Shack Reels: Top 10 Videogame Soundtracks

Greg takes a look at ten of the top videogame soundtracks to ever hit our speakers.


Music is a vital part of many media forms from advertisement to movies, and even beyond that to video games. Nobody likes when a game has a terrible soundtrack, and to help iterate that point Greg Burke has compiled a list of the Top 10 Videogame Soundtracks to ever lull our ears into new worlds. We don’t want to steal the show, though, take it away Greg.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    March 20, 2015 3:00 PM

    Shack Staff posted a new article, Shack Reels: Top 10 Videogame Soundtracks

      • reply
        March 20, 2015 6:14 PM

        Oh god, this gave me nostalgia chills down my back. Triggered that flashback feeling.

        • reply
          March 20, 2015 6:19 PM

          i have the actual CD here somewhere

          • reply
            March 20, 2015 7:37 PM

            How did you come by that? I never heard of it being released.

            • reply
              March 20, 2015 7:39 PM

              it was a pack-in with the game , Deluxe version maybe?
              (I was living in the UK at the time)

            • reply
              March 22, 2015 12:14 PM

              [b]upto I saw the receipt which had said $8641 , I accept best friend had been actualey bringing in money in their spare time at there labtop. . there moms best frend has been doing this for less than 9 months and at present repaid the dept on there place and purchased a great new Mazda . pop over to this site ....................[/b]

    • reply
      March 20, 2015 3:32 PM

      Disappointed by a lack of "Beyond Good & Evil," but overall a good list.

      • reply
        March 20, 2015 4:14 PM

        I've actually never played that game.

        • reply
          March 20, 2015 4:24 PM


          I highly recommend it. Right now, the remastered version on XBLA for the 360 is the best version. You can get through the game in ~6 hours if you don't try to be a completionist.

          If you play the PC version and the eyeballs are all weird, turn off hardware vertex processing to fix it.

          • reply
            March 20, 2015 4:35 PM

            Beyond Good and Evil was tremendous. I second this recommendation

          • reply
            March 20, 2015 10:50 PM

            Did they ever fix the problem where you can't invert look? I couldn't play it otherwise.

      • reply
        March 21, 2015 1:37 AM


    • reply
      March 20, 2015 4:16 PM

      10 is too short. Especially considering all the platforms and generations.

      • reply
        March 20, 2015 7:37 PM

        Ya, you'd need one per platform.

    • reply
      March 20, 2015 4:22 PM

      No Revengence, FF10, or Xenoblade. :(

      Play more games!

      • reply
        March 20, 2015 4:30 PM

        Haha FF7 OST is way better then FF10, the only one that might compare is FF9

        • reply
          March 20, 2015 4:37 PM

          Well 11 has the best soundtrack out of all them but no one played that one :|

    • reply
      March 20, 2015 4:29 PM

      Dragon Age Origins and not Halo. You're on drugs Shack Staff.

    • reply
      March 20, 2015 4:44 PM

      No Streets of Rage 2? No Wipeout?

    • reply
      March 20, 2015 4:52 PM


    • reply
      March 20, 2015 4:55 PM

      I really, really, enjoyed the EQ2 soundtrack. Unlike the graphics it had tremendous coherence.

    • reply
      March 20, 2015 5:47 PM


      • reply
        March 20, 2015 5:53 PM

        Cross Platform is okay, just No PC only titles, IE DUNE, EQ, WoW, etc etc

        • reply
          March 20, 2015 5:55 PM

          lol "Console only titles" there would be like 6 games to choose from.

          • reply
            March 20, 2015 5:56 PM

            Damn, wanted to change that...oh well guess you can't "edit" in chatty

            • reply
              March 21, 2015 1:38 AM

              I guess you're new around here.

        • reply
          March 20, 2015 5:59 PM

          Why not?

          And why name the article misleadingly?

          • reply
            March 20, 2015 6:57 PM

            What's misleading about it exactly?

            • reply
              March 20, 2015 7:05 PM

              Shouldn't it more like

              Shack Reels: Top 10 Console Videogame Soundtracks (PlayStation era and later)?

              • reply
                March 20, 2015 8:38 PM

                Kind of a bad title though, don't really think it's misleading, I see much worse stuff that's misleading

          • reply
            March 20, 2015 7:01 PM

            My PC gaming knowledge is very very small, I did grow up in a house with PCs and when i moved out i was a MAC fanboy, so 25 years on just Playing console Games, and Blizzard games.

    • reply
      March 20, 2015 5:57 PM

      I guess for console games, I can't disagree, these are all great.

    • reply
      March 20, 2015 6:09 PM

      #1 Brütal Legend

    • reply
      March 20, 2015 6:16 PM

      An ok list. It needs to be bigger though, as Deus Ex:HR, Half-life 2, Portal 2, FTL, Brutal Legend, Fall of Cybertron, Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines, Doom 3, Mirror's Edge, Bastion and Wolfenstein: The New Order are all cross platform titles with as good to better soundtracks.

    • reply
      March 20, 2015 6:39 PM

      Mass Effect at #5!? For shame Greg! No Halo? You monster! Good choices mostly, though I might argue over order. :)

      All nitpicking/joking aside though, why no love for PC? Missing out on some true greats by excluding PC games. Greats like:

      Hell March:
      Homeworld soundtrack:
      Baba Yetu:
      Battlefield 1942 theme:
      Rise of Nations soundtrack:
      Evil Genius theme (maybe not top ten material but a personal favorite):

      • reply
        March 20, 2015 6:56 PM

        I'm not well versed enough in the PC gaming space, I've never played Dune, or Myst, or any PC games in the last 20 years.

        • reply
          March 20, 2015 7:02 PM

          Oh man, you've been missing out on some of the best stuff gaming has to offer!

          Maybe we should have a community vote style top 10 soundtracks list for PC games. I bet a decent number of people would participate.

      • reply
        March 21, 2015 6:24 AM

        1942: So good.

        • reply
          March 21, 2015 12:41 PM

          Wasn't it!? I still get it stuck in my head sometimes. So many good shackbattles.

    • reply
      March 20, 2015 7:13 PM

      I know I like some obscure soundtracks, but I think we can all agree Jet Grind Radio should be on this list. :D

      • reply
        March 20, 2015 7:22 PM


        • reply
          March 20, 2015 8:40 PM

          It's a hard game - I can't say I've ever finished it. It really holds up well in every way, though. I will get through it one day.

    • reply
      March 20, 2015 7:34 PM

      No Freedom Fighters?

    • reply
      March 20, 2015 7:42 PM

      I get that top 10 articles are always highly subjective and meant to be divisive tools to stir up conversation, but the way they're worded like "these are THE BEST" is such a conclusive and knower way of putting it - it just rubs me the wrong way. I'm always so much more open to these things if they're qualified as "these are MY top 10 x, what do you all think?", feels way more inclusive to me.

      Anyway, rant over :) Out of that list the only soundtracks I thought were memorable are obviously ones from games that resonated with me - Mass Effect 2, Kingdom Hearts, FF7 and Zelda. Out of all of those, I still actually listen to the ME2 soundtrack; I just love it.

      The others, well, I really enjoyed the games but apart from the one track from Skyrim - I'd be extremely hard pressed to name anything from the others. Again, not because they're not good, but because I didn't find them particularly memorable.

      As far as soundtracks I'd include in my list - pretty much the soundtracks I still listen to on an almost daily basis, I'd need to find spots for (excuse how big this post is hehe):

      - Dead Space 2 by Jason Graves - such an amazing, dissonant thing
      - Final Fantasy Tactics - I hum these tunes every day, just about every track on this soundtrack is memorable
      - Vagrant Story - Bit of a Hitoshi Sakimoto bias here, I just love how this thing comes together so coherently to tell the story that still manages to have real bombast and nuance. One of my all time favourites for sure
      - Shadow of the Colossus by Koh Ohtani - Not sure I can say much to do this justice
      - Dark Souls by Motoi Sakuraba - It's possible I listen to this so much because Dark Souls just resonated so much with me, but all of the themes, all of the areas evoke so much when I listen to it

      and the one that I think is just criminal not to be on everyone's list - Fez by Disasterpeace. Along with Dark Souls, I think Fez is one of the most important, most memorable, most stunning games I've played in many years and it has a soundtrack that I think will be forever ingrained in my memory. I listen to this thing daily even after all this time and I love the remix albums. It's just... I can't think of how else to describe it but say it's probably my favourite soundtrack of all time.

      Lots and lots and lots of memorable mentions, but all of the soundtracks that make up my list are matched with games that I absolutely adore and while that's totally subjective, I think that's what makes this sort of argument worth having :)

      • reply
        March 20, 2015 8:48 PM

        it's called click-bait. just ignore and move along.

      • reply
        March 20, 2015 9:47 PM

        All my list are subjective, would've thought that was clear.

        • reply
          March 20, 2015 10:06 PM

          Yeah, of course they're subjective, I'm not talking about the content of the lists at all - It's just how it's all framed:

          "Shack Reels: Top 10 Videogame Soundtracks"
          "Greg takes a look at ten of the top videogame soundtracks to ever hit our speakers."
          "...Greg Burke has compiled a list of the Top 10 Videogame Soundtracks to ever lull our ears into new worlds."

          That's the stuff that annoys me is all. I probably should've left that out because I wanted to contribute to the discussion, but I don't tend to leave things alone :(

          • reply
            March 20, 2015 10:09 PM

            Well we're all just trying to make our way through the crazy thing called SEO ;)

    • reply
      March 20, 2015 10:08 PM

      Having not seen, listened to, nor read any of this, I'm still going to call bullshit. Seems the thing to do as I'm pretty opinionated as far as scores go.

      • reply
        March 20, 2015 10:10 PM

        Seems far

        • reply
          March 20, 2015 10:43 PM

          I'm glad you can take that in stride. Or is that a sprint? I can't quite tell, you're so far away.

        • reply
          March 20, 2015 10:47 PM

          A short list of others that fit your restrictive criterion (though especially given the time frame restriction I don't understand how there is a notable difference between PC/Console music):


          Deus Ex: Human Revolution

          Dreamfall: The Longest Journey

          Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles

          Katamari Damacy

          The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

          We ♥ Katamari

          • reply
            March 21, 2015 12:14 AM

            Having not seen, listened to, nor read any of this, I'm still going to call bullshit. Seems the thing to do as I'm pretty opinionated as far as scores go.

            • reply
              March 21, 2015 8:13 AM

              Aww yeah, I've made it!

            • reply
              March 21, 2015 8:27 AM

              By the way while I'm not sure I would include all of your picks on my top ten, there was nothing in there I thought was a bad pick. I had to cull many of your entries from my list so as to not repeat them.

              Also I absolutely agree with the choice of Mass Effect 2 specifically, while the Mass Effect theme and Vigil are great tracks in Mass Effect the rest of the score was "only" just good. The work Wall of Sound (Jack Wall, Sam Hulick, David Kates and Jimmy Hinson) put in for ME2 was solid all the way and took advantage of the central mission. The way they built the letmotif leading to the Suicide Mission was great.

    • reply
      March 20, 2015 10:51 PM

      If Dustforce is in the top #5 your top 10 is validated.

      • reply
        March 20, 2015 11:02 PM

        Oh hey, Dustforce does meet the console requirement, however I can kind of see it getting cut by the emotional resonance aspect... Though I still count Katamari , so perhaps?

    • reply
      March 20, 2015 10:51 PM

      I gotta say The 7th Guest. That one always sticks out in my mind as something I would play [the soundtrack] over and over growing up. I still give it a listen now and then.

    • reply
      March 20, 2015 10:55 PM

      No Shin Megami Tensei titles? No Rez? No music games (the ones with original music)?

    • reply
      March 20, 2015 11:04 PM

      Top Ten Shackers who commented on this thread... Go!

      • reply
        March 21, 2015 3:09 AM

        1. Click-bait
        2. Click-bait
        3. Click-bait
        4. Click-bait
        5. Click-bait
        6. Click-bait
        7. Click-bait
        8. Click-bait
        9. Click-bait
        10. Click-bait

    • reply
      March 21, 2015 12:25 AM

      I am missing The Last of Us on this list, it had a fantastic soundtrack

    • reply
      March 21, 2015 12:56 AM

      Star Control 2 :(

      ...still awesome.

    • reply
      March 21, 2015 1:09 AM

      Where's the printed list? I'm not watching ten minutes of video when I could read five seconds of text.

      • reply
        March 21, 2015 2:37 AM

        Ya I mean why support Shacknews. right?

    • reply
      March 21, 2015 1:39 AM

      "Console and PC gaming are different in a lot of ways."

      None of those differences have anything to do with score or music.

      • reply
        March 21, 2015 2:04 AM

        Well, again I'm not well versed in the PC gaming space, therefore I don't pretend to know what I'm talking about. Rather just stick to what I know, rather than google searching "best PC game music" and copy and paste. Just saying.

        • reply
          March 21, 2015 2:51 AM

          The headline suggests some kind of authoritative list by the Shacknews team. The expectation is that through consensus and varied tastes, a diverse set of games would make their way onto the list.

          Why not call the article Greg's Favorite Game Soundtracks?

          • reply
            March 21, 2015 3:07 AM

            Casue Top 1o Video Game Soundtracks, sounds better.

            • reply
              March 21, 2015 3:10 AM

              I'd disagree there. It's been done to death plus those sorts of definitive sounding lists are always contentious. A headline that reflects the personal choices and favorites of you, the individual, would have been far more interesting and would be more appropriate given the content. And people would discuss your selections more than disagree with everything outright. Because they'd know going in it was an opinion piece without a doubt.

              • reply
                March 21, 2015 3:28 AM

                Even the subtitle saying Greg takes a look at ten of the top videogame soundtracks to ever hit our speakers is misleading as it makes it sound like a group effort from the staff.

                At first I thought you guys got together and voted on the best of game OSTs all time which would have been fascinating, or maybe you polled the community a while back and I missed that. I don't know. I definitely wasn't expecting a list of one man's console only favs, but maybe I'm stupid. I usually am. Sorry!

    • reply
      March 21, 2015 3:33 AM

      Jet Set Radio and Wipeout would like a word with you. Also, I hate myself for clicking a top 10 list link.

    • reply
      March 21, 2015 3:34 AM

      Shack Reels: Top 10 Shack Reels Top 10 lists.

    • reply
      March 21, 2015 4:04 AM

      I don't understand why anyone would pick Mass Effect 2s OST over Mass Effect's.

      • reply
        March 21, 2015 8:46 AM

        One of the requirements in Greg's list was that it made you feel something, and while that seemed kind of vague, based on the list, it seems he was looking for scores that had emotional resonance with the onscreen narrative. While the first game has a few good moments, the only music that stuck with me was the intro theme and Vigil. Mass Effect 2 did a better job having the score build emotional resonance, if only due to the composers taking advantage of the game's narrative structure and building letmotifs through out.

        That's not to say Mass Effect 2 was a better game, but it's structure lended itself better to a score of spiraling and blended letmotifs that are always building.

      • reply
        March 21, 2015 12:43 PM

        It's definitely a tough call, but is pretty freaking amazing.

    • reply
      March 21, 2015 5:04 AM

      Greg, I don't get offended by lists like so many people. I don't always agree with your list picks, but when does that ever happen?

      However, I would like to say that I have one problem with all of your list videos: the transition videos. In this video it was OoT clips. I get what you're trying to do - tying the list together with something visual, but these transitions always feel weird and confusing. And in this particular case, I felt like it even spoils your video. Perhaps try using something else, like a quick sweep in of the Shack logo with the title of the video overlaid on it. But something else. The current style just bugs me big time.

      Also, Assassin's Creed II is one of my favorite soundtracks. "Rome Countryside" is so beautiful and relaxing.

      • reply
        March 21, 2015 11:41 AM

        If I had it my way it would be just a number, full screen number, but I can't do it that way.

    • ArB legacy 10 years
      March 21, 2015 5:33 AM

      I enjoy the threads these lists produce.

    • gmd legacy 10 years mercury mega
      March 21, 2015 5:38 AM

      ughh bullshit doko doko doshi 5 released for the PC in 1992 wasnt on the list

    • reply
      March 21, 2015 8:52 AM

      Was a good watch, thanks Greg!

      • reply
        March 21, 2015 8:53 AM

        And for the rest, typical shacknews. Don't take it personal, most of these people don't enjoy anything.

    • reply
      March 21, 2015 3:15 PM

      I don't want to be that guy, but how has no one said Deus Ex? That game's soundtrack was like 50% of the reason it's become a legend of videogaming.

Hello, Meet Lola