Since it has become popular on this site to post lists of music and/or podcasts, I figured I would follow suit with a list of some of my favorite tracks in gaming music history. I have tried to be diverse in my choices though I probably could have just pulled five tracks from Final Fantasy VII and called it a day. I also tried to find orchestral, or “nice”, versions of the tracks if I could. And now in no particular order of significance.
Final Fantasy VII – Opening Bombing Mission by Nobuo Uematsu
This is the opening music for one of the great JRPG’s of all time. This track is a large part of what makes the beginning of the game so exciting. It builds to the action. It would be better with the actual opening scene included, but this version gives it grandeur that the MIDI track just couldn’t quite achieve.
Final Fantasy III/VI – Terra (in Black Remix) by Nobuo Uematsu
Another classic Uematsu addition. This is a rock remix by Uematsu’s band The Black Mages. I remember listening to this song as a kid while playing the game with my cousin in his converted attic room. It was awesome. We were convinced that the 16 bit SNES graphics were the height of realism. This remix kicks in the nostalgia.
Super Mario Sunshine – A Secret Course by Koji Kondo
I hated the levels this music played on so much. They were punishingly difficult platforming levels which removed the main gimmick of the game, namely the water jetpack which provided a safety net if you missed a jump. Finding one of these bonus levels brought a smile as the familiar theme kicks in a cappella style, but it also carried a sense of dread as you saw the game preparing to make you weep.
Bastion – Setting Sail, Coming Home by Darren Korb
This little indie game has managed to win the hearts and controllers of more of my friends than any other game on this list. Combining old school gameplay with high definition graphics, the real stand out of this game, apart from the stellar narrator, was the music. This track combines the two best pieces from the soundtrack into one amazing song that fits the end beautifully.
Halo CE – Rock Anthem For Saving The World by Martin O’Donnell
Just look at that song title! I mean that’s the best name for a song about kicking tail ever. This is a short track, but Steve Vai’s guitar kicking in just as the crap starts to get real in the first Halo game gets you pumped for alien slaying like nothing else.
If you have any video game music that’s pumped you up over the years feel free to include it in the comments section. Joey and David, I’m talking to you.