GMS and I have been working on a lot of duel analysis papers and since they are taking a long time to get done, I decided to go ahead and make another list by myself. Since it is summer time and I have finished all of my shows and plays this summer, I had so much down time playing a lot of video games that I couldn’t have done in the past as well as listen to a lot of music. I guess, right now, I am in a video game mood mixed in with a music mood and I just felt that I wanted to do a countdown that combined the two together. Yes this is going to my a countdown of my all time favorite video game music composers. As you know, I really classify video games as an art form and video games are home to so many brilliant soundtracks that compete with some of the best songs in in movies, yeah I said it. I mean come on, the sense of you having goosebumps during final boss fight, you crying when a character dies, and moments when your just rocking your head back in forth when you are moving around in a game world are all thanks in large parts to the music written by their respective composers. This list is my appreciation to my all time favorite video game music composers. Now be warned: This is an extremely subjective list so please don’t be frustrated if your favorite is not where you want it. I would love to ask you to say what your favorite video game composers are in the comments section because this is a topic that definitely deserves discussion. There are so many brilliant video game music composers that I just had to mention at least 20 in this list. Note: I will actually give you some music examples for anyone who is not familiar with video game composers. I might talk about these specific tracks and specific soundtracks in greater detail on a later date but for now: Let’s get started……shall we.
20. Koichi Sugiiyama
Considers himself the “Big Boss of Video game music”, Koichi Sugiyama is a video game song writer suited for classical and orchestral sounding music. He is inspired by Nobuo Uematsu and he is most notorious for his musical work in the Dragon Quest series.
Notable Games: Dragon Quest Series
Some of my Favorite songs:
(This is actually GMS’ favorite video game song currently. I really like it. It competes with the Zelda theme as my favorite adventure song in a video game. I just want to go out on an epic adventure when I listen to this song.)
19. Hiroshige Tonomura
There is one song that makes me love Yoshihiro Sakaguchi’s music. This song is, of course, “The Moon Theme” from the NES game Duck Tales. There is no other song in a video game, that I know, that fully embraces the magic and awe of being on the moon while doing some fun platforming.
Notable Games: Duck Tales
Some of my Favorite Songs:
18. Jun Senoue
The guitarist in the band Crush 40. Jun Senoue created some of my favorite Sonic game music tunes. His music usually has awesome guitar playing in it but he also can mix it up every now and then. He’s my favorite sonic music composer.
Notable Games: Sonic Adventure, Sonic Adventure 2, Shadow the Hedgehog, Sonic Heroes
Some of my Favorite Songs:
First levels in a video game are very important and the first time I heard this song I knew I had a good game ahead of me. This song captures the speed of Sonic as well as the tropical, relaxing, and dangerous setting that he is in. The way how you are being chased by killer whales and speeding through this level to get at Tails, this level accompanied by the music is good. This is the first 3d Sonic level in a video game and this song I think is the best song for a sonic level.
17. Normand Corbeil
Normand Corbeil is one of my favorite modern day music composers. He has written music for many quantic dream games ranging from Farenheit to Heavy Rain to quantic dream’s soon to be released game, Beyond Two Souls. His work in Heavy Rain is some of most emotional music I ever listened to. Normand Corbeil passed away just recently right after he finished the soundtrack to Beyond Two Souls. I am going to miss you and your music Normand Corbeil, You helped create some of the most emotional video game music I have ever listened to. May you rest in peace.
Notable Games: Heavy Rain, Farenheit
Some of my Favorite Songs:
Ethan Mars Main Theme
16. Kow Otani
Kow Otani is actually not really classified as a video game composer since he has composed more songs for movies and anime than he has for video games. But there is no denying that he deserves so much recognition as a solid video game composer for his work in the game Shadow of the Colossus. Shadow of the Colossus is one of my favorite games of all time by being one of most atmospheric video games I have ever played. Shadow of the Colossus is a world filled with mystique, and amazing spectacles showing a world where there are innocent giants walking and flying around the Earth. It is a world that is just full of mystery but amazing beauty and the Kow Otani’s score reflects the game world and all of the giants you come across.
Notable Games: Shadow of the Colossus
Some of my Favorite Songs:
Demise of the Ritual
(A song that really fits the ending and the final boss extremely well. I don’t want to spoil it but it is very sad as well as very epic.)
15. Harry Gregson-Williams
The Metal Gear Solid series is my favorite non RPG video game franchise of all time because of its amazing and complicated, yet always enlightening, story and its stealth gameplay accompanied by its impressive musical score by Harry Gregson-Williams. Harry Gregson-Williams, like Kow Otani, has written many soundtracks for many films but he has really proven to have a great grasp on how to write a soundtrack for a video game. Harry Gregson-Williams soundtrack is very hollywoodish in nature, probaby because of his work writing movie soundtracks, but it always never fails to bring so much intensity and drama to the Metal Gear Solid games.
Notable Games: Metal Gear Solid 2 and 3
Some of my Favorite Songs:
Metal Gear Solid 3 Main Theme
(Metal Gear Solid 3 is my favorite Metal Gear Solid game and its theme is one of my favorite video game songs ever written for its dramatic tone.)
Metal Gear Solid 2 Main Theme
(A very catchy and dramatic song that competes with Metal Gear Solid 3’s ending theme.)
14. Junichi Masuda
Junichi Masuda’s soundtrack in the Pokemon series is likely to cause nostalgic overload for anyone who has played fire red and water blue when they grew up. Unfortunately for me, I wasn’t a big fan of Pokemon red and blue when I was a little and I instead took a bigger fancy towards the anime than the game series. I remember playing it a little bit and I remember watching my siblings play it but I really wasn’t one that played the games to completion. Even though I wasn’t a big fan of the game I absolutely adore the music and adore the Pokemon world in general. I still cry during Pallet Town and I still get massive goosebumps during the Pokemon battle theme since it played during the anime a lot of times.
Some of my favorite songs
(A song that is likely going to cause nostalgic overload to anyone who grew up with playing the first Pokemon games. Even though I didn’t play the games much, this song still manages to get me emotional. I remember the days when life was simple and when me and my siblings didn’t have much going on except just having some fun and playing some video games every now and then. I still remember how I always watched my older brother play this game whenever I listen to this song.)
(This song is a masterpiece. It goes down as one of the most iconic RPG battle themes of all time. This orchestral just makes the already brilliant song even more epic. The song is corny, yes, but it’s undeniably awesome.)
13. Yuka Tsujiyoko
Notable Games: Paper Mario and Paper Mario the Thousand Year Door
Some of my Favorite Songs:
Princess Peach’s Theme
- (This song creates so much nostalgia for me whenever I listen it. This was my very first RPG I ever played and it is tied with the Thousand Year Door as my favorite Mario game. I loved Peach in this game more than any other game because it was the only Mario game where I fully saw the strength of Mario and Peach’s romantic relationship as well as being the Mario game that shows Peach not so helpless but a pretty smart and sneaky individual. This song is sad because Peach is kidnapped by Bowser nd knows that the Mushroom Kingdom is doing horribly because it is controlled by Bowser but it also has a hopeful feeling because Peach knows Mario is going to defeat Bowser and rescue her. The song is kind of like a lullaby to me. I can just sleep to this song.)
(This is surprisingly a very dark song but undeniably catchy at the same time. The sun is basically not able to go into the sky because Huff n Puff and his henchman have taken over the skies so the sun just stays at the sun tower. I just want to help the poor sun whenever I hear this song. It is a song saying that an absolute powerful being like the sun is in need for major help.)
(Do I really need to explain why I love this theme so very much? This is my favorite ending screen song ever and it is one of the most emotional video game songs I ever listened to. I just can’t describe all of the feelings I have whenever I hear this song. It is a mixture of nostalgia, happiness, sadness,and it just gives me flashes of my wonderful childhood memories. I can just picture myself an old man and looking back at my six year old self when I hear this theme. After beating Paper Mario,this is a song that gives me the impression that I have just completed a great adventure that I will always remember warmly. There is something about this song that gives me a mystical feeling of joy I can’t quite explain.)
(There is something about this theme that makes me picture it also being used in a Metroid game. I just love the techno vibe this music has as well as the creepy and eerie atmosphere this song creates. Considering what happends in the game, this song really suits the boss incredibly well. Not to mention it’s catchy.)
12. Robin Beanland
Robin Beanland is a great music composer by creating a solid soundtrack to one of my favorite games of all time on the n64, Conker’s Bad Fur Day. The score is filled with wacky songs to just plain ridiculous songs but the game is definitely versatile with many different song types. The Great Mighty Poo song titled Sloprano is an absolute classic and it is probably going down in history as the funniest boss theme ever created. My colleague GMS named himself after that boss and it is all thanks to its song and its composer Robin Beanland.
Notable Games: Conker’s Bad Fur Day
Some of my Favorite songs:
( This is was a very tough part in the game for me when it came to pushing the rock dudes but the song is a very good nightclub song with a rock solid beat. )
( “It’s like the screaming shitz it is!”. I laughed so much with the cows as well as the black bull during this part of the game. Here you have to do some bull fighting with Conker basically being the red cape, with his red fur, to allure a big black bull to force cows to go number 2. This song gives me the great sensation of bullfighting as well as bull riding while also relating to the comedy that is going on in the scene.)
(Conker’s Bad Fur Day is known as one of the funniest games of all time and debatably Rareware’s greatest game on the N64. It is a game that is known for its lightheartedness and absolute hilarious humor but the ending credits theme’s paints a different picture on the game that I never ever saw coming. he ending credits theme never fails to make me want to cry. This theme portrays the ending’s polarizing and sad feeling perfectly showing that what the main character did throughout the entire game meant nothing and now he is left in the gutters to die alone for all of the bad stuff he has done in the game. Conker’s Bad Fur Day is a pretty goofy but the ending really portrays a dark ending that goes to some places we never expected it would go. It is actually one of my favorite video game endings of all time.)
11. Jack Wall/ Clint Mansell/ Sam Hullick
Notable Games: Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2, Mass Effect 3
A three way tie between the three main music composers in the Mass Effect series. All of these 3 music composers deserve so much recognition for their amazing music contributions to the Mass Effect series.
(The Illusive man is an awesome character, Martin Sheen is an awesome voice actor, and putting the two together you get quite the bad ass. The Illusive Man is one of my favorite characters in the whole Mass Effect series because he was the basically the definitive renegade character in the entire series who clearly loved humanity but did some pretty grumesome and questionable things to help humanity succeed in the galaxy. This song really demonstrates the complete mystery and renegade nature of the Illusive Man. When I first saw the Illusive man smoking his cigar right in front of a blue and red star with this theme in the background, I knew he was going to be an awesome character.)
(A theme that feels strange and scary yet so peaceful giving a feeling of mystery. This is a song that I think says so much about our milky way galaxy.)
(“Vigil” is one of the greatest songs ever made for science fiction in my opinion. That is a pretty big statement but Vigil is a song that just speaks on so many levels about the beauty, mystique, vastness, and evils in our universe. This is a song I can just listen to whenever I am looking on a clear night sky with stars floating all around me. The peace of mind and introspective solemn feelings this song gives me is astounding. People can get angry at Bioware all they want about Mass Effect 3’s ending but you know what, I honestly don’t care. The Mass Effect series is easily one of my favorite game series of all time.)
An End Once and For all
(The song “An End Once and For all” is probably the biggest reason why I actually really like Mass Effect 3’s ending. Maybe I will discuss my feelings on Mass Effect 3’s ending on a later date, but I am getting off topic. The song: “An End Once for All” is wonderfully written musical piece by Clint Masnell that manages to emit so much emotions into me. It manages to be sad, melancholy, yet an achieving melody saying that you defeated the reapers once and for all in Mass Effect 3 despite all of the sacrifices that had to be done to defeat them. This song is basically the song that makes me remember just how amazing the Mass Effect series was. I remember all of the fun times I had with Garrus, the romantic times with Tali, the fun times with Mordin, Wrex and Grunt, and all of the heart wrenching scenes that were in the Mass Effect series as well as the amazing universe Bioware has created.)
(It is music like this that makes Mass Effect 3 one of the most sad and emotional video games I have ever played. Mass Effect 3 is clearly a game about sacrifice and the inevitability of death and things that are beyond our control. Mass Effect 3 was literally the first game in the series that made me truly question if Shepard would be able to defeat the reapers and because of this, it makes for the most polarizing Mass Effect game in the series. Mass Effect 1 and 2 gave a pretty good feeling that Shepard and the galaxy were going to pull through and stop the Reapers. I definitely did not get that feeling in Mass Effect 3. “Leaving Earth” plays right when Shepard is about to leave Earth to get help from other species to go help Earth defend themselves against the reapers. This song sets the tone for Mass Effect 3 brilliantly showing that the Reapers are finally here and it is not going to be a pretty war. )
10. Kenji Yamamoto
Notable Games: Super Metroid, Metroid Prime, Metroid Prime 2, Metroid Prime 3, Mike Tyson’s Punchout.
Some of my Favorite Songs:
Crashed Ship Frigate Orpheon
(This is one of the most atmospheric in beautiful songs in Metroid Prime. I hate water levels in games but this water level in the Crashed Ship Frigate Orpheon was an exception. I love the piano in this song and the techno sounds used in this track. It creates a wonderful atmosphere making the Frigate a creepy place but also a beautiful place filled with marvel.)
Tallon Overworld Theme
(Probably my favorite over world theme in Metroid Prime. This is actually one of the few instances where a metroid song manages to be catchy as well as moody since most of the Metroid songs are atmospheric songs.)
Samus vs Thardus
(This theme is very haunting with the piano keys playing over and over and the techno sounds coming out really loud during the song. This boss battle is one my favorite bosses in Metroid Prime and the boss theme is one my favorite songs in the game. I am surprised this song isn’t brought up a lot during Metroid music talk.)
9. Yoko Shimomuro
Notable Games: Kingdom Hearts 1 and 2, Mario and Luigi Super Star Saga, Super Mario RPG Legend of The Seven Stars, Mario and Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story
Some of my Favorite Songs:
(This song is a very very sad song. Spolier alert: This song plays right after Roxas’ realizes he is not a real person but a nobody created by a person named Sora. He also realizes that throughout all of his life he never really had any friends at all and that they were just fake friends constructed only by DIZ to make him think that he was living a normal life.This song is sad and melancholic and it always brings a tear in my eye knowing what Roxas is going through.)
(This is probably my favorite song in Mario RPG. What can I say, this song is just so happy and joyful giving me a great sensation of being above the clouds and running around to help Mallow find his parents.)
And My Name’s Booster
(The reason I love this track so much is that, not only is this my favorite part of Mario RPG, but because this track reminds me so much of Quentin Tarantino and Pulp Fiction. Anyone who has watched Pulp Fiction knows what I am talking about. This song sounds like it got a lot inspiration from the Revels song Comanche, and you know about that disturbing scene in Pulp Fiction (I am assuming). Booster’s Theme really brings so much character to Booster relating to his pimp like behavior for kidnapping Princess Peach.)
8. Jun Ishikawa
Notable Games: Kirby’s Dreamland 3, Kirby 64
There are many composers in the Kirby series that all make brilliant soundtracks. But my favorite has to be Jun Ishikawa out of all of them because of his soundtracks to Kirby’s Dreamland 3 and Kirby 64 The Crystal Stars. Ishikawa’s music is very pleasant to listen to by giving me the feeling of just admiring nature. Ishikawa’s music is pleasant but it can also be very dark and epic when it needs to be. Songs like Zero Two and Hyper Zone are some of the darkest video game boss themes ever.
Some of my Favorite Songs:
Here is a song that I can listen to when I walk outside in autumn with leaves falling from the trees all around me. This song is my favorite Kirby level theme because of it peaceful and melancholic feel.
(This competes with “Battle for Everyone’s Souls” as my favorite video game final boss theme. This theme is incredibly dark for a Kirby game signifying the sadness and pain of Zero 2. Zero 2 is someone that isn’t able to feel any good feelings as love and kindness so he tries to change the entire universe to feel the exact way he does. He isn’t bad by choice, it is just the only feeling he can feel.)
7. David Wise
Notable Games: Donkey Kong Country 1 and 2, 3 (assisting), Star Fox Adventures
David Wise is hands down the composer that succeeded in creating the most catchy video game music tracks I have ever heard. David’s music from Donkey Kong Country 1,2,3, are extremely catchy with their brilliant percussions and jungle sounding instruments that can make anyone bobble their head to the music. My favorite David Wise soundtracks are usually found in the Donkey Kong Country game but it is worth noting that David Wise also did music for one of my favorite games on the Game cube, Star Fox Adventures (An underrated classic in my book).
Some of my Favorite Songs:
Sticker Brush Symphony
(Oh Yeah, this song is very very soothing and relaxing. But MAN IS THE LEVEL SO HARD! Sticker Brush Symphony is a very catchy and beautiful track representing you manuevering through a pretty garden filled with deadly thorns and killer wasps. I can just remember the frustration and fun I had when playing Donkey Kong Country 2 when I listen to this track.)
Donkey Kong Country Title Theme
(A song that is bridging between the old and the new. The song says goodbye to the old Donkey Kong from the arcade and to the new and improved Donkey Kong on the Super Nintendo. It is very catchy and a brilliant rock out loud track.)
(David Wise, you create such awesome music that is catchy as well as atmospheric. Forest Interlude is basically a song representing a magical kind of forest filled with ghost, many harsh winds, and plenty of enemies to stomp on.)
(This is a song you can jam to. In some ways I like this song better than Gangplank Galleon, oh yeah I said it.)
A relaxing theme that pushed the snes sound capabilities to the max. Aquatic Ambience is one of David Wise’s personal favorite songs he ever composed. This song clearly represents the feeling of being underwater in the jungle seeing all of the wild life and stuff that live down there.
Hot Head Hop
(A very catchy theme and a theme that definitely makes me feel like I am in hot place. This is one of my brothers favorite video game songs and I can definitely see why. It is very catchy.)
Dark Ice Mines
I love Star Fox Adventures even though it is a game that doesn’t feel like a star fox game. This was one of my favorite parts of the game. Entering Dark Ice Mines and seeing the lava, the mammoths being used as slaves, and hearing Tricky’s crying for help echo in the distance while hearing this music track was absolutely epic.
6. Grant Kirkhope
Grant Kirkhope’s music is definitely one of the major staples of my video game playing childhood. Grant Kirkhope wrote most of the music during Rareware’s golden age of making excellent games on the N64 that included Banjo Kazooie, Banjo Tooie, and Conker’s Bad Fur Day. His soundtracks are usually very whimsical and topsy turvyish because of his many uses of trombones and horns in his musical scores. Today it seems Grant Kirkhope has proven that can be a versatile composer when he creating orchestral sounding music for a new game called Amalur: Reckoning. His music is very atmospheric fitting all of the game worlds that are in his games as well as very intense because of his boss themes.
Notable Games: Banjo Kazooie, Banjo Tooie, Donkey Kong 64, Viva Pinata,
(This song gives me so much nostalgia. Banjo Kazooie is one of my favorite video games of all time. This song just makes me so happy and aighhhhh, I just have so much nostalgia right now.)
(A song that was inspired by the song “Teddy Bear’s Picnic”, Grunty’s Lair manages to be one of my favorite over world themes on the N64. The fact that you are in a witches lair while trying to rescue your sister from an evil witch is scary enough. This theme is actually very unsettling and creepy but also goofy and fun at the same time. It matches Grunty’s scary yet playful and taunting behavior.)
Army Dillo Rematch
(The way how Grant Kirkhope turns a peaceful and very moody song in the Crystal Caves level into an exciting boss theme is very good. Nothing says epic like having a rematch with a giant mechanical armadillo with jetpacks, missles, and fire ball guns.)
(This is an epic theme that really fits the open world of Donkey Kong 64. After going through many different worlds and collecting so many golden bananas, it is finally time to go take on K Rool on his home turf with your five simian friends. The music and the feeling that if I failed in this area DK island would be destroyed really made this a very intense moment. The fact that this area was timed also added to the tension as well. Overall, this is a very epic and incredibly intense level.)
(I had to mention this theme because of how beautiful it is and because Grant Kirkhope considers it his famous track.)
5. Shogo Sakai and Keichi Suzukki
Notable Games: Mother, Mother 2, Mother 3
Bringing modern like music to video games that suits an average college student like me is always a great thing. Whenever I hear any song from the mother series I always can hear the music playing in a moment in my life. Shogo Sakai and Keichi Suzukkis’ soundtrack of the Mother series has a unique modern like air to it. It is filled with character, happiness, and, of course, sadness.
Mother 3 is sometimes called the saddest game in video game history for good reason. The sad story, the characters, and of course the amazing score written by Shogo Sakai have all helped bring Mother 3’s status the way it is today: The Saddest video game of all time. Mother 3 is just plain emotional with its soundtrack. Shogo Sakai, I have to say that you really know how to make notes that pull at your heartstrings.
Some of my Favorite Songs
Because I love You Song.
(Mother 3 is sometimes called the saddest game in video game history for good reason. The sad story, the characters, and of course the amazing score written by Shogo Sakai have all helped bring Mother 3’s status the way it is today: The Saddest video game of all time. Mother 3 is just plain emotional with its soundtrack. The theme of Love is one of the saddest video game songs ever especially considering what happends in Mother 3. Shogo Sakai, I have to say that you really know how to make notes that pull at my heartstrings.)
(This is a song I can listen to whenever I am just driving and doing errands like shopping and picking up things. This song definitely gives off a happy mood but also a dramatic tone as well through all of the loud instruments it uses. I guess when you are saving the world in Mother 3, things should be a little more dramatic than usual.)
Smiles and Tears
(Sometimes we all need to grow up. Eventually we need to tell ourselves that we are not kids anymore and we need to go out into the world to face hardships even when there are many dangers out that we are not fully aware of yet. Mother 2 is all about that. Mother 2 tells a story about a little boy who goes away from his safe home to help save the world. He faces many hardships, faces many of the world’s biggest evils, he puts his life at stake but he meets many friends and they ultimately finish their quest and return home as wiser and stronger individuals than they ever were before. Smiles and Tears is a song basically telling the story of growing up and possibly losing our childhood innocence in the process. The song is happy but also very sad with dark moody notes hidden throughout the song. It is a song that tells about peoples’ fears of growing up but manages to have an optimistic look on it. Even though when we grow up the world becomes a darker and dangerous place, we need to grow up and face the world to help make it a better place. After all, growing up is a part of life and there is good stuff and bad stuff that comes out of it. The song is a song talking about us acknowledging the bad and good in the world.)
Porky Means Business
(This song definitely caught me off guard when I first hear it. It starts off as a simple 8 bit boss theme to a heavy metal song. It is a song that definitely gives me the feeling that Porky means business. Porky sure changes throughout Earthbound as a normal kid to a complete psychopath near the end. This song definiitely shows Porky’s madness and descent into evil and Porky’s extreme determination to kick your butt.)
4. Nobuo Uematsu
Notable Games: Final Fantasy VII, VI, IV, I, X, IX,Lost Odyssey
There is definitely no mistaken that Nobuo Uematsu is a legendary video game music composer. Nobuo Uematsu has created some of the most beloved video game songs through his many RPG songs that are usually found in the Final Fantasy series. Uematsu is a very versatile composer but his strength is usually in orchestral sounding music. Songs like One Winged Angel and Dancing Mad, Aria Di Mezzo Carattere and Aeris’ theme are themes that really demonstrate Nobuo Uematsu’s talents as a not only a music composer but a story teller as well through the music notes that he writes. Nobuo Uematsu’s music has left a staple in the world where his songs are still played in concerts in Japan and the U.S. as well as the “Theme of Love” being a part of Japanese school kids’ sixth grade music textbooks as part of their curriculum.
Nobuo Uematsu’s strength is mostly towards classical music, making him possibly the Mozart or Ludwig van Beetoven of Video game music.
One Winged Angel
(Do I really need to talk about this theme. It’s not that I don’t like it, (I love it) it’s just that everyone knows this song and knows that it is awesome. It is a song that is terrifying, cheesy, and very awesome. I will talk about this song a little bit more during a Final Fantasy VII analysis that I am working on with GMS.)
Final Fantasy VII Main Theme
ways, this is my favorite song Nobuo Uematsu has composed. Honestly, there really isn’t any way to fully appreciate this song unless you played Final Fantasy VII. This song, to me , basically tells the whole story of Final Fantasy VII and the story of Cloud Strife all in musical form.)
(Dancing Mad is probably my favorite character specific song in all of video games. Dancing Mad is basically a song that tells the story about how Kefka, a simple yet extremely crazy and evil individual, has finally taken over the world and has basically become a god. You and your party now have to defeat Kefka and find a way to rebuild the world that is now destroyed by Kefka. The song is evil, demented, and just extremely intense with the loud organ being played.)
Debatedly the saddest video game song of all time, Aeris’ theme is a song filled with emotion dealing with the death of one of the best character in the Final Fantasy series, Aeris. This song has so much emotion in it and it never fails to make me cry. The game’s creator, Sakaguchi, actually faced with the death of his mother when making this game. This song, I feel portrays not only the sadness of losing Aeris but also the sadness of Sakaguchi coping with his feelings for his mother.
This one of my favorite songs for any game for the ps2. Nobuo Uematsu does a brilliant job of making a wonderful sad and emotional song by just using piano keys. It is a song that definitely is more appreciative if you play Final Fantasy X but I think it is a song that anyone can enjoy and understand the heavy emotion that is conveyed through this song.
3. Yashunori Mitsuda
Notable Games: Chrono Trigger, Chrono Cross, Xenogears, Mario Party
Yashunori Mitsuda has created an absolute gem of a soundtrack with the game Chrono Trigger, which is my second favorite RPG of all time, and also did other great soundtracks like Chrono Cross, Xenogears and Mario Party. Yashunori Mitsuda definitely makes some of the most emotional video game music around and his music portrays a wide range of emotions. Yashunori Mitsuda is a composer that actually comes up with some songs in his sleep like the ending theme in Chrono Trigger and Xenogears, explaining their dream like and relaxing feel. His music sticks with me emotionally and his music definitely adds so much to all of the games he is a part of. (Side Note: Chrono Trigger only credited Nobuo Uematsu as its composer during its credits for unknown reasons. He only made 10 % of the songs because Yashunori Mitsuda was sick. Mitsuda wasn’t a landmark name at the time so Uematsu was the only one mentioned in the credits because he is a considered a member of Square’s dream team. It is reasons like this that makes me dislike Uematsu because of his ego.)
Some of my Favorite Songs:
Scars of Time
I love Yashunori Mitsuda’s Asian influences with his music in Chrono Cross. This intro starts off as a very slow somber song to an exciting and extremely fast tempo song that manages to give me massive goosebumps. This song is one of the few reasons why Chrono Cross is one my favorite video games of all time.
Wind Scene is a very beautiful tune that first plays when you time travel into the past in Chrono Trigger. It is a brilliant tune that really sets up the atmosphere for being in the past.
Epilogue to Good Friends
This song is so very sad. This plays in Chrono Trigger when I have to say goodbye to all of my companions. I cried so much because I did not want the game end and I especially did not want to say goodbye to my party (They were like family to me in the game).
To Far Away Times:
To think that Yashunori Mitsuda came up with most this theme in his sleep, it is pretty incredible. This song is one my favorite ending credits theme of all time. It is a beautiful song that completely cemented Chrono Trigger as one of my favorite video games of all time.
2. Koji Kondo
Notable Games: Super Mario Galaxy 1 and 2, Super Mario 64, Super Mario World, Super Mario Bros 3, Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time, Twighlight Princess, Majaras Mask, Windwaker, Skyward Sword, Star Fox 64
Koji Kondo has been creating video game music since the very beginning and has composed so many songs that are considered the most iconic video game songs ever. Koji Kondo can write music that ranges to adventurous,epic, emotional, and disturbing music. His music has become staples of my childhood. Koji Kondo is a composer that I think has been consistently over the year, unlike Uematsu who might have lost some steam. His newer works like Super Mario Galaxy and Skyward Sword definitely compete to some of his best known earlier works.
Some of my Favorite Songs (There is too many to count):
Super Mario 64 Ending Theme
(This and Paper Mario’s Mario and Peach’s theme are the two songs that represent my video game playing childhood. If you want a detailed analysis on Mario 64’s ending and its credits theme look up the Great Mighty Steve’s blog post analysis on the blog. It basically explains both me and his feelings on this wonderful ending.)
(A very catchy theme that I enjoy because of its spanish and desert like feel. Sneaking around pirates and jumping over bridges with Epona are so awesome because of this desert theme.)
(This song is one of the most scary and intense songs I ever listened to and it makes me just remember how amazing Majara’s Mask is as a game. Majara’s Mask was my first Zelda game I played when I was just six years old (I know not the best choice) and I was so scared to play the game that It caused me to only watch my big brother play the game . Seeing that the world was going to end in just five minutes by the moon and hearing this song play is absolutely terrifying. Whenever I heard this song play while my brother played I instantly yelled at him to play the song of time. )
Good Egg Galaxy
(Absolute eargasm this song gives me. The grand and spacey magical feel this song gives me is amazing. When I first played Super Mario Galaxy and heard this theme for the first time, I knew I was in for an amazing experience. I get absolute goosebumps when I hear this song.)
(This another song that gives me absolute eargasm. It is one of those songs that makes me think that Super Mario Galaxy has my favorite Koji Kondo soundtrack. This is an orchestrated masterpiece.)
(This song is a brilliant theme to start waltz dancing to. This could be my favorite over world Mario theme.)
Notable Games: Persona 3, Persona 4, Catherine, Shin Megami Tensei Nocturne. Digital Devil Saga Series, Devil Summoner Series.
Shoji Meguro is, in my opinion, the most versatile video game music composer of all time and easily my favorite video game composer. Shoji Meguro creates music for some of my favorite video games all time with music that is catchy as well as dramatic. He can really do any kind of music and that’s is why I like him. He writes songs that switch between many genre’s like rap, orchestral, pop, rock, operatic, techno, alternative and he never ever fails to bring pleasure to my ears with what ever song he produces. I am guessing that one weird way I can describe Shoji Meguro’s music is that it gives me absolute eargasm. His music manages to be catchy, unique, animeish, dramatic, and brilliantly developed and performed. Shoji Meguro might not be a landmark name like Nobuo Uematsu and Koji Kondo but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t deserve to be. I think he is one of the most underrated video game composers of all time and even if he isn’t consider the best, I at least know that he is my favorite video game music composer of all time.
Shoji Meguro greatest talents is combining instruments that mixes between contemporary sounding music with Orchestral sounding music (This is especially shown in Catherine). I am a kind of guy who loves to appreciate any kind of music and I guess the reason why I love Shoji Meguro so much is because he is proven to be a versatile composer who just loves to experiment with so many different music genres whether they be separate or meshed together. His music compliments his games extremely well managing to become some of most memorable video game songs I ever heard.
Notable Games: Persona 3, Persona 4, Catherine, Shin Megami Tensei Nocturne. Digital Devil Saga Series, Devil Summoner Series.
Favorite Songs (There is too many to count. There are a lot from the Persona games. I am a sucker for Persona music).
Poem For Everyone’s Souls
(Persona 3 is my favorite video game of all time for its wonderful psychological themes mixed in with a captivating story and memorable characters and my favorite magic system ever in a game. It is also the game that showed me the best example of immersion in an RPG. Persona 3 and 4 deal with Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud concepts but mostly Carl Jung and his term of the Persona. Persona refers to a social role or ideal image we present and try to act out and live up to. They are different psychological masks used to fulfill certain duties and personalities that society demands us to act out. It is no wonder that in Persona 3 and 4 you have to interact with your party members and different people to not only help them out and get to know them but to also improve your different persona’s to create monsters to help battle demon shadows that are presented in the game. In the Persona games you have to fuse your personas in the velvet room, a place between conscience and sub conscience actually based off a story written by Carl Jung, and this song is the velvet room’s theme. This song is haunting yet very very divine. The operatic chanting gives me feeling that I am control of my Personas but nothing is gauranteed (After all, I spent hours and hours trying to fuse personas to get them the way I want them to). it is a song that really fits coming in terms with yourself psychologically. This song completely fits Carl Jung’s psychological concepts in individuation, pursuing your true self, and fusing personas to help save the world and facing your shadows and inner demons.)
Battle for Everyone’s Souls:
Nyx: “The moment man devoured the fruit of knowledge, he sealed his fate… Entrusting his future to the cards, man clings to a dim hope. Yet, the arcana is the means by which all is revealed. Beyond the beaten path lies the absolute end. It matters not who you are… Death awaits you.” I still get chills whenever I hear that line while battling Nyx.
(Being my favorite end game boss theme, Battle For Everyone’s Souls matches the epic proportions and the stakes of Persona 3’s final battle brilliantly. The way how Shoji Meguro uses the theme Poem for Everyone’s Souls and increases the epicness 10 fold is wonderful. The song’s rock styling really gives the final boss a sense of finality and urgency and the operatic chanting really makes me feel I am fighting a high embodiment of power, Nyx, the embodiment of death. However, it also brings reminds me to look back on all of the times I spent in the Velvet room and all of the social links I acquired throughout the game. It is a song that makes me look back on everything in the game while also saying how much is at stake.)
(Oh Persona and your catchy music. Heaven is my favorite midnight channel theme in Persona 4 because of its sad tune and lyrics conveying the feelings of one of my favorite characters in Persona 4, Nanako, after she is kidnapped. It is a dark and seminal song due to the fact that a sweet innocent child is kidnapped and you are fighting through a dungeon representing her inner demons and fears to rescue her.)
Moon’s reaching out the stars reincarnation
(This is another very catchy song that actually took some time for me to fully appreciate this song. This is like the “Pollyanna” of Persona music. I can just listen to this music whenever I am just driving around my neighborhood. Well this is Persona 3’s overworld theme. This is actually the reincarnation version. I actually prefer this version over the original but just by a litttle bit. Well Shoji Meguro wrote both songs so either way, I am appreciating his music.)
(Heartful Cry is possibly my favorite boss theme in any video game (not counting final boss themes). The sad piano notes playing in the beginning and the song building up into a rock out loud song that manages to make me excited and ready to battle but also very sad at the same time is very unique.This is one of the saddest moments ever in Persona 3 because this is when I had to fight all of the companions as Aigis. Hearing this song while fighting my pet dog Koramoro, my pal Junpei, and my in game girlfriend Yukari was so hard on me. This song is a battle theme while managing to be a very sad song in the process. It shows just how broken apart your squad mates are without the protagonist.)
(I know I am using this term a little too much but I will say it again: This song gives me absolute eargasm. The slow buildup working its way up to an absolute epic and rocking song is beautifully done. In Persona 4 you finally figure out who the killer is and now it is time to face him. Your opponent is a completely evil sadistic creep that manages to be way more powerful than you think. After everything you have been through in Persona 4,getting all of your social links and whatnot, hearing this boss theme while fighting an enemy that you knew throughout the entire game is brilliant. I really like Shoji Meguro’s blend of electric guitar with piano during this whole song. I don’t know how to describe this song to give it full justice. I guess play Persona 4.)
Never has there been an RPG battle song that has generated so much controversy and generated a love and hate sort reception from players and music critics. Anyone who hasn’t played Persona 3 would probably be thinking “What the eff is this J rap crap.” “This is a battle theme, you serious”. Well this song is definitely a perfect example of a song that needs to be heard in the context of the game to understand how this song works incredibly well. I think this youtube commenter is right on the mark describing this song; Rondart:
“No other VGM has generated a more “love it or hate it” comments. People disliked it for it trying too hard to be hip-hoppy, while some people hear nothing but pure, concentrated AWESOME.
Imagine this: I’m battling Grim Reaper wielding two Colt Buntlines while I shoot myself in the head to bring this huge ass winged dragon to kill Death himself with two girls and an android girl wearing maid suits, all the while listening to some very uplifting hip-hop.
How is that not awesome? OH YEAH!P”
Not to mention Rodart that all of your squad mates are actually shooting themselves in the head to unlock their personas (Pretty dark).
I fully agree with Rodart
I hated this song when I first heard it but , overtime, it became one of my favorite RPG battle themes. There is something very memorable about this music that makes me just remember all of the epic moments I had while battling. When “Oh Yeah” kicks in the song, I am usually just rocking out to the song while ordering Minato to finish off the enemies by unlocking his Persona while shooting his head.This song just brings so much energy towards battles managing to create a battle theme that is fun and distinctive.
It’s a Golden Show:
(Catherine is, without a doubt, one of my favorite video games of all time and possibly my favorite video game this generation. It was a game that wasn’t so much a game, but a journey. The moral dilemmas that were presented in this game were so well done and thought provoking that it was a game that made me look at myself and realize the real thoughts I might have towards topics like marriage, love, and commitment. It was a wonderful experience but it an experience filled with so much anxiety because of the block puzzles and all of the choices and suspense that was present in the game’s story. “It’s a Golden Show” is basically the title theme for the game Catherine and it is basically the song the represents the entire game for me. Catherine is a unique game because the game really feels mature. It’s not mature because of things like violence and sex, it is mature because of all of the dillemas and ideas the game throws at you. It’s A Golden Show is a song that starts off very very dark and somber, with the awesome piano notes, but then it suddenly gets way more exuberant and happy with the wonderful trumpet sounds. Catherine was a game that I felt was very tiring and axiety filled to play because it revealed stuff about myself I never knew and it was a game that forced me to make tough personal choices. But it was a game that I will never regret playing. The uplifting tone at the end is basically telling about how Vincent has to move forward in his life during the game in order to achieve his wishes and desires while also coming in terms with himself and realizing his strengths and weaknesses with the different ideas presented in the game. I was nervous about playing Catherine but I would never regret playing it because it was one of the most personal and addicting game experiences I ever had. The song is like explaining the game like climbing a tower. It may not be a pleasant and an easy climb (Believe me, this game is hard but very addicting), but once you get to the top, you are on top of the world baby.)
Memories of You:
(Anyone who has played Persona 3 should probably guess why I love this song so much and why I consider Persona 3’s ending my favorite ending in a video game. This song is one of Shoji Meguro’s finest songs because of its lyrics, its vocals, and beautiful melody all complimenting the game’s themes and bittersweet ending.)
An Die Freude: A great epic credit theme song.
Now of course I know that everyone has played different games and had different experiences so it is very clear that everyone’s favorite music would be different. I just wanted to explain what my personal favorites are and just show my appreciation on video game music in general. For anyone who hasn’t played video games or didn’t give some of these games I listed a try, I really encourage you to give them a go. As you know, video game music is at its best when you hear songs in their respective games. I Hope you enjoyed the list and hope you enjoyed the music.