May Playlist: Top 10 Video Game OST's

  May Playlist: Top 10 Video Game OSTs


What makes a video game's soundtrack truly great? Is it the nostalgia that accompanies a familiar melody from one of our favorite childhood games? Is it the quality and artistry of the music itself? Today, we take a look at the music that has breathed life into some of our favorite games and made them unforgettable classics.     

10. Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

The Legend of Zelda universe is as iconic as it is expansive, and its music has certainly earned its place as one of the most innovative video game soundtracks of all time. Ocarina of Time was released as the first game of the series to feature both 3D graphics and surround sound in order to fully immerse the player in the game’s environment. The sounds are unique and infectious, and every melody and sound perfectly captures the mood of the game.


9. Ecco the Dolphin

Another hugely quintessential and nostalgic soundtrack comes from Ecco the Dolphin, an early Sega Genesis title with smooth synth sounds and an overall ambient feel. It’s atmospheric, relaxing, and can easily transport you on an underwater journey as you fight aliens and do some sick underwater aerobics.


8. Chrono Trigger

The original Chrono Trigger soundtrack is often described as one of the greatest video game soundtracks ever produced. The songs have a way of capturing the mood of not only the game, but the player as well. It was composed by Yasunori Mitsuda, whose goal was to create music that did not fit into any particular genre. The Chiptune sounds take you on an adventure, from lighthearted tunes like “Spekkio” to darker ones like “ Ocean Palace.” Regardless of the mood however, they all maintain a dreamlike quality that makes this album so iconic.


7. Sonic The Hedgehog 

The first game released for Sega Genesis, Sonic the Hedgehog has become one of the most popular video game franchises in history. The original Sonic soundtrack is definitely one of the most universally nostalgic on our list. It was composed by J-Pop songwriter Masato Nakamura, who was eager to assist in Sega's goal of creating a game more popular than Super Mario. The songs are catchy and light, and the game and soundtrack quickly became a pop culture phenomenon.


6. Hotline Miami

Many of the tracks we’ve featured on the list are great because each song perfectly fits the mood of the game. Hotline Miami has been described by some as doing the opposite in a unique way. While Hotline Miami itself is an energetic display of brutality, the songs are hypnotic “hazy neon electronica” tunes. However, they blend together perfectly. The aesthetic of both the game and the soundtrack is very Vaporwave and perfect captures the feeling of '80s nostalgia.


5. Megaman 2

NES soundtracks are known for being simplistic and memorable. This soundtrack is a perfect example of classic songs on an 8-bit machine that are minimal, catchy, and enduring. Megaman 2’s soundtrack is widely considered the best of any NES games, as well as one of the most memorable video game themes in history. Its simplicity is praised and it remains a prime example of simple tunes from the golden age of video game themes. 


4. Metroid Prime 

The story behind the composition of this soundtrack is as fascinating as the sounds themselves. Tanaka, the game’s sound director, said that he wanted to create a score unlike the “hummable” pop tunes found in other video games of the time. His vision was to create the feeling of a living organism in which there was no distinction between music and sound effects. The result was a beautifully minimalist, ambient masterpiece with an interesting use of silence to convey especially tense moments. In some cases, the absence of sound was the music itself.


3. Final Fantasy VI
Another game and OST with an enduring legacy is Final Fantasy VI. It was composed by Nobuo Uematsu, who also scored the majority of the Final Fantasy titles in the series. This soundtrack truly is a work of art that both moves you emotionally and leaves you with a lingering feeling of beautiful melancholia. This album has been covered by other artists a number of times and remains popular even two decades after its release. The songs of Final Fantasy VI are definitely timeless classics.


2. Streets of Rage 2

Streets of Rage 2 is hands down one of the best '90s video game soundtracks ever. Released in 1992 for Sega Genesis, the heavy techno and house beats featured a feel significantly ahead of its time. It perfectly blends electro-funk, '90s European rave sounds, and trance together to create one of the best soundtracks of its time. The songs themselves are often described as though they could fit as easily into a nightclub as they could into the game. 
1. Ico

This Playstation 2 release from 2001 features one of the most simplistic and hauntingly beautiful soundtracks on our list. The game follows two intended child-sacrifices through ancient ruins and castles. These powerful hymns are reminiscent of childhood lullabies, transporting you to the world of a child. The soothing melodies persist throughout even the game's most tense moments, creating a powerful and eerie feel. This game has widely been described as one of the best ever created, and its soundtrack certainly deserves its fair share of praise as well.