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Top 11 Original Game Soundtracks
written by Shaun McCracken
Video game soundtracks have been around since the NES days, when memory
capacity finally allowed for an actual melody. As each new system comes around,
the better the music becomes. Here is the Top 11 original video game soundtracks.
I could have intro-ed this better, but why try?
- 11- Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time (1998, Nintendo, N64)- Granted,
the N64 never had the best sound capabillites, since not much was put into it's
sound processors. But quite a few N64 developers were still able to create some
great sounding games, and Zelda is no different. With a memorable score that
changes when the situation calls for it. While almost all Zelda games have a
memorable ST, Ocarina Of Time comes of as the more impressive.
- 10- Star Fox (1993, Nintendo, SNES)- Star Fox may have not had the most
depth for a Super NES game, but the graphics were impresive for the time, and had
a soundtrack that matched the action. It's very memorable and still quite good
- 9- Mega Man 2 (1988, Capcom, NES) It was hard choosing on which Mega
Man game had the best and most memorable soundtrack, basically a toss up between
MM2, MM3 and MM4. I went with Mega Man 2, since almost every NES gamer would know
each stage song is after all these years, and is just a great compsiton throughout.
- 8- Silent Hill (1999, Konami, PS1) While there isn't a whole lot of
music through the game, the effectiveness of the overall soundtrack was impressive
and immersive in the psychological horror experience. I aslo really like the intro
song of the game. Probably one of the better theme songs of the time or any other
- 7- Super Mario Bros. (1985, Nintendo, NES) If there were gamers or people who ever wondered
the significance of the jump from the Atari 2600 to the NES in the 80's, other
than graphics, it has to be the fact that the NES ushered in a whole new era of
game music. Songs that go in continuous, melodic loops, and have a lot more
variation that a 2-second sound bite. Also, factor in the fact that Super Mario
Bros has the most memorable theme of gaming history.
- 6- Jet Grind Radio (200, Sega, DC) Ok, in a way, this is kind of cheating, since this
game actually contains licensed music. But Hideki Naganuma provided many orignal
cuts to the JGR soundtrack. So technically, there is an "original" soundtrack to
this game. The overall whole of the game has a great soundtrack that crosses the
line between commercial pop and video game music.
- 5- Tetrisphere (1997, Nintendo, N64) A lot of people may have underestimated this game, for
one it being a puzzle game, and another for it not having to do with Tetris. But
it was an addictive puzzle game with a mesmerizing techno sountrack that really
deserved to be released as a collector's CD. Try to download one of the tracks
somewhere and hear how good it was!
- 4- Super Metroid (1994, Nintendo, SNES) Shocking to see a game I place as the #1 game of all
time rank as #4 on a soundtrack list. Hey, to be on this list, out of many games,
should be flattering enough. Super Metroid does have a very moody and atmospheric
score that places gamers right into the action. While a couple of loops do tend to
be irritating after five minutes or so, some stages have really great songs.
- 3- Chrono Trigger (1995, Squaresoft, SNES) Chrono Trigger was not only an in-depth RPG-adventure
gaming experinece, but it also has a sweeping epic score, that hits almost all the
right notes in most places.
- 2- Chrono Cross (2000, Squaresoft, PS1) What soundtrack can top Chrono
Trigger? It's sequel of course! Chrono Cross is chock full of emotional and epic
scores, as well as big time gameplay. If you haven't heard Chrono Cross, then
you haven't heard anything yet!
- 1- Ridge Racer Type 4 (1999, Namco, PS1) Suprised? Don't be. As far
as orignal racing game sountracks go, this is the best. It even tops Ridge Racer V's
soundtrack hands down. An eclectic mix of rock, pop, R&B and even jazz, R4 has
the most range of any soundtrack created (well, that I heard of). While many
would place the Final Fantasy games up in #1, I don't think that way. R4's sound-
track has a rarity, it can be enjoyed and listened anytime as if it were a
commercial release. This is my #1 pick.