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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?

  1. 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.
  2. 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 today.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 time.
  5. 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. 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.
  7. 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!
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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!
  11. 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.