I was recently enlightened to a page as a result of a Google search for the ‘Greatest Game Music Ever’. The ‘Billboard’ website, listed 25 of the ‘Best Video Game Songs Ever’. In one of the biggest insults to real game music, the list comprised of real world songs, by real world artists, that had been used in games like GTA and Guitar Hero. C’mon Guitar Hero!? Best video game songs!? /sigh
While it may be dependant on the game in question, I’m not having a ‘go’ at the game itself, but the people and consequent websites who believe the GTA and Guitar Hero music is proper video game music.
On a final note, this page may be quite memory consuming with all the embedded files — but hey, it’s worth it :)
Real Game Music
Okay, so rant aside, I decided to post my own thoughts of some of my favourite game music. The list below isn’t ranked in any sort of order, but is instead merely a collection of game music/themes that have stuck with me.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Majoras Mask
What can I say, I could publish a single post full of Zelda music. The following represents the tiniest fraction of the amazing music throughout the N64 Zelda series.
Calling the Four Giants
Pirate Fortress Theme
Song of Healing
Last End (The Final Hour)
Midna’s Desperate Hour
Oblivion: Elder Scrolls IV
The orchestral pieces through Oblivion are quite amazing; here are two pieces, one from general travelling and one played while in a town
The Terran theme was always nice throughout during a game of ‘Sunken D’ or ‘Tower D’.
Terran Theme #2
Terran Theme #3
Fable contains a few nice orchestral pieces throughout the world of Albion. Some of the tracks are just slight derivations (e.g. Temple of Light and Hall of Heroes) of each other. While this may suggest that the tune gets repetitive, it doesn’t :)
Temple of Light
Hall of Heroes
While this is an amazing game, there were only two pieces that really stood out as music that could be listened to independent of the game. Most of the music needs to be coupled with the nature of the game to be appreciated in full.
Welcome to Rapture
Super Mario Galaxy
This game contains some nice orchestral pieces as well including a new take on the original Super Mario Bros theme from the NES days.
Super Mario 2007
Game Music in Indie Games
Sometimes not all games have access to professional music development bodies, composers or large orchestras. This means they may need to rely on other peoples creations in order to help introduce a musical dimension into the game. While this may seem to contradict the previous ‘real world game music’ statement, it comes down to the type of game in question. Indie games like Braid, made by independent, small time developers, rely on this ‘real world’ music distributed by small time music labels.
I would like to include all the tracks from this game, however I would also prefer that your browser didn’t crash under the weight of all flash content ;)
Tell It By Heart
Covers of Game Music
Some game music gains enough momentum that it becomes an inspiration source for musical talent around the world. The Legend of Zelda in particular provides an ‘epic’ source of inspiration for people to start following music on the piano, and other instruments.
Song of Storms – Violin
The violin compliments this Zelda song so well :)
Song of Storms Violin Remix
Real World Music in Games
To re-iterate, using real world songs in a game may be preferable to other music; some prime examples include GTA IV and Guitar Hero. Other games, like Fallout 3 for example, utilise a compilation of real world music to provide an experience unique to the storyline or general game play.
I Don’t Want to Set the World on Fire
Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall
Schweine (Vladivostok FM)