The 10 Most Iconic Sound Effects in Gaming
Which are the most iconic sound effects in gaming?
Cornea-blowing graphics that push the limits of a console have often been a primary selling point for video games.
However, it is the imaginative work the development team puts into sound engineering for a game that makes it remembered for decades after the playthrough.
A game’s soundtrack certainly enlivens the experience, instilling valor during gunfights or inspiring wonder while exploring a world.
Underrated though, is the creativity that goes into the game’s sound effects.
Particularly, the ones that are so well done that you could hear it anywhere and be brought back to that game.
The Most Iconic Sound Effects in Gaming
These are small audio snippets played for a few seconds whose memory lasts a lifetime for gamers.
Put on your top-shelf pair of headphones, and prepare to be reminded of some of the most iconic sounds in gaming.
10. Gears of War – Headshot
First-person shooters often reward players gratuitously for achieving headshots against the enemy, yet no game achieves this quite as gratuitously as the infamous king of virtual brutality, Gears of War.
Who could expect anything less from a game offering chainsaw executions, curb-stomping finishing moves, and literally punching someone until their head explodes?
Graphically, headshots in Gears of War are wonderfully rewarded. Featured are streams of blood pulsing out of the neck, following a gory firework out of the blown cranium. Even better though, is the legendary sound of the gunfire decapitation.
It all begins with a percussive boom, immediately followed by a squelching noise of grey matter pulling apart and separating in the air. The finish lingers, like someone pumping their hands in a pot of chunky-thick Ragu, and pulling them out to shake it on the floor.
9. Call of Duty – Hit Markers
Audio Director at Infinity Ward Stephen Miller and his team used about 90 microphones to record 50 different guns firing to give each firearm in Call of Duty Modern Warfare its own signature sound. Despite all this work, the one sound that has continued to be the fan favorite throughout the series is the muted thump of the hit marker.
Across the bloody spectrum of weapons, the Call of Duty hit marker is the one consistent verification that you’ve connected a hit. The sound is like a staccato kick drum, with twice the accompanying wave of euphoria of popping bubble wrap.
We’ve endorsed the best headsets for Call of Duty Warzone for many game-elevating benefits, though none so strong as being able to hear this beautiful kill notification in crystal clear high definition.
8. Tetris – Tetris Song
Technically, this is a song but I wouldn’t quite classify it as a game soundtrack. More like a carousel tune, going round and round forever as the player gets lost deeper in the hypnotic joy of fitting different shaped blocks into rows.
The Tetris theme is based on a Russian folk song called “Korobeikini,” the song’s lyrics telling the tale of a Russian merchant who exchanges his goods for sexual favors from a young lady, and then ends up marrying her. This is where the jaunty song’s narrative ends. Interestingly, the poem this song is based on continues the story, ending with the merchant being robbed and murdered by a forest ranger.
Not sure what this has to do with stacking blocks, but it is a fun tune regardless!
7. Doom – Monsters
The premise of Doom is a march through hellish regions inhabiting some of the most terrifying monsters ever displayed on screens. To terrify the space marine protagonist known as “Doomguy,” it makes sense that the team cooked up all sorts of terrifying growls and roars to rile him and the player up.
The Doom Monster sound has likely served as the inspiration for any monster sound in all FPS shooters following it, the godfather of all monster-mashing shooters. You’ll definitely want some of the best audiophile headphones to fully appreciate the terrifying and infernal sounds hell has to offer.
6. Legend of Zelda – Puzzle Solved
The Legend of Zelda series, especially the early iterations, are host to a whole book of different iconic sounds. The decision was tough, but the one that wins out with us is the timeless “puzzle-solved tune.”
This string of eight notes was composed by Koji Kondo for the first Legend of Zelda in 1986. Since then, it has lived on in every Zelda game, evolving from an 8-bit MIDI tune to a luscious harp piece in Wind Waker and the current simplified piano version present in Breath of the Wild.
Some honorable mentions here are the chest opening fanfare, Link’s sword noises (Ha!), and Navi’s utterly useless “Hey, listen!”
5. Mortal Kombat – “Get Over Here!”
It’s no surprise that Mortal Kombat’s most iconic line is delivered by its most iconic character, the demon ninja Scorpion.
Scorpion is a master martial artist who is also trained in the use of a chain spear to fight his enemies. One of his main uses for the spear is to throw it across the battleground, plunging it into his opponent’s chest, and then yanking them towards him to continue the beatdown in close quarters.
Right at the moment before he pulls the enemy in, Scorpion yells his iconic line to let them know they have no chance of escaping death. This usually ends with his flaming fatality, where he pulls up his mask to reveal a barebone skull that shoots white-hot flame from the mouth.
4. Metal Gear Solid – Alert
For a game that is largely centered around stealth and silent subterfuge, Metal Gear Solid could not have executed the character detection sound more startlingly. This alert is so iconic, its presence in various memes and parody videos as a common expression of surprise
Whenever Snake gets spotted by an enemy, this loud alert blares, disrupting the quiet of the stealthy atmosphere. Simultaneously, a large red exclamation point jumps above the enemy’s head, and stays there until Snake is able to hide long enough that patrolling soldiers let their guard down again.
Unless Snake can quickly escape to cover, this alert typically announces incoming death for the player, which only makes things more desperate.
3. Pac-Man – Waka Waka
The ravenous cheese wheel Pac-Man loves to eat blinking white dots, floating fruit, and retreating blue ghosts. He’s happiest when he’s feasting, the sound of his chewing an 8-bit “waka waka waka” sound as he navigates around various buffet mazes.
At the date of this article, Pac-Man is celebrating 40 years as the most well-known video game character globally, living in a game that is the highest-grossing video game series of all time. In case you felt like celebrating by downloading the game on your smartphone, we have a few recommendations on how to hear that signature waka waka with the best earbuds for mobile gaming.
2. Sonic – Rings
The uplifting jingle of acquiring golden rings in the Sonic Series pairs well with the bright candy tones of the environments the blue hedgehog dashes around in. Even the heartbreaking sound of Sonic being damaged and dropping some rings is a sweet tone, often used in humorous internet videos when someone gets hit or unwittingly smashes into something
However, I was thrown off the first time I heard the familiar ring as a gas station attendant rang up my road trip snacks. After some internet digging, I found this video by Youtuber Nexpo that goes into the possible connection between the golden ring jangle and convenience store POS stations.
Somewhere, Dr. Robotnik is laughing maniacally as he swims in a sea of gold rings.
1. Super Mario Series – Jump
This is a toss-up for me, because the boingy springboard sound of the heroic Italian plumber is, to me, just as memorable as his renowned triple jump noises (Ha! Hoo-hoo! YA-HA!). Shigeru Miyamoto knew a winner in the sounds of Zelda and kept it consistent in his Mario series.
Mario’s jumps needed a strong sound because his hops were his basic attack against all opponents, from the lowly Koopa to the mighty Bowser. These days, the outdated jump sound has been left out of the most recent games, but live on in many internet videos as a comical sound effect of a character jumping or scene transition.
As for the triple jump call, it lives on even in the most recent Mario games. Charles Martinet nailed the peppy voice of Mario, as well as the signature voices of Luigi, Wario, Waluigi, and Toadsworth.
Who knew that a small string of notes or a simple noise could so embed itself so deeply in a player’s psyche?
Sound has always played a pivotal role in all video games, and when it’s done with care it is a potent, memorable thing.
The 10 Best G Fuel Flavors of All Time
Which are the best G Fuel flavors of all time?
When it comes to gaming, your skill will only carry you so far.
The right set of equipment will enhance your game to a new level. With the perfect mouse, you will find comfort, precision, and the ability to program additional keys to suit your game.
You will also want to make sure you have a good set of headphones as any competitive game will require you to keep a keen ear and listen for any sound audio that could provide you with valuable information. Lastly, no gaming setup is complete without a keyboard as it is responsible for most of your inputs in the game.
Of course, you will want to make sure you are keeping your energy levels up, especially after playing long hours and G Fuel is the perfect way to re-energize yourself.
Many of the top gamers, including PewDiePie, swear by this drink due to its energy levels and antioxidants.
It is also fortified with focus aminos and numerous vitamins.
There are multiple flavors so it may be difficult to figure out which is the best for you so check out this list to help narrow down the competition.
The Best G Fuel Flavors of All Time
Without further ado, here’s our list of the 10 best G Fuel flavors:
G Fuel’s Galaxy Grape takes the classic and iconic flavor of grape and gives it an upgrade that will “take your taste buds on a journey through time and space.”
It has often been described as tasting like grape soda but without the artificial taste and carbonation, you would find in a soda.
Others have found it to taste like a grape popsicle or grape Gatorade but even better than those due to its energy-boosting qualities and lack of sugar.
9. Bahama Mama
It’s time to get tropical with this flavor! But you don’t have to spend your days lying on a beach somewhere in the Bahama’s to enjoy this feeling.
G Fuel’s Bahama Mama gives you the sweet and refreshing taste of pineapple, coconut, and orange right in your own glass without artificial flavoring.
Roman Atwood himself, the famous vlogger and YouTube star, promotes this drink as his official G Fuel flavor!
8. Ragin Gummy Fish
Unleash your rage with the Ragin Gummy Fish flavor from G Fuel!
This flavor tastes like what you’d expect from the name, Swedish fish but with a stronger hint of raspberry. You can also taste the passion and rage! Okay maybe not those two things but this flavor is delicious and often stands out as one of the most popular flavors.
In addition, this flavor was inspired and created by FaZe Clan’s own Jev and his love for gummy fish. Speaking of fish, the logo captures his essence through the fish’s angry expression and vibrant pink headphones.
So whether you want to support Jev or just love Swedish fish and need an energy boost, this flavor should definitely be a part of your gaming routine.
Summer comes packed in full with this flavor and with the full juicy, watery, and sweet taste you would expect from a watermelon.
But it isn’t an overly powerful sweetness but rather a subtle fruity one that is just as refreshing as the fruit.
If that isn’t enough for you then you should also know that iconic FIFA streamer CASTRO1021 heavily promoted this flavor before partnering with G Fuel and releasing his own flavor!
FaZeBerry comes in a red tint and features a strawberry scent to go along with its vibrant color.
Those who do not like the flavor of energy drinks will be in luck as this particular flavor tastes more like sweet fruit juice than an energy drink. Specifically, one can taste notes of acai, pomegranate, and strawberry.
While these sound typical of your berry flavors, one key difference here is that G Fuel uses natural ingredients which don’t give this flavor the artificial taste you expect from berry-flavored drinks.
FaZeBerry is also the official drink of the FaZe Clan so you can show your support and love by buying and drinking this flavor!
You should recognize the name PewDiePie and know that this flavor was named after a partnership with the famous Youtuber.
The flavor derives from the lingonberry, a Scandinavian berry that matches PewDiePie’s home nation.
Those who haven’t had lingonberries can expect a tart and slightly-sweet flavor. The powder itself is white so don’t be alarmed when it changes your water to a pink hue, after all, pink is a color very much suited for PewDiePie.
Not only is this flavor delicious, but it’s a great way to show your support of the Scandinavian Youtuber.
Not many are familiar with the guava flavor and if you find yourself in that category then you absolutely need to give this G Fuel flavor a try.
It is often described as being somewhere in between a pear and strawberry kiwi and not being overly sweet or tart.
It is the official drink of streamer CASTRO1021 so if you are looking for a solid resume look no further than his streams.
If you want to support this streamer or just enjoy this Mexican-inspired flavor then you definitely need to add this flavor to your daily regimen and enjoy the benefits that come with it.
3. Fruit Punch
There is no flavor more iconic than fruit punch. It can be found as a flavor for multiple kinds of drinks including gamer fuel.
Unfortunately, the flavor has a reputation for being artificial, but luckily you will find that isn’t the case here. As one of the three original flavors, fruit punch works hard to stand out and is a reliable choice for those new to G Fuel.
Unlike other fruit punch drinks, it is not overly sweet but rather has a refreshing and fruity flavor.
2. Hype Sauce
It’s time to pump it up with Hype Sauce.
As the name implies, you should absolutely get excited about this flavor as it resembles a raspberry lemonade and not the overly sweet and fake kind that you would normally find boasting this flavor.
It also doesn’t have the bitterness one can find in lemons and has a refreshing smoothness to it.
Its mellow and sweet taste is perfect for sipping all day and gives you the feeling of drinking a cool refreshing glass of raspberry lemonade.
1. Blue Ice
As the name implies, Blue Ice features a pleasing blue tint and a surprisingly sweet taste despite having 0 grams of sugar.
In addition to its sweetness, Blue Ice is also cool and refreshing and has a slight alcohol odor but does not contain any alcohol of course. It is described as tasting like the blue slushy drinks you find at gas stations only much better as it doesn’t taste artificial.
It is full of natural antioxidants and vitamins that promote energy and focus for both intense and stressful moments of gaming and recovering from these moments.
Blue Ice also stands out as being one of the three original flavors when G Fuel launched and still remains at the top of the flavors.
With G Fuel in hand, you will be able to maintain peak performance and outlast the competition.
Choosing the right flavor can be difficult, but once you find what you like you will be hooked. Due to its caffeine and natural ingredients, G Fuel can easily replace your coffee as well as pick me up when you are starting to feel sluggish.
It is the official drink of Esports and is also used by bodybuilders so its reputation precedes itself.
Regardless of why you are drinking G Fuel, with so many flavors to choose from there is one for everybody and every situation.
Here’s a quick recap of the 10 best G Fuel flavors of all time:
- Blue Ice
- Hype Sauce
- Fruit Punch
- Ragin’ Gummy Fish
- Bahama Mama
What’s your favorite G Fuel flavor? Leave a comment below.
Top 10 Escape From Tarkov Streamers and Their Gear
By Emily Barnes
*As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
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
4. Dr. Disrespect
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.
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