I’ve always been passionate about the music in video games. Perhaps I should be more specific. I’ve always been passionate about the music in the games that I love.
One of my favourite video game composers is Nobuo Uematsu most known for his work on the Final Fantasy series and other games like the fantastic Lost Odyssey and Blue Dragon on Xbox 360. His music has always contained a lot of meaning and emotion behind it.
One of the most iconic themes created by Uematsu is Aerith’s Theme from Final Fantasy VII. As most of you know this was played at a relatively tragic part of Final Fantasy VII. I won’t reveal the actual nature of the circumstance necessitating this music but suffice to say it fits the mood quite well. It starts as a piano like solo then adds in some horns for dramatic effect. Now take those descriptions like a grain of salt as the Playstation sounds utilized were fairly primitive compared to later works.
Another of his iconic themes in my opinion is the piano solo intro music called At Zanarkand from Final Fantasy X. The theme has always been able to draw an emotional reaction from me. In fact I dare say Final Fantasy X is one of Uematsu’s best work. When Square-Enix released the HD versions for PS3 and Vita they added some orchestration that in my opinion ruined the game’s music. Square-Enix heard this and in the Playstation 4 version they added an option to use the original score. Thanks, guys.
Of course almost every Final Fantasy ever released has had a fantastic score but Uematsu didn’t stop there. When he left Square-Enix he created his own music outfit and went on to score Lost Odyssey which is also a fantastic emotional ride.
He also scored Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. While a messy story its a fun watch and has remakes of a lot of Uematsu’s music from Final Fantasy VII with an especially great rendition of One Winged Angel.
Another one of my favourite composers is Yasunori Mitsuda. He’s responsible for the great Xenosaga I: Der Will zur Macht and the absolutely fantastic Crono Cross.
While there were absolutely silent parts in Xenosaga I. I always enjoyed the scenes with music and the battle theme is awesome.
But Mitsuda truly shines on Crono Cross’ soundtrack. This game while being fantastic in it’s own right has, in my opinion, the best single soundtrack from any game ever made. The music is diverse in style but has such a unique flavour that it always feels fresh. The Another World theme to this day is one of my favourites.
One of my recent discoveries comes thanks to the release of Persona 4 Golden on Playstation Vita. I never played Persona 4 or any of the others in the series previous as I was completely ignorant of their existence. After reading reviews and looking for a good RPG to play on my Vita I picked up Persona 4. I recently finished it and man was it a great game. To top it off it has one of the single best sound tracks I’ve ever heard. This is all thanks to Shoji Meguro. He is also responsible for Persona 3, and the upcoming Persona 5. The music has a lots of guitars mixed with piano and drums. He uses all these along with other instruments to great effect. A lot of the music also has vocals contained in it which initially put me off but now I can’t get enough of it.
One oddball soundtrack perhaps to some is from Unreal Championship 2: The Liandi Conflict composed by Kevin Riepl. This is a fast paced multiplayer shooter and I still love it to today. The soundtrack has a lot of great music to to offer. My favourite being the UC2 Theme (UT Theme Redux). That plays at the beginning of the game and it has always been a great listen. Theres a lot of electronic rock music and if that’s your thing pick up the game as its the easiest way to get a hold of the music now.
Perhaps one more oddball soundtrack comes from Forsaken 64. It’s a little harder to get the music for this but a quick Google search will reveal ways in which to listen to it. The Swarm did the music for the game and contains a lot of electronica with heavy bass and drums. Really great stuff.
Doubtless I have missed some of your favourites. Let me know what your favourites are below.