The Top 10 Video Game Series Soundtracks

As a musician, music is an enormous part of my life. Even without an instrument, listening to music is one of my favorite things to do. As is playing video games. So it stands to reason that music in video games is something I love as well, and fortunately, many games have incredible music. And lots of times, the music in an entire series of video games has consistently amazing soundtracks.

So today, I am going to name what are likely my top 10 favorite series with the best music. Heck, I’ll even throw in my favorite track from each series.

#10

Metroid

metroid music

What initially fascinated me about the music in Metroid as a child was how atmospheric it all was. Not only does it nail the underground space theme, but also always felt foreboding and tense, and yet at the same time, flippin’ awesome. For instance, the boss music in pretty much every game is so intense and frightening. 

And the incredible part is every game manages to achieve this musical nirvana, and I can’t tell you how much that enhances the typically incredible gameplay.

My Favorite Track: “Ridley’s Lair”

What makes this track special, aside from being awesome, is it’s intensity and urgency. It takes place in the area before you finally confront the bastard who stole your Metroid pal. Samus pretty much gets fully powered-up in this area, so you get to run around annihilating the many enemies, while avoiding deadly lava all over the place, and traversing the tricky terrain by mainly Screw Attacking through everything.

This part is intense and a lot of fun, and the music increases every thing tenfold.

#9

WarCraft

warcraft music

So I’m already kind of cheating on this one. The music is very good in this series, but not that much, with the exception of one game…or two I guess. And that is WarCraft II. Holy crap is that music good. It sounds fully orchestrated, but I don’t believe it is.

The music itself is very intense and powerful, and there are more than a few long tracks, perfect for building up your army to go slaughter another. This generally takes a long while, but I always find myself getting lost in the music, so that time seems to fly by while I mindlessly collect resources and build up my base.

Favorite Track: “Disco Song”

This isn’t technically a real song in the game. To get it to play, you have to enter a cheat, which might simply be “disco.” I can’t remember, it’s been like 20 years since I’ve played this game. But the music has stuck with me all these years!

#8

The Legend of Zelda

legend of zelda music

Music has always been a key part in the Zelda series in some shape or form. Every game has an epic, powerful soundtrack filled with killer songs that fit perfectly into the world or area in which they are played over. Not to mention, the songs also portray some heavy emotion, thus amplifying the mood or scenario of whatever is going on at the time. 

Favorite Track: “Midna’s Lament”

This song is played at a tense and urgent, very bleak situation. The track is so beautiful, yet so solemn, reflecting not only the dire need to help out Midna, but also fits in perfectly with the Twilight setting and graphical appearance.

#7

Donkey Kong

dk music

The Donkey Kong series always has amazing music, but none quite compare to the Donkey Kong Country series for Super Nintendo. To be even more specific, DKC2 has one of the most amazing soundtracks of all time. Each track in the series fits the area you are playing in, while also being so stinking good.

Favorite Track: “Kaptain K. Rool Theme”

In a long list of close second’s this one comes out on top. It’s one of the games that makes playing a very hard boss fun, cuz you’re too busy rocking to the music to pay attention to what you’re doing. I can hear all the sound effects in my head just from listening to this.

Fun fact- this song is stuck in my head about 2-3 hours a day.

#6

Mega Man X

mega man x music

This whole series has pretty great music, but just like Donkey Kong, the trilogy on SNES takes the cake. There isn’t anything atmospheric or anything to these songs. They kind of relate to their levels however. There are a lot of Mavericks to kill in this series, and each of their stages has it’s own track, which is pretty amazing to think about.

Favorite Track: “Boomer Kuwanger”

 

It’s been a very long time since I’ve played these games, so most of the music eludes me today. I mean, it’s hard to keep track of several dozen songs after all, but this one has always stuck with me. It’s very powerful and emotional, and gets me so pumped.

#5

Castlevania

richter_n_maria_8151

Hoo boy, talk about a series with incredible music! The later games have eerie, atmospheric music, but back in the early days, the music was pretty much just awesome, intense chip tunes.

Favorite Track: “Bloody Tears”

In a long list of amazing tracks, this one just barely pulls ahead from the rest. It’s so good! Killing hordes of monsters to this tune never gets old!

#4

Mega Man

mega man music

This series has some great music, but all pales in comparison to the NES titles. They are like actual structured songs rather than just a 20 second chip tune repeated over and over.

Favorite Track: “Wily Stage 1-2”

Picking out a song for me was impossible for this series, mainly because I’ve only played each of these games pretty much once, and well over a decade ago. But this song is probably the most well known and for good reason…

This is the perfect song for storming your enemy’s base. It gets me so pumped on top of being a very well put-together song. The rhythms and leads are so fantastic. It’s like listening to a real band trapped inside the NES.

#3

Sonic The Hedgehog

sonic dj

This entire series has fantastic music. It’s always so uplifting and catchy, and chances are there is some song from this series in my head. And while the Genesis games undoubtedly have the best overall, the incredible music has stuck around for pretty much every game since.

Favorite Track: “Live and Learn”

This is the song that plays during the epic final battle in Sonic Adventure 2. This song is so fantastic to be playing as a duo of shiny golden hedgehogs. The first time I ever fought the boss, I became so uplifted and empowered that I lost myself, feeling that I actually was Super Sonic. I beat the boss without getting hit a single time, and had no idea what I was doing the whole time. The music guided me through it.

I have played the boss like six times since, and can hardly beat him without dying now, let alone never getting hit. And what makes this worse, now I know what I’m doing. That first time was truly a bizarre and magical moment in my life.

#2

Kirby

kirby music

When I see people talk about the best video game music and all that, somehow no one ever seems to mention the Kirby series. Literally every single game delivers a jaw-dropping soundtrack. The songs are so technical and creative, and it’s almost more fun to listen to the music than play the actual games, which are almost all really, really fun.

Favorite Track: “King Dedede’s Theme”

It’s really tough to pick out the best of literally like over 100 amazing songs, but this one has to be my favorite. It’s so intense and gets you pumped to kick Dedede’s butt!

#1

Kingdom Hearts

kingdom hearts music

The Kingdom Hearts music takes video game music to places it’s never been before. Every song is carefully crafted and executed. The Disney songs capture the essence of those films, while being revamped to fit the situation or setting that they are played over.

The original tracks are simply beautiful, and filled with the powerful emotions that drive the series’ story.

Whether it’s battling enemies, characters having heart-to-hearts, or watching the sweet trademark opening videos to a Utada Hikaru song, there is an incredible track to go with it. In fact, I fell in love with this series the moment I turned the game on and the “Dearly Beloved” title theme started playing. If a song can grip you so fiercely in mere seconds that you become hopelessly devoted to an entire series, then the composer knows she’s done something right.

The fact that they made a rhythm game featuring most of the tracks from the series is truly a blessing to me.

Favorite Track: “Don’t Think Twice”

This song touches my very soul. It’s so powerful. It perfectly embodies all that the characters have gone through; defeats, heartaches, victories, connections, you can feel it all in these verses and music. And in a crazy convoluted series like this, that says a lot.

It basically says, “Yeah life has sucked for a long time, but everything is going to be okay.”

Simply hearing this song makes me want to play the entire series over again. And it would be worth it, just to hear this song at the end to wrap up the Xehanort arc.

 

So there you have it. Arguably my top 10 favorite music from series’ that I have played and loved most of my life with my favorite track from each one!

 

The Halloween Franchise Is As Twisted And Messed Up As Michael Myers

Firstly, I love the Halloween movies. I really like the storyline, the character of Michael Myers and basically what a bad ass and mostly creative killer he is. I like the cozy town of Haddonfield where the films usually take place, and all the inhabitants; the whole lore behind the movies is very interesting to me.

But the timelines are all out of control and newcomers would likely be confused on where to start and what order to watch them.

This post will either help or confuse you. Let’s take a look at what’s going on.

halloweenOkay, so the movies start out with the famous Halloween. But don’t get this confused with the two other movies of the same name. Halloween (1978) will get you to where you want to go.

 

halloween 2Then came Halloween II, a direct sequel to the first that takes place on the same night and gives a reason why Michael Myers was so hell-bent on killing Laurie Strode, the protagonist of the first film. Okay, awesome.

 

halooween 3Halloween III is where things get wanky. Despite the name, this has nothing to do with the first two movies, and even the main slasher, Michael Myers, is nowhere to be found. It’s simply an unrelated movie that takes place on Halloween.

haloween 4

 

Then we have Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, which brings us back to the world of the first two, as the title suggests. This time, he’s hunting a little girl who is his niece or something. As far as I can remember there are no returning characters from the first two other than the psychopathic killer and his doctor.

 

halloween 5Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers is a direct sequel to the fourth, taking place a year later. Very cool.

 

Halloween6cover

 

Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers is unrelated to the fifth movie, but takes place in the same town and timeline. This delves into Michael’s background and why he’s so god-damn invincible and efficient at killing. It’s weird.

HalloweenH20posterHalloween H20: 20 Years Later. Don’t get this confused with the elemental combination of water, as I once did. As this title suggests, this takes place 20 years after the original movie, which means Laurie Strode faces off with Michael once again. It’s pretty cool.

Halloween Resurrection_Theatrical_Poster_2002

 

Halloween: Resurrection. I don’t even know what to say about this one. It is a direct sequel to H20, but only for like 5 minutes. Then Michael returns home and kills people on a reality show led by Busta Rhymes and Tyra Banks. Cuz…why not? It clearly was just a movie made for the sheer fun of it.

Okay, so far, with the exception of the third one, it’s a linear storyline that follows the same overall plot. But things are going to get a little messy now, sort of.

Halloween2007So next we have a remake. Halloween (2007) if you will. This is an updated version of the first movie basically that dedicates a decent amount of time into Michael’s childhood and why he became so bat-shit crazy.

 

Then we get a sequel to the remake called Hallhalloween 2 remakeoween II. Not confusing at all. This starts out like it’s going to be a remake of the second film, but then turns into it’s own storyline, taking place a year after the first remake.

 

There was going to be a third film in this new timeline, but it was canceled. Probably because of how not-so-good the second one was.

Okay, so now things are going to get really nuts.

halloween 2018Halloween again…The third time this movie is made. Halloween (2018) will do. But no, this is not a remake. This is a sequel to the very first movie, 40 years prior. And yes, it takes place 40 years after the original.

 

So wouldn’t that make it a sequel to Resurrection, you might be wondering?

No, this is a direct sequel to the first movie, and only the first movie. It ignores all the other movies. So pretend they don’t exist.

Doing this effectively wipes out the entire plotline that the original second movie established and which basically everything that happens afterwards is based around. So it’s kind of a big deal.

In other words, the sequel to Halloween is called Halloween. Yeah…

And there are two movies in production that are sequels to Halloween (2018). Halloween Kills and Halloween Ends. Well at least they are aren’t called Halloween II and III.

So let’s recap now. We’ve got an 8-movie series with the third having nothing to do with the other 7. The seven connected movies take place over 20 years with a whole slew of different characters, recurring characters occasionally mixed in, and the same killer throughout.

Then we have a remake of the first that spawned it’s own sequel story that is different from the original series that it started out remaking.

Then we have a trilogy of sequels that ignores the remake timeline entirely, and all but the first movie from the original timeline is erased, thus jamming it’s way in between the first two original movies and creating an entirely individual timeline but with the same characters from the first movie.

Some of these characters, or relatives of old characters occasionally showed up in other movies in the original established timeline, which makes it all the more confusing that they reprise their roles in a sequel to the same movie, but in a different timeline.

I write this post in jest, it’s not really that hard to understand. But that might be because I’ve been watching these movies for decades. It still might be a tad confusing for someone looking to get into the series, but I promise you’ll be able to wrap your head around it.

Silverstein Albums Ranked

Silverstein is a Canadian post-hardcore band that has been slaying the music industry for 20 years. In fact, they just celebrated this milestone with a massive tour, playing three sets for those lucky enough to see it before I assume it was canceled from coronavirus. I was one of those lucky folk, and I have to say, it was one of the best shows I’ve ever been to.

It is extremely rare for bands, especially in their genre, to be together that long, and even more rare for any band to throw out consistently incredible albums every single time. There is no band I can think of that has done this as well or efficient as Silverstein.

They come out with an album every two or three years, and I have been blown away to some extent every album. The key to their success is they don’t change. And they don’t really do anything fancy. Their music isn’t all that impressive, but it’s jaw-dropping. Their vocals are catchy and poetic, and he only screams when the music calls for it, as a result, the constant switching between singing and screaming creates a very emotional and powerful song that I never get tired of. They know what sound they want, and just do what they do, and it generally just gets better as their talents and creativity increase over the years. It isn’t too farfetched to say that Silverstein is post-hardcore.

So to celebrate Silverstein’s 20 years, as well as their brand new album that came out a little over a month ago, I’m going to rank all their main studio albums from my least favorite to most favorite.

#10

 

Short Songs

Silverstein_-_Short_Songs_cover

2012

Okay, so I have never heard this. I thought it was just some demo or spoof album, which I guess it kind of is. But I only just now realized this is considered their sixth full length album, so now I’ll have to actually go out and buy it. But seeing as the album consists of 11 originals and 11 covers, all under 2 minutes, and some under 1 minute, I can see why I never bought it, and am quite certain it will without a doubt be their worst.

 

#9

A Beautiful Place To Drown

silverstein beautiful

2020

Their tenth and brand spanking new album is unfortunately their worst (we’re pretending Short Songs doesn’t exist from here on out). And that is because on this one they actually change their sound. They go for a much more poppy sound, and it’s just not the same.

But that’s not to say this album isn’t good. In fact, it’s very good, but falls far from the rest of their albums. But the songs are actually better live, since so much of that poppy flair is eliminated, so that you can actually hear the songs as Silverstein, and then you see how maybe their sound hasn’t changed so much after all.

Truthfully, I hated the album the first couple times I listened to it, but after three or four times, I have to say I have no issue with it at all.

#8

Discovering The Waterfront

silverstein Discovering_the_waterfront_cover

2005

Their second album is the one that brought them to fame, but it also was my least favorite one until a month ago. I so very much liked their first album that when this came out, I was somewhat disappointed by it.

But that’s not to say I don’t love this album in it’s entirety, for it is phenomenal. And that just goes to show how good this band is. Their worst two albums are still incredible.

 

#7

When Broken Is Easily Fixed

Silverstein WhenBrokenIsEasilyFixed

2003

This is their debut album. My friend introduced it to me back when I was getting out of my “nothing-but-punk” phase. I really enjoyed the album, and as a new guitarist when this came out, I spent a lot of time learning their songs. Because of this, Silverstein has been a huge influence in my writing.

 

#6

Arrivals and Departures

silverstein arrivals

2007

Their third album is amazing, making me forgive the band for Discovering the Waterfront, for A&D quickly became my favorite of the three.

#5

A Shipwreck in the Sand

silverstein A_Shipwreck_in_the_Sand_(Silverstein_album_-_cover_art)

2009

Their fourth album is when this band became huge for me. I was completely blown away by this album, and still am. It has some of their best songs to date, and I get excited every time I listen to it. It was at this point that they became more than just a band for me, but probably entered my top 10 or top 5 favorite bands.

 

#4

Rescue

SilversteinRescueAlbumCover

2011

Their fifth one had a hard time, what with following up the perfect A Shipwreck in the Sand. For a long time, Rescue fell short of that album, until after a year or two, I realized how amazing and catchy every song on this album is, not to mention all the emotion behind it. The quality of the album is also much, much better, for their other albums were always so quiet, almost muffled sounding. Rescue showed what Silverstein could really do. Their writing was the best it had ever been up to this point, and for that, it eventually won favor over it’s predecessor.

#3

I Am Alive In Everything I Touch

silverstein I_Am_Alive_In_Everything_I_Touch

2015

The next three albums are complete masterpieces. They are some of the best albums ever made in my opinion. This album in particular, which is their eighth, has so many beautiful songs, so emotional and incredible. Not to mention it displays some of the most talented song-writing in the bands career.

 

#2

Dead Reflections

Silverstein_deadreflection

2017

I have gotten every Silverstein album as soon as they came out, except for their first one, because I never heard of them, and this one, their ninth, because I had so much other music I wanted to check out that I never got around to it. But since I was seeing them in concert, I bought this when pre-ordering their new one.

I now hate myself for depriving myself of this album for a couple years. It is fantastic. So catchy, yet so powerful and dark in a way at times. Every song keeps me hooked from beginning to end, and now I feel I must listen to this over and over for two years to make up for all the times I missed out on it.

#1

This Is How The Wind Shifts

silverstein this is how

2013

Okay, so I lied…I didn’t buy this one right away either. Mainly because I was super poor at the time.  My friend kept urging me to listen to it, but I kept blowing it off. But one fateful day, an employee of mine played part of the first song for me, “Stand Amid the Roar,”and despite my financial troubles, I bought their seventh album the very next day.

Never in my life has a song ever blown me away as much as that one. It was Silverstein, whom I had already loved for years, and yet it was something different, something new and exciting, something perfect. It was like the band had reached nirvana. I excitedly listened to the opening “Stand Amid the Roar” in it’s entirety when the album finally arrived.

I literally could have stopped at that one song and been satisfied. But I eagerly listened through the whole album and found that each song hit me just as hard as the first. Literally every single song is a masterpiece beyond the likes of anything I can ever comprehend. The band had surged forward, much like they did in A Shipwreck in the Sand, but in a much bigger way.

It was after listening to this album that Silverstein at long last officially became my favorite band of all time, and have held the title ever since. But not only because of how good this album is, but how they constantly deliver amazing stuff time and time again, when so many other bands decline or only have one or two really good albums. These guys make it look simple.

I’m wondering if the band itself thinks this is their best album as well, for on their tour they played a large medley showcasing every single song from This is How the Wind Shifts.

 

Happy 20th Anniversary Silverstein! Thank you for bringing so much to my life, both in listening to music and writing it! Here’s to hoping for another amazing 20 years!

 

Nostalgia Goodies In Eminem’s “Marshal Mathers LP 2”

Eminem’s latest solo album is chock full of nods, throw backs and all sorts of nostalgia from earlier works in his career. I am here to compile a list of them, picking out and listing everyone I notice. I highly doubt I will recognize all of them, so please help out on any I’ve missed that you may have picked up on!

Well to start things off, the title “Marshal Mathers LP 2” is a sequel to his second major release, the “Marshal Mathers LP” 13 years earlier. A fitting name, as I am rather certain Eminem was going for a retro feel with plenty of nostalgia for this album. The album cover is even him sitting on the same steps in front of his old home, the exact picture of the first album, except now the house is boarded up and worse for wear. Cool!

Now let’s dive into the actual cd.

Track 01: Bad Guy

The song in it’s entirety is a sequel to Stan from the “Marshal Mathers LP,” told in the eyes of the late Stan’s little brother, who is indeed mentioned briefly in the first song.

A specific nod is at 4:05 when Matthew gives Em back an autographed hat that the rapper sends to him in the first song.

Right after that at 4:14, he recites lyrics from Criminal from the “Marshal Mathers LP.”

Matthew repeats the actions of his brother by driving high speed on a bridge with a live victim locked in the trunk. 5:01 he says to Eminem the same words Stan says on his suicide tape…”well, gotta go, almost at the bridge.” There is even an under toned “haha” after the lyric.

Track 02: Parking Lot (Skit)

This is the continuation to the skit that plays during the song Criminal. Listeners get to see what happens after he shoots the clerk and shouts “Thank you!” That is exactly where this new skit picks up in fact.

Track 03: Rhyme or Reason

At 0:57, he uses a clip of him yelling “die hard” from Bad Meets Evil’s Welcome 2 Hell, from their album “Hell: The Sequel.”

4:44, he says “Criminal” in the exact way he does in the chorus of the song Criminal.

Track 04: So Much Better

I did not pick up on anything in this song

Track 05: Survival

None here either

Track 06: Legacy

I got nothing…

Track 07: Asshole

Right after the first chorus at 1:18, Em says “thanks for the support asshole” and then repeats it. The way it is presented and repeated makes it seem like a big intentional nod to his lyric, “Dear Dave, thanks for the support, asshole” from the song My Name Is, off of the “Slim Shady LP.”

Exactly one minute later (2:18) he parodies a line from Lose Yourself from “8 Mile.” The original line is “The soul’s escaping through this hole that is gaping,” which he changes to “My soul’s escaping through this asshole that is gaping.”

There is another throwback to one of his older lines at 3:53. The lyric is “it’s apparent I shouldn’t have been a parent,” no doubt calling back to the “Marshal Mathers LP” song Who  Knew‘s line “apparently you ain’t parents.”

The last throwback for this one is the last few lines of the song…”White America’s mirror, so don’t feel awkward or weird, if you stare at me and see yourself, because you’re one too.” This is more subtle, but these lines are basically what the whole song White America from “The Eminem Show” is all about.

Track 08: Berserk

Though this song is filled with mentions, references and samples from many other celebrities, nothing so much about his own songs.

Track 09: Rap God

Right at the beginning, he repeats over and over again, “six minutes Slim Shady, you’re on.” This is not the first time this has been said, originally on the song Remember Me off of the “Marshal Mathers LP.”

The next is rather obvious, as he himself points out a line from the “Marshal Mathers LP,” at 3:43, referring that it was once censored, but no longer isn’t as he repeats the entire line, originally recorded on the song I’m Back.

Tracok 10: Brainless

I didn’t notice any here.

I will complete the rest of the album next week. See you then!