There are so many classic game soundtracks, here are six of the best from the 5th Gen era.
In our last article we looked at the best 16-Bit game soundtracks, so this time we are moving on to the 5th Gen soundtracks.
This movement changed gaming forever, pushing it further that any previous movement. The introduction of CD technology allowed games to become faster, improved graphics and moved music into "real" sounds as they could be played directly from the disc without relying on chips to create them.
As always we are concentrating on original scores which means certain games which had amazing soundtracks, such as Wipeout 2097 will not feature as they consist of compiled playlists rather than music made specifically for the game.
So here we go.
6) The House of The Dead - Boss Theme (Sega Saturn)
An arcade classic, The House of The Dead is recognised as one of the all time clasic First Person Shooters. A genuinely tense experience was made all the more entertaining by it's heavy metal influenced soundtrack. The Boss Theme is perhaps the most impressive piece of music, worthy of metal legends such as Manowar or Helloween.
5) Castlevania 64 - Opposing Bloodlines (Intro Theme) (N64)
Castlevania was a huge success when it was released in 1999, the first Castlevania game to be released in 3D, it captured the depth and emotion of the previous releases whilst the 3D element finally allowed the player to be fully emersed in the game. The soundtrack, composed by Masahiko Kimura, Motoaki Furukawa & Mariko Egawa was suitably epic. This opening theme, known as Opposing Bloodlines, has been etched in the memory of gamers ever since.
4) Tetrisphere - Extol (N64)
Whilst the world fell in love with the original Tetris this 3D follow up on the N64 did not do so well. Possibly due to the fact that it was so hard. Trying to get your pieces in place on a 3D sphere was just a step too far. Something positive was to be taken away from Tetrisphere though and that was the soundtrack composed by Niel Voss. Heavily inspired by the House and Techno scenes of the '90s there were several great tracks taking in Trip Hop, Jungle and even Gabber but it is this Trance anthem, complete with squelchy acid line and tribal chants, Extol which really stands out. The game actually won Nintendo Power's Best Soundtrack award in 1997.
3) Resident Evil 2 - The Front Hall (Playstation)
The Resident Evil games have become hallmarks of excellence when it comes to the Survival Horror genre and this was helped in no small part by the soundtracks composed by Masami Ueda, Shusaku Uchiyama & Syun Nishigaki. It really didn't matter where you were in the game, be it in a safe house or on the streets, the music never allowed you to relax. Always menacing and chilling the music coupled with constant threat elevated this game from mere scary zombie shooter to terrifying survival horror.
2) Panzer Dragoon - Flight (Sega Saturn)
Panzer Dragoon was a breath of fresh air when it was releaed in 1995. It's stunning visuals and 3D Dragon riding gameplay made it simply irresistable to gamers at the time. One of the first games to come out on the Sega Saturn it really was a game changer. Not just because of it's slick and bright visual elements but also because of it's simply stunning soundtrack. Composed by Yoshitaka Azuma the soundtrack creates a traditional feel whilst bringing a truly epic element to the game. Complete with soaring strings and a rolling snare this piece of music added to the excitement of this legendary and unusual game.
1) Final Fantasy VIII - Balamb Garden (Playstation)
Final Fantasy has a tradition of utilising great music within it's games and whilst many will argue that FF VII is the true classic of the series we feel the music in FF VIII is a real winner. We all remeber hours of playing this game and the music was so well done that it just sat in the background adding to the experience and enhancing that endless gameplay. There are many great pieces in the game, each with their own quirks depending on the scenario and setting, but it is the Balamb Garden music that really sits in the mind. Nobuo Uematsu's compositions are just perfect and give you the instant nostalgia that only a classic can give, that is why it is our number one.