Chrono Trigger Original Sound VersionTake away "Frog's Theme" and a few other standouts ("Guardia Millenial Fair", "The Trial" and "Delightful Spekkio" being my own picks) and this becomes more a good soundtrack than a great one, but there's something to be said for having one of the greatest VGM themes of all time, and nostalgia still works very much in the album's favor.
Orchestral Game Music Concert 4: Live Best CollectionThe appeal of this classic album has faded slightly as the novelty of its two most famous arrangements (Super Mario Brothers and the FFVI opera) has worn off, but the Super Metroid medley remains the premier orchestral arrangement of its series and an excellent sci-fi work in general, while the Albert Odyssey arrangement is an Arabian-inspired adventure classic.
Dragon Quest VI Symphonic Suite (London Philharmonic)Though lacking the charm and accessibility of DQIV, it boasts the same (if not greater) classical artistry, an intensely dedicated thematic focus and tremendous drama. It may take a few listens to appreciate but the rewards are well worth it.
Ecco: Songs of TimeIt may sound exactly like you'd expect of a New Age soundtrack about a dolphin, but I doubt anybody would have expected it to be this good. Relaxing at many times and surprisingly emotional at others, it's a nice alternative to the orchestral, rock, and high-energy synth soundtracks that tend to dominate VGM.
How many of these are favorites in your own collection? Any must-hear albums that have been omitted? Hit the answer poll button below to share your picks!