Soundtrack Central The best of VGM and other great soundtracks

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GoldfishX May 25, 2008 (edited Jul 28, 2008)

Okay, we all have our favorite albums and anyone can make a list of them. But what happens when the VGM community as a whole gives their favorites? Directly inspired by Martin Popoff’s “Top 500 Heavy Metal Albums of All-Time” book, for the first time ever, I’d like to try to compile a list of the top 500 VGM releases of all time, based on the VGM community’s picks.

How this is going to work: Everyone nominates their top 30 VGM releases of all-time, ranked from 1 to 30 in order of preference. I compile a list of everyone’s nominations, telling where they rank and how many points they get, based on people's rankings. Simple as that.

Things to keep in mind:

-I will be making threads for this project at the following boards: Soundtrackcentral, Gamingforce, Chudahs Corner, Slightly Dark and Squareenixmusic. Please nominate at ONLY one of these.

-Nominations will be open until 11:59PM on August 31, 2008. This should be enough time for people to notice this thread and make their list. You may edit your list up until this time as much as you want. IF I SEE YOU EDIT YOUR LIST ON A DATE AFTER August 31, 2008, YOUR ENTIRE LIST WILL BE DISQUALIFIED!

-You must nominate at least 10 releases, but no more than 30. Lists with fewer than 10 releases will be booted.

-The following counts as a VGM release: An official original soundtrack (or sound version), an official arranged album, a gamerip, a soundtrack that has been given a digital release online, an emulated set of files (.SPC, .NSF, etc), the redbook audio from a game, a doujin or fan-arranged album, a recognized project from fan arrangers, whether it was released on CD or not (such as Voices of the Lifestream). If you so desire, you may nominate drama albums. If there’s something I’m leaving out, feel free to ask, but it’s probably eligible.

-You may not nominate solo albums by VGM artists. You must nominate dedicated soundtracks and/or arrangements for games.

-For soundtrack compilations, you can only nominate the music within a compilation. For example, you could nominate the soundtrack for Rockman 2 from the Rockman 1-6 Boxset, but you couldn’t put down the whole boxset as your nomination. I’ve decided that it would be unfair to give compilations an unfair advantage by simply having music from more than a single game.

For releases that contain both an OST (or multiple OST’s) and an arrange, such as Phantasy Star Sound Collection 1 or Falcom Special Box 91, you must specify what you are nominating from it. You can’t nominate the whole thing in one slot, only the arrangement or one of the soundtracks from it.

For arrangement compilations, such as Falcom Special Box 89, you can just nominate the whole thing and not the individual discs (I picked FSB 89 as a complex example because it was originally released as one collection, THEN it was divided into individual CD’s). There simply aren’t enough multi-disc arrange albums in existence to make this too relevant.

-If a soundtrack contains more than 10% licensed music, it is ineligible. So Dead or Alive 3 is fine (it had an Aerosmith song added for the opening), but the Guitar Hero and DDR games are a no-no, despite them having some original content.

-Music-making games are ineligible for nomination. So no Mario Paint or Electroplankton, despite them having original music of their own.

-You may nominate multiple versions of a score, such as Guilty Gear X (the arcade version) and Guilty Gear X Heavy Rock Tracks (the console version). They will be tallied and ranked separately.

-I’m not stressing variety here. If your Top 30 picks all are Final Fantasy albums, so be it. I’d like to get an accurate count, not necessarily one that reflects one trying to be more varied than they actually are.

- I’d much rather have the lists public and not via PM or email. However, I will not present my method of calculating points until the final list is released. This is to try to keep the lists fairly honest. Bear in mind: Stacking your list based on someone else’s picks will not necessarily mean a higher placement for the release.

-I have the right to disqualify lists that don’t meet the above rules or are clearly gag nominations. If I see the soundtrack for Duck Hunt or a bunch of Legend of Heroes Drama albums on your list, there’s a good chance I’m going to boot the entire thing. If you care enough to register a dupe account at one or more boards in order to nominate more stuff, all of your lists will be disqualified.

-Feel free to drop a one-line comment about a release or even each release on your list, especially if you’re likely to be the only one nominating a particular one. When I compile the list for the final project, I’ll try to include some of them.

-If people think of additional rules or needed clarifications, I will edit the rule list accordingly.

So have fun and start nominating! There’s a ton of releases I can’t wait to see where they end up.

Adam Corn May 26, 2008

I think 100 would be a better number to work with but if you wanna keep track of that many candidates more power to ya smile

Also, if you're really serious about doing this I would recommend setting up a site where people can enter their picks and have them added to a database automatically.  Of course you would then have to deal with authenticating everyone to avoid spam and duplicate posts but man typing in everyone's entries manually sounds like a b%#&*.

Nice idea though, however you go about executing it.

GoldfishX May 26, 2008 (edited May 26, 2008)

If I'm right, I should be able to cut and paste just fine. I don't really have the know-how to set up that type of site. Best thing to do is just to gather the data and then get my hands dirty.

I figure 100 would have been good for just OST's. But since I wanted to include everything and 100 would leave off a lot of stuff, might as well go for 500. Worst that could happen is I don't get enough entries.

Idolores May 26, 2008

GoldfishX wrote:

If a soundtrack contains more than 10% licensed music, it is ineligible. So Dead or Alive 3 is fine (it had an Aerosmith song added for the opening)

That was Dead or Alive 2, by the way. In any event, that certainly gets my vote for most interesting addition to a soundtrack. I wonder what instigated it?

Ramza May 26, 2008 (edited May 26, 2008)

okay, so I can put a total of 20 albums in here eh? Here goes...EDIT~~~ in order! (1 is highest, 20 is lowest)...this sucks...

01. Xenogears CREID
02. Seiken Densetsu Sound Collections (OSV + arrange in one album)
03. Final Fantasy VIII "Fithos Lusec" etcetc (orchestra arrange)
04. SaGa Frontier II Piano / Rhapsody on a Theme
05. drammatica - the very best of Yoko Shimomura
06. Final Fantasy Tactics OST
07. Alundra OST
08. Atelier Iris ~Eternal Mana~ OST
09. Uncharted Waters II Special Edition
10. Final Fantasy VIII Piano Collections
11. Final Fantasy X OST
12. Dark Chronicle Premium Arrange
13. SaGa Frontier II OST
14. Ys, Perfect Collection
15. Star Ocean: The Second Story OST
16. Chrono Trigger OSV (3 disc set)
17. Chrono Cross OST
18. Wild Arms Complete Tracks (more is better than less rite?)
19. Policenauts F/N
20. Atelier Iris ~Eternal Mana~ Arranged Tracks DECEITFUL WINGS

ugh...I'm totally not even close to happy with this list. But here it is.

GoldfishX May 26, 2008 (edited May 26, 2008)

Ramza wrote:

Here particular order

Sorry, they have to be in order...That's the only way to determine how many points each album gets. That's why I said to rank them from 1-20, painful as it may be.

And it was Dead or Alive 3...That was, like, the only other game I had for my Xbox for months besides Guilty Gear. I think it was "Dream On". I didn't play 2, so maybe it got the same treatment. *shrug*

RinoaDestiny May 26, 2008

In order of my favorites:

1. Vagrant Story
2. Final Fantasy IV OSV
3. Final Fantasy VI
4. Einhander
5. Xenogears
6. Final Fantasy Tactics
7. An Cinninuit (Tsugunai)
8. Front Mission 5: Scars of the War
9. Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War
10. Thunder Force V ~ Lost Technology
11. Ikaruga
12. Imperishable Night (ZUN - Touhou)
13. Soma Bringer
14. Radiant Silvergun
15. Super Mario Galaxy
16. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
17. Silent Hill
18. Under Defeat
19. Lost Odyssey
20. Halo 3

avatar! May 26, 2008 (edited May 26, 2008)

It's a very nice undertaking you're undertaking, but I do think the results will be biased. The vast majority of people around here listen to Japanese soundtracks, and few listen to Western music (at least that's my impression). However, a huge population of the world listens to Western game music. Seems to me like if you want this project to better reflect the population at large, you need to diversify your polling group. You see what I'm saying right? This project is certainly meritorious, I guess it really depends on what you're aiming for.



ps I'll give my top 20 later smile

GoldfishX May 26, 2008

Well, I'm posting at 5 different boards, each one populated with different members and are probably the most active VGM boards out there (and even if someone frequents another one I'm not aware of, surely they're aware of at least one of the 5 I posted at). People are free to put whatever they want. If the results end up heavily in favor of Japanese composers, that's what happens. It's not a goal of mine to measure western vs Japanese VGM or Square vs everyone else or arrange vs OST. I just want to get a basic list together and see where things stand.

TerraEpon May 26, 2008

avatar! wrote:

However, a huge population of the world listens to Western game music.

Yeah, at film score message boards, when game music gets mentioned, it's almost always Western-- ocasionally someone might mention FF, or stuff like Shadow of the Collosus...and of course, Eastern stuff composed by Westerners.

As for me, I cannot vote. Even more than most people, I simply am not good at giving good true rankings to things -- especially top twenty in order, especially including things I may know but not have.
I could probably make a new list each day, and every day it'd be 'right'.


FuryofFrog May 26, 2008 (edited Sep 28, 2008)

01. Super CastleVania 4
02. Okami
03. King of Fighters '96 Arrange Trax
04. Legend of Mana
05. Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles
06. Garou Densetsu 3 Arrange Trax
07. Panzer Dragoon Orta
08. Final Fantasy IX
09. Dragon Quest 4 Symphonic Suite
10. Shin Megami Tensei Persona 3
11. Devil May Cry 3
12. MegaMan Zero 4 Physis
13. Metroid Prime
14. MegaMan ZX Tunes
15. Rogue Galaxy Premium Arrange
16. Chrono Trigger
17. Soul Calibur 3
18. Shin Megami Tensei Digital Devil Saga Avatar Tuner (Part 1)
19. Secret of Mana
20. Guilty Gear XX Korean Version
21. Final Fantasy Symphonic Suite
22. Garou Densetsu Special Image Pt. 1
23. Heroes of Mana
24. King of Fighters '99 Arrange Trax
25. Legend of Zelda Wind Waker
26. F-Zero GX/AX
27. Xenosaga Episode 2
28. Street Fighter Zero 2
29. WarCraft Reign of Chaos
30. Viewtiful Joe 1

That rounds me out.

longhairmike May 26, 2008

perhaps living in a shrine atop a mountain copying the bible by hand would be a little easier.

Ashley Winchester May 26, 2008

avatar! wrote:

It's a very nice undertaking you're undertaking, but I do think the results will be biased.

Honestly, does it really matter? We all know Japanese VGM is going to overtake the list but at least this is ten times better than paring them against one another like GameFAQs character battle. The only reason some of the characters win that or get as far as they do is because of who they face in the early rounds or who is eliminated by other choices. The person who creates the original battles has WAY more control over the outcome than they should.

Knurek May 26, 2008 (edited May 27, 2008)

Just a list now, will edit with ranking and comments later.

The Girl Who Sings Love at The End of This World Yu-No [PC98]
Final Fantasy XII
Tales of Phantasia [SPC]
Ys 1+2 [PCECD Redbook]
Ys 1 [PC98]
Ys 2 [PC98]
SaGa Frontier 2
Actraiser Symphonic Suite
Etrian Odyssey
Threads of Fate
Klonoa: Door to Phantomile
Dragon Quest V Symphonic Suite
Turrican 2
Snatcher [SCD]
R4 - Ridge Racer Type 4
Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together
Chrono Cross
Wild Arms
Seiken Densetsu 3
Pop'n Music 13 [PS2]
Shiren the Wanderer
Night Slave
Jaguar XJ200
Gradius [MSX, SCC]
Racing Lagoon
Sam & Max Hit the Road
Thunder Force 4
Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers

Cram May 26, 2008

1) The Dig
2) Final Fantasy VI
3) Seiken Densetsu Sound Collections
4) Final Fantasy VIII
5) Chrono Trigger
6) Nobuo Uematsu's Phantasmagoria (no clue if this counts)
7) Baten Kaitos II
8) Baten Kaitos
9) Final Fantasy III - Legend of Eternal Wind
10) Super Mario RPG
11) Baldur's Gate
12) Seiken Densetsu II
13) Sword of Mana - Premium
14) Final Fantasy VIII Orchestral FLWV
15) Legend of Zelda II - Links Adventure
16) Mechwarrior II
17) Tales of Symphonia
18) Final Fantasy IV
19) Metroid Prime III
20) Secret of Evermore

Ashley Winchester May 26, 2008

I'm glad to see the original Wild Arms getting some love... it'll definately be on my list. The scores for the sequels won't make the cut in my list however.

Laif May 26, 2008 (edited Jan 22, 2009)

1. Akumajo Dracula Best 2 (Super Castlevania 4)
2. Battle Garegga Perfect Sound Track (Original Arcade Tracks)
3. Einhänder Original Soundtrack
4. Axelay
5. Akumajo Dracula X ~Nocturne in the Moonlight~ Original Game Soundtrack
6. Zero Divide 2
7. Perfect Selection Dracula Battle
8. Perfect Selection Konami Shooting Battle II
9. Zero Divide
10. The Super Shinobi & Works
11. Final Fantasy IV Original Sound Version
12. F-ZERO X Guitar Arrange Edition
13. Donkey Kong Country 2 Original Soundtrack
14. Plok (Game Rip)
15. EVE
16. F-Zero GX/AX Original Soundtracks
17. BORDER DOWN Sound Tracks Vol.2
18. Senko no Ronde -Sound Tracks-
19. Raystorm / Zuntata
20. Nintendo Super Famicom Game Music

Editing might follow. This is quite hard to do. No orchestral stuff in my list hm.

Edit: oh, there is SotN.

GoldfishX May 26, 2008

Might as well do mine. No real mysteries, but I hate ranking these:

1. Ys III PC Engine Redbook
2. Rockman 2 (from Rockman 1-6 Boxset)
3. Guilty Gear X: Heavy Rock Tracks
4. Phantasy Star Sound Collection 1 (Arrange Disc)
5. Ys IV Perfect Collection Vol. 3
6. Final Fantasy VI OSV
7. Rockman 7 (OST)
8. Ys IV Perfect Collection Vol. 2
9. Dracula Battle Perfect Selection 1
10. Sorcerian Forever 1
11. Guilty Gear XX Reload: Korean
12. King of Fighters 96 Arrange
13. F-Zero X Guitar Arrange
14. Marvel vs Capcom
15. Ys Perfect Collection
16. Kendo Rage
17. Genso Suikoden OGS
18. Tokimeki Memorial Sound Collection 2
19. Ys IV Perfect Collection Vol. 1
20. Falcom JDK Band 1

First 6 or so were easy, then it got tricky.

Lucy May 26, 2008 (edited May 26, 2008)

Must Haves:

1. Tenchi Souzou Creative Tracks (Terranigma)
2. Zelda no Densetsu: Sound & Drama
3. Super Metroid "SOUND IN ACTION"
4. Super Mario World
5. Land Stalker ~The Emperor's Treasure~
6. Chrono Trigger Original Sound Version
7. Seiken Densetsu 2 Original Sound Version
8. Sonic Adventure 2 MULTI-Dimensional
9. Rockman X 1-6 Coll
10. Rockman 1-6 Coll
11. Mario Bros 3 Akihabara Electric Circus
12. Game Music Graffiti
13. Final Fantasy VII OST
14. Final Fantasy Tactics Advance OST
15. Grandia OST 2
16. Super Mario Galaxy Premium OST
17. Eternal Arcadia OST
18. Metal Gear Solid OST
19. Seiken Densetsu 3 OSV
20. Final Fantasy VIII OST

Yeah, just popular ones...

Ashley Winchester May 26, 2008

Lucy wrote:

Must Haves:
9. Rockman X 1-6 Coll
10. Rockman 1-6 Coll

I don't think you can elect the whole box, just individual soundtracks GX?

Angela May 26, 2008

No Jikkyou Powerful Pro Baseball entries, GoldfishX?  I'm surprised. ;)

I'll have to ponder a bit about my own listing. (And I'll most certainly start doing that AFTER I've given the upcoming MGS4 OST a thorough listen.)  What about games with original soundtracks that come in two or more separate releases?  Like, say, the first two Grandia titles or Final Fantasy IX? (A Deus, Povo, FFIX Plus, etc.)  Do we have to count each of those as separate releases?  Or can I just, say, lump-category them as "Grandia II" or "Final Fantasy IX"?

Crash May 26, 2008 (edited Jul 20, 2008)

Well, filling this out will destroy any "new post" references that I have on the board.  Here goes:

1. Falcom Special Box '94
2. Ys ~ The Oath in Felghana OST
3. The Legend of Dragon Slayers
4. Ys IV Perfect Collection Vol. 1
5. Gradius Arcade Soundtracks (Gradius I soundtrack)
6. Ys Perfect Collection
7. Eternal Arcadia OST
8. Tokimeki Memorial Piano Collection
9. Sorcerian Perfect Collection Vol. 1
10. Dracula X MIDI Power Pro 6
11. Be For U
12. Game Music Graffiti
13. All Over Xanadu
14. Insector X
15. Super Mario Bros. 3 Akihabara Electric Circus
16. Legend of Zelda ~ Hyrule Symphony
17. Falcom Neo-Classic
18. Megaten World
19. Rockman II - The Power Fighters
20. Konami Shooting Battle II Perfect Selection
21. Symphony Ys '95
22. Katamari Fortissimo Damashii
23. Zwei!! Super Arrange Version
24. Perfect Selection Twinbee
25. All Sounds of Sorcerian
26. Star Ocean: The Second Story Fantasy Megamix
27. JDK Band
28. US Championship V'Ball
29. Soukaigi OST
30. Devil Crash/Alien Crush

Note: If Be For U is not allowed (even though every track on there eventually made its way into a Bemani game), remove it, move everything behind it up one slot, and add Perfect Selection Gradius to the end.
Edit - Limited Gradius Arcade Soundtracks to simply Gradius.  Will expand to 30 later.
Edit 7/20/08 - Expanded to 30, and changed the order around a little.

Zorbfish May 26, 2008 (edited May 28, 2008)

1. Kirby's Super Star (Game Rip)
2. Rockman 2 (Rockman 1-6 Box)
3. Final Fantasy VI
4. Fate/stay Night
5. Broken Phantasm -TYPE MOON HM/HR Arrange- (CROW'S CLAW)
6. AIR
7. Mother 2/Earthbound (Game Rip)
8. Seiken Densetsu 2
9. SaGa Frontier 2
10. Romancing SaGa 3
11. Kirby's Dream Land (Game Rip)
12. Genso Suikoden
13. Phantom Brave
14. Mushihimesama
15. Unlimited Saga
16. The Silver #01 STRUCTURE
17. Atelier Iris ETERNAL MANA
18. Wild Arms Complete Tracks
19. Arabure (Ese)
20. Key Arrange Album 'Claire' (XL Project)
21. Touhou Eiyashou ~ Imperishable Night (Game Rip)
22. Silent Hill 2
23. Chrono Trigger
24. Zelda 3: A Link to the Past
25. m.e.c.a ~musical entropy comes aloud~ (c.sagi and takrockers!!)
26. Breath of Fire III (BoF:Special Box -- Wish I could just say the whole damn box sad)
27. Killer7
28. Disgaea 2
29. Xenogears
30. Lost Child Side-A

WIP. Would be nice if we could bump up the limit 10 or 20 more.

GoldfishX May 26, 2008 (edited May 26, 2008)

Zorbfish wrote:

WIP. Would be nice if we could bump up the limit 10 or 20 more.

You've been reading my mind...I think I'm going to knock it up to 30, just to help ensure we get a final tally close to or over 500 and it'll make it easier for some lesser knowns to make the final list. Besides, I JUST read Popoff used lists of 25 primarily, so I've actually been ruthless compared to him.

Angela: I'm inclined to say volumized OST's count seperately. I'm looking at releases, not entire soundtracks per se (I was interested to see how much distance was between the Use Your Illusions and Keeper of the Seven Keys albums in Popoff's book) I'd like to see where Deus and Povo end up compared to each other, as I am with the Ys IV Perfect Collections. Really gave Power Pro 9 some serious thought, but there were a lot that missed (the rest of the Konami Battle albums, everything Wild Arms, Chrono Trigger, the rest of the Rockman and Guilty Gears, etc)

Lucy: Sorry, you can only pick the individual soundtracks from the Rockman sets. Otherwise, I'd have both of them in my top 5 easily. A little TOO easily. ^_~

Crash: Same for Gradius Arcade Soundtracks. And WTF...No Ys III redbook!? You're the guy that introduced me to it. lol

Cram: Sorry, I have to say no to Phantasmagoria. I don't want to get into the issue of solo albums by VGM composers, so I can't count that one. I'm looking for VGM releases, but I didn't consider solo albums when I made the rule list up. I'll edit the rules accordingly.


lordskylark May 26, 2008 (edited May 26, 2008)

If we're talking about soundtracks as a whole this is my list... If we were making a list of games from where my favorite tracks came from, the list would be different. Soundtracks such as FFVII have some of my favorite tracks of VGM, but there's so many tracks I don't really like that it really isn't a favorite...

(these are not ranked in list of preference... Is is necessary?)
01 - Chrono Trigger OSV
02 - Chrono Cross OST
03 - Final Fantasy IV OSV
04 - Final Fantasy VI OSV
05 - Final Fantasy IV Piano Collections
06 - Seiken Densetsu Sound Collections
07 - Seiken Densetsu Legend of Mana OST
08 - SaGa Frontier 1 OST
09 - Romancing SaGa 1: Minstrel Song OST
10 - Xenosaga: Episode I OST
11 - Xenosaga: Episode II (Movie Scene)
12 - Xenosaga: Episode III Best Selection
13 - Xenogears OST
14 - Final Fantasy Tactics OST
15 - Final Fantasy X-2: Eternity-Memory of Light and Waves
16 - Might and Magic V OST (game rip)
17 - Final Fantasy Mystic Quest OST
18 - Final Fantasy Symphonic Suite
19 - Final Fantasy III OSV (NES)
20 - Final Fantasy IV Celtic Moon
21 - Final Fantasy I+II OST (PSX)
22 - Final Fantasy Vocal Collections Pray
23 - Myst I OST
24 - Mystic Ark OST
25 - Heroes of Might and Magic IV
26 - Zork Grand Inquisitor
27 - Final Fantasy VI Grand Finale
28 - Shadow Hearts II
29 - The Black Mages I
30 - Final Fantasy VII Piano Collections

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