The Top 10 Video Game Soundtracks

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10. God of War Series

First off, I don’t even own a PS3. I have never played any of the God Of War games but I consider this to be an essential purchase still if you’re a fan of video game and general epic movie soundtracks in genreal. There are several different artists here splitting up the tracks which usually I don’t like but its so hard to tell a difference in the sound and quality so this is one of the rare multi-artist soundtracks that pull it off so smoothly. If you’re a fan of the game then i’d imagine you’d enjoy this just as much, if not more then me!  -Amazon.com Review

On March 16, 2010, the score of God of War III – composed by Gerard K. Marino, Ron Fish, Mike Reagan, Jeff Rona, and Cris Velasco – was released as downloadable content (58 minutes and 42 seconds in length) through the God of War III: Ultimate Edition and Ultimate Trilogy Edition by SCEI. The God of War Trilogy Soundtrack was released with the God of War III: Ultimate Edition (North America) and Ultimate Trilogy Edition (Europe, Australia, & New Zealand). -Wikipedia.org

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9. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

Following his score for “Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune“, composer Greg Edmonson returns to accompany Nathan Drake on his latest adventure, “Uncharted 2: Among Thieves“.  With “Drake’s Fortune”, Edmonson provided a rich score that perfectly matched the lush, colorful jungle environments from the game. While it did have some nice themes, the score mostly felt like background music/underscore, with little identity from track to track. It’s incredibly effective within the game, and is enjoyable enough to listen to, but overall, it just lacked a certain something.  

However, with “Among Thieves”, Edmonson outdid himself. As the locales have changed for the game, as has the sound, though the style is very much the same as the first score, so they fit together well. This time around, Edmonson gives the score a more exotic, Oriental feel, though he never relies on any cliches one might expect of such a score. Also, the “Among Thieves” score offers more in the way of melody, utilizing more of “Nate’s Theme” than its predecessor really did. The action cues here are also top-notch, each with their own sound and identity, and aren’t quite as interchangeable as the action music from the first game. -Amazon.com Review

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8. Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater

I am a huge Metal Gear Solid fan, and when I heard that Harry Gregson-Williams would be joining in to compose the second game I got so excited, and was even more excited when he stayed for #3. Hans Zimmer is my favorite composer of all time, and I absolutely love every composer that comes out of Media Ventures. Williams keeps the feel of the original soundtrack, but adds his trademark techno spin to it. 

Fans will recognize the same style in Spy Game, Phonebooth, and The Rundown. The game becomes a film all because of the amazing talents of Williams. It’s also interesting that he composed all the music solely based on Hideo Kojimas descriptions of atmosphere and actions. Usually scores are composed when a finished film has been presented to the composer, here Williams worked only off of sketches and writings. But the price here on Amazon is very high, at GKWorld they sell it for 13 dollars brand new. -Amazon.com Review

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7. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

When playing a video game as much as Modern Warfare 2, some of the musical beats may be engrained in their brain. And even though these beats may be short, they are there. The Modern Warfare 2 soundtrack expands upon these familiar beats into full-length tracks. The results are surprisingly good.  Most/all of the music comes from the underrated portion of the game. From the opening title credits music, to when you first walk out in a war-torn Washington DC, to the momentous end credits.

The score completes the game, and since it’s done by Hans Zimmer, you know it’s going to be highly professional, and at least some of it is going to be memorable. I’ll say this about the soundtrack, is that it certainly fits the mood of the game. It’s the type of music you’d find in a war film, and action movie, or a fast-paced drama. In fact, the only problem I have with the soundtrack is the title naming. It would be nice to know which track is from which particular scene. If you know the game well enough, you can guess, but it would be nice to know specifics.  

Overall, if you found yourself a fan of the music found in Modern Warfare 2, by all means check this out. They didn’t have to put out this product, but they listened to the fans and gave us a great, complete package. Bravo Infinity Ward, Hans Zimmer, etc.  -Amazon.com Review

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6. Battlefield: Bad Company 2

If you are part of the Bad Company “Regime,” then this is for you! My favorite is “Snowy Mountains” because it leaves you full of suspense and anticipation. Mikael Karlsson does a great job with the music! His music fits directly to this game and makes you crave jumping back into the action. I cannot wait until the new Medal of Honor comes out and I know DICE and EA will take over as reigning champions of developing shooters.   -Amazon.com Review

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5. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns Of The Patriots

This is one of the best soundtracks I have heard in a while, and that includes movie soundtracks. If you are a fan of The Bourne Identity/Supremacy/Ultimatum soundtracks, written by the brilliant British composer John Powell, you will absolutely love this one. It’s in the same vein. 2 hours and 20 minutes of intense action-packed music marked by tribal drumming and eerie overtones will have you on the edge of your seat, be it at your desk or on the highway doing triple digits. Not for the faint of heart! This can safely be filed under “Buy or die.” -Amazon.com Review

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4. Halo Series

The Halo Trilogy Complete Original Soundtrack collection is definitely a solid product. It includes the full soundtracks from the first and third games, plus mixes of the music from the second game, by level. To reiterate, Halo 2: The Original Soundtrack Volume 2 is included, but Halo 2: The Original Soundtrack VOLUME 1 IS NOT. This is the major complaint with the set, that the full tracks from the second game are NOT included.

That said, Volume 2 gives a good taste of how the entire game, as well as each individual level, feels. In addition to these soundtracks, a DVD about Halo Wars is included, with a few tracks and a making-of video included.  Overall, the soundtrack set is well worth the price. Purchasing this set and Halo 2: Volume 1 separately comes to about the same price as purchasing all three soundtracks individually, but without Halo 2: Volume 2 or the Halo Wars DVD.  -Amazon.com Review

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3. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City

Anyone disillusioned with the greed and exploitation of the music industry can take some solice in this fantastic box set. Seven great CDs for an even better price. Believe me, this is the definition of worth the money. With beautiful packaging and neat little extras to boot!  Yes, some will complain about the tracks left off the soundtrack. Some omissions are so glaring, that one has to assume many were contractually motivated. No matter, though, as the soundtracks are still absurdly comprehensive and offer a great sampler of 80’s music with a healthy mix of big hits and underappreciated tracks.

“Four Little Diamonds” has quickly become a personal favorite, as has the awesome Romeo Void track “Never Say Never”. The broad variety of the seven discs make this a great addition to any CD collection, even if you haven’t played the game. From post-disco dance tracks, to the cool of Latin Jazz, to the calculated excess of pop and hard rock, to the morose stylings of New Wave and the urban poetry of early rap, this soundtrack set embodies the surprisingly rich musical diversity of the much malligned 80’s. I can’t think of anyone putting out such an eclectic and complete set as this. This hits all its spots, and I highly recommend it. -Amazon.com Review

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2. Mass Effect

I think that people looking at this soundtrack will take little convincing to buy it. Like me, they probably thought that Mass Effect was absolutely brilliant and, at some stage, realised how much they liked the original music as well. Game soundtracks can be a bit weird – often not sounding as well on their own as when you actually played the game. Fortunately, the Mass Effect OST is mixed and sequenced well enough that it retains the qualities of its in-game counterpart.  

However, it isn’t without fault – when I went through it the first time (and a few other reviewers have already pointed this out), I was a bit shocked to realise that a few music pieces are missing altogether. These are mostly the minimal, ambient pieces you hear in different parts of the game, as well as some of the generic music you would hear when you were visiting the game’s many unchartered planets. This is unfortunate, because I actually liked some of these pieces of music more than the main quest and primary mission themes.  

Furthermore – and, again, others have pointed this out – the tracks mostly feature only one ‘loop’ of each stage in the compositions. So, all those intense little musical moments that would occur throughout a major combat setpiece (as in track 14: ‘Protecting the Colony’) seem very short here. Another example is track 3, ‘Eden Prime’ – a fantastic ambient composition that, at 1m 34s, is far too brief, and hardly does justice to the quality of the music.  

I am making the Mass Effect OST sound really disappointing when, truthfully, it is far from. However, it seems as though a second disc would have allowed the producer to put all of the game’s music on here and, on top of that, extend the compositions a little so it functions more as a stand-alone album, rather than a ‘best of’ compilation. All that aside, it is one of the best game soundtracks in years, and it is always great to see game music commercially available.  In short, buy it if you are a fan of Mass Effect, and loved its music. I’m a bit hesitant about recommending it to anyone else, however.  -Amazon.com Review

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1. Final Fantasy X

This is the full IMPORT OST. Just check out how many songs it has on it. I purchased the smaller Domestic copy before i realized what i was getting into. I immediately turned around the found this copy to purchase. The music is fully orchestrated for the several pieces, some with smaller chamber ensembles. But on a whole i could tell that a lot was synthizised. The style of Final Fantasy X was leaning towards a more pop culture than it has ever before. FFX was no longer dealing with the Knights, Dragons and Black Chocobos that FF4 included, nor the classical style of FFIX.

The game itself had so many new things in it that the soundtrack had to have some new things, including the Otherworld (Zanarkand Blitzball Theme / Battle with Jehct Theme). One of the best things i have found with this soundtrack are the overworld themes, the world map music so to speak. Such as the Besaid theme, the Thunderplains theme … Such themes are perfect mood music to just have running in the low background for almost any occasion.

The soundtrack also has the Song of the Faith from each of the Aeons, including Yunalesca’s version, the Ronso Tribe version. Suteki Da Ne (Isn’t it Beaufitul) comes in two versions, all the specialized battle themes, such as the final battle with Seymour, and Yu-Yevon’s final bout.  It’s great, has some really good music on it. And the Chocobo Theme from FFX is one of the best Chocobo themes out there, right up there with the FFIX chocobo theme.  -Amazon.com Review

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