It used to be that if you said a video game soundtrack was your favorite album, you’d have been laughed out of town by anybody that took music seriously. However, as things have become more sophisticated in the world of soundtracks, it’s now not such a crazy notion. There are a couple of truly excellent soundtracks that come out of the gaming world each year, not to mention some that evoke such a sense of nostalgia that they deserve mentioning. This is our pick of the soundtracks that stand head and shoulders above the rest.
Red Dead Redemption II
Kicking things off with one that not too many people will find surprising, the Red Dead Redemption II soundtrack is widely regarded as the best-ever original soundtrack. A huge team scanned hours and hours of archival tracks to come up with the source material for this masterpiece. From scavenged snippets of tin whistle, harmonica, banjo and haunting hums, they pieced together their own songs. The result is simply beautiful. It feels straight out of turn-of-the-century America, with soul-stirring vocals, deeply evocative melodies, and plenty of wonderful crackle.
Pokémon Red & Blue
Now for a total departure and a slightly riskier choice. The original Pokémon soundtracks were certainly not pioneering. In fact, they were tinny and horrendous for longer than a few minutes at a time. However, they are so incredibly nostalgic when you hear just a few notes of them nowadays that they deserve a place for that. Music is incredibly special because of its ability to transport us back in time and there might be no other video game soundtrack that achieves that quite as easily as the original Pokémon ones do.
Jimi Hendrix Slot
So far, we’ve focused on video games that have had entirely their own music, but what about games that recognize genius and celebrate it? If you’re after a game that’s got a soundtrack by a bonafide god of rock then NetEnt has delivered with their slot game, Jimi Hendrix Slot. This game has so many of the huge riffs that Hendrix is famous for, all set against a psychedelic background that the man himself would certainly approve of. If you’d like to give it a try without depositing your own money then it’s currently possible to get casino free spins that can be used on this title. I think most people could agree that there have been few guitar solos over the years to rival Hendrix, so what could possibly be nicer music to game to?
Grand Theft Auto V
Finally, in terms of found music, Grand Theft Auto might take the prize. Each iteration of the game allows you to play a selection of different songs on your car radio. They’re all totally of their time, some of them being the hits of the year and others giving a flavor of that particular era. Playing back through the Grand Theft Auto games with your car radio blasting is like opening up a time capsule. We love the mixture of musical styles and the emphasis that was put on emerging artists.