A pivotal part of any video game is the soundtrack. Whether you are enjoying the landscapes of a massive open-world map or engaged in a complicated boss battle, music has the ability to accentuate the experience.
So acknowledged is the role of music in video games that one is even able to buy video game soundtracks separately from the game if one likes.
In appreciation of the glorious soundtracks that often accompany video games, I’ve decided to make a list naming my Top Five favourite soundtracks. (In listing these soundtracks, I am not saying that they are the best ever created or whatever, rather just that they were the ones that I enjoyed the most.
Batman: Arkham Origins
Ironically, this is probably the worst Batman Arkham game (depending on how you played Arkham Knight really), however, it definitely had my favourite soundtrack. From the opening theme, I was ready to jump into the action and understood that Gotham was in some crazy danger and that Batman would have to (once, again), save it in a single night. Walking around the city, the music gave off a foreboding feeling of you not being wanted. Each major assassin (spoilers: in the storyline, eight assassins are contracted to kill you) had their own theme, which made the different dynamic and personality of each character known. It also and definitely highlighted the boss battles (one of the singular aspects that the game was praised for.) I listened to the soundtrack months after I finished the game, definitely making it one of my all-time favourite video game soundtracks.
Songs to listen to: Bane; Can’t You Just Play Along?
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
Black Flag is often touted as the title that saved the Assassin’s Creed franchise. It was definitely one of my favourites in the franchise, but I’ve never really had a problem with the series so that’s not really saying much (I don’t seem to mind buying the same game 17 times). If I were to name Black Flag my favourite in the series, it would probably be due to the game’s Brian Tyler composed soundtrack. The soundtrack definitely makes me feel like I’m a pirate exploring the world in the early eighteenth century. Even when I’m not playing the game, listening to certain track makes me feel inquisitive about travelling the world (it may be just a mental association, but for the ability for simple sounds to that is amazing). If you’re looking for some good, inspiring music, give this soundtrack a listen. (It has certainly helped me get through the cleaning the dishes faster.)
Songs to listen to: The High Seas, Main Titles, The Ends of the Earth
Dragon Age: Inquisition
Dragon Age: Inquisition, despite all of the awards it won, is actually a game that disappointed me immensely. The game is massive, I’ll give it that, but overall it was an endless stream of fetch quests interrupted by cut scenes. I really enjoyed the first two and thus feel very bitter that this was indeed the case. If there is any redeeming factor in this game, it is the soundtrack which had absolutely tracks. Starting the game up, and the opening shots coupled with the main theme just makes you think that you are in for one of the most epic adventures ever. If EA could make the next Dragon Age as epic as this soundtrack, I would be so happy…
Songs to listen to: Main Titles, Dawn Will Come
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
The Witcher 3 is probably my favourite game of all time. I mean as in ever. I just finished the DLCs and I feel as if I now have a void in my life as I’ll never be able to experience it for the first time again. This game had one of the best stories I have ever encountered in a game compounded with one of the best video game soundtracks I’ve ever heard. When Geralt enters into eerie situations, you begin to feel somewhat on edge, which in large part, is due to the soundtrack accompanying the game. When you begin a game of Gwent, an exciting ambiance is present largely due to the upbeat track that accompanies Gwent matches. When Gaunter O’ Dimm approaches you, you feel somewhat afraid due to his offsetting theme. It is all just so well done. Oh, Witcher 3, why did I have to finish you so soon?
Songs to listen to: The Fields of Ard Skellige, Geralt of Rivia, Blood and Wine
Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
It is true that I was dangerously addicted to Skyrim during one year at varsity. I started playing the game a year after it came out and then just couldn’t stop playing it. Skyrim is Skyrim, what can I really say that hasn’t been said before? It is definitely one of my favourite gaming experiences. It was the first game I ever platinumed I loved it so much. I know for a fact, however, that I would not have loved this game as much as I did without the soundtrack that accompanies it. Just the main titles track is enough for anybody to believe that they are indeed the invincible (until you kill a chicken) Dragonborn. The Witcher 3 may be my favourite game, but Skyrim definitely has my favourite video game soundtrack.
Songs to listen to: Dragonborn, Sovngarde, Skyrim Atmospheres