Don’t worry, No Spoilers!
Something that is often overlooked is the soundtrack in games. Usually it’s the single-player story that stands out, the multiplayer gameplay, or the graphic design. The games with the best soundtracks are often times my favorite games because they include every aspect. Games like Guitar Hero, Grand Theft Auto (GTA), and sports games are excluded from this list.
My list contains songs where whenever the player hears it play, they are instantly brought back to their gaming experience. This list is in no particular order, I hold each experience close to my heart and I hope this list opens old memories and hopefully new one’s in the future.
15. Far Cry 3
What an EPIC game! I’m surprised this game hasn’t been made into a movie yet (The Division, Splinter Cell, Firewatch, Assassin’s Creed will come out within the next few years). Vaas is an all-time villain and one of my favorites. There are 3 songs from this game that make the list: Paper Planes by M.I.A. What a way to start a game. When this song came out it was flames. It set the tone that Jason Brody and his friends were going to have the vacation they soon would never forget.
Make It Bun Dem – by Damien Marley ft. Skrillex
Remember hearing this song come on as soon as you walk into a particular area in the story with a fun weapon and when you get to the part you’ll remember why it was so fun to use. I got genuinely excited when it came on and was like, “Let’s Do This, LEEEROOOY JENKIIIINS”.
I’m Sorry by Brian Tyler credits song. The perfect song to end a perfect game. That is all.
14. Life is Strange
Obstacles by Syd Matters As soon as this song came on as Max left Mr. Jefferson’s room I knew this soundtrack was going to be an experience. It was a cool little moment as soon as Max put her headphones in it started playing and the intro of “Life is Strange: Episode 1: Chrysalis” showed up next to her. If you haven’t played Life is Strange, stop what your doing, and immediately buy that shit! It’s one of my favorite story-driven games of all-time and it will hit you in the feels real quick. (Update: Episode 1 is free in the PS Store).
To All of You by Syd Matters I looked at Spotify and saw Syd Matters top hits and Obstacles/To All of You each have like 4 million listens. Their next best hits are about 100,000 each. That’s not a shot at Syd Matters either, they are Life is Strange legends and it also shows that Life is Strange die-hards love these songs. The thing about these songs isn’t that they are just good, it’s the experience the player feels while listening to them, and that’s what makes them so special to us all.
Spanish Sahara by Foals This is the song played at the end of all the madness that just happened. Every song in the game has an experience and emotional rollercoaster attached to it. Life is Strange is one of the few games that opened my eyes and thought process to emotional connection between characters in video games. We all experienced it in movies and TV shows, and this was my first video game experience that really made me appreciate the art involved in gaming.
13. Until Dawn
Probably should have gotten a better picture but that doesn’t matter. What drew me to this game in the first place was Hayden Panettiere. Absolute smokeshow and incredible actress voice-acting in a new horror videogame? Sign me up right now! And I hate horror movies, video games, you name it, not a big draw for me.
O’Death by Amy Van Roekel apparently this is a cover song. Doesn’t matter, it’s a prepare for battle-like song. Reminds me of “If I Had A Heart in Vikings”. There are multiple storylines in Until Dawn and multiple endings where characters don’t all make it to the end. If you love horror games and story-driven games that’ll leave you in awe, check it out!
Background: Like most horror films, you go out to a cabin in the words with your friends and then you discover things aren’t the way they seem to be.
12. To The Moon (Don’t have a picture never played it because it was a PC game, I did watch a Let’s Play here: To The Moon (BLIND)
Background: “Follows Dr. Eva Rosalene and Dr. Neil Watts (employed by Sigmund Corp.) as they fulfill the lifelong dream of the dying Johnny Wales.” – IMdB – written by Wikipedia.
These 4 songs are a delight to listen to. Like the other songs above, this game utilized its music to build a scene and convey emotion. (Sidenote: Does anybody listen to these types of instrumentals like me who have to do work and need to block out outside noise? I did it in college while writing papers and I’m listening to the songs while I type this blog).
11. Red Dead Redemption
(photo courtesy of all-outVGmusic, I’ll use his link for the music)
Red Dead-Fucking Redemption. A western-styled GTA, where instead of stealing cars and blowing up tanks, you’re playing as former outlaw, John Marston, who will steal horses, shoot members from his old gang, to gain back the respect he once had. Take down outlaw hideouts, help out innocent civilians, this game was endless fun. Like GTA, the story was very very long. But it was so worth it.
Deadman’s Gun by Ashtar Command Marston was the literal BADASS that you’d expect him to be. An outlaw who commanded respect, lived by his own set of morals, and was forced to change for the good of his family. His son Jack loved his father, and John didn’t want him to become the man he was. Some games are called a masterpiece that don’t deserve the title. Red Dead Redemption is and will forever be a masterpiece. This game kind of reminds me Outlaw Josey Wales not in the aspect of storyline, but in similarity between Josey and John Marston.
10. Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons
A game without dialog. Didn’t work for me with Virginia, however it was a splendid experience here. This game was able to capture every emotion through me. It’s an adventurous tale where you play as two brothers who are sent on a mission to save their sick father. It’s similar to the game Limbo in a way where you as the player must co-ordinate each brother to problem-solve tasks to progress. It’s visually beautiful and has dynamic gameplay where the adventure never stops.
Main Theme by Gustaf Grefberg The soundtrack draws similarities from The Lord of the Rings trilogy and captures the essence of a fictional time. Stories that pull at the players emotions throughout a story are often the best experiences a player can have.
9. Tales From the Borderlands
TellTale does it again! The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us, and then Tales From the Borderlands. A game set in a mystical time where you play as Rhys and Fiona who team up to prevent a vault key from ending up in the wrong hands. TellTale’s games play more like an interactive move than a video game. I absolutely adore TellTale’s games. They are so beautifully written and the animation is a nice touch. The humor is great, the character development is on point that the player cares or hates a certain character, and it’s action-packed.
Episode 2 intro/credit song – Kiss the Sky by Shawn Lee’s Ping Pong Orchestra feat. Nino Mochella During these songs it has a movie feel where you need to push buttons to interact with it. They are great songs and fun to follow along too.
Episode 4 intro/credit – To The Top by Twin Shadow Great song choice for each scene and narrative.
8. Medal of Honor: Warfighter
This game and games like it have a special place in my heart because I’ve grown to meet some of these men who continually leave there families with a smile on their face to do a job that is incredibly dynamic and difficult.
Castle of Glass by Linkin Park Linkin Park made the music video specifically for this game. The guys who show up in the background in sunglasses were at the time, active-duty Navy SEALs. The music draws from the emotion of what it’s like to lose a loved one in battle. That not just the family feels the effects of the loss, but of friends and teammates too. This is one of my favorite games because it tells the story of what these men face overseas and highlights their sacrifice. It’s one of the better story-driven fps games I’ve played to date.
7. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
Only recently released for PS4, Uncharted 4 is an awe-inspiring experience for every gamer. The landscapes are spectacular and many gamers often take pictures like the one above with Nathan Drake in it. They pause in time to take a picture because the mountains, colors of the sky, and graphic design that is displayed in a video game is mouth-dropping. I never played the Uncharted Series before this, but I knew about the hype. Nathan Drake is basically a modern Indiana Jones, and who can hate on that.
Indiana Jones is my hero and if Nathan Drake wants to follow in his footsteps and be an adventure junkie, then I’m all aboard. The gameplay is fluid and the story is constantly changing from past to present setting the background to the story we are about to embark on. Uncharted 4 – For Better Or Worse OST An adventure like any other where you swing on a rope from building to building like Tarzan, climb mountains, shoot pirates, fall in love, build relationships, dive for treasure, it’s truly amazing. It may be too early for me to label it as a masterpiece, but it’s certainly up for game of the year.
For more about Firewatch read my recent blog here: Firewatch is a MUST-REPLAY Because of New Audio Tour Mode
Firewatch – Prologue – OST At first listen it sounds nice, but it really has its significance after you finish the game.
Ol’Shoshone by Chris Remo I missed this song the first time I played because it’s in a cassette tape you need to find and play. Thankfully the Audio Tour has it as a Trophy so I was able to hear this sweet song.
5. Medal of Honor (2010)
Everybody who plays this game knows of the Delta Operator “Dusty” on the cover. A pretty cool thing is that I read a book who actually mentioned “Dusty” doing a mission like the one we played as. If you want the title just message me and I’ll give you the name, it’s an interesting read to say the least. In this game you play as Rabbit, a new guy Navy SEAL to SEAL Team Six (a new guy there means he’s already been at a regular SEAL team for a number of deployments). You also play as “Deuce” another Delta Sniper. They are doing Advanced Force Operations (AFO’s) in 2001 based off the true story of Robert’s Ridge.
Like Medal of Honor Warfighter, this game came before, and it carried the same heart-pounding action and emotional connection between teammates where the player cared for the other guys. Medal of Honor – OST (2010) This song is played at the end with the credits and a message about the type of work and sacrifice these guys make on a daily basis.
4. Beyond: Two Souls
Beyond: Two Souls – OST – Norah Similar to Uncharted 4, Beyond: Two Souls story travels from past to present bringing the player the knowledge they need to understand the background about Jodie. Jodie Holmes, played by Ellen Page (one of those games where the actor looks like they do in real-life), “is a young woman who has the ability to use supernatural powers through her psychic link to a mysterious invisible entity” – IMdB.
This game is, as simply put, extraordinary. Unlike in Firewatch, at the end of the game you learn all the answers, it gives the player solace. It plays in third-person giving the player a perspective where there not looking through Jodie’s eyes but as if they are a fly on the wall. The game has a very similar feel to Heavy Rain, which was developed by the same studio Quantum Dream. There is mystery involved, action-adventure and a whole lot of drama. It’s a sci-fi fan’s dream and they executed it to perfection.
3. The Last of Us (watched a Let’s Play from it because I had Xbox 360 at the time. PS2, Xbox 360, now at PS4. I’m getting the Remaster for Christmas this year so I can bring back the feels I had experienced some time ago).
Main Theme – Gustavo Santaolalla The bond formed between two characters where it becomes like a father daughter relationship, though when Joel and Ellie met they were strangers. Set in a post-apolocalyptic world where Joel and Ellie are trying to find a cure to save the human race. Kind of like the film I am Legend but times a billion. I can’t wait to experience this game again, because like many of the games listed here, it leaves the player with a smile on their face, or in tears, depending on the experience you felt after playing.
2. Tomb Raider (2013)
Tomb Raider!!! The refurbished franchise that I hoped and dreamed for. The original with Angelina Jolie for the Playstation 1 and 2 was good for its time. But now on the next gen consoles, WOW. Camilla Luddington voices the new Tomb Raider and I must say, the British accent tied in with the fact of being a badass explorer, marry me? Literally a dream girl, Lara Croft is my dream girl and there is no other person who can take her place, until my future explorer wife of course sighs deeply.
Tomb Raider OST – A Survivor Is Born I like to make the comparison that Lara Croft is the female version of Nathan Drake and Indiana Jones. Lara Croft battling against all odds to discover her later archeological find. What makes this game incredible is that everybody can relate to Lara. Girl gamers look up to her for what I imagine being a strong badass independent woman who lives a life of adventure. I look up to Lara Croft for those reasons plus kicking ass with a sweet bow and arrow, she can hold her own with any other weapon, she zip-lines over landscapes with 100 foot drops then smashes her ice axe into unsuspecting pirates faces. Uhh isn’t she great.
I have yet to play Rise of The Tomb Raider because I have a PS4 and Square Enix hates my Tomb Raider fascination (not true, but now it’s true). I can’t wait and I know it will be just as good as the fist reboot.
1. Valiant Hearts: The Great War
Based in World War 1, you play as 4 different characters; Karl, Anna, Emile, and Eddie who have different experiences throughout the war. Karl is a French citizen who is German and is deported because of it in response to the anticipation of war. Karl is separated from his wife Marie and their son Victor. Karl is then drafted into the German Army. Marie’s father and Karl’s father-in-law Emile, is drafted into the French Army. Creating the unlikely predicament that many families had to deal with during this time. A German Army dog also plays a significant role in the story and it eventually forms into a bond unlike any their war-torn lives. Valiant Hearts – The Great War – OST Theme Music
This game isn’t as known or popular to most gamers. It’s an adventure puzzle interactive game unlike any other that I’ve experienced before. The player learns history about The Great War and is engulfed into the lives of many characters from different nations. It shows the reality of war and the impact it has on people. It’s beautiful, heart shattering, violent, emotional, and sad. It’s the type of game leaving players are pleasantly surprised and glad they committed to the journey. Valiant Hearts: The Great War OST – Fly by Ludovico Einaudi
This song also appears in one of my favorite foreign films of all time The Intouchables, which I will review as soon as I can find my damn DVD for it. I misplaced it and when I re-watch and relive the wonderful story, I will write about it.
Hope you enjoyed my super long list and thoughts. I didn’t think it was going to be this long but I had an awesome time researching and writing it. Like and Share if you agreed with my list. If you have any questions leave a comment below or follow me on Twitter: @TheAlbumWeb