Top 20 Video Game Soundtracks Part 1

Here at Psycho Realm, we are not just about playing games, and rightfully so, I believe. We live in a world where due to the return of pixels, the ‘graphics debate’ has been rendered moot. Theme music and soundtracks play an increasingly pivotal role in making a game feel more immersive and impressionable. We may not always remember the backing audios in many lengthy RPGs or the credit sequence song from every game, but there are some really good videogame soundtracks that have jumped out to us, have had themselves noticed and regularly experience playbacks on our SoundCloud playlists. Here are some of those:

Braid – Maenam 

(Classical, Soft)

Braid has some great ethereal tracks, but personally I find this most appealing as its full of subtleties despite the simplicity and quite engaging for first time listeners. Its more folk than most video game soundtracks and avoids being a generic form of  game track. It is not necessarily a sad song, just somber.

 

Mass Effect 2 – Club Afterlife track

(Electronic, Dance)

This isn’t really a mainline soundtrack at all, in fact its the song that play when you enter the Club Afterlife – on Omega space station – to meet Aria T’Loak. It is an extremely atmospheric track and perfectly sets the mood of the club. Its charm maybe lost in front of a computer screen, but in a shady mercenary-controlled nightclub this is gold.

 

Transistor – Sandbox (Hummed)

(Instrumental, Ambient)

This isn’t the official Sandbox track from the game, but in fact is a data-mined and remixed version. The actual track is an instrumental piece. The hum that you hear on the track below has been data-mined from the game’s files – which the protagonist actually hums while in combat – and remixed with the original to create this track. Do listen to the original too, they are both stellar.

 

Dustforce – Elvish Piper Academy

(Eletronic, Experimental)

You have probably not played this game, hell you have probably not even heard of it. Yet it is here, not just because it’s a great game – which it is – but it has a pretty great soundtracks, like the terrific track below. If you like it give the game a try too, it’s available on most platforms and goes for pretty cheap.

 

Portal – Still Alive

(Alternative, Indie Rock)

Of all of the tracks here, this might be the most iconic. Not only because its at this song that the game culminates and becomes the master of memes, but also because its a really really catchy song. It’s probably my favorite end credit song in a video game. And the genius how its so witty and plays along with the game’s plot and keeps the experience going even after the finale. And it is accompanies by lyrics too, and lyrics are always good, yes?. So yes, Best Song.

 

Dragon Age InquisitionEmpress of Fire

(Folk, Opera)

Any of the tavern songs could be on this list like Sera Was Never, Enchanter or even the epic The Dawn Will Come but Empress of Fire is a personal favorite of yours truly.  Though its a song about reverence or worship of a certain Empress, it’s such an uplifting song.

 

Persona 4 GoldenShadow World

(Japanese Pop, Rock, Loud)

The opening song of this Vita darling, perfectly conveys the kind of game one can expect: fun, fierce but with deeper meanings and a sense of maturity. A quirky beat that commands attention, such is the pull of this song. In fact the whole of Persona 4 Golden OST begins to grow on the player as they play through it.

 

Mirrors Edge Catalyst: Warning Call

(Synth Pop, Indie Rock, Loud)

I am clearly biased here, this is not even such a great track but I love both Mirror’s Edge and Chvrches a great deal and this song pretty much feels like a fitting collaboration, with the game’s clean and pristine aesthetics and the band’s punchy and distinguished sound. The chorus on the song is superb, though the finale feels too drawn out with the “it’s a memory” chants feeling a bit too much. I do like the “trying to break the fall” touch, because in the game Faith tries to break the fall a lot, like a million times.

Tales from the Borderlands – Busy Earnin’ by Jungle

(Modern Soul, Alternative, Loud)

The original Borderlands – back in 2009 – set the precedent for exceptional and outlandish openings with Cage the Elephant‘s Ain’t No Rest For The Wicked. In  2014, Telltale exceptionally carried on the trend, a total of 5 times with each of its episodes. Each one begins with a song quite fitting of the premise yet quirky enough to convey the tone of the game. Below is the song from Episode One, but one must listen them all, they are just that good.

 

An Obscure Pick

Pix the CatOut of The Grid

A nice little pac-man+snakes mash-up where music reacted to how you played: great performance made the music soar and vice-versa. This was a song on the retry screen which I absolutely loved.

These were some of the tracks, I adore. Let us know in the comments what your favorite video game tracks are. Chime in on what do you think of these songs?

This was Part 1 of the feature, Part 2 comes soon afterwards and contains soundtracks picked by our developer (Ishkaran). Spoiler Warning: It has some great songs on it. 

Monish Khemani

A lover and devourer of all things complex: RPGs, fighting games, puzzles, skill trees, combo setups, time-limits, roguelikes, languages and alternative music. Tell me if you like something and tell me if you don't.

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