Soundtrack Central The best classic game music and more

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Zane May 23, 2012 (edited May 24, 2012)

1. Final Fantasy VI Original Sound Version
Like GX said, somehow this sounds even better nowadays than it did years ago. This album defines classic VGM for me.

2. Final Fantasy VII Original Soundtrack
After about fifteen years of love-hate with this game and its music, I have firmly and finally decided on loving it. The quintessential soundtrack of my adolescence.

3. Silent Hill 2 Original Soundtrack
My favorite SH album and what I consider to me Yamaoka's most honest album to date. No other Silent Hill album is as varied, balanced and enveloping (without being abrasive) as this one.

4. Final Fantasy Tactics Original Sound Track
Sakimoto and Iwata are like peanut butter and jelly. Or, they're like two different delicious kinds of peanut butter. Either way, this is a one awesome VGM sandwich.

5. Dracula Battle II Perfect Selection
I regret selling this album on a daily basis. Easily the best of the Konami Battle albums overall, and my favorite VGM arrange album of all time.

6. Final Fantasy Vocal Collections 1 ~Pray~
This album is amazingly tender. I used to listen to this around Christmas time, so hearing it now evokes images of being snowed in, sitting by the fireplace with family. An album that just feels like home.

7. Final Fantasy VIII Original Soundtrack
While it's clear that parts of this album signaled Uematu's slow decline into less inspired music, overall it's a great experience and is the last work of his I consider to be completely worthwhile.

8. Silent Hill Original Soundtrack
The other half of Silent Hill 2 OST, this is the most abrasive album I have. That said, it's a standalone experience that any other horror soundtrack has yet to capture and has been in my collection for well over a decade. This CD + headphones + dark room = nightmares.

9. Silent Hill 3 Original Soundtrack
The first signs of the decline of the series is shown here, but it's still a solid album with a big selection of timeless tracks (although I could do without the final Rain of Brass Petals mix).

10. Final Fantasy XII Original Soundtrack
While this is a massive album that can get very same-y at times, especially with the action and dramatic queues, I think this is "new" Sakimoto at his best. The balance of colors and tonality in his writing is amazingly thick. I could loop some of the location themes for hours.

11. Silent Hill 4 -The Room- Original Soundtracks
Good, but not great. The album lacks some of the development from SH2/SH3, but it's still a fun listen.

12. Vagrant Story Original Soundtrack
Amazingly oppressive with expositions of real beauty. I love this entire album, but really need to be in the mood to hear most of the tracks. (Although I could listen to "Staff Roll" all day, every day.)

13. Final Fantasy The Black Mages
Before the Black Mages turned into a crappy rock band, they were a less crappy rock band. "Battle on the Big Bridge" and the themes from FFVI make this album for me.

14. Dracula Battle Perfect Selection
Not as good as Dracula Battle II, this album is still real solid and has a great selection of arrangements.

Smooth and more laid back than I'd expect from a SFII album, but I still dig it very much. T. Hawk's theme is gold!

16. Voodoo Vince Original Xbox game music
A random purchase from a retail store that ended up being unlike any other VGM that I've owned. A smooth mix of funky Americana and a bunch of other styles with some real great melodies. Highly recommended across the board.

17. Breath of Fire V Dragon Quarter Original Soundtrack
Not Sakimoto's best, but a fairly seamless blend between his orchestral and electronic styles. There are some really emotional themes here that hit the heartstrings in a way that only Sakimoto can. Like most VGM albums, the vocal theme is an atrocity and an offense to the rest of the album.

18. Final Fantasy Vocal Collections 2 ~Love Will Grow~
While not as awesome as ~Pray~, this album still has its fair share of enjoyable tunes - and how can you not love that happy Prelude mix to close the album?!

19. Gungrave O.S.T.
Flat out awesome and weird, and unlike any other VGM albums I have ever heard. This is truly something special to behold when listened to in its entirety. I'd rank this one higher but songs like "ear fudge" and "china moon" can ruin your day if you're not prepared for them - if you're ready for them, though, they are so, so good. (Side note: Imahori's Gungrave anime scores are awesome, too!)

20. Chrono Trigger - The Brink of Time
I'm completely burnt out on Mitsuda, but this album remains fairly fresh and has the best of both worlds: Mitsuda's classic Chrono melodies and some fairly inventive and festive arrangements. I'd take this over the OSV any day.

21. Gradius V Soundtrack
Not as balanced as BoF:V, this pseudo-electronica album is one of Sakimoto's most experimental. Short, but sweet.

22. Metroid Metal - Expansion Pack
23. Metroid Metal - Varia Suite
Nothing to say here except that you should definitely check these great arranged albums out if you haven't yet:

After I submitted my results I realized some of the albums should be shifted a bit, but it's all nitpicking at this point. It's very clear that while I've been following game music for well over a decade there are certain albums, composers and series that have been a huge presence in my life for a very long time.

EDIT: PS - thanks for the reminder, Adam! smile

STC Poll System Jul 9, 2012

Top poll results out of 262 unique answers submitted, as calculated by Soundtrack Central's automated poll system.  In parentheses are the percentage of respondents who selected that answer and the average ranking it was given.

1. Final Fantasy VI Original Sound Version (44%, 4)
2. Xenogears Original Soundtrack (31%, 7)
3. Ys ~The Oath in Felghana~ Original Soundtrack (31%, 8)
4. Chrono Trigger Original Sound Version (31%, 12)
5. Final Fantasy VII Original Soundtrack (19%, 5)
6. Dracula Battle Perfect Selection (19%, 5)
7. Chrono Cross Original Soundtrack (19%, 6)
8. Dracula Battle II Perfect Selection (19%, 8)
9. Seiken Densetsu ~Legend of Mana~ Original Soundtrack (19%, 8)
10. Final Fantasy Tactics Original Sound Track (19%, 10)
11. Genso Suikoden Original Game Soundtrack (19%, 12)
12. Azel ~Panzer Dragoon RPG~ Memorial Album (19%, 13)
12. Final Fantasy XII Original Soundtrack (19%, 13)
14. Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Original Soundtrack (19%, 14)
15. Ys III (PC Engine redbook) (13%, 3)
16. Fuujin Ryouiki Eretzvaju Original Soundtrack (13%, 4)
17. Baten Kaitos Original Soundtrack (13%, 5)
18. Seiken Densetsu 2 Original Sound Version (13%, 5)
18. Sonic the Hedgehog CD Original Soundtrack 20th Anniversary Edition (13%, 5)
20. Symphonic Fantasies - Music from Square Enix (13%, 6)
20. Ys IV ~The Dawn of Ys~ Perfect Collection Vol. 1 (13%, 6)
22. Brandish Piano Collection (19%, 19)
23. Falcom Special Box '94 (13%, 6)
23. King of Fighters '96 Arrange Sound Trax (13%, 6)
25. Soukaigi Original Soundtrack (19%, 19)
26. Demon Castle Dracula Best 2 (13%, 7)
27. Wild Arms Complete Tracks (19%, 19)
28. Ys I & II Chronicles Original Sound Track (13%, 7)
29. Capcom Music Generation Rockman X1~6 (13%, 8)
29. Super Metroid (SNES game rip) (13%, 8)
31. Nights into Dreams Perfect Album (13%, 10)
32. Game Music Graffiti (13%, 10)
32. PinkSweets Original Sound Track (13%, 10)
34. Dragon Quest IV Symphonic Suite (13%, 11)
34. Konami Shooting Battle II Perfect Selection (13%, 11)
36. Double Dragon II The Revenge (19%, 22)
37. GötzenDiener Original Game Music (13%, 12)
37. Silent Hill 4 -The Room- Original Soundtracks (13%, 12)
39. Nier Gestalt & Replicant Original Soundtrack (13%, 12)
40. Air Original Soundtrack (13%, 13)
41. Persona 4 Original Soundtrack (13%, 13)
41. Shenmue Orchestra Version (13%, 13)
41. Symphony Ys '95 (13%, 13)
44. Chrono Trigger - The Brink of Time (13%, 14)
44. Konami Shooting Battle Perfect Selection (13%, 14)
44. Persona 3 Original Soundtrack (13%, 14)
47. Ys I & II (PC Engine redbook) (13%, 15)
48. Panzer Dragoon Orta Original Soundtrack (13%, 15)
49. Kameo ~Elements of Power~ Original Soundtrack (13%, 16)
50. Breath of Fire V Dragon Quarter Original Soundtrack (13%, 16)
50. Gungage Original Soundtrack (13%, 16)
50. Insector X (13%, 16)

jayavictory Nov 25, 2013

1. Chrono Cross Original Soundtrack
2. Final Fantasy VI Original Sound Version
3. Final Fantasy IV Original Sound Version
4. Secret of Mana
5. Symphonic Fantasies Tokyo
6. Drammatica ~The Very Best of Yoko Shimomura~
7. Dragon Quest IV Symphonic Suite
8. Motoi Sakuraba Live Concert Album
9. Ys IV ~The Dawn of Ys~ Perfect Collection Vol. 1
10. Dragon Quest VI Symphonic Suite
11. Azel ~Panzer Dragoon RPG~ Memorial Album
12. Dracula Battle Perfect Selection
13. Ogre - Grand Repeat
14. Brandish Piano Collection
15. Uncharted Waters II Special Edition
16. Capcom Music Generation Rockman 1~6
17. Nier Gestalt & Replicant Original Soundtrack
18. Nights into Dreams Perfect Album
19. Final Fantasy U.S.A. ~Mystic Quest~ Sound Collections
20. Vagrant Story Original Soundtrack
21. Dracula X ~Nocturne in the Moonlight~ Original Game Soundtrack
22. Killer7 Original Soundtrack
23. Final Fantasy XII Original Soundtrack
24. Echochrome Original Soundtrack
25. Seiken Densetsu Sound Collections
26. Symphony Ys
27. Symphonic Shades - Huelsbeck in Concert
28. Vielen Dank
29. Synphonic Suite from Actraiser
30. Legend of Zelda ~Ocarina of Time~ Original Soundtrack

FuryofFrog Aug 26, 2014

1. Akumajo Dracula Best 2

2. Chrono Trigger Original Sound Version

3. The King of Fighters '96 Arrange Sound Trax

4. Dragon Quest IV Symphonic Suite

5. F-ZERO GX/AX Original Soundtracks

6. Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Original Soundtrack

7. Chrono Cross Original Soundtrack

8. Jet Set Radio Future Original Sound Tracks

9. The Lost Vikings (SNES game rip)


11. Real Bout Garou Densetsu SPECIAL Arrange Sound Trax

12. Nier Gestalt & Replicant Original Soundtrack


14. Donkey Kong Country2: Diddy's Kong Quest The Original Donkey Kong Country2 Soundtrack

15. Ryuuko no Ken 2 Image Album

16. Advance Wars Days of Ruin (DS game rip)

17. DIGITAL DEVIL SAGA ~Avatar Tuner~ 1 & 2 Original Sound Track: Integral

18. Sekaiju no MeiQ⁴ *denshou no kyoshin* Original Soundtrack

19. Demon's Crest (SNES game rip)

20. Monster Hunter 5th Anniversary Orchestral Concert

21. Rayman Origins

22. Guilty Gear XX Original Soundtrack





27. Panzer Dragoon Orta Original Soundtrack

28. Gradius ReBirth

29. Soul Calibur V Original Soundtrack

30. Borderlands 2 Original Soundtrack

jayavictory Apr 16, 2015

1. Chrono Trigger Original Sound Version

2. Chrono Cross Original Soundtrack

3. Final Fantasy VI Original Sound Version

4. Creid: Yasunori Mitsuda & Millennial Fair (Xenogears)

5. Symphonic Fantasies Tokyo

6. Dragon Quest IV Symphonic Suite

7. Pokemon Red/Green/Blue

8. Motoi Sakuraba Live Concert Album

9. Music from Ys

10. Final Fantasy IV Original Sound Version

11. Secret of Mana

12. Star Ocean: The Second Story Original Soundtrack

13. Final Symphony: Music From Final Fantasy VI, VII and X

14. Drammatica: The Very Best of Yoko Shimomura

15. Xenogears Original Soundtrack

16. Genso Suikoden Original Game Soundtrack

17. Echochrome Original Soundtrack

18. Capcom Music Generation Rockman 1~6

19. Ys IV ~The Dawn of Ys~ Perfect Collection Vol. 1

20. Vagrant Story Original Soundtrack

21. Nier Gestalt & Replicant Original Soundtrack

22. Napple Tale Original Soundtrack I

23. Super Mario Yoshi's Island Original Sound Version

24. Dragon Quest VIII Symphonic Suite

25. The Black Mages III: Darkness and Starlight

26. The Madness: Battle Garegga Perfect Soundtrack

27. Uncharted Waters II Special Edition

28. Final Fantasy VIII Fithos Lusec Wecos Vinosec

29. Soukaigi Original Soundtrack

30. Seiken Densetsu Sound Collections

Jon Turner Jan 10, 2022 (edited Jan 10, 2022)

1. Final Fantasy VI Original Sound Version - Not only is this my favorite game of all time, it's my favorite game soundtrack of all time.  Period.  Nobuo Uematsu outdid himself with this score, and honestly it's been hard to dethrone.  It is, in my honest opinion, his masterpiece.  The character themes, opera sequence, thunderously powerful "Dancing Mad" and equally epic Ending Theme all amount to three discs of pure musical perfection.

2. Chrono Trigger Original Sound Version - "Chrono Trigger" is my second favorite game of all-time, and also a great debut score for Yasunori Mitsuda.  Bursting with energy and liveliness, the score exudes beautiful melodies, pounding battle themes, and dramatic work.  Fantastic work all around.

3. Actraiser - Although this game was released back in 1991, this is one that I hold close to my heart.  It was the game that caused me to take a new look at videogame music with a new eye.  I became a fan of Yuzo Koshiro ever since.  Whoever would have thought that a cartridge-based game could produce such rich symphonic sounds?  For my money, it remains a classic to this day.

4. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Original Soundtrack - With the exception of the final battle, this is a very worthy follow-up to the original "Xenoblade", and in many ways it surpasses it.  It helps to have the participation of Yasunori Mitsuda for most of the work, as well as returnees ACE+ and Manami Kiyota.  The production values are even greater for this score, and the variety of compositions and orchestrations are fantastic.  The hauntingly melancholy opening theme "Where We Used To Be" sets the tone for the score, and many others rival their previous counterparts.  The ending song, "One Last You" is every bit the equivalent of XB1's "Beyond the Sky."  A modern masterpiece.

5. Xenoblade Original Soundtrack - A staggering achievement of a score for an equally outstanding game.  Veteran Yoko Shimomura turns in fine work, but the real bulk of the score is by ACE+, and their compositions really define the score as a whole.  The decision to weave night and day variations of the locations make for a nice touch as well.  The ending song is hauntingly beautiful as well.

6. The Legend of Zelda:  Skyward Sword Original Soundtrack - Why it took this one to be released on CD at all is a mystery, but that wait was worth it. Predecessor "Twilight Princess", although notable for its melancholy tone, only used one track with a full orchestra.  "Skyward Sword" is truly the first ZELDA soundtrack to take advantage of a full orchestra, and is all the richer because of it.  Particularly amazing cues are the epic "Sky" theme, Ghirahim's Spanish-flavored battle theme, a booming Polka-style mini-boss battle, and the breathtakingly beautiful seven minute finale.

7. Seiken Densetsu 3 Original Sound Version - Hiroki Kikuta's "Secret of Mana" comes close, but ultimately this is the richer and more balanced work.  A beautiful continuation of the musical style Kikuta provided us with his predecessor, "Trials of Mana" offers superior sound samples (which is saying a lot) and a rich library of compositions.  It's a great companion piece to have with its 1993 counterpart.

8. Seiken Densetsu 2 Original Sound Version - Up until I heard "Final Fantasy VI", I was convinced that this was some of the best videogame music of all time.  Today it still holds up, the compositions are as memorable and crisp as ever, and the sound quality holds up as well.  This is another keeper.

9. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Soundtrack - With "Ocarina of Time", Koji Kondo created one of his most massive, at the time, scores yet.  Despite the somewhat lacking sound samples of the N64 (a problem that would be rectified with other soundtracks), the score as a whole still holds up.  Particularly outstanding tracks include "Temple of Time", "Last Battle", and "Gerudo Valley."  Pony Canyon's album treatment of the score disappointingly cuts short some of the songs' lengths (including the great "Fire Temple", which is unfortunately chopped to 42 seconds), but the score is still highly recommended.

10. The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask Original Soundtrack - Although edged out by "Ocarina of Time", "Majora's Mask" still has its charms.  Adopting a darker, Chinese-flavored style for its basis with a jaunty, nearly Celtic "Clock Town" theme, this soundtrack matches the mood of the game's warped, darker world very well.  The return of the Overworld theme (whose omission was a sour disappointment for the otherwise superb Ocarina of Time) is a major plus as well.  The sound samples are still not that different from Ocarina, but for what it does, "Majora's Mask" handles itself well.

11. Dragon Quest VI Symphonic Suite (London Philharmonic) - I truly like all the Dragon Quest scores, really, I do.  But for some reason, the sixth entry stands out as being one of the strongest thus far.  Its battle themes, in particular, are among the series' best.  "Beating Shimmering Heart" is also very spooky and esoteric in its own way, and the compositions are very solid.  Capping off the package is the magnificent, Stravinsky-flavored "Eternal Lullaby", one of DQ's finest ending themes.

12. Symphony Ys '95 - Soothingly beautiful and epic simultaneously, this terrific "synth-phonic" treatment of Yuzo Koshiro's now iconic score for "Ys" is nothing short of an unbridled delight.  Tamiya Terashima does an outstanding job of translating the score to this format, without it ever losing its essence.

13. Final Fantasy Symphonic Suite

14. Wonder Project J 2 Original Soundtrack - This was composer Akihiko Mori's last score before his death.  Although somewhat hindered by a limited sound drive (a problem that plagued a lot of the N64 soundtracks), the composer still manages to create a gorgeous score that stretches across the emotional spectrum, touching the listener's heart.  It's a shame that this soundtrack has been forgotten over the years; even if you're not familiar with the composer or the game its based on, this is an album still worth considering.

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