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23 amazing game soundtracks you don't remember

Ghouls ' n' Ghosts (Amiga)

The traditional console versions of Ghouls 'n' Ghosts has one of the most iconic and fun soundtracks of the era (anyone not merrily humming the opening graveyard tune right now, take a long hard look at yourself), but the music written for the Amiga port is on a whole other level. Composed by Tim Follin (there's that man again), it's a vastly more experimental and complex work that makes use of dark atmospherics, traditional folky sounds and all-out noise to create something far more interesting and totally unexpected. Check it all out here.


Gremlins 2 (NES)

There was just something about the synth sound and echo effect that came from the NES sound chip that meant that it did fun and creepy music fantastically well. Few licenses inspired fun and creepy like Gremlins, and so the resulting game sounded brilliant.


Jet Grind Radio/Jet Grind Radio Future (Dreamcast/PS2/Xbox)

Yeah, we know that the JGR games and their soundtracks are cultishly revered by all who've played them, but that's the problem. They're cultishly revered, rather than universally lauded, as any titles which produced original game music at least as good as their licensed 'proper' tunes should be. Here's the dangerously fun "Everybody Jump Around", by industry supremo Richard Jaques.

Plok (SNES)

Follin time again, folks. This time it's a co-production from Tim and his brother Geoff. Software Creations' Plok was one of the finest western-developed platformers on the SNES. It was brilliantly fun, quirky blue-sky gaming of the highest order, and its soundtrack is a perfect fit.


Secret of Mana (SNES)

Okay, Mana's music is rightfully exhalted by those in the know as some of the best ever written for a console. And as a result it comprises some of the most remixed pieces produced by the online game music community. But the fact is that when most people think of Square Enix music, they think of Nobuo Uematsu and Final Fantasy, not Hiroki Kikuta and Secret of Mana. So it deserves its place on this list as well as any. Simply stunning stuff.

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92 comments

  • Gameover333 - December 6, 2010 11:14 p.m.

    Atelier iris music and the game itself is something i recommend highly to any of my friends who are looking for a fun light hearted Rpg. Awesome on showcasing its really cool soundtrack
  • Slayer11496 - December 3, 2010 10:49 p.m.

    it is really awesome to mix these by watching them all at the same time.
  • wiigamer024 - July 8, 2009 5:14 p.m.

    heh, I like the Jet Grind Radio music, but how come I know that game as Jet Set Radio? What the hell, did they change it, or did Sega screw up again...
  • TyeTheCzar - March 27, 2009 6:40 p.m.

    Uguu~ As obscure and unreleased as it is here in the U.S.(the creator is a Japanese doujin/indie dev, of course), ZUN - one man member of Team Shanghai Alice - is the creator of the long(really, really long)-standing 'Touhou' shmup series(Embodiment Of Scarlet Devil, Highly Responsive To Prayers, Perfect Cherry Blossom, Shoot The Bullet, etc). Not only does he do all the elements of each game(yearly!), he also happens to make the music himself - which is so GODLIKE - that you can find lot's of lyrical remixes of his music on youtube. But I digress; I'm just shocked at how nobody here even thought of including this music. But I still forgive y'all of not being as in to the Indie Gaming Scene as you are(Though Touhou is pretty obscure even indie-wise to me, mostly you can find fans on 4chan) For information: go to wikia.org and search for 'Touhou'. Second: Gamesradar would have recieved uber-indie credit for including World Of Goo's and Big Bang Mini's OSTs and they're out there on the internets for free!
  • stuzimuzipuzi - March 25, 2009 10:16 p.m.

    ant played jet grind radio in ages lol
  • Conman93 - March 24, 2009 6:58 p.m.

    U SHOULD HAVE INCLUDED KINGDOM HEARTS AN SMASH BROS. THEIR SOUNTRACKS ARE BRILL
  • waynski1457 - March 22, 2009 2:56 p.m.

    I can't help myself. I have been coming back to this article again and again to listen to the great music here for about 3 days now. Key standouts for me have to be Bioshock, BC:R, DH:T, FFMQ, and Silver Surfer. Now would you kindly do another of these amazing articles? I request Y's get featured. It may be known for its amazing music, but then again, so are Secret of Mana and JGR to those who've played them.
  • AyJay - March 22, 2009 3:42 a.m.

    no earthbound?
  • Danomeon - March 21, 2009 11:30 p.m.

    I love music in video games. Sometimes I find myself humming starcraft tunes in my head.
  • big rudy - March 21, 2009 11:17 p.m.

    why isn't burnout 3 on this list?
  • VermithraxDagon - March 21, 2009 9:09 p.m.

    Great article as per the usual
  • codeman38 - March 21, 2009 8:46 p.m.

    One of my favorite underrated soundtracks would have to be Super Adventure Island. When I rented the cartridge, I expected the sort of cutesy music found in the NES games from that series. I did *not* expect this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5nVYcfylzc
  • gdubbs359 - March 21, 2009 2:33 p.m.

    mana is a def. silver surfer, couldnt get far enough in to hear the music. freedom fighters though, forget the music, the whole game was great yet forgotten.
  • splynncryth - March 21, 2009 3:30 a.m.

    There are a lot of games with great music, but I don't think this list is supposed to be a rundown for that stuff. Instead, these are games where the soundtrack is either overshadowed, or fits in a sublime way and escapes notice. Since Earthwork Jim gets a mention, what about the special edition CD version? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKwbsQjJ9lA
  • sheas93 - March 21, 2009 2:04 a.m.

    katamari damaci isnt number 1 because....?
  • The_Zanger - March 21, 2009 12:27 a.m.

    I loved the bioshock. I really wish i could play that game, its sounds fantastic. theres supposed to be a movie coming out for it. should have put in some Okami, that game is amazing and the music is so incredibly. I have it stuck in my head all day
  • Morning Ninja - March 20, 2009 10:49 p.m.

    Wheres the BLACK OST? It was one of the best vg music I've heard
  • Gsindahouse - March 20, 2009 8:45 p.m.

    You know, if you ever play Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean or Baten Kaitos Origins, that's some tight music! not to mention Sonic Adventure 2 or Mario Party 7 and take my word for it, Super Princess Peach (DS)
  • Usgo - March 20, 2009 7:11 p.m.

    jet set radiooooooooo
  • GR_DavidHoughton - March 20, 2009 6:01 p.m.

    scbyfn4evr: Yeah, you never forget the one that really turned you on to what game music can do. With me it was the Secret of Mana opening theme on Christmas morning 1994. Joe: Yeah, isn't it just? That big fat kick in at 0:55 makes me want to learn to DJ just so that I can drop it on an unsuspecting crowd. They'd have no choice but to love it.

Showing 1-20 of 92 comments

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