What are the first qualities that come to your mind when the discussion turns towards the best video games of all time? Many people start off by discussing graphics, mechanics, engines, and storylines, which is fair enough. However, the soundtracks go unnoticed much more often than they should! The truth of the matter is that the best video game soundtracks are just as important to their respective games as anything else.
Just think of your own favorite video games. How many of them can you remember without a particular part of a soundtrack playing in your head? Music is one of the first things to get stuck between our years and usually lasts as long if not even longer than any other memory of the game. A great soundtrack can get you completely immersed in a game that you may not even like that much otherwise, while even the best technical and graphical masterpieces may lose their following without having the best video game soundtracks to go along with everything else.
Let’s have a look at the few times in gaming history where the soundtrack is as iconic as the game itself, making a case for music to be considered as one of the most important things when it comes to video game development!
Super Mario Bros.
Let’s go old school with this first entry, the original Super Mario Bros., released on Nintendo all the way back in 1985. It simply does not get any more iconic! The raw, early electronic music has become nearly synonymous with 8-bit platformers and is easily one of the best video game soundtracks of all time.
It is true that it is not something you would just listen to on your drive home from work, it does not work well when it is separated from the game itself. But put it together with the game itself and a pure masterpiece of the video game world emerges! There probably isn’t a more iconic soundtrack in gaming, which itself is enough to secure Super Mario Bros. a place on this list.
Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey
From the mid-’80s to the very present, Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey is the newest game in the legendary franchise known for some of the best video game soundtracks in modern gaming. This one is not different from the rest, if anything, it took the music aspect of the game one step further than the rest, although the same could possibly be argued for several games in the franchise.
One thing that truly stands out in Odyssey is how perfectly it creates an atmosphere that is befitting of the era that the game takes place in. Put your headphones on, boot up the game and you will find yourself feeling like you have actually been placed in a real-life time machine even without playing the game itself. Creating the right atmosphere is a common trait amongst the best video game soundtracks and Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey most definitely has that part covered!
Life is Strange: Before the Storm
Unlike the previous games in the list so far, Life is Strange: Before the Storm isn’t as packed with action and decisions. It is as much an experience as it is a game. The player makes decisions that directly impact the story that the game tells, and it is the story, not the action that is at the center of attention.
Before the Storm offers more cinematic features than most games in the industry today and works a bit like a movie where you make the decisions, thus forming even stronger bonds with the characters. All of this would be extremely hard to achieve without one of the best video game soundtracks of all time. It is incredibly emotional and is not your average game for sure. If you want brainless action, you can pass on this one. However, if story and emotion is your niche – there are very few better examples of it in gaming than the Life is Strange series.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
8 years have passed since Skyrim was first released back in 2011 and by now you may have had a rest from seeing it on every “best of” list in gaming. That being said, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has easily one of the best video game soundtracks at least as far as adventure RPG games are concerned. This soundtrack captures the mood of adventure incredibly well and can be listened to even when it’s taken out of the game to get hyped and get a rush of adrenaline rushing through your blood!
Anyone to ever play Skyrim with that soundtrack blasting through the speakers or headphones will know that doing it in any other way just does not feel the same. Whether you want to enjoy an amazing adventure gaming experience or just put on a soundtrack when going out for a challenging hike, this one is easily one of the best video game soundtracks ever!
Red Dead Redemption 2
Everything you could expect out of a wild, wild west game is here, both when it comes to gameplay and the music! For an action adventure, the music in Red Dead Redemption 2 is surprisingly relaxing and soothing, however, it fits in seamlessly with what the game has to offer. Horseback riding across the desert with bluegrass to keep you company has never felt that good!
This game will make you laugh, scare you, and make you cry, all of which would be impossible without one of the best video game soundtracks in recent memory! Much like Skyrim, this one can be played outside of the game as well and makes for excellent road trip music if you’re ever looking for something to listen to on a long drive!
These 5 games have managed to stand out of the bunch not only because of their astonishing mechanics, graphics or stories but because of their incredible soundtracks as well! If you ever find yourself in an argument about the best video games of all time remember, what you hear is just as important as what you see, and the ones above are easily some of the best video game soundtracks ever!