ClassicRadar: 23 amazing game soundtracks you don't remember

Unsung, underrated and unbelievably good

Where many JRPG scores grab the attention with a sweeping, brooding, overblown sound, Gust's 2004 role-player has a fresh-faced gem of a soundtrack. Light, airy, and more than a bit folky, there's a sparkly cleanness to its compositions, proving that you don't have to be heavy to be atmospheric.

The original NES soundtrack is unremittingly badass, but the tunes that come with the HD remake are some of the best you will ever hear in any game anywhere. Aside from being club-worthy in their composition and modernity, they're the perfect aural accompaniment to the game's ecstatic celebration of 8-bit gaming.

There's so much to love in Bioshock that the soundtrack is often overlooked in discussions of the game. And that's just a crime, because Irrational Games' masterpiece has one of the most unique, striking and affecting scores of the last couple of console generations. Mournful, terrifying, exhilarating and occasionally close to heart-breaking, it makes one of the most complete game/music packages we can think of. And that's before you even get to the classic '30's, '40s and '50s licensed tunes, which are an absolute gift.

The soundstrack to Blast Corps is classic Graeme Norgate. While not as recognised as widely as the great man's work on Timesplitters or Goldeneye, it's got everything that makes his scores great. He squeezes in bouncily energetic club tracks, silly countrified banjo tunes and as many cheeky goth/industrial tinges as he can plausibly get away with, making this one of the most fun and jubilant soundtracks on the N64. The level replay tune is below, but we'd also recommendTempest CityandSleek Streetsif you want something (a lot) heavier.

COD’s soundtrack is solid and well written throughout. But it not’s until you reach the Russian campaign that the score truly resonates. Charged with a seemingly suicidal mission – to charge German artillery entrenched in Red Square with just an ammo clip – the music reaches a swelling crescendo.

Powerful, uplifting and disquieting, it perfectly sums up the futility of war and the power of patriotism. Granted, Infinity Ward might have nicked the melody from James Lowell’s 'Once to Every Man and Nation'. But a bit of creative pilfering is a small price to pay for such a memorable eardrum massage.

This is nothing like what people expected from the music to a Die Hard game. Ignoring cinematic bombast in favour of soaring synths and moody electronic work, DHT's soundtrack is an utterly unique stand-out selection. Check it all out through the links at the end of the video, particularly the EBM-tastic Construction theme.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Long-time GR+ writer Dave has been gaming with immense dedication ever since he failed dismally at some '80s arcade racer on a childhood day at the seaside (due to being too small to reach the controls without help). These days he's an enigmatic blend of beard-stroking narrative discussion and hard-hitting Psycho Crushers.
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