roster

Super Smash Bros. Roster

25. "Original Theme" From Tetris (1984)

Tetris is a classic arcade game released as a classic arcade game and also on the Nintendo Game Boy, and it is still available as a mini-game for phones and even larger consoles today. The music is truly unforgettable, catchy, and exciting, which brings back fond memories for older gamers. If you don't know it, check it out! It's a real toe-tapper.

24. "Secunda" From The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (2011)

You are wandering through the world, perhaps along a river or through a forest, at night, millions of stars shining above you, on your way to complete your next quest. Then this music plays.

This is a truly gorgeous piece that goes perfectly with the wonder—and loneliness—of being the Dragonborn with the weight of the world on your shoulders.

23. "24-Hour Cinderella" From Yakuza 0 (2015)

Although the Yakuza game series is a serious crime drama, it nevertheless has many hilarious moments that reflect the Japanese sense of humour. Some comic relief in these otherwise serious storylines is pursuing the karaoke minigame, where some songs unlock funny cutscenes of the mafia members dancing and singing to the melodies in costume. "24-Hour Cinderella" is one of the best examples of this.

22. "Price of Honor" From Fallout 3 (2008)

Fallout 3 is a post-apocalyptic action-adventure game by Bethesda. Although more titles have been released since 3, this one remains my favourite and I have a lot of fond memories playing it.

One song that is particularly enjoyable is "Price of Honor," which has a heart-aching melody that conjures images of brave patriotism even when there is nothing much left of the ruined world in which they live. It tells the story of past soldiers desperately fighting, and the sadness of the carnage the war left behind. After all, war never changes.

21. "Beauty of Dawn" From The Elder Scrolls Online (2014)

The end credits song of The Elder Scrolls Online is sung by the talented Malukah. The gentle theme captures the mix of calm and battle as well as determination and hope. It's the perfect ending song to the game.

20. "Basement" From The Binding of Isaac (2011)

The Binding of Isaac is a classic cult indie game released in 2011 on Steam as a 2D PC game. Together with its creepy underlying meanings and adult themes, this game was accompanied by great music perfect for the atmosphere.

19. "Priscilla's Song" From The Witcher III: Wild Hunt (2015)

The Witcher III: Wild Hunt is considered one of the best dark fantasy video games of all time, and this bard song brought hundreds of players to tears with an elegant tune and haunting lyrics. Malukah also did a fantastic cover of this great song.

18. "May I? Stand Unshaken" From Red Dead Redemption 2 (2018)

This incredible new action-adventure game by Rockstar Games has received overwhelmingly positive reviews by players. Not only is this game very popular and detailed, but it also has its own gorgeous Western-themed OST. My favourite is "May I? Stand Unshaken," with its slow yet powerful rhythm and lyrics that set the mood of the game.

17. "Fear Not This Night" From Guild Wars 2 (2012)

Guild Wars 2 is a fun online fantasy role-playing game with an unlockable map, countless side quests, and engaging gameplay where you can play with friends and strangers. It ate up a lot of hours I should have spent studying when I was at university.

I really love the song "Fear Not This Night." Asja Kadric has a beautifully pure voice that makes me want to log in and play Guild Wars 2 again.

16. "Mute City" From Super Smash Brothers Brawl (2008)

Brawl is one of many Super Smash Brothers games released on various Nintendo consoles such as the Nintendo 64, Gamecube, and Wii U. There are many worlds and levels you can choose in order to fight in with various characters from other games, such as characters from the Legend of Zelda, Metal Gear, and Pokémon. It's a great game for parties. My favourite song from SSBB is "Mute City."

15. "Heart of Pandaria" From World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria (2012)

Mists of Pandaria is an extension of the incredibly famous online role-playing game, World of Warcraft, adding new character classes, playable characters, and dungeons. One of the new tracks was also a great addition: "Heart of Pandaria."

14. "Sera Was Never" From Dragon Age: Inquisition (2014)

Dragon Age: Inquisition has provided hours of fun for fantasy RPG lovers. One great part of the OST is the several bard songs you can encounter throughout the game, all of which are sung by Elizaveta Khripounova. They're all great, but "Sera Was Never" has the best beat and is about the awesome and cheeky companion, Sera.

13. "Main Theme" From Mortal Kombat (1992)

Another theme song that is timeless, classic, and catchy is the main theme of the Mortal Kombat series, which remains as one of the most popular fighting games in the world, and a springboard for more ideas for fighting games such as Soul Calibur. The theme will put an instant smile on your face.

12. "Main Theme" From Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (2002)

Grand Theft Auto is another popular series, series of which are still being developed today since its initial release. Vice City has a cool soundtrack, which ties well with this open-world action-adventure game.

11. "Theme of Laura" From Silent Hill 2 (2001)

Silent Hill 2 on PlayStation 2 is one of the most frightening and memorable games I've ever played with disturbing metaphors, a gripping storyline, and one of the most iconic video game monsters of all time, Pyramid Head.

With the protagonist's struggle with heartbreak and guilt as well as the dark undertone, this song fits perfectly with the game and remains a great tune to listen to.

10. "Wings of Kynareth" From The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (2006)

Oblivion is the fourth installment of the Elder Scrolls franchise. This fantasy RPG has some great quests and an open world with countless collectible armour and weapons. A great song featured in Oblivion is "Wings of Kynareth," which is played in some of the major cities and also in the main world. It's a nostalgic and pleasant tune.

9. "Emil Karma" From Nier Gestalt and Nier Replicant (2010)

This tune is a truly beautiful song from the vastly underrated fantasy adventure game, Nier. The game is layered with past mistakes, regrets, secrets, and trauma, all rolled up into one heartbreaking storyline, great quests, and an awesome soundtrack. "Emil Karma" is one of the more exciting songs, in my opinion, sang in the made-up futuristic language of the Nier world.

8. "Opening Track" From Demon's Souls (2009)

Demon's Souls is a very difficult fantasy role-playing game with a truly epic opening theme, portraying how powerful (and scary) the evil in the world has become. It jumps right into the action with this tune.

7. "Main Theme" From Halo 3 (2007)

Halo is another popular series, this time in the first-person shooter genre. This great song ties in beautifully with the theme, and is a tune you won't easily forget.

6. "Midna's Lament" From The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (2006)

The Legend of Zelda is a highly successful series that people have loved playing since the 1990s. Twilight Princess had a little bit of a darker theme to the previous installments but was highly successful nonetheless.

"Midna's Lament" has a heartache feel to it and it's a song I love to listen to over and over again. It was also exciting to see this song featured in the Zelda-themed levels in Super Smash Brothers.

5. "Yuna's Ballad" From Final Fantasy X-2 (2003)

A lot of people might disagree here, saying that To Zanarkand from Final Fantasy X is better. To Zanarkand is definitely a great song, but I personally prefer Yuna's Ballad. It has just a little more sadness to it, portraying Yuna's ultimate sacrifice to save the world she loves and therefore losing her lover in the process. Two years on, she's still searching for him. I feel her heartache when I hear "Yuna's Ballad."

4. "Dragonborn" From The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (2011)

Maybe it's a little cliché, but no one can deny that Skyrim's Dragonborn is nothing short of epic. It's exciting, it's powerful, and it's talking about the main character having special powers that he's inherited from . . . what else? A dragon. An awesome tune that even appears on the radio now and then. A masterpiece for sure.

3. "Main Theme" From The Legend of Zelda (1986~)

The Legend of Zelda hit major popularity with its 2D Game Boy games and its first 3D release, the Ocarina of Time in 1998. The theme song is one of the most widely-recognised theme tunes in existence. It portrays the rise and fall of evil, adventure, magic, and heroism.

2. "Leliana's Song" From Dragon Age: Origins (2009)

Another great fantasy RPG is Dragon Age: Origins, where you can choose your class, weapons, armour, and even teammates. The Dragon Age franchise is considered by many as one of the best in fantasy RPGs. Leliana is a bard whose song is unlocked after completing the correct side quests. It's a hauntingly gorgeous tune.

1. "Complete Soundtrack" From Shadow of the Colossus (2005)

The entire soundtrack of this epic fantasy game, the Shadow of the Colossus, is number one on this list. This game has been described as "art," from its beautifully designed landscape, epic-looking beasts, and an orchestral soundtrack. Below is the orchestra themselves performing the song "The Opened Way."

Which Song Do You Like Best?

Music plays an important part in video games, just as it does in movies. It can bring back fond memories of playing the game and immerses you into the world. Which song do you like best?

© 2014 Poppy

Comments

Link10103 on July 27, 2014:

Cuz Ima Bum. That's my excuse and I am sticking to it lol

If you liked Death Note at all, check out Code Geass. Plays on that psychological feel a bit, and now that I think about it they both have quite a number of comparisons.

It also revolves around Gundam type fighting, which was a bonus for me having watched Gundam a lot growing up.

Poppy (author) from Enoshima, Japan on July 27, 2014:

I actually haven't seen that much anime. I watched two very recently and wrote reviews about them, and watched Pokémon as a kid and Death Note as a teenager. I wouldn't be able to do a 'best anime songs' article justice. Why don't you write one??

Link10103 on July 27, 2014:

You should do a hub about the best anime/anime songs, provided you watch a lot of anime to begin with that is...release your inner otaku.

And its funny, I just watched both rewrites of death note and they included that chip part but omitted pretty semi important stuff lol.

Poppy (author) from Enoshima, Japan on July 27, 2014:

"I'll take a potato chip... and EAT IT!"

Link10103 on July 27, 2014:

Pokemon, Full Metal Alchemist, Bleach, Code Geass, and Death Note are the very few shows that come to mind where I do not care which version I watch.

Poppy (author) from Enoshima, Japan on July 27, 2014:

Yeah Japanese versions are so much better. Though I love the American version of Pokémon - the nostalgia!

Link10103 on July 27, 2014:

I have actually, sorta recently to. But for the life of me I can't say I remember much of it, simply because I tuned a good majority of it out since I wasn't able to play it in Japanese with English subtitles.

After listening to anime's like One Piece in English then in Japanese...can barely stomach English voice actors in anything Japanese related half the time.

Poppy (author) from Enoshima, Japan on July 27, 2014:

Thanks for your suggestions, man. I definitely haven't played enough games where I'd know all of the soundtracks. Have you ever played Nier?

Link10103 on July 27, 2014:

Nothing from Assassins Creed?? I think I need to go cry in a corner :'(

Kingdom hearts also has some pretty amazing soundtracks coincidentally, even more reason for you to play it O_o

Along with Shadow of the Colossus and Zelda, don't think there have been many games for me where the soundtracks have overly wowed me enough to remember them throughout the years. Uncharted and The Last Of Us had decent enough ones.