I’ve mentioned it before, but I’ll say it again: I’m a huge fan of a good video game. What’s better than easing back into a couch with some snacks and a couple of drinks and getting lost in some fantastic world that couldn’t possibly be real? Not much I tell you…not much. So, because of my love of gaming, I decided to list out 10 of my favorite video game songs. Heads up: some of you younger gamers might have no clue about a few of these games. If that is the case, go and play them and see what you’ve been missing all along.
1) Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons Of Liberty – Intro Theme
There is something about the music in this opening cinematic that inspires action, adventure, patriotism, and danger. It’s a perfect example of what the game offers (when you’re not stuck in a 30 minute cut scene or chatting with somebody via the comm).
2) Silent Hill 2 – Intro Theme
Of all the Silent Hill’s, the soundtracks to 1 and 2 are my personal favorites. The reason I can’t decide between the two is because the first OST was basically a cacophony of industrial noises that had been converted into music, whereas the second OST had some of the most beautiful, and creepy, soundscapes and songs.
I chose this theme because I love to sit down and play this on guitar quite often. It’s an easy enough piece to learn but there is something enjoyable and calming about strumming it out.
3) Castlevania Series – Bloody Tears
One of the most recognizable tunes from the series, the first time I heard it was in Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest. I still consider that to be one of my favorite games of all time AND one of the original survival horror/horror RPG’s. But there is something about this melody that encapsulates the feel of Castlevania for me. Whenever I hear it, I feel a nearly uncontrollable urge to start whipping the crap out of people in my way. GIVE ME MY BLUE CRYSTAL SO I CAN RIDE A TORNADO!
4) Dead Island – Trailer Theme
Easily the most recent of themes, the now infamous Dead Island trailer astounded viewers with one of the most heartrending scenes in video game history. This wouldn’t have been possible had the music not been equally poignant. For far too long we’ve been focusing on the action and excitement that comes with a zombie outbreak (there are a few scenes here and there in movies where people mourn, but it’s usually glossed over). Dead Island’s music reminds us that loss is loss and grief will be felt.
5) Legend Of Zelda – Overworld Theme
I might have just put the most recognizable theme song IN THE WORLD on this list. I contend that this theme is just as memorable as Super Mario Bros. and that’s saying a lot. When I hear this, I revert back to a 4-year old kid, plopped down on my ass in front of the TV, eyes wide with wonder as I traversed through deserts, forests, mountains, and dungeons. This theme symbolizes the idea of a magical journey.
6) Secret of Mana – Fear Of The Heavens
I recently purchased Secret of Mana for the iPad. Upon loading it, this was the first thing I heard. Without feeling any shame, I will admit that my eyes watered. One of the most epic RPG’s, Secret of Mana had some of the most beautiful music that took full advantage of the SNES’ hardware capabilities. There were rich textures and lush effects that made each musical piece a joy to listen to. But this is the one that started it all.
7) Phantasmagoria 2: A Puzzle Of Flesh – Map Screen
This game terrified the everliving HELL out of me each time I played it and the map screen is partially responsible. Just listen to that music. Isn’t that the most foreboding thing you’ve heard FOR A MAP SCREEN? It’s as though it’s telling me that no matter where I go, terrible, horrifying things will happen to me (which was true). Phantasmagoria 2, you still give me the chills.
8) Mortal Kombat – Theme (Test Your Might)
Put this theme on and my fists start flying. Everything about this song hypes me up for a brutal fight to the finish.
9) Mega Man 2 – Dr. Wily’s Stage
THIS was the best thing Capcom could have done for this stage. You’ve fought and fought and you’re finally at Dr. Wily’s stage. God knows you need pick-me-up after all that fighting and struggle. So when this music came on, it was just the rush your body needed. It embodied the very idea summoning up your last reserve of strength and fighting on. Plus, it’s just a badass song.
10) Lunar The Silver Star – Dungeon 2 Theme
This is probably the most personal choice I have on here. When I was growing up, there were times when I just needed to shut the door to my room, pop Lunar into my Sega CD (we’re going old school here!) and leave the world behind. Now, I’m not saying there was any abuse or anything like that, because there wasn’t. But that’s not to say life was perfect. Lunar The Silver Star was a great escape and the music was so sublime and beautiful that I felt refreshed each time I put down the controller.
Oh, and the PS1 remake kinda sucked. Gotta get that off my chest.
Honorable Mention: Sonic The Hedgehog 2 – Chemical Plant Zone
When I was a kid, I was OBSESSED with Sonic the Hedgehog. I would draw that little blue bastard over and over in my school books. I read the comics. I had the McDonalds Happy Meal toys. I even bought the Sega CD for Sonic CD. It was bad. However, that still doesn’t change the fact that the Sonic games had some of the best music out there! The proof is above.