In the beginning, video game music was nothing but a bunch of blips and bleeps. Today, the intricacy of game music has evolved to the same artistic level of blockbuster movie soundtracks. Based on the highest rated music by AOL Radio listeners on the Video Game Scores station, we've compiled a list of the 10 best video game soundtracks. Since the radio station focuses on modern game music, so does this list. Let us know what video game music is your favorite in the comments!
10) Shadow of the Colossus
About the music: The moving orchestral score by Kow Otani was only used during the battles with each colossus and during cut scenes. The rest of the game used no music while the protagonist traveled the vast landscape searching for the next colossi. In 2005, Electronic Gaming Monthly awarded the game's soundtrack album, titled 'Shadow of the Colossus: Roar of the Earth,' as soundtrack of the year.
9) Super Mario Galaxy
About the music: Composer Mahito Yokota originally wanted to use Latin sounds for the game, but the 28 tracks he completed were turned down. Yokota then took three months developing three different music styles for the game -- an orchestral sound, a mix of pop and orchestral music, and one that was only pop music. Producer Shigeru Miyamoto chose the full orchestral version. The soundtrack went on to win many awards, including Edge Magazine's "Best Design in Audio."
8) Silent Hill 2
About the music: The music for this video game soundtrack was composed by Akira Yamaoka, graduate of Tokyo Art College. He is most well known for his music contributions to the 'Silent Hill' series, where he also acts as a sound director and producer for the game series.
7) Castlevania: Lament Of Innocence
About the music: Michiru Yamane is well known for her music in many Castlevania games, but AOL Radio listeners rated 'Lament of Innocence' as the best in the series. The soundtrack is a perfect match for the spooky atmosphere of the Castlevania games -- mixing classical music, choirs, and even a dance beat in some tracks.
6) Chrono Cross
About the music: To compliment the parallel worlds depicted in 'Chrono Cross,' composer Yasunori Mitsuda (who previously worked on the prequel 'Chrono Trigger') created alternately dark and bright tracks. The theme of the score was centered around old world cultural influences, such as Celtic, Mediterranean and percussive African music.
5) Final Fantasy 7
About the music: Released on four CDs, the game soundtrack was the first in the series to include a track with digitized vocals titled 'One-Winged Angel.' The score is considered by many Final Fantasy fans to be Nobuo Uematsu's greatest music score.
4) Halo 2
About the music: While the score was composed by Martin O'Donnell and Michael Salvatori, volume 1 of the 'Halo 2' soundtrack also includes songs from bands written specifically for the soundtrack that do not appear in the game such as Incubus and Breaking Benjamin. Incubus guitarist Mike Einziger said, "'Halo' is the only video game that ever inspired us to write a whole suite [of music]."
3) Metal Gear Solid
About the music: Most of the music for the soundtrack was composed by the Konami Computer Entertainment Sound Team Japan. The song 'Metal Gear Solid Main Theme' is one of the exceptions, as it was composed by TAPPY who has done music for many other Konami games including 'Policenauts' and 'Contra III: The Alien Wars.'
2) The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
About the music: Kenta Nagata, Hajime Wakai, Toru Minegishi, and Koji Kondo used an Irish influence for this video game soundtrack, featuring uilleann pipes and the pan flute on some songs. Many songs from 'The Wind Waker' appear on fellow Nintendo game 'Super Smash Bros. Brawl.'
1) Kingdom Hearts 2
About the music: While the majority of the game's music was composed by Yoko Shimomura, the main vocal theme, 'Passion,' was composed and performed by Hikaru Utada. The music used in the opening and closing credits was composed by Kaoru Wada and performed by the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra.