Best game music

I know we all play games, but do you own any game music. There are some really great pieces of music out there. Hell they even have concert orchestras playing super mario brothers. If you own any music what is your favorite and where do you get it? If you don’t own any game music, what piece of music stands out in your mind from a game experience you have had.

I was always fond of a little ditty called “Taxi Drivers Must Die!” from GTA2 and, overall, any GTA soundtrack is usually a good one. And since I forgot to mention Outlaws in the ‘best intros’ thread I’ll toss it into the mix here. Very cool psycho C&W instrumentals - it’s one of the few soundtracks I’ll sully my car’s CD player with.

However for sentimental reasons, being a recovered wannabe retro Mod is one of them, I’m going to go with the whole soundtrack from GTA London 1969.

Gyrus was the first game where I seriously enjoyed the music. That was very well done for an arcade game at the time… it added tremendously to the feel of the game, and the sound effects integrated well with the techno-ized soundtrack. I was rather disappointed in all of the home ports that followed… the fidelity was pretty poor in comparison.

The only other time I can recall feeling that the music was really an integral part of a game I enjoyed was Tempest 2000 on the Jaguar.

The Mario, Zelda, Metroid, and Metal Gear Solid series have traditionally had excellent music (although SMS just isn’t as memorable as the others)

Total Annihilation was my favorite in college. There was a two year span where if I wasn’t playing the game I was probably listening to the music.

Most of the Final Fantasies, especially 6 and 7

I should stop now, I could probably list favorites all day…

I could list favorites all day as well…

(although SMS just isn’t as memorable as the others)

In the overall sense of the word…yeah, maybe…but that acapella version of the theme is superb. Also…I think most of the music is redone from some past Mario game… the island stuff strikes me as being reworked from Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island.

I love the music in SNK’s fighters. The general soundscape in their games is always phenomenal.


For me, it’s still the semi-classical score that David Joiner (aka Talin) wrote for Faery Tale Adventure.


Interstate '76.


I nominate Rez (PS2) as having the best soundtrack of all time. That Adam Freeland song (Zone 5) is killer. Jet Set Radio Future (and Jet Set Radio) come in a close second. I only give the nod to Rez because the music IS the game in that you time your “kills” to help modulate the sound.

Anyway, just my two cents.

I don’t mean to rag on it or anything. It’s good, but it just doesn’t live up to the standard they’ve set for themselves. None of the music from that game gets stuck in your head like the race music in 64 or the main theme from the original. Still, great game.

It is a great soundtrack.

Total Annihilation’s soundtrack was awesome. Once, I forgot the CD in the computer while I was playing Jedi Knight, and other than the missing Star Wars theme, I could not tell that it was not the music that belonged to that game.

Final Fantasy VIII Piano
Xenogears Creid
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

My three favorites. The recent orchestrated release of the more popular Final Fantasy songs is also very very good. Xenogears Creid is amazing tho.

Ah, good old Jeremy Soule. I like his stuff, but he’s starting to suffer from “John Williams Syndrome” where all of his stuff is so characteristically his that it starts to sound the same.

I’m personally partial to Michael Land’s work, but there are plenty of good game music composers out there. I’m just happy that game soundtracks are becoming more commonplace.

  • Alan

I thought Streets of Rage 2 was going to be my favorite game music forever until Jet Set Radio and Jet Set Radio Future. Then I ended up with a PS2 and was treated to Rez and ICO. I think Rez probably tops the list now for me too.

I wonder if it’s coincidence that four of my five favorites are Sega games? Final Fantasy III (or six or whatever) is of course wonderful as well.

On my computer, I have the soundtracks for Banjo Kazooie*, Command & Conquer Red Alert*, Red Alert 2*, Conker’s Bad Fur Day, Fallout 2, Goldeneye 007, Halo, Ico, Jet Set Radio, Jet Set Radio Future, Metal Gear Solid 2, Oni*, Panzer Dragoon, Phantasy Star Online, Rez, Streets of Rage 1, 2*, and 3, and Super Smash Brothers Melee. Those marked with asteriks are the soundtracks I actually own the CD’s for as well. I’ve also got two different FFIII collections, the “Grand Finale” and the “Piano Collection”, as well as some orchestral (for lack of a better word) remixes of Street Fighter II.

A few of those I have just for the sake of novelty, but I find myself listening to many of them as ambience when playing other games.

I’m assuming we can’t pick any of the Star Wars games, because they’re just recycling John Williams’ score and aren’t original.

My top three would be:

Mechwarrior 2
Total Annihilation

Honourable mention goes to Red Alert.

This is a fun topic that resurfaces from time to time. I love the Total Annhilation stuff and the Warcraft II music. HOMM II also had a nice soundtrack - but the Millennium edition seemed to be missing some of the original tracks; anyone know if this is true and why they did that?

I seem to remember strategy game soundtracks the most, because they are the ones I end up sitting through for long periods.

I wish someone would port CPU Bach to the PC.

I believe Wumpus has a game music feed at his site.

Maybe not even “Adam from Sierra” would remember this one, but here goes…

The first time I was aware of a game having cool music was from Hero’s Quest I (later renamed “Quest for Glory”)

There was a song from that called “Erana’s Peace” that I really liked for some reason.

I think part of this was because I had just gotten one of the original Creative Labs sound cards the “Game Blaster” which dramatically changed the PC music experience for me.

Previously it had been all “Space Quest” type of bum-bum-bum-bumbumbum-bada-bada-bum-bum-bumbumbum-bada-bada-bumm-bum-bum-bumbumbumbum, bumbumbumbum, bumbumbumbum, bumbumbumbum.

You can hear many of the original sierra game tunes at


I can’t believe I forgot Space Channel 5. Chu chu chu!

Listen to the sound tracks from Battlecruiser Millennium (or the upcoming Battlecruiser Generations) and you’ll never go back. :D

I really don’t like game music for the most part. But I do like regular music in games (like the GTA series). But best, hands down, Grim Fandango.

I am still partial to the C64 golden age of the mid-80s – Galway, Hubbard, Daglish, etc. Those guys made the SID chip sing…

Some of my favorite soundtracks…

  1. Rambo (Martin Galway)
  2. International Karate Championship (Rob Hubbard)
  3. Parallax (Martin Galway)
  4. Times of Lore (Martin Galway)
  5. Outcast (?)
  6. Faery Tale Adventure (David Joiner)
  7. Unreal (?)
    8 ) Baldur’s Gate II (?)