How do you create a memorable playlist for the emotional speedride so often offered in action-adventure games? This genre is the one that leans heavier on the side of “cinematic,” because it is a bit more focused than RPGs and more story driven than FPS games. (“Story in a game is like story in a porn movie: It’s expected to be there, but it’s not that important,” Doom Lead Programmer’s John Carmack.)
This cinematic quality respects the vital nature of an evocative soundtrack that brings to life the characters, setting, and the emotion of a moment. With any luck, composers also crystallize a unique sound that is inseparable from the game’s experience, carrying the memory of it far past the playtime and into YouTube searches while you’re studying, working, or choring about whatever den you call your own.
Mosey about the list below to check out my top picks for the 10 best original action/adventure game soundtracks.
10. Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception
The first Naughty Dog action-adventure title on this list is a non-stop dash through the desert. Cinematic storytelling with thrilling brawls in bazaars, adrenaline-spiking plane dismemberment, and wrathful sea storms is deftly scored by composer Greg Edmonson.
“The Rub’ Al Khali” is a great example of the Arabian Nights feel that permeates from this soundtrack, a thematic pillar for the piece. Still, Edmonson isn’t afraid to chop up his symphonic cuts, as proven by the bellydeep basslines and breakbeat drums on “Reckless: Powerplay.”
Creeping apprehension of dungeon crawls sends chills up the spine during “Arachnophobia,” while “Pursuit” raises the stakes to life and death heights. Even still, tracks like “Something Better” pare down the orchestra to a simple classical guitar to drive home the serenity of a moment.
As a complete work, U3 has a soundtrack that is up to par with the Avengers-level stakes this game provides.
9. Silent Hill 2
Ok simmer down folks, I know that Silent Hill 2 is technically a survival horror game but I just couldn’t pass over Akira Yamaoka’s turbulent soundtrack, especially when the gameplay is composed of so many adventure game elements. Go listen to “Angel’s Thanatos” and tell me you aren’t immediately spurred into wanting to get into some action.
The music of Silent Hill 2 pierces the eardrums uncannily, because so often the games’ anti-hero James Sunderland walks in silence, or to the frightening sounds of monstrous gurgles and panic-inducing static. Tensions are set to panic-attack during “Ashes and Ghost,” which is of course played while you walk through a (mostly) deserted hospital.
Still, for a horror game the feelings expressed musically are fairly diverse. The nursery piano of “Promise (Reprise)” is sweetly sentimental, “The Reverse Will” has a groovy kickdrum to bob your head to, and “True” combines elements from both to create a sad but undeniably cool track.
8. God of War
Composer Bear McCreary sunk his teeth into this soundtrack, forging a massive musical experience that is befitting the new direction of the series. No longer is Kratos the human embodiment of untethered rage eternal. In the 2018 God of War, Kratos is a father, a mourning husband, and an aging relic in an unfamiliar Norse-inspired world.
The soundtrack weaves around these complexities, pumping out melancholic melodies to twist the aorta with a completely reimagined musical relationship between Kratos and this ruthless reality to raise his son in. Still, McCreary pays homage to the roots of the GoW series by retaining the bloodburning elements of previous titles: Bewitching choirs, bone splintering drum bashing, and berserker brass arrangements.
7. Grim Fandango
So far, this list has seen a couple grand orchestral scores with mighty victorious crescendos. Interludes of emotive strings begging serious reflection on behalf of the protagonist and player.
You know what this list hasn’t seen enough of? Straight up jazz, baby.
The 1998 Mardi Gras/film noir hit Grim Fandango is a standout here for multiple reasons. First, it is the only point and click adventure game to make the list. The second is Grim Fandango’s soundtrack, composed and arranged by Peter McConnell, is so far away from any other entry on this list.
Track after track of swinging drum snaps, wah-wah trumpets growls, bass line strolls and brief breaks of bebop and mariachi. Smooooooth, like the easy voice of Manny Calavera.It’s good to know the afterlife has such good musical taste.
6. Kingdom Hearts 2 (Final Mix)
Full disclosure, I’m one of those die-hard Kingdom Hearts fans that the internet gleefully loves to dump on. Erratic KH timeline criticisms aside, the one hill I will gladly die on for the series is the breathtaking soundtrack work by Yoko Shimomura.
A caveat: A decent portion of this album is original reworks of music from Disney movies such as Pirates of the Carribean, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and Winnie the Pooh. On top of that, there is a perilous rendition of Final Fantasy VII’s “One Winged Angel,” that does the original immense justice. Due to these remixes, I have knocked KH2 a few spots back on the list as it does get into some grey area of soundtrack originality.
Even without these, KH2 delivers the goods. You’ve got hell-raising battle music in the form of “The 13th Struggle,” “Tension Rising” and “A Fight to the Death.” There’s evocative compositions such as “Dearly Beloved,” “Destiny Islands,” and “Roxas.” There’s even unexpected dips into rock n’ roll in the Gummi Ship battle anthem “Hazardous Highway.”
I could go on, this soundtrack has so many iconic themes and so few misses within a 2 hour long composition, that it easily breaks into this list.
5. Red Dead Redemption
John Marston is a man of few words and aggressive action. Fortunately, this American outlaw turned Federal agent has the Spaghetti-western influenced, cowboy cinematic music of the RDR soundtrack to tell his story for him.
This soundtrack by Bill Elm and Woody Jackson, (whose names even sound like they could be RDR characters) is the music of solo horseback riding across the Southwestern US desert, or fighting bandits atop a speeding steam powered train. This is the music of shootin’ whiskey, bustin’ broncs, brawlin’ in saloons. Of waking up to black coffee and hand rolled cigarettes, and dying by the gun.
Perhaps the most visceral effects of this album are created by the clever implementation of a variety of instruments. Campfire harmonicas, rattlesnake maracas, tribal shouts, dusty brass, tombstone bell tolls; many more Western tropes here all done impeccably. These are combined with a wealth of emotive pieces, sometimes led by tension-building strings or heroic electric guitar riffs and thumping drum breakbeats. Plus, the original songs by Jose Gonzalez and Jamie Lidell were perfectly incorporated into RDR, almost like an in-game music video.
4. The Last of Us
In a post-apocalyptic world with the optimism of a burning orphanage, or perhaps a mass funeral, The Last of Us delivers one of the most emotionally shell-shocking gaming experiences in recent memory.
This is aided entirely by desolate, overgrown environments, morally compromised characters, and a gutpunchingly poignant original soundtrack. Gustavo Santaolalla’s masterpiece was nominated for numerous awards the year the game dropped; praise often directed at the understated nature of the composition. Quiet, simple instrumentation with buzzy distortion creates aching echoes of the pain and despondency of the world Joel and Ellie traverse. It’s hard to say if the music slices into the heart of the player because of the events onscreen, or if the situations onscreen are rendered hopelessly oppressive because of the score. Either way, the whole experience is soul-crushing and I love every minute of it.
3. Shadow of the Colossus
Shadow of the Colossus is an experience that really blurs the lines between video games, cinema, and art. This is a game that eschews narrative breadcrumbs and dialogue, fully embracing storytelling through sound and setting.
The music here reflects the Beowulf-level clashes between the silent protagonist Wander and the 16 titanic Colossi, ferocious and epic. Colosseum level sound that then eases into soul-rending string arrangements and twinkling pianos as Wander dashes across the Forbidden Land with his only friend, the indefatigable horse Agro.
This is indisputably Kow Otani’s most famous video game composition, hard hitting and achingly serene.
2. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
The Legend of Zelda is a longstanding series that remains true to a few consistencies. You always play as the vocally-challenged swordsman Link, the Kingdom of Hyrule is related in some way to the plot, and strong soundtracks keep the energy alive and running throughout the adventure. Shoutout to the genius level virtuoso compositions of Koji Kondo
Ocarina of Time was not my first Zelda game, but it was the one that felt packed with the most unforgettable tunes to accompany the beautiful settings and dramatic encounters of the game. Plus, the sheer variety of music styles keeps the exploration consistently rewarding. There’s exotic flamenco in “Gerudo Valley,” honky tonk ballads in “Lon Lon Ranch,” comical caveman jams in “Goron City,” mellow Carribean grooves in “Zora’s Domain,” and the classic ¾ barcarolle “Song of Storms.” The soundtrack also remixes many compositions from earlier titles in the series to incredible effect.
Plus, what other game soundtrack is strong enough to warrant remixes featuring Jay-Z, Clipse, Busta Rhymes, Aesop Rock, and more?
1. Hollow Knight
Hollow Knight in so many ways resembles a soul stirring opera performance, a sort of bug-infested “Ring of the Nibelung.” There is a staunch hero battling wicked monsters, an imaginative stage to immerse the viewer in the underground world, and above all else, a divine symphonic masterpiece to drive the story forward.
Composer Christopher Larkin was charged with bringing memorable character to the often-solemn lands of Hallownest, while also spiking players adrenaline during the many ferocious battles of the game. With a small troupe of instrumentation, Larkin was able to breathe glorious life into every moment of this game, a life of roaring triumph and mysterious intrigue. While there are tweaked leitmotifs tying many of these tracks together, each track sports its own colors of emotion without ever becoming anything less than utterly engrossing.
From start to finish, this album is a phenomenal accompaniment to a masterful gaming experience. Plus, with the recent drop of some of the music off Hollow Knight: Silksong, I couldn’t be more stoked for what tunes are in store for the sequel.
One of my favorite parts about writing these articles is being able to put into words the all-consuming love I have for the soul-enriching quality of strong gaming soundtracks, but not only that, I also reach out to friends for their favorites. This leads to this beautiful connection, bonding over a shared passion for this artful component of video games.
If at the end of all this, you check out just one of these tracks and find a winner, well, we’ve connected as well! Not bad for the typically contentious nature of a ranking article.
Top 10 Escape From Tarkov Streamers and Their Gear
By Emily Barnes
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Becoming an established Twitch streamer is one of the most common ambitions for people around the world, and the market is as saturated as ever. In order to keep up with the competition streamers are constantly searching for new games to play and updating their setups to improve the quality of their streams. The majority of the most viewed games on Twitch rarely change, but more recently a certain game has made a regular appearance.
Developed by Russian studio Battlestate Games, Escape from Tarkov has recently soared to the very top of the Twitch browse page, and well-known streamers are taking advantage of the game’s rise in popularity. Escape from Tarkov provides players with a huge multiplayer first-person universe with RPG and MMO elements while prioritizing realism and an intriguing story-driven gameplay.
In late 2019 the Escape from Tarkov Twitch Drops Campaign was introduced allowing ample opportunity for players to receive in-game loot for simply watching streamers play the game. First you connect your twitch profile with your in game profile, watch streamers with broadcasts marked “drops are enabled”, and after a certain amount of time spent watching you are guaranteed at least one in-game item. Escape from Tarkov was also on sale during this time, increasing the normal amount of viewers on Twitch to over 200,000, showing the massive impact this marketing strategy and promotion had on the popularity of the game. Many streamers have taken advantage of this spike in viewership by streaming the game, and one of the most important parts of streaming is using the best gear to maximize your quality. Below is a list of the top ten Escape from Tarkov streamers and their gear:
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Smoke is a popular streamer boasting over 100,000 followers and averaging thousands of viewers for every broadcast. Already being primarily focused on playing first person shooters and survival games, Smoke choosing to play a title like Escape from Tarkov is not surprising at all.
Having a monitor with a crystal clear image of your games can significantly improve your game sense and skill, and Smoke is no stranger to this fact using an ASUS ROG PG279Q 27″ Gaming Monitor. A 27-inch screen provides Smoke with a large enough screen to increase game awareness completed with ASUS Ultra Low Blue Light filters that protect his eyes during those eight hour streams.
The mouse Smoke uses for gaming is the Logitech G Pro Wireless Gaming Mouse with Esports grade performance. This mouse is created to be used by esports professionals with a 16,000 DPI and an extremely lightweight design. Although more towards the pricier side of gaming mice, for a successful streamer it’s a small investment towards the bigger picture.
Sequisha is very popular with over ten million twitch channel views and a substantial following. Known for his great sense of humor and very recognizable facial hair, Sequisha mostly streams shooter and survival games, and has recently been strictly streaming Escape from Tarkov. He also has a very substantial knowledge of video games considering he attended school for Simulation and Game Development. When he’s not streaming he’s creating 3D art and developing games.
His Twitch account was created in 2011, so he has been on Twitch for almost a decade. During the years of growing his following Sequisha has invested in a professional setup that is affordable and efficient. His mouse of choice is the Logitech G502 Proteus Core Mouse. This mouse is very customizable with a variety of balancing and weight settings and custom lighting options. Paired with the Logitech G513 RGB Wired Gaming Keyboard, Sequisha’s set up has a visually appealing and colorful look with many custom options.
Deadlyslob is known for focusing primarily on streaming and creating content around survival shooters: PUBG, Day Z, and of course Escape from Tarkov. His Twitch and Youtube profiles both have significant followings, and he has created informative content about Escape from Tarkov. For someone new to the game, Deadlyslob’s streams are a great way to improve your own gameplay.
Deadlyslob’s gaming rig sports an extremely powerful Gigabyte AORUS GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Xtreme Edition GPU. This GPU is a powerhouse with the price tag to match. A Graphics Card as powerful as this one can run practically any game beautifully, and his ASUS 24-inch 144Hz Full HD FreeSync Gaming 3D Monitor is a wonderful pairing with top notch response time and resolution.
Sacriel is a lifelong gamer from the United Kingdom. He streams full time averaging thousands of viewers, and recently has heavily focused on Escape from Tarkov. Before starting to play Escape from Tarkov he logged over 3,000 hours in Day Z, showing his dedication to survival style games.
Sacriel’s gaming rig includes the NVIDIA GEFORCE RTX 2080 Ti which provides gamers with a very realistic gaming experience with a 13-phase power supply. For a realistic game like Escape from Tarkov, this graphics card is a perfect part for your gaming PC. Another part of his set up is the VIRTUOSO RGB WIRELESS High-Fidelity Gaming Headset, a high quality headset that is comfortable and aesthetically pleasing.
Since his first stream in early 2018, Veritas has gained over 100,000 followers. To gain such a big following in such a short amount of time is nothing short of amazing, and Veritas is known for incorporating his musical talent into his streams.
Veritas’s setup includes the Cooler Master MasterKeys MK750 Mechanical Keyboard. This keyboard features a sleek floating key design with a surrounding RGB light bar. The removable magnetic wrist rest allows for maximum comfort for his streaming 40 hours a week. As a musician, it’s not surprise Veritas’s headset is on the pricey side. The Sennheiser R185 is a top quality headset that guarantees a high quality sound experience with no struggles to hear any footsteps or in game sounds.
Anton is another streamer from this list that puts a lot of his focus on creating informative content. He has created quite a following across multiple social media platforms and has done so without using a webcam. He is primarily focusing on creating Escape from Tarkov content across all his profiles.
Anton uses the Logitech G502 LIGHTSPEED Wireless Gaming Mouse featuring the next-gen HERO 16k sensor allowing for maximum speed, responsiveness, and accuracy. His monitor of choice is the ASUS ROG PG279Q 27″ Gaming Monitor with a 165 Hertz refresh rate for an enticing gaming experience that is visually stunning
Dr. Disrespect is one of the most mainstream streamers on this list. Known for his iconic mullet, charisma, and a controversy or two, Dr. Disrespect has soared in popularity on the platform. It shouldn’t be shocking to anyone that Dr. Disrespect quickly took an interest in playing a game like Escape from Tarkov.
Dr. Disrespect’s setup includes the extremely affordable Razer DeathAdder Elite Gaming Mouse proving that you don’t have to break the bank to get gear that gets the job done well. Razer also manufactured Dr. Disrespect’s keyboard of choice, the Razer BlackWidow TE Chroma v2 Mechanical Gaming Keyboard.
3. Dr. Lupo
Continuing with mainstream streamers, Dr. Lupo is one of the most well-known names from Twitch. Previously known for excelling in games such as Fortnite and PUBG, Dr. Lupo has taken on Escape from Tarkov as well. Dr. Lupo is insanely skilled at most of the games he plays, and Escape from Tarkov is no exception.
Just like Smoke, number ten on this list, Dr. Lup uses the Logitech G Pro Wireless Gaming Mouse. This mouse provides users with Logitech’s most accurate sensor available. His keyboard is also created by Logitech, the Logitech G Pro Mechanical Gaming Keyboard. This keyboard was created to be used by esports athletes and provides a powerful yet quiet performance.
Summit1g has grown a following of millions of viewers. After retiring from the professional competitive CS:GO scene, Summit1g has seen massive success on Twitch. Summit1g is a variety streamer who has played many different games, and he most recently picked up Escape from Tarkov.
One of the more affordable parts of Summit’s setup is his headphones, the Audio-Technica ATH-AD700x Audiophile. Costing under $100 while maintaining a high quality sound and a unique open-air design make these headphones a great part of any setup. Summit’s monitor is the ASUS ROG Swift PG258Q Gaming Monitor that minimizes screen tearing and stuttering.
The final streamer on our list is none other than Pestily. Pestily is a very honorable man having served eight years in the Australian military and for the entire year of 2020 he is giving away all of his donations and tips to the Starlight’s Children’s Foundation. The combination of an interesting backstory, mechanical skills, and work ethic have caused Pestily to rise to success playing Escape from Tarkov.
Pestily’s gaming PC includes an impressive Gigabyte AORUS GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Xtreme 11GB. This graphics card can run even the most demanding games smoothly, and is a perfect addition to a serious streamer’s rig. His headset of choice is the Corsair Virtuoso, a moderately priced headset that provides high quality sound and comfort.
The streamers on this list have some similarities in their setups: Top quality monitors with blue-light protection, headphones with comfortability and high audio quality, keyboards with vibrant and customizable RGB lighting, and gaming mice varying in prices but maintaining the esports athlete standard.
Streamers will always benefit from keeping up with trends and playing games that they genuinely like. Incorporating games into your stream that run campaigns like Attack On Tarkov is a great way to boost your viewer count while rewarding people for tuning in. The streamers on this list have found major success in contributing to the surge in popularity for Escape from Tarkov, and have possibly helped a title to remain popular for years to come. If your new to Escape From Tarkov, check out our Top 10 Tips for Escape from Tarkov and our guide for Top 10 Guns In Escape From Tarkov!
Top 10 Best Original RPG Soundtracks
The masterfully-crafted melodies of my favorite video games often dissolve me in my at-home office space, floating back into these worlds I adore. Waves of nostalgia break, releasing sweet, sweet euphoria as I’m transported into the memorable battles and blooming landscapes of games past.
A truly great original soundtrack for a video game is timeless. It transcends outdated graphics and dusty game mechanics. Each score is like a save point for a moment; with a listen, loading the individual back into that space.
Some of the best soundtracks belong to RPGs, because these games more than any other strive to transport the gamer to a fleshed-out world with a strong narrative supported by vivid characters. They evoke feelings of wonder, of triumph, of loss, and this is all bolstered significantly by an imaginative background score.
Below are my top picks for the best RPG soundtracks of all time.
10. Secrets of Mana
The first of a few Square Enix additions, Secrets of Mana is the oldest pick on this list, a classic musical score by its own merits. Factor in that this game was composer Hiroki Kikuta’s first video game score, AND that he was limited greatly by the Super NES software capabilities. I put a lot of respect on this game’s soundtrack.
Within the parameters of the Super NES, Secret of Mana displays a full spectrum of emotional depth to accompany the game’s protagonist trio as they fight against the Empire. While the game itself hasn’t aged particularly well, the soundtrack is still a fantasy-laden, MIDI-driven bop. Ch-ch-check it out.
9. Pokemon Ruby/Sapphire
The classic premise of pitting wild animals against each other in battle has remained largely unchanged over the course of Pokemon’s long history. However, each iteration introduces a new region to collect all new Pokemon in, and an engaging soundtrack to liven up the adventure.
The 3rd Generation of Pokemon, Ruby and Sapphire, went particularly hard in the music, incorporating a broad list of styles that never got stale. Perhaps, I’m partial to the trumpet heavy soundtrack as a former player myself. Bops like the Lilycove City waltz, the pump-up Gym Leader battle music, and the prevailing Route 104 march keep me coming back for more.
8. Dark Souls 2
Dark Souls 2 is a standout in this list, because the game developers don’t care to coddle the player with music to carry them through their quest to kill a queen. Naught but the sound of your lonely footsteps and the roar of the monster will join you on your quest.
That is, until death is upon you. The Dark Souls 2 soundtrack is composed of epic boss music that complements the environment you’re fighting in. The Ancient Dragon fight has a loud cacophony of choral voices with interspersed bells that callout to the wingbeats of numerous dragons and the cathedral you fight before. The haunting strings of the Mytha fight really underscore the creepy movements of the beheaded snake lady who aims to smite you
Still, there are beautiful moments here, which is a divergence from the others in the series. Meditating to the sweet tune of Majula brings me great peace between getting slaughtered wrecked by every enemy imaginable.
While there isn’t a great deal of mood variety on this soundtrack, no other game scores legendary showdowns quite as well.
Indie hit Bastion follows the adventures of a sharp shootin’ young buck known as “The Kid,” as he navigates a beast-infested world following the mysterious Cataclysm. There is a prevalent Western theme throughout the soundtrack, slide guitars and distorted twang that pair well with the Sam Elliot esque narration along your journey.
The addition of strong vocal tracks in any video game is a bold decision, but memorably executed on “Setting Sail, Coming Home” and “Zulf’s Theme.” Whether you’re feeling nostalgic or just need a good soundtrack to ride off in the sunset to, Bastion’s got you covered.
6. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Steel for humans, silver for monsters, and a golden soundtrack for the rest of us.
It’s no surprise to me that the rugged, monster-killing ladykiller Geralt got picked up for a television series. The Witcher 3 has it all: Lively, expansive world, sharp dialogue, but most important, a lovely cinematic soundtrack.
With the following DLCs, “Hearts of Stone” and “Blood and Wine,” the musical journey only continues along the route of tense clashes and quaint village pieces. The composer triumvirate of Marcin Przybylowicz, Mikolaj Stroinski and Percival really nailed it here. If you liked the Skyrim soundtrack, you’ll love this one.
5. Chrono Cross
Hopping back and forth between alternative universes can leave a player in a real headspin, especially when those realities tend to resemble each other. Composer Yasunori Mitsuda found inspiration within this complex game mechanic, composing a masterful soundtrack that explores this duality, evoking moods that complement two realities Serge and company bravely navigate.
What this leads to is a distinct musical experience whether you’re dashing around “Home” or “Another World.” One of the best examples of this is expressed within the two Terminas. While both have an overarching Celtic theme, Another Termina is driven by a beer swigging, bouncy Irish jig, while Home Termina retains its Irish roots in a more subdued manner, more akin to your local Renaissance Faire.
This soundtrack has also aged remarkably well. While it lacks ironclad hits to truly sweep you off your feet, the music of Chrono Cross swims along with no misses, an uplifting adventure through tropical paradise from first sip to last call.
4. Persona 5
Clearly, we’re showing a lot of love for JRPGs here. That said, Persona 5 is a breakout vibe on this list, high-octane acid-jazz with cooler coffeehouse piano to break up the action.
Bouncing between character’s mental labyrinths and exploring a cel-shaded Tokyo presents a unique opportunity for sound exploration, and Atlus delivers the goods. Even more impressive, the soundtrack is able to remain engaging and fresh throughout the nearly 4-hours album length.
While I haven’t played the game, this is one of those rarities that has me interested in picking it up solely based on the grooves, man.
Undertale has received a lot of hype among indie game connoisseurs, and it’s all dead on. The low-grade graphic style that may be initially off-putting hides a game with some of the best dialogue and narrative writing.
What might be most memorable is the vibrant soundtrack is the immense mood shifts you get here. “Death By Glamour” could easily fit into your favorite DJ’s party set, while the forlorn piano in “Undertale” makes you want to weep ugly tears. Megalovania is a raucous headbanger that fits the frantic boss fight, though it should be stated here that all of the boss fights really excel at having their own signature music.
This soundtrack has also seen many different remixes, which only further memorializes the powerful effect the music has had on fans.
2. The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
In almost every way, global megahit Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, is superior to any other game in the series. Almost. Musically, Morrowind gets the nod over Skyrim as one of best gaming soundtracks birthed by prolific composer Jeremy Soule.
It’s not even close. At just under an hour long, the Morrowind soundtrack triumphantly cultivates the curiosity of the mushroomed continent, the serenity of solo exploration, the bold glory of fierce overland conflict. It almost feels like one continuous piece of music, no jarring transitions or flaccid fadeouts.
While Skyrim delivers three hours of beautiful ambience with a few memorable high points, the Morrowind soundtrack is an unceasing movement of captivating, truly epic storytelling.
1. Final Fantasy IX
Lemme tell you, choosing the best soundtrack from composer Nobuo Uematsu’s catalogue throughout the Final Fantasy series is a heart-wrenching endeavor. There are some seriously strong contenders here, and all could earn a well-deserved place on this list.
FFVI is a strong soundtrack throughout the album, with many high points including Kefka’s boss theme, “Dancing Mad,” which takes a close second to “One-Winged Angel” as the series’ best boss theme. FFVII easily has the best battle music across the series, but besides that, holds another sentimental high point in the collection with the tragically beautiful “Aerith’s Theme.”
Plus, who could forget the intense intro music of FFVIII “Liberi Fatali,” or the only song in the series I would take molly before listening to and dance my face off: “The Man with the Machine Gun.”
However, as a cohesive body of work that has stood the test of time, I give the crown to FFIX. Uematsu has stated in interviews this was also his favorite soundtrack, and with this soundtracks’ string of memorable hits it’s hard to disagree.
Some of the most recognizable tunes here are the sexy “Vamo Alla Flamenco,” the summer favorite “Ukulele de Chocobo,” Kuja’s savage organ piece “Wicked Melody,” and the sweeping love song “Memories of Life.”
One of the toughest parts about ranking this list was discerning personal nostalgia from the musical quality of these soundtracks. While there are some on the list I haven’t played, the strengths of the scores largely speak for themselves.
The 10 Best Skins in Among Us
Which are the best skins in Among Us?
Among Us is a fun little game that has been out since June of 2018 but only recently took the world by storm (thank you quarantine).
There is a free version of the game on mobile (both Android and Apple) and a version on Steam for PC for $4.99. Among Us has been trending on Twitch and YouTube as many famous streamers have been playing it with friends.
The premise of this game is simple; finish all of your tasks before you’re killed by the imposter or, if you’re the imposter, kill everyone before they can finish their tasks.
Like an outer space version of Clue, this game pits you against each other as you try to vote off the imposter before it’s too late.
After someone has reported a body or called an emergency meeting, the group has a chance to discuss and make their selection on who they think is the killer. Imposters can sabotage and hide in the vents as well but don’t get caught because that’ll be an immediate giveaway.
We all know that video games are made to test your skills but who doesn’t want to have a little fun with their character’s appearance as well? The ability to customize your character has long been a favorite feature among gamers and Among Us is no different.
You can change the color on your default character but even that gets a little boring eventually.
The Best Skins in Among Us
Have no fear, though, because Among Us has other ways to customize your look to make you stand out.
There are three different features that can be customized; skins, hats, and pets. It should be noted that this is purely cosmetic.
These don’t affect your gameplay but they do help to promote your online identity. So maybe that can inspire you to put all of your best skills out there.
There are a total of 15 skins available in Among Us.
Here is the list of the best skins in Among Us:
The Military skin is your basic army green. It is free on PC and costs $1.99 on mobile.
It is also part of the Military bundle that gives you this skin along with the Military Hat. Considering you are in a cosmic battle for survival, the Military uniform is quite fitting. You’ll need to be tough to survive this; there’s no calling in the actual troops when you’re so many lightyears away from safety.
Though it does look a bit like a mall cop uniform, the Captain skin can still be pretty fierce.
This skin is available for $1.99 on mobile and is free on PC. It comes as part of the Captain bundle which gives you this outfit and the Captain Hat. Again, being in a fight for your life in the depths of space takes a lot of guts.
You have to display dominance and really show the imposter whose boss or blend in with the group of actual crewmates as best you can. This probably won’t be enough to trick people into thinking you’re only there to help but you never know.
The Mechanic skin is $1.99 on mobile and free on PC. It does also come as part of the Mechanic bundle, which includes the skin and the Hard Hat.
There are three maps available in this game; MIRA HQ (more on MIRA later), The Skeld (spaceship), and Polus (a planet being used as a research base). But no matter what map you play on, there’s a lot of work to be done.
Whether you’re repairing and cleaning the O2 filter at MIRA HQ, repairing the drill on Polus, or fixing the wiring on The Skeld, there’s always plenty of work to be done. So, a Mechanic outfit is pretty fitting to get your tasks done quickly before the imposter kills you all.
The Doctor skin is available for free on PC and $1.99 on mobile. It comes in the Doctor bundle which also gives you the Stethoscope hat.
Being a crewmate, and a doctor would be quite beneficial to the group.
Working in the MedBay at MIRA HQ or on The Skeld, and even working in the Laboratory on Polus, takes a lot of special skill. So putting on a doctor’s uniform is bound to give you all the knowledge to complete those tasks quickly. You probably won’t be able to do much for your crewmates that have been cut in half but you’ll feel important.
On the other hand, playing as a doctor with a dirty little secret could be kind of fun too. Take inspiration from Dr. Harold Shipman and take everyone out.
6. Black Suit
The Black Suit can be purchased individually on mobile for $1.99 or as part of the Black Suit bundle that also comes with a Top Hat.
This is available for free on PC. You never know who will be watching you, so you always need to dress to impress. Get all fancied up with this Black Suit and be the star of the show on any map. Just don’t be too glamorous if you’re trying to get away with killing people.
5. MIRA Security Guard
Blend in with MIRA security for $1.99 on mobile or free on PC. It is also available in the MIRA HQ bundle. This bundle comes with three hats (MIRA Hazmat Mask, MIRA Security Cap, and Landing Headset) and three skins (MIRA Hazmat, MIRA Security, and Landing Official).
Even a simple game like Among Us has some great lore attached to it. Mira, usually written as MIRA, is a research company that has recently evacuated all of its crew for fear of imposters taking over the facility. They’ve shipped you out to get far away from the imposters but you still have plenty of tasks to complete no matter where you are. You’re also tasked with voting out the imposter before it’s too late.
No one would ever suspect a security guard, right? You’re supposed to be the protector so you’re obviously innocent. Dressing as MIRA security is a great way to fool the crew.
The Archaeologist skin costs $1.99 on its own for all users but can also be purchased as part of the Polus Map bundle.
This bundle comes with three hats (Miner Gear Hat, Winter Gear Hat, and Archaeologist Hat) and three skins (Miner Gear, Winter Gear, and Archaeologist).
The Polus crew could definitely use some help from an archaeologist. Storing artifacts and working in the Polus Specimen Room would require special knowledge.
So get done up in your Archaeologist gear and get it done.
3. Winter Gear
Speaking of the Polus Map bundle, the Winter Gear skin is another great choice.
It costs $1.99 on its own for users of both platforms.
Wherever you are, you have to admit that this outfit is pretty stylish. This would be especially helpful on Polus, which has some absolutely ridiculous weather conditions. You can go from lava to the dead of winter in just seconds.
It’s pretty hard to complete tasks, or kill people, if you’re frozen solid so it’s best to gear up and be prepared for this frozen wasteland.
2. MIRA Hazmat
The MIRA Hazmat suit is part of the MIRA HQ bundle and costs $1.99 on its own for all users.
There’s no doubt that a hazmat team would be helpful among the crew.
You have plenty of tasks dealing with some questionable materials. There’s also been plenty of movies that remind us about the potential dangers lurking in outer space. It’s best to be prepared.
Our favorite skin is the Astronaut. It is free on PC and $1.99 on mobile.
You can also buy it as part of the Astronaut bundle which comes with the Astronaut Helmet.
Astronaut suits are pretty useful when you’re traipsing through the galaxy. You’ll fit the role of crewmate perfectly and no one could possibly suspect the person dressed as a literal astronaut.
Remember that these skins and other cosmetics have absolutely no effect on the gameplay whatsoever.
But, as we already talked about, character customization is part of your online identity. Whether playing with friends or in a public lobby, you want to look cool. Feel like part of the team with a MIRA uniform or look snazzy wearing the Black Suit and Top Hat.
Be sure to check out some of the top streamers as well. Watching streamers play is pretty fun as is and this game has been one of the top choices for many streamers lately. Watching streamers also gives you some great tips on playing Among Us. They’ll show you the best ways to finish your tasks quickly or how to get away with murder.
Streamers are also good role models for gamers of all levels. Though Among Us is pretty basic, you’re probably playing other games too. Be sure to check out the equipment the top streamers use and climb the ranks in any game you play.
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