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Immersive Melodies: Ranking the Top 10 Video Game Soundtracks of All Time

Updated: Dec 8, 2023

If you're like me, then you think #music can make or break a situation. Whether it's a scene in a movie or an instance in a video game or aiding you in writing an epic scene in your next novel, music is one of the most immersive tools of compelling storytelling. And it's no question that soundtracks have evolved over the years to be incredibly epic. Here are my top 10 video game #soundtracks!

 

10: The Last of Us

I might have gotten too frustrated with the idea of having such limited resources in this game, but to gamers who stuck with it, I think they know the value of immersion. This game is a survival horror with strong character connections and a very emotional plot. Set in a post-apocalyptic world where a fungus has taken over most of man kind, you play the role of a lonely and emotionally scarred Joel. With a heart wrenching opening, this game doesn't let up when I say it's a solemn world and the music only supports that. #TheLastOfUs


9: Assassin's Creed

Pick any game and the composers did a wonderful job of embodying the time period of that game with their amazing music. From Israel to pirate ships to vikings, the music adapts with every timeline and location, putting you right into the story. I could listen to the soundtracks for these games all day long.


8:Skyrim

This is a game I could not quite get into, but that doesn't mean I can't appreciate the soundtrack. Composed by Jeremy Soule, the music puts players into a vast and intricate open world universe. I was lucky enough to see an incredible live performance at Video Games Live many years ago and as soon as the main theme hit the stage, I got chills, as did everyone in the audience. #Skyrim


7: Fallout

"War. War never changes."

Another classic series, Fallout is set in an alternate timeline where humanity advanced on nuclear power. After a nuclear fallout, a select population fled to "vaults," each one containing their own nightmare. The world is vastly changed and in the #Fallout franchise, you get to play in many different aspects and timelines of the changed world, navigating new mutations, new governments, and new obstacles everywhere you turn. Fallout fans everywhere can likely agree that this music hits differently. #Fallout


6: The Witcher 3

Marcin Przybyłowicz, composer for #TheWitcher3, created such an iconic melody for Geralt of Rivia that is both unique and immersive. Set in a fantastical world filled with monsters, mages, and warring kingdoms, these games (based on the book series by Andrzej Sapkowski) throw players into a brutal world as Geralt, a witcher created solely to slay the most frightening monsters. But let's be honest, without the music, it would be a whole different journey. In short... this soundtrack gets you HYPED.


5: Halo

If you are a gamer (or maybe even if you're not) you've heard the #Halo theme. It's one of the most iconic video game themes of all time in my opinion and for good reason. Not only does it immediately make you think of the game and its complex scifi universe, but it creates an emotion that most will quickly associate with the Halo world. Composers Martin O'Donnell and Michael Salvatori really hit the nail on the head.:


4: Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Perhaps one of the coolest and most underrated games out there, Deus Ex puts you in a futuristic world where almost every human is augmented or enhanced in some way with technology. You play as Adam Jensen, a man caught in a lethal attack at the beginning of the game that forces him to be almost completely augmented into a machine. The world and gorgeous visuals themselves are extremely immersive, making you feel like you are right there in the grungy cyberpunk universe being a total badass, but it's the music that sets it apart from most games. Composer, Michael McCann brings the world of Deus Ex to life, which puts it at number 2 on my list. #DeusExHumanRevolution


3: Hunt: Showdown

As a fan of #HuntShowdown, I can say with full confidence that a large part of this game's appeal is the soundtrack. First, the game itself is incredibly immersive from it's color grading to it's map design and PvPvE mechanics. As you navigate the bayou in post-apocalyptic towns where hell has boiled over into our world, you must hunt bounties and compete against other players for the spoils. That's exciting and all, but without the INCREDIBLE soundtrack which #Crytek makes in house (Port Sulphur Band). The mix of gospel, jazz, and blues create such a melody that you can't help thinking you're right there in 1800s Louisiana. Even sitting in the menu screen might give you chills. Seriously... I can listen to it for hours. #portSulphurBand


2: Detroit: Become Human

This game is so special in the sense that it follows 3 playable characters and the choices they make very closely. Each are on very different journeys. So different, that 3 different composers created the music for each character, embodying what those characters were going through, their struggles, and their goals. Perhaps one of


the most unique and diverse soundtracks for one game, Detroit's music is truly immersive and puts players in a world so detailed and so real that we can't help feel as if we are there. So, with three composers creating vastly different music, I couldn't choose just one song.


In order: Kara's music by Philip Sheppard, Connor's music by Nima Fakhrara, and Markus' music by John Paesano






1: Mass Effect 3

Number 1 on my list was easy to determine and any Mass Effect fan will tell you that hearing any song from this video game makes them emotional. The story of Mass Effect 3 was so immersive that it left scars on the hearts of many and the music opens those wounds right up. As you play Commander Shepard, who's carrying the weight of an entire galaxy on his/her shoulders, you're faced with many emotional challenges and choices that have been building up since Mass Effect 1. Not only is this universe so incredibly complex and beautiful, but the characters are even more so and composer Clint Mansell only accentuates the incredibly emotional journey with a soundtrack that no Mass Effect fan will ever forget. From the difficult decision to leave Earth behind to allowing a good friend to sacrifice himself for an entire species, every choice left its mark and I can tell you, you'll be crying when the music starts... not when you have to push the button on your controller. #MassEffect #VideoGameSoundtracks

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