Gaming has transcended its origins as mere entertainment, becoming a complex art form that ignites emotions, tells intricate stories, and provides immersive experiences. One of the driving forces behind this evolution is the Original Soundtrack (OST), which can elevate a game from good to extraordinary. The fusion of visuals and music creates an atmosphere that resonates deeply with players, making the experience unforgettable. In this article, we dive into the world of gaming melodies and explore the top five best Game OSTs that have left an indelible mark on the gaming landscape.
1. “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim” – Composed by Jeremy Soule
Immerse yourself in a world of dragons, magic, and epic quests with the soundtrack of “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.” Composed by the talented Jeremy Soule, this OST is a masterclass in capturing the essence of a fantastical realm. From the triumphant and heroic theme that plays as you traverse the breathtaking landscapes to the haunting melodies that echo through ancient ruins, each track evokes a sense of wonder and adventure.
The OST adapts seamlessly to the player’s actions, dynamically responding to the situations at hand. Whether you’re exploring the vast tundras, battling fearsome creatures, or engaging in deep conversations with NPCs, the music enhances every moment. The combination of orchestral arrangements and ethereal choirs transports players to the heart of Skyrim’s rich mythology, solidifying the game’s status as a modern classic.
2. “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time” – Composed by Koji Kondo
No list of iconic Game OSTs would be complete without mentioning Koji Kondo’s masterpiece for “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.” This OST is a testament to how music can become intertwined with gaming history, shaping the emotional landscape of an entire generation of gamers.
The use of the ocarina as a central gameplay mechanic and musical instrument adds a unique layer to the OST. Players not only enjoy the enchanting tunes that guide them through the game but also actively participate in creating music to solve puzzles and interact with the world. Kondo’s melodies capture the essence of the various locations in the game, from the calming serenity of Kokiri Forest to the urgent tension of battles against Ganondorf. Decades later, the melodies from this OST continue to evoke a sense of nostalgia and wonder.
3. “NieR: Automata” – Composed by Keiichi Okabe
“NieR: Automata” stands as a testament to how a captivating OST can become an integral part of the storytelling. Composed by Keiichi Okabe, the soundtrack blends haunting vocals, melancholic strings, and electronic beats to create a unique and evocative atmosphere. The music seamlessly transitions between moments of introspection and intense action, immersing players in the emotional journey of the android protagonists.
The use of vocals, especially in the song “Weight of the World,” adds a layer of raw emotion to the game’s narrative, becoming a rallying cry for the characters’ struggles. Each track is carefully tailored to the game’s themes of existentialism and the blurred lines between human and machine, making “NieR: Automata” a prime example of how an OST can elevate a game’s narrative impact.
4. “Final Fantasy VII” – Composed by Nobuo Uematsu
The “Final Fantasy” series is renowned for its unforgettable music, and “Final Fantasy VII” is a shining jewel in this legacy. Composed by Nobuo Uematsu, the OST of “Final Fantasy VII” is a symphonic masterpiece that perfectly complements the game’s epic narrative and diverse characters.
From the iconic “Opening – Bombing Mission” that sets the tone for the game’s world to the heartrending “Aerith’s Theme,” Uematsu’s compositions effortlessly capture the emotional spectrum of the game. The music is an integral part of players’ memories, forever linked to the moments of joy, sorrow, and triumph they experience throughout their journey in the world of Gaia.
5. “Hollow Knight” – Composed by Christopher Larkin
“Hollow Knight” is a shining example of how an indie game can create a world that feels vast and alive, and its OST, composed by Christopher Larkin, plays an essential role in achieving this feat. The hauntingly beautiful and atmospheric melodies perfectly complement the game’s mysterious and enchanting underground realm.
Larkin’s compositions mirror the game’s exploration-based gameplay, adapting to the player’s movements and surroundings. As players venture deeper into the dark and intricate world of Hallownest, the music transforms, guiding their emotional connection to the characters and the environment. The subtle piano notes and ethereal sounds evoke a sense of solitude and discovery, making “Hollow Knight” a testament to the power of an OST in shaping a game’s identity.
Gaming OSTs have the remarkable ability to transport players to other worlds, evoke emotions, and enhance the overall gaming experience. The top five OSTs mentioned above showcase how music can become an integral part of storytelling, character development, and player engagement. From the sweeping orchestral scores of “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim” and “Final Fantasy VII” to the innovative melodies of “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time” and “Hollow Knight,” and the emotionally charged compositions of “NieR: Automata,” these OSTs remind us that the fusion of music and gaming creates an art form that is both timeless and unforgettable.