21st century game soundtracks

So I suppose you’re wondering why we’re only focusing on the 21st century games. Well, it’s simple. If we were to include the 8-bit, 16 bit and other genres of game music this list would not be a Top 5, but more a Top 50. So let’s set our focus on some of the most beautiful, diverse and brilliant soundtracks made for games from 2000 to 2008.

5 – Halo series

Composed and created by Martin O’Donnell, with the help of Michael Salvatori, the Halo soundtracks have been some of the most cinematic feeling soundtracks made for any game. Giving the game a sci-fi feel with its sweeping violins and rock guitars may seem like an odd choice, but on many occasions it got players charged up and ready to kill some Covenant. The soundtracks on their own are well created enough that they can be listened on their own without any need to be focusing on Halo. Mixing the classical with rock to create an epic sci-fi soundtrack was a good choice for the game, with the Halo 3 Original Soundtrack picking up quite a few awards for “Best Original Score” and also breaking into the Top 20 best selling soundtracks list.

Halo 3 Announcement trailer

4 – Guitar Hero series

This one is a given for any fan of rock music. With Guitar Hero 3 alone featuring 60 tracks from bands such as Guns ‘n’ Roses and Rage Against The Machine, the soundtrack is the reason why Guitar Hero works. With a terrible soundtrack, a game like Guitar Hero would flop. However, with the Guitar Hero games getting rave reviews all across the board, it is obvious that the soundtrack is enough to make it a memorable gaming experience. With tracks you will know, to tracks you are probably very unfamiliar with, Guitar Hero is the perfect selection of songs to rock out it in your living room even if you do look a bit silly acting like a rock star with a small, plastic guitar. With fingers most probably hurting after attempting to beat Jordan and Through The Fire On The Flames on Expert, the game features a perfect selection of songs for players of any skill level.

Guitar Hero 3 Slash Battle and Welcome To The Jungle

3 – Okami

An example of one of the most fitting soundtracks in any game is in the underrated Okami. Set in Ancient Japan, the soundtrack proves that the music from Ancient Japan is simultaneously some of the most haunting and beautiful music in the world. Okami mixes traditional elements with some modern day instruments to create a soundtrack that, as well as serving the purpose of making the game seem that bit more immersive, can be listened to outside of the game and has even been used as music for meditation. Now there aren’t many soundtracks that can say they help with relaxation, which is proof enough why Okami contains a truly stunning soundtrack, as well as looking gorgeous.

Okami trailer

2 – Mass Effect

Sweeping violins and computer generated bleepings merging together to really add to the movie effect make Mass Effect a truly memorable soundtrack. Sounding like a computer being thrown into the middle of a sea of brass and string instruments, the soundtrack really made zipping through space kicking aliens into shape that more fun. If you thought Mass Effect looked like a blockbuster movie, then the soundtrack will also make you think it sounds like one too. As described perfectly on the Bioware website the soundtrack is “Perfect for the slow evenings at home when you hide in a fort made out of sofa cushions with a lettuce strainer taped to your head and making sweet laser sound effects.” No more is needed to be said.

Mass Effect E3 2007 trailer

1 – Grand Theft Auto series

Amid the violence, sex and drugs, the Grand Theft Auto games have one thing in common; really, really good music. Step into any car around the cities and flick through the radio stations. Chances are you will hear at least one song that you can sing along to. Rockstar have truly excelled in picking tracks for the radio stations, choosing a diverse range to suit any players music tastes. From the rock channels featuring tracks from bands such as Black Sabbath, to the disco stations featuring the Jackson 5, to modern stations featuring the likes of Kanye West and Les Savy Fav, the stations are perfect for cruising around the towns peacefully (cough cough). It seems that Rockstar spent an awful lot of time perfecting these stations and it shows in the overall game. The games may have their flaws, but the outstanding feature in all of the games is the soundtrack.

GTA IV Trailer featuring The Boggs – Arm In Arm (Shy Child Remix)

So, there you have it; A Top 5 collection of some of the best soundtracks from the 21st Century. Do you disagree? Did we leave something off which you love? Leave a comment below

Chris Taylor

Chris is a Northern lad with a passion for video games. With his opinions on video games and his need to force these onto other people, Chris began writing for Console Monster in 2006. Chris is a bona fide nerd who enjoys any decent game that can keep his interest. Being a keen music fan, in his spare time (what little he has) he likes to go to gigs and spends most time with some music on.

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