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Top 5 Video Game Soundtracks Every Hardcore Gamer Should Hear

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Sadly, Video-Game music is often stereotyped as being “not really music at all.” Some think Video-Games will forever feature retro 8-Bit stylized music. While others find it humorous that anyone might sit down and listen to say, a well composed Final Fantasy album.

The point is that this genre of music as a whole is not well respected. Ironically, songs like the “Halo Theme,” The Immortals' set of Mortal Kombat tunes, or the “Mario Theme” can garner a universal following which is virtually unquestioned. Yet to the average non-gamer or casual-gamer, the Advent Children version of FF7's “One Winged Angel” for example might sound like a silly mush; and not the beautifully orchestrated piece it actually is. Here are some soundtracks to games that are not as well known compared to the likes of big-hit RPGs and classics.

Jet Grind Radio / Jet Set Radio Future
Genres: Techno, Pop, Rock
Notable Songs:“The Concept of Love,” “Sweet Soul Brother,” “Fly Like a Butterfly”

Both the Dreamcast and original Xbox versions of this game had excellent soundtracks. These aren't by any means unbeknown to gamers, but if you haven't played either form of Jet Set then you don't know what you're missing. Jet Set's entire mood was in place due to a pirate radio station providing the gangs with music to grind to. Hence the word 'Radio' clear in the title. This versatile soundtrack is a large part of what made Jet Set so enjoyable; even without the roller-blades and spray paint, these soundtracks are still catchy.

Jet Grind Radio / Jet Set Radio Future
Baten Kaitos (Series)
enres: Orchestra, Rock
Notable Songs:“The True Mirror,” “Vitriolic a Stroke,” “Chaotic Dance”
Somehow the only RPG to make the list, Baten Kaitos is a highly underrated and underplayed title with a memorable soundtrack. Some of the songs are very orchestra based, so listening to this may not be up your alley. Yet the rhythm-heavy Rock songs are enjoyable even without an appreciation for 'classier' music. Also, if anyone has played “Eternal Sonata;” much of this music was composed by the same person.
Baten Kaitos (Series)
BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger
Genres: Metal, Orchestra, Anime
Notable Songs:“Bullet Dance,” “Queen of Rose,” “Lust SIN,” “White Requiem”
Much like Jet Set Radio, BlazBlue is not a “hidden gem of soundtracks.” A large majority of gamers specifically purchased this game on release to acquire the limited edition Original Soundtrack for free. BlazBlue offers what is possibly the best music available in a fighting game; but doesn't require the tense atmosphere of a fight to be amusing. I listen to this OST daily just to hear the fast-paced guitar rifts and inspiring melodies.
BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger
F-Zero GX/AX
Genres: Techno, Metal, Orchestra, Rock, Rap, Pop
Notable Songs:“Dr. Stewart,” “Deathborn,” “Black Shadow,” “Captain Falcon,” “Blood Falcon”
Arguably one of the largest OSTs out there, F-Zero GX/AX manages to cover countless genres with a robust 80+ tracklist. This GameCube title had big shoes to fill in aspects of both gameplay and music. The N64's F-Zero X offered a metal-friendly song listing that perfectly accompanied the fast nature of F-Zero. GX/AX however decided to incorporate as many moods as possible. Each character has their own original Theme song, with none being reused or sounding even remotely similar to one another. Even the racetracks have their own course-specific tune! Still, Nintendo managed to provide a perfect OST that captures the fastest racing game's mood flawlessly.
F-Zero GX/AX
Armored Core 4/ for Answer
Genres: Techno-Pop, Piano, Rock, Orchestra
Notable Songs:“Thinker,” “Precius Park,” “Remember,” “Someone is Always Moving on the Surface”
Armored Core 4 and the follow-up title Armored Core: for Answer, contain some of the weirdest OSTs out there. This is a good thing. AC4 abandoned the Industrial heavy sounds of previous iterations and went for something completely new. Somewhat of a mix between Techno and Pop with gibberish-lyrics that are oddly catchy. Though much of the orchestra-heavy songs are drawn out and dull; the rest is amazing! Granted this is a very niche style of music; so I applaud anyone who takes the time to listen to any part of this soundtrack.
Armored Core 4/ for Answer
Honorable Mention:
  • Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3 (Songs: Hell March, Soviet March)
  • Forza Motorsport 2 (Great soundtrack, not an original though)
  • Gex: Enter the Gecko (Generally well-done)Ninety Nine Nights (Breathtaking theme song)


#1 No Beatles?firebreath 2010-05-13 11:35
NO BEATLES ROCK BAND?!?! It has the best soundtrack of any game on any platform. :o

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