Best Video Game Music from sweeping orchestral scores to retro mash-ups that trigger memories of fusty arcades. Music can make the difference between a great game and an amazing one. It helps set the tone and carry the narrative, and although each of the five games. Shortlisted here takes a different approach to its audio, one thing is consistent – every soundtrack is a banger.
God of War Ragnarok
The main melodic line of the new God of War games is simple: Three chords up. And three chords down, often sung by a choir. This simplicity belies an unseen complexity, an attribute that it shares with the series’s main character, Kratos. Nordic battle tunes, mournful dirges, triumphant brass lines, and more hurdy gurdy than I’ve ever heard in one place before all combine. To offer a score that both accompanies Ragnarok’s emotional beats perfectly, and is still great to listen to on its own. One standout is the end credits theme, Blood Upon the Snow, sung by Hozier and offering an inner monologue for Kratos that both accompanies the game’s themes and stands alone as a beautiful and haunting piece of music.
There are five credite composers on the Elden Ring soundtrack, which shows that this gargantuan task. Require a team of talente musicians to execute. One listen to the expansive soundtrack (which clocks in at over 60 tracks) and you can hear a wide expanse. Of classical styles, from somber ballads to ginormous orchestrations. Regardless of which track you’re listening to, you can see the composers working hard towards creating the biggest, full-scale video game soundtrack of 2022. Just listen to the opening song, which begins with just a few notes before exploding into a massive, powerful theme. A feeling mimicked by the player as they first step into the Lands Between.
Growing bigger and even more robust with every installment. The music of Splatoon 3 could easily be consider its own genre. From the instantly recognizable warbling of idol-like singers over synth to the growing dirge. Of cello strings heralding the arrival of never-ending waves of salmonids. Splatoon’s soundtrack contains a little bit of everything without ever becoming too familiar. The fusion of its different musical genres defy what should be possible in a team-based shooter, and somehow comes together. Each and every match with an assortment of catchy, wacky, and thrilling tunes to goad you towards victory. It goes beyond just background dressing — Splatoon 3’s music is part of the very vibrant culture has expanded on. Where its group of musical artists all have a distinct style, and welcome as the clothing brands dress your characters in.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge
TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge takes the best of what we’ve loved when playing as Donatello, Raphael, Michelangelo, and Leonardo in the past and brings it to the modern age. As we mentioned in our review, many of its levels are very much arranged like a remixed “greatest hits” of previous games, and that word choice is very apt as the soundtrack is just as much of a reason why this game shines as bright as any other part of Shredder’s Revenge. The 90s nostalgia is very much alive in each song, and it features an eclectic mix of remixes of beloved, familiar songs and new songs that can stand just as tall amongst the rest of them. Throw in the add bonus of having some of these songs come from artist like Ghostface Killa and Mega Ran, and you have something worthy of our favorite pizza-loving turtles.
Tunic’s world is a beautiful and mysterious place to explore, and a major part of the joy. Of the adventure is discovering the secrets held within the game that honor classics like The Legend of Zelda. Link’s Awakening alongside forging its own path. Much of the game leaves you in the dark as you don’t understan the world’s language and aren’t given. A ton of info, but the music is an immediate frien and warm light you can always take with you. The serene soundtrack that effortlessly flows and adapts. With the happier and more melancholic moments elevates an already wonderful journey into something even more. If that wasn’t enough it’s melody also hides an actual musical language that. Serves as a cipher to reward players who can learn it with many of the game’s secrets.