Personal Favorites: 5 Incredible Video Game Soundtracks

By Dale Bashir on Aug 15, 2017

So over on our Indonesian site, fellow Gamehubs writer Basmal wrote his top 5 soundtracks that will give listeners an "eargasm". Now it's my turn, I'm gonna be talking about 5 video game soundtracks that mean a lot to me and has shaped my preferences when it comes to video game soundtracks. So let's go:

5. Metal Slug X

One of the best run and gun games of all time, with X being an updated version of Metal Slug 2, which fixed several issues with the base game, adds new weapons and of course, remixed the soundtrack. The songs were remastered and are more dynamic. While most of the time, it seems as though the background music is drowned out by the cacophony of gunshots, enemies dying and "Heavy Machine Gun!", Metal Slug X is an arcade game that is meant to be played multiple times to get a high score, and with enough times on this game, the soundtrack will get you hooked for more. The first thing you hear when you start the game is the character select screen with its funky music playing in the background, which has stuck with me throughout my entire gaming life.

4. Crash Bandicoot Warped

Yes the first game I ever tried on the original PlayStation, it has truly become one of my favorite games of all time. Jumping around between different time zones, unlocking new abilities after every boss fight, switching to Coco for certain levels, this game had it all. It also really felt like playing a cartoon, with Crash's funny expressions and death animations and even Neo Cortex's mannerisms and dreams of taking over the world. The music really nailed the cartoony vibe the game had for itself and certainly heightened the experience for my 4-year-old self. I'm glad that Crash has been given new life with the remasterings on the PS4, but my start in video games really did begin from the original Crash Bandicoot Warped.

3. Sonic 3 & Knuckles

I never owned a Sega Genesis, so the only way I had to play Sonic 3 was through an emulator, though at the time I didn't think it was a blasphemous thing to do. Sonic 3's music is undoubtedly a classic and it's common knowledge now that Michael Jackson himself worked on the soundtrack. The music complimented the bright, colorful levels with Sonic and his friends racing across the levels, saving little forest critters from the evil Doctor Robotnik. My personal favorite would be from Sky Sanctuary, one of the last levels of the game. The opening notes from the level send chills down my spine, it is also great that this particular song has been remastered a few times for Sonic Generations and Sega All-Stars Racing Transformed.

2. Final Fantasy X

By far my favorite Final Fantasy of all time and the first one that I played through all by myself, with little to no assistance from any older sibling. The Final Fantasy series is known for its iconic sound track and the progression to the PS2 was really leaps and bounds from the series's humble beginnings from the NES. Nobuo Uematsu's work is amplified with the PS2 hardware, which supported Dolby surround sound. Which means, with the right set up, one can enjoy the majesty of "To Zanarkand" in full surround sound back in 2002. Most of the songs in this game have become iconic and have been performed live countless times in orchestral shows around the world.

1.Kingdom Hearts II

Though some might argue that the first Kingdom Hearts had the superior soundtrack, I must say that Kingdom Hearts II amped up the soundtrack even further. With even more Disney tracks, dynamic background and battle music for each world, and the main theme of the game "Passion" or "Sanctuary", depending on the language you prefer, was much better and had more depth and emotion than the original's JPOP sounding main theme, "Hikari" or "Simple & Clean". My personal favorite from this soundtrack would be the orchestral version of Passion/Sanctuary which encapsulated the dire straits Sora and friends are facing throughout the series. I also think this is the best soundtrack of all time as it transcends from being just a video game soundtrack and even those who have never played Kingdom Hearts or even video games in general have heard the theme songs before. It also helps that the Disney songs within lend some familiarity to the soundtrack as a whole. Overall, it is a phenomenal soundtrack and I hope Kingdom Hearts 3 beats its predecessors in every way it can, especially the soundtrack.  

Dale Bashir
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