The best video game soundtracks are more than just music.
They are a link between you, the player, and that game world you inhabit. Be it the blips of Atari-era Asteroids, the chiptune 8-bit sound that defined the Nintendo Entertainment System age of the late 80's or the full-fledged orchestral ear candy that most AAA titles deliver today, good game music helps to elevate the gameplay and leaves you with a truly magical experience.
Gamers live for that experience. For those glorious hours spent in another world so very different from our own, there is no denying that without the music, those worlds would be hollow and empty.
After all, gamers play what we play, not for game over, but rather for what we take away.
So then, here are 10 pieces of amazing video game music that always stuck in the head of this gamer and will forever remain great examples of just how powerful a great piece of music can be in the medium of video games.
Halo: Combat Evolved - Main Theme
You just bought a first-gen Xbox and there was, frankly, nothing great on the console. Then you hear about Halo, this amazing console-FPS in an age where console FPS were not even a thing. You bite the bullet, buy the game and slot the disc into your Xbox.
The moment you hear the first chords of Martin O'Donnel's iconic theme, you knew that Halo would be something special.
With an ethereal mix of Greogorian Chants, a searing guitar riff and pulse pounding melodies, Halo: Combat Evolved's theme gave you a sense that the adventure you were going to embark on as Master Chief, was going to be one that you remember for a long time.
Metal Gear Solid 3 - main theme.
In this title, you play as Naked Snake, an American operative thrust deep into the jungles of Eastern Europe to assassinate his traitorous mentor and recover the plans for a potential weapon of mass destruction.
You eventually succeed in your mission and the end of all that you find out that it was all a lie, that your mentor was not actually a traitor and that you were just a tool of the powers that be.
Throughout the exposition, this glorious piece of music plays, adding a great deal of moral weight to your actions and making you truly feel for the people and places you just experienced while playing the game.
Grab the Kleenex for this one.
Castlevania IV - Bloody Tears theme
Castlevania holds a special place in the heart of every old-school gamer. At its peak on the SNES and PS1, the series was mechanically brilliant mixing action, platforming and exploration with a spooky game world and top notch sound design.
'Bloody Tears' is the series' signature track, appearing in different forms on most of the major Castlevania releases.
While some prefer the prog rock feel of Symphony of the Night's version of 'Bloody Tears,' there is no doubt that Castlevania IV's take is something else. Proving that even on limited hardware, a good composer could make beautiful music, 'Bloody Tears' in Castlevania IV is a master class of chiptune music design.