You have gameplay, you have a story to follow, but something else needs to make the experience. Music has always been something that fascinated me, has always been a part of my childhood, and made my gaming experience better. Some are uplifting that just make me want to charge into battle. Others hit a part of the feels I didn’t need to feel. Regardless music has become a part of the process that drives the senses that gets all gamers alike pumped. Many I have experienced by gameplay and others were recommendations by word of mouth These are my 10 favorite OSTs. Games that feature music from popular music groups like the Tony Hawk games will not make this list as they are not considered original to the game. These are my opinion alone as I can’t add an OST to the list if I have never heard them.
Before I begin my list I want to mention a few additional games I feel have some pretty solid OSTs that should be given a look. They would be:
- The Ar Tonelico Series
- Any of the Smash Bros renditions featured in their game
- Destiny 2
- Spyro Remastered Trilogy
- Mario Kart: Double Dash
10. Starfox Adventures
Before you get the pitchforks and torches ready let’s be clear about one thing here. I understand the argument that this is not a true StarFox game, so why is it included in this list? Because I honestly think the soundtrack was pretty good. It was the last Rare game to come to the GameCube before they were sold to Microsoft, and I think Grant Kirkhope outdid himself with it. The tribal feelings really make you feel you are on Sauria. Imagine it more of going on a treasure hunt in a cave rather than exploring a broken planet. If not for the game I recommend at least giving some of the tracks a listen.
Personal Favorite: Inside the Krazoa Palace
9. Katamari Forever
I didn’t play Katamari Forever personally, however, my wife enjoyed playing it, and one thing I have to admit was how catchy some of the tracks were. It certainly broke at the monotony of rolling and rolling. With how quirky some of the tracks are in conjunction to the pow in the face screenshots of a dramatic story you will certainly get a kick out of this OST. Even their remixes revitalize the later games. If this isn’t the kind of game for you that’s alright because everyone can get their groove on with these mixes.
Personal Favorite: Katamari on The Rocks (5cm Remix)
8. Monster Hunter 3: Ultimate
I had been introduced to the Monster Hunter series thanks to the tutorial videos published by ProJared back in 2013. Once I got my hands on Monster Hunter 3: Ultimate I was not disappointed. Every moment from the beginning of the quest to the fanfare of completing the quest left an impression of accomplishment. Every fight had a glorious accompaniment of music, but as you rose higher and delves deeper into the story, the tone changed. Near the end you are greeted to a wyverian chant that showed how far you have come along in your quest. One of the few OSTs that gave you a sense of progression, and I really appreciated how they handled it.
Personal Favorite: Ceadeus Battle
Jeremy Soule once again brings us into a realm full of fantasy and danger as gamers traverse through the bitter cold to fight dragons and rise as the legendary dragonborn in Skyrim. The OST was more atmospheric rather than a driving point as to not lose the full sense of exploration. Players though would get a familiar feeling when a dragon swooped down and the choir hailing the dragonborn invaded our speakers. There have been times though I would just sit near the frost falls and take in the atmosphere allowing myself to enjoy the peace before pressing on.
Personal Favorite: Frost Falls
I’m going to go on the record here and say that Guild Wars 2 is my favorite MMO of all time. Jeremy Soule returns to bring his vision of adventure, glory, loss, and hope to the original release in 2012. While many composers have worked on this gem up to this date, the first OST captures the essence of what this game was to be. When all feels lost one piece brings that hope back. The core game is free to play so if you never played give it a shot, and give the tracks a listen.
Personal Favorite: Zhaitan’s Theme
5. Final Fantasy IX
Final Fantasy was the series that really got me into video game music. There is so many but to round it down I would have to go with Final Fantasy IX as my favorite. Coming from previous games that focused on more darker tones, IX brought back a more imaginative world that you would expect in a game such as this. There were so many grand moments ranging from play all the way to end of the game that kept your spirits up and on the edge of your seat. Maybe in another list I’ll go over my personal FF favorites.
Personal Favorite: Kuja’s Theme
4. God of War
Awarded Game of the Year for 2018, God of War for the PS4 really broke its own barrier for storytelling and character development. Not once did it falter with traditional nordic and runic lore, and the composition of this OST reflected it. Ranging from anger to anguish to even acceptance this is one journey you don’t want to miss out on. If you want some study music or even a list for a long car ride definitely consider the entire OST.
Personal Favorite: God of War
3. Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
For a game that really doesn’t have a lot of music playing in the background, the Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild sure has a lot of tracks available to listen to. The objective was to immerse the player into the world where they are free to choose their own path. The last thing that was on their mind was music. Let’s be honest here though I’m sure I’m not the only one who still gets chills up their spine when the piano solo for the Guardians starts playing, and you don’t see them coming until the beam of death hits.
Personal Favorite: The Temple of Time
2. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
If there was an OST that gets me really pumped it would have to be Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. I haven’t played the game myself personally, but each soundtrack is just so energizing you would think you were listening to a collaboration soundtrack of several metal bands it is that good. For a game that is considered much different, I think many would get a kick out of its OST. Arguably this OST also has what I believe the best boss music in any game. Personally, I feel with the direction it was taken it paved the way to lead some great pieces to be composed for later games.
Personal Favorite: It Has To Be This Way
1. NieR Gestalt/Replicant
What makes Nier Gestalt / Replicant the most interesting of all was that it wasn’t game that I easily got into. My wife originally played it before I got the chance to but when I did I was blown away by all the original music. The unique Chaos language used was mesmerizing, and the story really connected well. A tale of loss, hope, and sacrifice meshed with some dark undertone music to complete it makes it a masterpiece to me. If you can find a copy of this game for your PS3 I highly recommend you check it out. NieR: Automata uses a lot of the music from the original just mixed in different variations so if you played that then you know exactly where I come from when I place this OST on the top of my list.
Personal Favorite: Shadowlord