5 of The Best Video Game Soundtracks
Just like the movies, Video games have a long history of creating undeniably catchy theme tunes that have you annoying your coworkers by humming all day. Whether it was last nights late gaming session or just something you heard on YouTube, some themes you just can’t get out of your head. But what are the best themes tunes in video games? And what makes one so catchy?
We have broken down some of the great theme tunes in video game history, examining why we think they’re so damn catchy. There’s no science behind this, just the opinion who loves video games and great theme music as much as the next person.
For the first time in my writing career, I’m advising people to wear headphones during this article and enjoy the delights of 5 of The Best Video Game Themes.
Note: I was able to find these on Spotify too! -Ed
The Last Of Us
A somber piece of theme music written by Gustavo Santaolalla that really set the tone of the game. This is not just a great piece of music because of its catchy and intricate guitar riffs, but because it’s technically brilliant too.
Gustavo Santaolalla has created an unforgettable melody that flows with tension. It’s delicate and warm but carries clear weight as the guitar frantically riffs on. It may not be the most well known of themes but its one you never forget. The fact that it’s the theme music for one of the greatest stories in video gaming is also a benefit, but that takes nothing away from the piece itself.
The first time I heard this music accompanied by the title screen, I knew that I would be searching for it on YouTube a day later. I can only hope that this composer returns when the Last of Us 2 is released, and who knows, we may have an even better theme tune next time.
The Elder Scrolls
Creating epic fantasy music that’s memorable is one of the hardest things you can do. There are so many forgettable ones that are lost in the ether of thousands of dull tones. Enter The Elder Scrolls.
This theme music has been covered by many an orchestra and musician and there’s a good reason for it. The melody is simply unforgettable. There have been many versions of this theme music, but the melody has remained the same. In the video, you’ll find the Skyrim version of the theme, but a quick YouTube search and you’ll find endless excellent covers.
The Elder Scrolls theme music is truly epic in every sense of the word. Whether it’s the Skyrim version with its Nordic male choir, or the traditional trumpet bursting one, the rising and swelling sound will make your hairs stand to attention. Let’s be honest, if you’re going to have a game where you fight Dragons and fantastical beasts, you need the right theme music to go with it.
Command & Conquer: Red Alert
In 1996 we got one of my favorite video game themes ever. When Command & Conquer Red Alert hit the shelves, so did its rock-filled theme Hell March. Fans of heavy music, funky bass lines, and crunching guitars will love this theme. Fans of the Command & Conquer series might remember this as the best theme in the series.
Written by Frank Klepacki Hell March exudes the games Soviet theme throughout as sounds of marching and orders fill your ear. It’s hard to be a fan of rock and roll and not love this track. The beefy guitar riffs strum to the sound of an army marching, whilst the bass pulses in time with each of step they take.
For a game filled with explosions, gunshots and crazy alternative world events, this theme music compliments it perfectly and was praised for this in 1996 by being voted ‘Best Video Game Soundtrack’ by PC Gamer. Following the success and popularity of the track, composer Frank Klepacki returned to the series, writing tracks title Hell March 2/HM2 and Hell March 3, respectively. Though, nothing will ever quite beat the original in my opinion.
Okay, so I might be cheating a little bit with this one, as its originally from the movie, not the game. The only reason we have this theme is that of the video game and it’s become so famous because of it, so sue me.
The Mortal Kombat theme tune is instantly recognizable and I challenge anyone to not have it stuck in your head after listening to it. People who don’t even like the game like this theme music and it’s easy to see why.
Written by a duo known as The Immortals, this Prodigy-esq hard dance theme music is a catchy electro filled track. Samples from the game are littered throughout but expect to find a whoopsie or two here. The music builds slowly only to explode with a catchy electro melody that guarantees you’ll start tapping your feet.
This is possibly one of the famous pieces of music associated with a video game and I’ve heard this be played many a time in a club, just far too infrequent for my liking.
The Legend of Zelda
Written by the now famous composer Kōji Kondō the Legend of Zelda theme music has appeared in every game in the series and there’s a good reason for that; it’s just so damn good.
Like Skyrim, but probably even more so, you can find many covers an orchestral version of this song online. This is a famous theme that’s melody is unforgettable. It’s filled with a sense of adventure as it builds to the most epic of choruses.
The Legend of Zelda is a series filled with multiple amazing tracks and themes, but the main theme, also known as Overworld Theme is by far the greatest and most epic of them all. If there’s any theme music that can showcase how important a good piece of music can be to a video game, it’s this one.
No matter what version you listen too, from the 8-bit original to a full-blown orchestral one, the melody and beauty remain the same. There are not many out there that can do that.