Music: Top 25 Soundtracks Update

2018 had three huge releases in terms of soundtracks — Celeste, Gris and Smash Ultimate — so I added them all to my Top 25 soundtrack list. I also did some slight rearranging to the list, and crowned Splatoon 2 the definitive soundtrack in that series, so only one game fell off the list (since…

Music – Top VGM STKs #23 – 25: Xenoblade Chronicles, Metroid, Freedom Planet

Xenoblade Chronicles is a menagerie of musical talent: featuring iconic composers like Yoko Shimomura and Yasunori Mitsuda alongside relative newcomers like ACE+ and Manami Kiyota, the broad scope of backgrounds and styles merge together beautifully to create a rich soundscape of songs. “Gaur Plains” is easily the standout, standing tall among all RPG overworld themes…

Music – Top VGM STKs #20 – 22: Celeste, Super Mario 64, Contra

Lena Raine has been composing for a while now, but I feel Celeste is her moment. This game needed a soundtrack and a composer that could convey Madeline’s inner demons — her doubt, anxiety, panic and depression — and Raine absolutely nailed it. Every infectious piano and chiptune-heavy track drips with emotion and many of…

Music: Top VGM STKs #4 – Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

It’s perhaps unfair to the games below it on this list, but Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is a triumph in video game music conservation and remixing, collecting nearly all of the series’ music into one huge soundscape of audio achievement. While I feel Chrono Trigger, Beyond Good & Evil and Okami are extraordinary examples of…

Music: Top VGM STKs #10 – Secret of Mana

Secret of Mana delivered one of the most evocative soundtracks from the Super NES, full of diverse instrumentation, wild compositions, and tracks dripping with emotion and purpose. Hiroki Kikuta’s video game career as a musician began with this title, and he was given free reign in terms of how to create the soundtrack (with tracks…

Music: Top VGM STKs #8 – Mega Man 3

Mega Man 3 is arguably the first soundtrack I heard that I fell in love with. That’s not to say that other NES soundtracks didn’t leave a mark, but as a child this was the origin of my fandom into the medium as something more than just backing compositions for what was happening on-screen; it…

Music: Top VGM STKs #7 – Splatoon 2/Octo Expansion

  Splatoon has become one of my favorite franchises in the past decade, if not all time. It’s just such a splendidly executed game world, and the music is a huge part of why I have all the emotions about it. I feel this soundtrack is related in spirit to Sega’s Jet Set Radio, but…