Written by Ryan Johnson, Josh Hurley, Mark Del Rio Tuesday, 24 July 2012 08:00
The GoozerNation "Best. Ever." series returns. GN Staffers are not afraid to publically answer those big questions that you and your buddies argue and lament with each other on out in the open for the world to see! This time: "Best. Music. Ever." What video game music stands out for you through the years as the most epic soundtrack, moment, title screen...anything goes. Three GN team members weighed in on this one, and we're looking for you to add your opinions in the comments!
Not many games get the best of my emotions, but when I played through Final Fantasy 8 and during the end scenes, when the instrumental “Eyes on Me” plays softly during the epic storyline, my heart strings were tugged and that put this game on my list of favorites. Game developers who know how to control the orchestra through a moving set piece definitely hold some amazing power. Since then, other games have done it as well, but that’s the first I remember. Yes, the music in 7 was good, Aeris’s...moment....was gripping, and even though I probably cared LESS about the 8 people than the 7 people, the setting plus the music equaled bawling.
Recently, the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD remake has reminded me of how awesome that series is, and how primarily the music helped drive that home. I like the idea they did, by adding new music and all, but I miss the missing tracks. That, and I actually looked forward to each song on the disc because I had the order memorized, so I knew which song was coming up next.
And, I suppose, games like Mario 1 should get props for showing others “how it’s done,” you know?
By the way, through this link you can download music from most Final Fantasies at Amazon, inclusive of the songs I have discussed. Regular hard discs are there as well. Here's some Microsoft Points if you want to get the new Tony HD for the music that survived the cut. Here's some Tony 3 Music , and if I remember right, Tony 1 and 2 could be played direct in CD players, so either dig out your old copies or get them on Goozex or Amazon! I also edited in links in italics to my compatriot's submissions to help anyone else looking for these tunes.
Is ‘all music of a game’ an acceptable answer? If so, the GTA: Vice City soundtrack. It had Africa by Toto.
Even though the game is from ten years ago, Amazon still has copies of the soundtrack. The boxed set is reaching collector's status, but some of the discs even have a digital download. Though I hate to disappoint you, Josh, Toto isn't on the Greatest Hits of Vice City disc. :(
Mark Del Rio
American McGee’s Alice (PC) - This is perhaps my favorite game soundtrack ever created. It’s a mixture of distorted nursery rhymes and orchestral overtures. The music is very reflective and empty at the same time (much like the main character). None of the music ever goes overboard and stretches into “scary.” Even the action pieces sound creative. (score available at Amazon)
Duke Nukem (PC) - Whether it’s in it’s original midi form, or re-envisioned by Metallica, the Main Theme will always be a memorable piece of music. It is hard rocking, and beautifully composed; I never get tired of hearing it in-game even if it’s constantly looping. Nothing else makes me want to kill aliens “for busting up my ride” like Duke’s theme. (While I can't point you to the Midi versions, there are still copies of Duke Nukem: Music to Score By out there for sale)
Thief: The Dark Project (PC) - This soundtrack was my introduction to post-industrial music (or a form of it). The soundtrack is mostly composed of ambient sound effects with occasional string instruments for effect. It’s very appropriate for the theme of the game and down right scary! I truly loved this game and it’s soundtrack (though I can’t hum any tunes from it) (no soundtracks here, but the games are here for cheap)
Quake (N64) - For the N64 port of the game they were unable to licence the PC soundtrack written by Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails. This was (unexpectedly) a good thing because the replacement soundtrack that was used was downright creepy and foreboding! It was much more in vein with the style of the game. I remember not wanting to play the game at night for fear of that soundtrack being fresh in my head before I went to sleep. (sounds pretty specific. Probably not a soundtrack out there. But about $16 nets you the game.)
Quake II (PC) - Beautifully written hard rocking techno beat by Sonic Foundry. This is the kind of soundtrack that you workout to, or fix the car to, or wash the dog to, or mow the lawn to, or dance to, or shoot aliens to. I love this soundtrack so much I can almost see it used anywhere successfully. (This Quake Page will at least help you find the game(s), and there's even a Quake III soundtrack there!)
All right, it's time to sign in and put your piece in on this. What do you feel is the best gaming music of all time? Also, what would you like to see be the next debate amongst the GN staff? Fill in the Best. BLANK. Ever.