Game music has always stood in a class of its own. From staples that you will recognise anywhere, to tracks that will stay with you as for the emotional whirlwinds they bring on, here’s a compilation of music in games for you to discover, or rediscover!
Maybe it is the journey through a 17th century village, the downfall of evil sprites, the ever-dark dungeons, that, when combined with moody piano notes, winded orchestration or simply eerie soundscaping, makes for an experience that is seldom forgotten. When you combine breath-taking visuals with soul-stirring background scores, it is safe to say you’ve got a masterpiece at-hand.
Music in games can do all sorts of things for your overall gameplay experience. It can build excitement, anticipation, anxiety, up the ante and up the stakes, or warn you of trouble ahead. Wherever these top soundtracks originated from, they have carved their space amongst avid players and listeners alike.
Here are our top 5 video games with the best soundtracks!
Legend Of Zelda: Breath of the wild
Breath of the Wild made its debut in 2017 for the Nintendo and the Wii U console. The installment is LoZ’s nineteenth release, and features a story that takes place during the end of the Zelda timeline.
The game allows players to explore the beautiful world from the eyes of Link, who wakes up after one hundred years in deep sleep, to defeat Calamity Ganon and rebuild the kingdom of Hyrule. Players are tasked with gathering items and gear to aid them in further battles to come.
Throughout the course of Breath of the Wild, players are treated to blissful music with catchy melodies. Ambient piano notes and dreamlike chord progressions are weaved together by composers Manaka Kataoka, Yasuaki Iwata, and Hajime Wakai, to deliver sound design that carries players through the adventure that is Breath of the Wild.
Find out more about The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on Zelda’s official website HERE
This GRAMMY-nominated Indie title first launched during March 2012, available for the PS4, IOS and Microsoft Windows. Journey boasts ethereal visuals with a storyline to match.
Journey’s story focuses on a robed figure who traverses vast deserted lands to reach their destination at the top of a mysterious mountain. Players can meet other online players who might be on the same level and help each other cross over.
Journey is the first video game ever to be nominated for a GRAMMY. The soundtrack has been composed by Austin Wintory, who is also behind Assassins Creed: Syndicate. The game has a cello as the primary instrument and blends in atmospheric bells and whistles to create a cohesive experience that elevates Journey‘s storyline. It took Austin Wintory three years to complete Journey’s soundtrack, and fans have since been able to stream the Journey album on Spotify.
Find out more about Journey on the official thatgamecompany website HERE
The Last of Us Part II
Following the success of the first Last of Us game, The Last of Us Part II came in swinging, to deliver a whole new perspective to the beloved franchise. The Last of Us Part II was released during June of 2020, available exclusively on the Playstation 4.
Our story continues where it left off in part 1, with both beloved characters and surprising new ones. If you haven’t yet been subject to what The Last of Us Part II has in store for you, we won’t be the ones to ruin it (except in our article here)! Gameplay is linear with moderately accessible sections throughout the map, with no outcome-affecting choices to make.
While all sound design in-game is exquisitely timed and placed, and extremely polished, what shines through are standout tracks either sung or strummed by the characters themselves. Adding to the overall mood of TLoU2 universe, developers at Naughty Dog have certainly spotlit music, layering it into central themes and storylines. Music from TLoU is music for any kind of day!
Find out more about The Last of Us Part II on the official Playstation website HERE
Red Dead Redemption 2
There is so much to be said about the soundscaping in Red Dead Redemption 2, but we’d rather you experience it yourself if you haven’t already! (Read this article for RDR2 Beginner Tips & Tricks)
RDR2 made its debut during October 2018, and is the third installment to the ongoing RDR timeline. Our story takes place at the turn of the 20th century in an America that is slowly making its way to higher society. You play as Arthur Morgan, a gunslinging outlaw, who is tasked with aiding his gang through various challenges and instances, all while allowing players to dig deeper into Rockstar’s fictional world of Red Dead.
Music in Red Dead Redemption 2 is masterfully introduced, scaled, and manipulated, to create an immensely immersive experience that, in true Rockstar fashion, still holds up against releases today. Composer Woody Jackson returned to score for RDR2, after his work on its predecessor and GTA V. Allen procured and recorded time-appropriate instruments whilst collaborating with 110 musicians to create all three levels of sound in-game. Through the course of the game, Allen uses sound to enhance scenarios and up the ante on high-pressure situations. Music from RDR2 will easily make its way to your current go-to listens, and it will stay there for years!
Find out more about Red Dead Redemption 2 on their official website HERE
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is based on the famous book series written by Andrzej Sapkowski, that was later developed and published by CD Projekt Red in May of 2015, as an action role-playing game for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, the Xbox One.
Wild Hunt takes place in a fantasy world where monsters and magic are household terms. You play as Geralt, a commissioned class of monster hunters, known as Witchers. Geralt is on a quest to find his adopted daughter, who is on the run from a group of ghosts called the Wild Hunt.
With the carefully crafted lore behind the Witcher series, the game carries a mysterious, and sometimes ominous energy, that the music in-game only enhances Composers Marcin Przybylowicz and Mikolai Stroinski worked with old instruments and drew inspiration from folk music to create a sonic masterpiece, through and through. Whether it is within fight sequences, or in cutscenes, or simply passing you by as you ride through trecherous lands, sounds in-game uplift Wild Hunt to supreme status.
Find out more about The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt on their official website HERE
We hope you enjoyed our top five picks for games with the best soundtracks!