The 10 best gaming soundtracks of all time

Skyrim trailer screen 1

Despite the game coming out last October, Red Dead Redemption 2's soundtrack STILL doesn't have a release of its own.

It's become common in today's industry for video game soundtracks to be released alongside their games.

However, we've been waiting patiently since October and have heard very little about the release of Red Dead 2's soundtrack, until now.

In a tweet yesterday, Rockstar confirmed that the soundtrack and score for Red Dead 2 will be coming out sometime this spring.

Now, as that could be anytime in the next three or four months, we thought we'd pass the time by taking a look, or listen, at some of the best soundtracks the world of video games has to offer.

Red Dead Redemption (2010)

As we've opened this article with news of Red Dead 2's soundtrack, it's only fitting the first game on our list is 2010's Red Dead Redemption.

The soundtrack for the first Red Dead Redemption was pure spaghetti western. From the bell chimes to the lonesome whistling, Bill Elm and Woody Jackson's score was the perfect companion to the game itself. 

Alongside slow and sorrowful pieces that signify the eventual demise of the old west, the score's main theme which fully encapsulates the outlaw in our hero John Marston, you get a truly stunning piece of work.

However, the soundtrack of the game is made complete, and one of the best ever, when you first step into the untamed land of Mexico and José González's Far Away springs up out of nowhere in one of the most chilling and awe-inspiring moments in gaming.

God of War (2018)

God of War just wouldn't be the same game without its bombastic score. 

You can't give Kratos, the axe-wielding god-killer that he is, anything less than the 2018 God of War soundtrack. 

One of the best games ever created has to have one of the best scores ever created and this certainly does. 

You have everything you could possibly want from a fantastical romp through Norse mythology but on top of that, the score of God of War is made complete by the booming three note theme that accompanies Kratos throughout the game's epic story.

Shadow of the Colossus (2005)

What would Shadow of the Colossus be without its score?  

A game that features little, to no dialogue at all, Shadow of the Colossus absolutely relies on its impeccable soundtrack. 

The highlight has to be 'The End of the Battle.'

You've just taken on a gigantic, 60ft tall behemoth and against all odds, you've won. In most games you'd expect a huge triumphant fanfare but not here. All that plays is a soft and sombre piece of music as you watch the exquisite and unique creature you've just brutally killed, fall to the ground.  

The Legend of Zelda series (1986-present)

There's a huge swathe of incredible music in the Legend of Zelda series that many players will have fond memories of.

However, the piece of music that has become more iconic than any other in the series has the be the chest-opening theme.

It may only be a simple four note piece, but every single time I'm rooting through a cupboard, the second I find what I've been looking for, what plays in my head? The same four notes that play when Link opens a chest. The same piece of music is even referenced in Edgar Wright's Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.

The Witcher 3 (2015)

Quite possibly the best fantasy game ever created, The Witcher 3 was also accompanied by a brilliant score, unlike anything I've heard before. 

The Polish artists behind not only the game, but the soundtrack too, have created something incredibly unique.

The piece included above is titled 'Cloak and Dagger' and plays during any horse races you may participate in. But there are so many incredible pieces of music that help the game achieve the grounded tone it looks to instil.

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag (2011)

The most recognisable and loved piece of music in the Assassin's Creed series is without doubt 'Ezio's Family' from Assassin's Creed II, however, the game with arguably the most complete score is Black Flag.

Black Flag signalled a huge change in tone, style and gameplay for the series as the stab-them-up of the previous games became all-out pirate game in Assassin's Creed IV

As a result, Black Flag features some absolutely brilliant music that wouldn't feel out of place the Pirates of the Caribbean series.

Brian Tyler is able to mesh together the pirate-themed sounds while also hinting at more modern music to encompass the game's modern segments too.

Super Mario Bros. series (1985-present)

Super Mario Bros. features one of the most iconic themes in all of gaming. The first few notes of the original theme will be known by anyone who's ever picked up a controller before. 

Obviously, the series has come a long long way since the first Mario game came to consoles over 30 years ago, but nothing will top the first seven notes of the Super Mario Bros. theme.

Skyrim (2011)

Much like God of War, Skyrim goes all out with its booming soundtrack. 

The main theme, titled 'Dragonborn,' is surely one of the most recognisable pieces of gaming music of the last 10 years.

It's slow build-up, ever-increasing grandeur and epic eruption of noise is just the perfect soundtrack for when you're taking on a massive fire-breathing Dragon. 

Aside from that, as Skyrim has been released for every games console and PC under the sun (and probably runs on your toaster too), this piece of music surely has to be the piece of gaming music played on the most devices.

Marvel's Spider-Man (2018)

2018's Spider-Man on the PS4 is a truly stunning game that almost perfects the genre. 

But it's helped massively in this regard thanks to its amazing score. 

As Spider-Man has received so many different adaptations over the years, whether in TV shows, games or films, everyone will have their favourite version of the web-swinging superhero.

That's where the brilliant soundtrack comes in. It manages to take elements from several previous Spidey-soundtracks and fuses them together to make something wholly new and entirely brilliant. 

The Halo series (2004-present)

And finally we come to the cream of the crop, Halo.

Without Halo, the original Xbox surely wouldn't have seen the success it did. 

But apart from the evolution of combat gameplay that Halo brought to the table, its the completely over-the-top soundtrack that many fans remember most.

The orchestral opening is the perfect way to start the game. Seeing this enormous alien ring, floating in space, with this mysterious chorus of voices playing is truly breath-taking. But then the piece really gets into gear with the perfect possible soundtrack to accompany the truly outstanding bad-assery of the Master Chief!

Halo Infinite

And there we have it. 10 of the best soundtracks, scores and pieces of video game music ever made. Did we miss any of your favourites out?   

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