Top 10 Pros and Cons of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019)
By George Wood
The revamp of the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare series knocked me sideways upon announcement, though I still was wary of the implications. Would Infinity Ward throw more nuclear rocket fuel in the CoD engine to produce a more over the top CoD like Black Ops 4? Would I be able to play as a mecha-grizzly bear with RPG launchers as legs, or plug enemies from afar with a satellite laser sniper?
This was a series I had grown up with, and I am happy to report the game features a core classic CoD feel with stockpiles of newness to offer. Some highlights include Ground War, (32 vs 32 raging death fest …. with vehicles!), 2 v 2 skirmishes and cross-platform connectivity between PC and consoles broadening the pool of players who will assuredly wreck my day. Overall, the rules of engagement laid down by Call of Duty: Modern Warfare represent a slight transition from utterly chaotic running and gunning to a more calculated pace, rewarding players who can utilize cover within the fray.
1. The Campaign
The issue I have with many campaigns in shooters, including some Call of Duty titles, is that sometimes I need a little bit more emotional stimuli while I gun down enemies by the thousands. The first mission is par for the course, a standard chemical weapons investigation. “Oh, yet another terrorist organization stealing chemical weapons for dastardly aims?” *yawn*
My internal cynicism was immediately pacified in the chaotic next chapter at Piccadilly Circus, as your character is thrust into a mad wild terrorist attack in London, where scrambling, terrified citizens dash in front of your line of fire and pose a consistent collateral damage risk. I couldn’t help feeling shook up from watching heavily armed assailants mow down innocents, especially in the modern context of acts of terrorism occurring in Europe multiple times over the last decade.
The modern horrors of wartime are viscerally magnified here. Well fleshed out and emotionally scarring are the desolate images of war-torn nations, ruthless military invasions, rampant risk for civilian casualties and brutal interrogation tactics. That said, I do feel more prepared in the event I’m ever captured and water boarded.
Missions are brief, which contributes to the whole campaign attaining a truly cinematic feel that never feels stagnant. One thing the campaign does incredibly well is switching up the formula each mission. I remember the thrill of being able to snipe a feral dog from 300 meters away during a sniper driven objective, (“You monster” says an ally), and trembling as my juvenile character is tasked with defending her family from a hulking minotaur of a man who wanted to rip me limb from prepubescent limb.
Modern Warfare’s campaign is by far one of my favorite storylines in the CoD series, massively aided by a variety of player objectives, characters you can feel a genuine sense of camaraderie with and consistent success in keeping me engaged and on edge..
2. Quick play and 6 v 6 Multiplayer
To me, Call of Duty is and shall always be a cathartic platform for me to whoop on some filthy casual players, and inversely hate my life because I’m not actually that talented when compared to most. I’m not sure why I keep running back to the same pattern of getting a double killstreak and then spending the rest of the time getting my ego checked. But, I digress.
For jumping in boots first and busting some caps, Quick play and 6 v 6 multiplayer modes are my relentless time-sucking addiction. Hours fly faster than 50 cal rounds and I love every adrenaline screaming moment of it. Good call by Infinity Ward allowing Quick play filter so that I can zero in on my multiplayer mode preferences which include Kill Confirmed, Domination, Team Deathmatch and occasionally Gun Game.
Personally, I could enjoy matches on their own until my thumbs wear down to bony nubs. However, Modern Warfare compounds excitement by including Missions and Daily Challenges to implore you to mix up your tactics, rewarding you for achieving multiple killstreaks, assassinating foes ninja-style in a smoke screen, or various other interesting objectives.
3. Special Ops
Mixed feelings regarding Special Ops, but erring on the positive. There is a beautiful companionship that blossoms out of battling dozens of intelligent enemies, reviving fallen comrades and securing valuable intel with a group of silent internet strangers. As a diversion from the blood-pumping action offered by other multiplayer modes, Special Ops comes in clutch.
However, from the many Special Ops games I played, there were only a few where my team actually ever made any significant headway during a match. Immediately, waves of ferocious marksmen are storming the gates and in a few minutes flat I see the Mission Failed screen.
If there was some sort of system that matched your team’s rank with a gradual increase in difficulty, that would in some way solve the issue of how punishing Special Ops can be. I’ll still be jumping in but there are improvements to be made to perfect the program.
Utter customization of firearms has always been a strength of the series and Modern Warfare only expands upon the available flavors with the addition of the gunsmith. With the gunsmith, couch-bound soldiers can beef up their firearms with a variety of stocks, optics, perks and more, each affecting the gun’s performance within five custom load-outs. This all sounds like traditional CoD customization, however it is way more in depth then what has come before. One example of this is being able to change the caliber of bullet the AUG (which is a SMG to start) takes from 9mm to 5.56, which effectively makes it into an AR.
Additionally, armament aesthetic has been further broadened the introduction of gun charms, so now I can proudly pop shots off with a pair of hanging walnuts on the side of my pink zebra print Kilo 141. Styling on ‘em. Work hard enough and you can even change up your stealth kill techniques. Conceivably limitless options offered here. If you want to check out our list of best weapons and attachments click here!
5. Ground War
In assessing Ground War, I have to set aside my broken, wounded pride. Blasting about spraying and praying is an adequate strategy in most of the multiplayer modes, but if you try that in Ground War you will die. You will die so many times, my friend.
No doubt, Ground War is dominated by the sharpshooters, the seekers of cover, the cautious killers of men. I’m none of those things. Matches were in no way determined by my amateur output. I’ll never forget my first Ground War. My team almost immediately faced DEFCON, which means all of our bases were overtaken by hostile forces. For some reason that elicits a swift drop of a nuclear warhead, immediately vaporizing all teams.
Despite my griping, Ground War is a fantastic addition to the series. The introduction of both ground and airborne vehicles in big team combat adds a glorious new dimension to the series. Even better, both have smooth controls that one can quickly pick up and get down to the business of war.
6. Season One
As I wrote this article, Infinity Ward dropped “First Season,” a large horde of brand spanking new content for the masses. We’re talking brand new maps for Special Ops, Ground War, and the 6v6 multiplayer modes. Brand new firepower too, in the form of the RAM-7 and Holger-26. Finally, there are also three new multiplayer modes for your entertainment, including Reinforce, Gunfight OSP, and Infected.
Part two of this drop is the tantalizing Battle Pass, 100 tiers worth of gun charms, skins, finishing moves, points and loads of other loot. I put this drop in the “win” category because Infinity Ward rejected greedy pay to play cash grabbing in favor of a more benevolent approach. The first 20 tiers are free, a little sampler to entice the player to shell out $10 or 1000 CoD points for the remaining 80. Not bad!
7. 2 v 2 Multiplayer
While there are many who appreciate Modern Warfare’s small team rumble, I count myself out of this crowd. The two on two multiplayer mode, to me, fails to hook with the signature gripping nature of every other multiplayer mode. The premise is sound and will no doubt appeal to many, but the experience goes by fast and leaves me feeling unsatisfied.
Also, Infinity Ward needs to fix the issue of players dropping previous to the beginning of the match. During multiple rounds, I was trapped in ruthless two versus one firefights. This was all well and neat when I could win rounds as an underdog, but for the most part it was a savage, unjust beat down that could be prevented with some sort of implemented penalty.
Trials are a forgivable sin in my eyes because of the rewards offered for completion are juicy, but it is so frustrating how unintuitive some game variants are. The Gun Course and Marksmen modes are entertaining enough, if not a bit repetitive, and unfortunately they will prepare you remarkably little for the real business.
Juggernaut teases an enormous amount of fun to be had, suiting up in a metric ton of armor to the tune of driving, hell scream metal music. You start out mowing down scores of mindless meat bags, feeling absolutely immortal as bullets saw the masses in half. However, after 3 minutes of finding a defensible corner to post up in and piling up bodies by the hundreds it gets mind-numbingly repetitive. Somehow, this commercial meat factory-level slaughter becomes monotonous and bland. They don’t stand a chance, and just keep coming back for more!
The worst offender is the parkour type trial that plays like a stripped down, clunky Mirror’s Edge. I understand the game developers likely have an obligation to provide more than 3 modes for a category, but when the final product is this unimaginative I think it’s probably best on the cutting room floor. Burn the whole floor to be safe.
9. Weird Environmental Interactions
I remember, while playing earlier titles in the CoD series, shooting stacks of papers and bottles and being impressed by the way they exploded in a realistic fashion. Fast-forward to Modern Warfare, and little has changed. I’m ultimately disappointed by the progression of environmental interactivity Modern Warfare. While shooting through doors to pierce opponents is a thrill, I don’t think it’s unrealistic to expect that I should also be able to shoot through walls, or see barriers crumble as the match ensues.
Some buckets move when shot, others stay stagnant. Some lanterns burst, others just become imprinted with a bullet hole. In the campaign there were times I was blocked from walking onto carpets with no obvious obstructions. These are minor critiques but I make them because the rest of the game is so incredibly polished.
10. Lack of Split-Screen Co-Op
I’m fighting against a trend here, but Modern Warfare’s lack of split screen availability for Ground War, Campaign and Online Spec Ops is heartbreaking. People still hang out in person right?
I’m having a fantastic time playing Modern Warfare and my gripes are minimal when compared to how much fun I’ve had. The moving, cinematic experience offered by the campaign stands as one of the best in the series, and the multiplayer is, as always, phenomenal.
Overall Score: 9/10
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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