Now That’s What I Call Video Game Music

Music is an important tool setting the tone of a video game.

This was something I was reminded of while playing Asobo Studio’s A Plague Tale: Requiem with Pete this month. There was a particular section in the game where the developer had offset the harrowing part of the storyline with a beautiful choral piece and it had worked perfectly.

While we both felt the game was a little mediocre, struggling to decide whether it wanted to be stealth or action title and therefore failing at both, the soundtrack was just as good as that in the first instalment. It reminded me of a piece I’d singled out while playing A Plague Tale: Innocence three years before. It was this one which had inspired me to start keeping a YouTube playlist of music I’d enjoyed.

Sound plays an integral role when it comes to storytelling in gaming and can really enhance the experience of playing. A good soundtrack can help establish a scene and set the atmosphere depending on its pace and volume, heightening a players’ emotions and connection to the world. As with that piece in Requiem, hearing the right music can create those standout moments which speak to you.

My playlist is above and below you’ll find the current listing. I’ve started adding new tracks as I come across them so I’m sure it won’t be too long before it grows again. A couple of notes on my music choices: the list has been ordered by release date and this is for the game, rather than the track itself. I’ve also limited myself to only one piece per title otherwise today’s post would be far much longer. Grab a cup of tea, put on your headphones, sit back and immerse yourself in some of my favourite video game sounds.

A good soundtrack can help establish a scene and set the atmosphere, heightening a players’ emotions and connection to the world.

TrackTitleGameReleaseDeveloperComposer
1Opening Theme – IntroductionThe Secret of Monkey IslandOctober 1990Lucasfilm GamesMichael Land
2Tomb Raider ThemeTomb RaiderOctober 1996Core DesignNathan McCree
3Enter SereniaMyst IV: RevelationSeptember 2004Ubisoft MontréalJack Wall
4Everything’s AlrightTo The MoonNovember 2011Freebird GamesLaura Shigihara
5Hold My Hand Very Tightly (Very Tightly)LumoMay 2016Triple Eh? LtdWhistlin’ Rick Wilson
6Top SecretMaizeDecember 2016Finish Line GamesJeff D. Elliott
7Green PathHollow KnightFebruary 2017Team CherryChristopher Larkin
8Australian Game Development ThemeParadigmApril 2017Jacob JanerkaJonas Kjellberg
9Everything Is Going to Be OkPreyMay 2017Arkane StudiosMick Gordon
10RushDreamfall: The Longest JourneyJuly 2017Red Thread GamesIngvild Hasund
11SelfishnessA Raven MonologueJanuary 2018MojikenChristabel Annora
12BloomsacsEastshadeFebruary 2019Eastshade StudiosPhoenix Glendinning
13Big SisterA Plague Tale: InnocenceMay 2019Asobo StudioOlivier Deriviere
14My Strange Addiction *Sea of SolitudeJuly 2019Jo-Mei GamesBillie Eilish
15Devils In My HeadLOVE – A Puzzle Box Filled with StoriesOctober 2020Rocketship ParkNeil White
16Outer WildsOuter WildsJune 2020Mobius DigitalAndrew Prahlow
17Lessons *Five DatesNovember 2020Wales InteractiveSinéad Harnett
18Hole in the MiddleAs Dusk FallsJuly 2022INTERIOR/NIGHTEmily Jane White
19’85 AgainUnusual FindingsOctober 2022Epic Llama GamesRobert Parker
20Up ThereA Plague Tale: RequiemOctober 2022Asobo StudioOlivier Deriviere

* These tracks were included in the release trailers for the titles, rather than the game itself.

About Author /

Spreadsheet lover, video gamer and SpecialEffect volunteer. Goes by the name 'kissingthepixel' online. Lifelong fan of wannabe pirates and fine leather jackets.

11 Comments

  • Timlah
    2 weeks ago Reply

    If you ever want something a bit different and just want to feel good, the Katamari Damacy OST is phenomenal. Here’s a specific song that never fails to make me feel great: https://youtu.be/iMH49ieL4es

    It fits the rainbow-esque aesthetic of the game and is consistently positive. It never feels like you fail, just small setbacks. The OST really adds to the joy of the game.

    • Kim
      2 weeks ago Reply

      I’ve just listed to the link and it’s such a Tim track! Whenever I hear this now, I’m going to think of you. 😀

  • Mr. Wapojif
    2 weeks ago Reply

    The Ori games have the most amazing soundtracks. Ori and the Will of the Wisps – can recommend that one!

    • Kim
      2 weeks ago Reply

      Good choice, Mr Wapojif. I’ve only played a little of the Ori games because I’m not great at platformers but I do appreciate their beauty in both style and sound. The soundtrack seems like a great one to listen to if you’ve had a stressful day at work!

      • Mr. Wapojif
        2 weeks ago Reply

        Like gangsta rap, innit!

        • Kim
          2 weeks ago Reply

          Is there any better way to wind down after a long day than some gangsta rap and a cup of tea? I think not.

  • Halsdoll
    2 weeks ago Reply

    There are ton of video game soundtracks I enjoyed listening to. Glad to see Hollow Knight on your list. Music does make a difference in the overall gaming experience.

    • Kim
      2 weeks ago Reply

      I haven’t played Hollow Knight myself, but the Green Path track stood out for me after watching Frostilyte stream the game. The next day I tracked it down on YouTube because I couldn’t get it out of my head!

  • WCRobinson
    1 week ago Reply

    I like this idea of making an album-length playlist of video game music!

    Whenever I think video game music, I think about Pokémon Diamond/Pearl/Platinum and that suite of cathartic music. Tunes like Route 209 are just brilliant. I recommend GlitchxCity, who does brilliant video game remixes (which includes a lot of Pokémon).

    • Kim
      1 week ago Reply

      Thanks for the tip! Seems like it’s good music to have on in the background while you’re working. 🙂

      • WCRobinson
        1 week ago Reply

        Definitely! The lo-fi beats are super relaxing 🙂

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