I wrote this last week for fun, and wanted to share it with you fine folks. I hope you enjoy reading it.
Below is a list of what I consider to be the top ten video game songs, sampled from the last thirty years of video games. Some of the songs are bombastic, others soulful and mellow, others subtly sweet. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do, and I hope they bring back some fond memories.
Without further ado, I present the top ten video game songs.
Dr. Wily Stage 1/2
(Mega Man 2)
Feeling the urge to play air guitar? I don't blame you. Few video game themes are as catchy and invigorating as the music used in both Dr. Wily stages in Mega Man 2. Traditionally, Capcom used separate themes for each Wily encounter, but when you have access to a song this good, why bother?
(The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword)
I know what you're thinking. Where the %*#$ is Gerudo Valley? And where's Dragon Roost Island, you $@*#? As much as I enjoy those songs, I think Romance Theme from Skyward Sword just might be the finest track from the entire Zelda discography, and that's saying a lot. It's a beautiful medley of instruments -- flute, oboe, bassoon -- playing melodies and counter melodies. It's impossible not to smile when you hear it.
The Sun Rises
A game as beautiful as Okami deserves a beautiful soundtrack. And no song in Okami is quite as beautiful, or as complex, as The Sun Rises. Five instruments -- cello, violin, piano, shamisen, and shakuhachi -- are deployed to great effect in this song, which plays during a climactic boss battle.
Some series have so many excellent songs that they could fill up a top ten list on their own. Castlevania, which has been delighting video game fans for almost 30 years, is one such series. I was tempted to include songs from Rondo of Blood and Symphony of the Night, but none matched the rhythmic intensity of Wicked Child, which first appeared in Stage 3 of the original Castlevania. Those damn hunchbacks...
Gusty Garden Galaxy
(Super Mario Galaxy)
Rumor has it that Nintendo Gamer editor Matthew Castle loves Gusty Garden Galaxy so much that he played it on a loop while he wrote his Super Mario Galaxy review. Can't say that I blame him. Super Mario Galaxy boasts one of the finest orchestral soundtracks in any video game, ever, and Gusty Garden is probably its best track.
(Donkey Kong Country)
There are only so many musical geniuses in the video game industry: Koji Kondo, Nobuo Uematsu, and, yes, David Wise. His work in the Donkey Kong Country trilogy is especially good. The standout track in the premiere game is Fear Factory, a masterpiece of industrial, ambient sound.
(Final Fantasy VI)
(Halo: Combat Evolved)
(Donkey Kong Country 2)