The Broken Joysticks Top 10: Pieces Of Video Game Music | Broken Joysticks

Apr
26

The Broken Joysticks Top 10: Pieces Of Video Game Music

Welcome dear reader to another edition of The Broken Joysticks Top 10. As always this list is personal based on the individual writer’s opinion. I encourage readers and other members of the Broken Joysticks team to create their own lists and join the discussion. Today we will be looking at music in video games. Music is a powerful tool that can draw out emotions and create atmosphere, when used well it can stick with us for years. So today I’m doing a tribute to the music of gaming sit back and enjoy.

10. Castlevania- Bloody Tears

God damn I love this piece when you are on the classic quest to defeat Dracula nothing gets my blood pumping like this one. I just feel so invincible. I am Simon fucking Belmont hear me roar!

Below is the Rondo of Blood version my personal favourite but seriously this piece in any of its renditions is amazing. [youtube id=”IU1Cm72NflU” width=”600″ height=”350″]

9. Xcom: Enemy Unknown-Theme Song

Hey guys I’ve got goose bumps, there is so much to talk about here but I’ll try to keep it short. Xcom: Enemy Unknown’s theme was incredible. After over a decade one of my favourite franchise’s was coming back. I was so excited. When I booted up the game and that theme started playing I felt this sense of dread. Humanity is fucked we may not survive did we even have a chance? You want to talk about creating atmosphere? Here you go. The song builds slowly, the dread continues. Then the uplift of the strings hits giving you that faint glimmer of dare we say hope? Hell yeah, that is atmosphere.[youtube id=”0sDjxZcYSSQ” width=”600″ height=”350″]

8. Metal Gear Solid-Progeny of a Legend

This is one of those emotional pieces that gets me every time, even if you’re not a huge fan of the Metal Gear franchise you can still appreciate the high end emotional story telling. This is one of those games that helped show me in my younger years just what video games were capable of as a medium. This theme in my opinion personifies the entire metal gear franchise. With one small piece of music I feel ready to be engrossed in the game’s world and characters.[youtube id=”gvnYQZ2rFpM” width=”600″ height=”350″]

7. Zelda Ocarina of Time-Hyrule Field

When I was a kid the first game I ever beat was Ocarina of Time, followed closely by Castlevania (the original). So this game has a special place in my heart, as does this particular theme. The first time I stepped out of the forest onto Hyrule Field, I lost myself. This is probably my earliest memory of the feeling I would now call immersion and this was in no small part due to the phenomenal music filling me with a sense of wonder and adventure. I’m the hero of time bitches![youtube id=”zO8Y7hdD6Qk” width=”600″ height=”350″]

6. Chrono Trigger-The Intro Theme

I am listening to this theme and I have goose bumps again. I’ve talked about how much I love Chrono Trigger before; it was my number 1 nostalgic pick me up RPG. When I’m depressed nothing and I mean NOTHING makes me feel better then popping in Chrono Trigger and hearing this beautiful song. It’s Chrono Trigger need I say more?[youtube id=”Dgk5cUGsz-U” width=”600″ height=”350″]

5. Deus Ex: Human Revolution-Icarus

Deus Ex Human Revolution the game that recreated a franchise, I love this game. I love it’s themes, it’s aesthetic, I love everything. Nothing helps complete the universe more then it’s incredible music. Icarus as a theme is astounding it’s futuristic and dramatic with a constant sense of beauty and sorrow. Deus Ex is an experience, if you haven’t played it yet do so and take note of all the music in the game because it is worth noticing. This is simply a personal favourite. [youtube id=”ZiN6t7K7txw” width=”600″ height=”350″]

4. Syphon Filter-The Menu Theme

Welcome to one of the most underrated pieces of music from one of the most underrated franchises in gaming. Shortly I will be writing a piece on the Syphon Filter franchise as a whole. For right now I’ll say this Syphon Filter is a series very near and dear to me. After playing the original Metal Gear Solid, I wanted something espionage feeling. This was the franchise a friend showed me and man did I fall in love. From the moment I heard that theme on the menu watching the names of theme interesting characters fly by I was enthralled. I wanted to explore these characters and learn about them. I vividly remember sitting on my friends couch and hearing that theme. It will stick with me for life. It is yet another example of what games, unlike any other medium, are capable of. [youtube id=”o81Ppv1VwNQ” width=”600″ height=”350″]

3. Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver-Soul Reaver Theme

Didn’t we just get done talking about an under-appreciated set of titles? Well here’s another one, everything in this series is amazing. I love the controls, (especially given the limitations of the time) I love the atmosphere, I love the voice acting and, oh god the music. Gods amongst men handed us this music. Epic in scale, this song tells a story all on its own. Describe this music in one word? Powerful. [youtube id=”eBptxuajqZg” width=”600″ height=”350″]

2. Mass Effect-Mass Effect Theme

How do you start a brand new IP and get players invested? The answer is simple, the opening theme to PMass Effect seriously when I created my Shepard and watched him walk through the Normandy that first time hearing this music in the background I was sold. Okay you win Bioware I’m invested. I want to explore everything in this universe. You want to know the impact of music in games? Pop in a title you don’t care about and be swept away because that is what happened to me. [youtube id=”3DxVg6_Mixw” width=”600″ height=”350″]

1. Final Fantasy X-To Zanarkand

After the rest of this list I’ll bet a lot of people are surprised to see this song at number 1. The Final Fantasy series has had it’s ups and downs to say the least (so many downs), but I can never get over this theme. Problems plague FFX it could arguably be called the game that brought the series in the direction that I so despise today. However, I love this game. I’m a sucker for romance and this game pulls on my heart strings so very much. With a touching romance that, despite the game’s flaws makes the experience worth it in the end. This piece of music captures me, and truly captures the themes of love and loss that are at the game’s core. Touching and emotional that’s how I’ll end this list. Take care dear readers and enjoy. [youtube id=”dmzZrj-cLSc” width=”600″ height=”350″]

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About Eric Bastelak

Eric Bastelak is a co-founder and excecutive editor of Broken Joysticks. When not writting lengthy editiorials about the future of this medium and the importance of story in gaming, he spends his time playing Star Wars: The Old Republic, Uncharted 3 and pretty much any RPG he can get his hands on. Eric spends any remaining time he has working and reading comic books. As an insomniac sleep has very little place in his life. Eric can be reached at ericbastelak@brokenjoysticks.net

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