The 100 Most Iconic Video Game Soundtracks (100-81)

Video game soundtracks are what we’re gonna be talking about today. They’re an often overlooked yet crucial part of the games that elevate and enhance player enjoyment. Ever wonder why some games just stick with you even long after you’ve played them? That’s in no small part cause of the epic tunes they’re packing and making room in your subconsciousness.

Well, we’re not gonna waste any more time cause this is one ambitious undertaking. It’s kinda like our fellow writers who’re dedicating their time and efforts to bring you the best guides, such as the weapons tier list in Helldivers 2. Now, let’s go!

Which Video Game Soundtracks Are The Most Iconic?

Obviously, today’s list is heavily subjective. Let’s face it: When discussing video game BGM and soundtracks, bias and personal preference will come into play. However, we’ll do this list in parts, 5 to be exact, and it’ll be a top 100 by the end of it all.

The goal is to include the very best that most gamers are familiar with and some underrated ones that we wanna introduce to you all. Also, only one track per game. Otherwise, this list will just expand into the thousands, capeesh?! So, here’s to the first 20 out of the 100 most iconic video game osts.

[100]

Super Mario Bros – The Overworld Theme

Super Mario Bros. Overworld Theme is one of the most OG classic soundtracks in video game history.

We realize Nintendo’s not always the best with its strict enforcement of contest rules that harm community events. Its compromise on hardware allows emulators to run better games than even the Switch. But, then they do something like Golden Sun GBA titles to the Nintendo Switch Online Plus to hook us to their side. Super Mario Bros. is on the service for you to enjoy, too.

Speaking of iconic video game soundtracks. Once you boot up the very first Super Mario Bros. game and hear the overworld theme while looking at the visuals, it’s just an instant mood pick-me-up. Seriously, the techno-beat of the track meshes with an upbeat vibe and will keep you bobbing your head to it non-stop. We can’t get it out of our heads now; help!

[99]

Chrono Trigger – Peaceful Days Is One Of The Most Soothing Video Game Soundtracks

Chrono Trigger is one of those timeless video games with the most memorable soundtracks.

With the present trend of devs revisiting classic video games that deserve remakes, we’d like to present Chrono Trigger for consideration. Mostly because, as far as the G.O.A.T. of video games is concerned, many consider Chrono Trigger a strong contender. 

Chrono Trigger’s iconic soundtracks and game design, not to mention the writing, are top-caliber even by today’s video games. One of the major tracks from Chrono Trigger that just sublimely resonates with us is Peaceful Days. This one just hits different because of the wholesomeness and jubilant overtone that’ll put a smile on your face. It’s the perfect calm before the storm.

[98]

Transformers Armada – HQ Warpgate Theme

Tranformers Armada is one of the classic PS2 video games that's got a list of phenomenal soundtracks.

Alright, so a little bit of trivia: Transformers Armada on the PS2 is based on the cartoon show of the same name. This game, though, is for the hardcore gamers, not kiddies expecting a fun and easy time. We found that out the hard way when playing Transformers Armada. Seriously, the game’s difficulty curve was a shock to the system for us.

Luckily, the soundtracks for this game are huge motivators that kept us going. In particular, the HQ Warpgate theme in Transformers Armada really sets the mood for players, giving off a vibe of going on an epic adventure. Seriously, listen to it, then tell us it doesn’t deserve a place among iconic video game soundtracks. We dare ya!

[97]

Metal Gear Solid 1: Encounter is One The Most Ironically Iconic Soundtracks In Video Games

The first Metal Gear Solid game is among the most iconic and influential in the history of video games and it's soundtracks are also hella catchy.

Now, before y’all have a meltdown because of the relatively lower ranking, let’s take a few deep breaths, alright? Good! Now, hear us out. Metal Gear Solid 1 was Hideo Kojima’s brainchild, and we love the heck out of it. Nowadays, all the hype train is on Death Stranding 2.  Both IPs were unlike anything else in the gaming landscape and caught traction because of it.

Metal Gear Solid 1’s brilliance in level design and stealth-focused gameplay holds pioneering status in the genre. However, one of its coolest factors was also because it had the most panic-inducing yet entertaining video game soundtracks. Case in point, Encounter in Metal Gear Solid 1 is so iconic, yet ironically, if you hear it, it means you screwed up. Go figure.

[96]

Resident Evil 1 (OG/Remake) – Safe HavenTheme

Resident Evil 1 (OG/Remake) Safe Haven Theme.

Time to add a dash of survival horror to our list of exciting and iconic video game soundtracks. Well… we say that, but truthfully, the track we have in mind is one of the more relaxing pieces of music you’ll ever hear. No, really, do any of y’all remember the ambient dread and chilling atmosphere of Resident Evil 1?

Whether the OG PS1 title from back in the day or the remake, Resident Evil 1 is one of the pillars of survival horror. The scarcity of ammo, flesh-eating zombies, and whatever hellish monstrosities around every corner, it was just perfect. Amongst such a nightmarish scenario, imagine the surprise of hearing such an inviting allure that melted our fears away momentarily. It’s the iconic Safe Heaven soundtrack from Resident Evil 1.

[95]

Metal Slug 2 – Judgment (Desert Theme)

Meta Slug 2 - Judgement (Desert Theme) is one of the funniest and catchiest video game soundtracks ever.

Metal Slug series is infamous for its parody-esque hilarious facial animations. The addictive run-and-gunning gameplay, the quirky powerups, the indestructible camel, and the wonky story beats just feel amazing to experience. Metal Slug 2, in particular, has one of the most laugh-inducing soundtracks in video game history.

Seriously, the mix of animal-esque Arabic flavor to the beat will have you burst into laughter. Especially if you’re new to the franchise, the Judgment soundtrack of Metal Slug 2 will catch you off guard. We mean that in the best way possible. So, lend your ear to it.

[94]

Final Fantasy 1 Pixel Remaster – Matoya’s Cave Theme

Final Fantasy 1 Pixel Remaster's Matoya's Cave theme is fire.

A list of musical score and video game soundtracks is not complete without a Final Fantasy title. It’s just one of the sacred rules, folks. So, with that in mind, let’s talk about the one which kicked off the mega-franchise, eh? Specifically, we’re talking about the fantastic Final Fantasy 1 Pixel Remastered.

Yep, if you’ve not checked it out yet, you’re missing out. Also, when you get to the stage known as Matoya’s Cave, the theme that kicks in will instantly mesmerize you. The mysticality in this track is so full of captivating allure. It gives hope and then portrays the grandness of the adventure yet to come. Plus, it’s catchy as heck.

[93]

Super Bomberman – Main theme

Super Bomberman - Main theme.

Oh, Yeah, remember this little nugget of sunshine from back in the day? Yep, we sure do! Shush! We’re not old! We’re retro! Anyway, playing the classic Super Bomberman is an instant dose of nostalgia, one we can’t get enough of. The design is so timeless and has only aged like fine wine over the years.

You basically blow everything up and try not to get blown up in the process. It’s a unique twist to the Pac-Man gameplay formula. Plus, the main theme of Super Bomberman that rocks in the background is one of the most entertaining video game soundtracks ever! We rock out to it.

[92]

Pokemon Black & White – End Credits Theme

Pokemon Black & White are among the community's top-tier video Pokemon game lists with the best soundtracks.

Next up, we’ve got what is surely gonna be divisive, but hey, our list, our rules, so, tough luck to the haters. Pokemon Black and Pokemon White are the high points of the Pokemon games, and we’re ready to die on this hill. Part of the reason for that is because the background music and soundtracks for the Gen-5 Pokemon video games were epic as heck.

You know how you don’t realize you’ve lost something good until it’s over? That’s our sentiment when we reach the ending theme of the Pokemon Black and Pokemon White. The emotional high, the thrills, and the culmination of the entire experience just punch through the roof for us. Sure, the new Pokemon GO season is full of wonderful highlights, but Black & White is the peak for us.

[91]

Tekken 5 – Moonlit Wilderness

Tekken 5 - Moonlit Wilderness.

The first fighting game to debut in our ranking of the best video game soundtracks, and it’s a brilliant piece, too. The otherworldly and bizarre stage of Tekken 5, Moonlit Wilderness, is simply breathtaking. Possessing a high-energy and entirely unique arrangement, well, it just makes you feel like you’re experiencing a spiritual shift.

Fitting, too, as the art style and scenery in the background are oozing with atmosphere. Tekken 5 is already one of the best fighting games ever, and with this theme alone, it cements itself in our memory as a must-play from time to time. While Tekken 8’s making the airwaves with Kazyua’s Sneaker Sneaker collection, we’re perfectly content with Tekken 5’s dope self.

[90]

Mega Man X – Storm Eagle Theme

Mega Man X - Storm Eagle Theme.

Well, if it ain’t time for Capcom’s blue bomber himself to make a splash on our list of exciting video game soundtracks. That’s right, folks, another old-school classic is nabbing a spot, and it’s the super awesome Mega Man X. The soundtrack in question is from the Storm Eagle stage from Mega Man X.

It’s just a high-octane rush of adrenaline and intensity that fits the boss fight extremely well. You’ll be a platforming maestro if you can manage to survive the perils of this stage. Seriously, this is peak Mega Man, right here. The gameplay is just the right balance of challenge and learning curve. The soundtrack is just the cherry on top.

[89]

Divinity Original Sin II – Quirky Bones

Divinity Original Sin II- Quirky Bones.

Another RPG, and a pretty darn great one at that, graces our assembly of video game soundtracks that stand out. This time, we’ve got the magnificent Divinity Original Sin II, and the soundtrack is Quirky Bones. Believe you us, the first time we heard it, it just felt so addictive that we have it on repeat.

The high fantasy string sequence gives the track that punchy opening, and then the epicness just kicks in. The entirety of the track just picks up the hypnotic tune, and it’s kinda like the opening of Game Of Thrones, too.  While everyone’s messing around trying to skip the campaign in action RPG sensation Last Epoch, we’re here vibing to Divinity Original Sin II’s tune.

[88]

Ultimate Spider-Man – Open City 4

Ultimate Spider-Man with the Open City 4 theme.

We know everybody’s gushing over the newly released blockbuster Marvel’s Spider-Man 2. But hear us out, yeah? Now, let’s take a stroll through the time-stream back to the early 2000’s. Ultimate Spider-Man on the PlayStation 2 was such a mind-blowingly colorful and fun experience that we just gotta gush about it.

Specifically, during the free roam section, guess what? You also got to play as Venom and Spidey, both. The Ultimate Spider-Man’s Open City 4 soundtrack fits the gameplay so nicely. Giving that young generation metallic edge while also having that sense of freedom, too. It’s pretty great!

[87]

102 Dalmatians To The Rescue – Regent’s Park

102 Dalmatians: Puppies To The Rescue.

Another hidden gem to grace our list of top-notch video game soundtracks is 102 Dalmatians: Puppies To The Rescue. It was a wild time in 90’s, and devs weren’t phoning it in with games based on licensed properties. This particular game was just a treat to play, and every stage just stuck out because of the awesome level designs.

The gameplay felt so intuitive and easy, yet there was so much to do and it motivated us to 100% it. The soundtrack was the icing on the cake, particularly the first stage of 102 Dalmatians: Puppies To The Rescue, Regent’s Park. It gave off a fun-time vibe energy and carefree, joyous overtone that we could listen to it for hours.

[86]

Devil May Cry 2 – Dance With Devils Is One Of SSS Video Game Soundtracks

Devil May Cry 2 - Dance With Devils theme.

Well, you knew one of the Devil May Cry soundtracks was coming, so might as well, right? But seriously, for all its fault, Devil May Cry 2 also did a lot of things great, too. From the badass character designs and the overpowered abilities of Dante, and then there are those killer video game soundtracks.

The one that stuck out immediately was the boss fight music in Devil May Cry 2, Dance With Devils. It fits Dante perfectly in an ironic way. Makes sense that he was the actual boss instead of his enemies, who were just there for players to live out their power fantasy.

[85]

Kirby Planet Robobot – Vagrant Counting Song Of Retrospection

Kirby Planet Robobot - Vagrant Counting Song Of Retrospection.

Another of Nintendo’s mega franchises that just delivers consistently great video game soundtracks is Kirby. The one we’re focusing on for this one is Kirby Planet Robobot, and the tune is Vagrant Counting Song Of Retrospection. Yeah, talk about a mouthful, huh?

But you know what? This one just kicks into high gear from the get-go. It provides a huge, rapid sense of retro urgency from the side-scroller games of the classic NES days. The cutesy fuzzball might seem like he has no trouble dealing with enemies, but the sense of danger is emphasized in this theme, and how Kirby’s persistence and willpower help him prevail

[84]

Dark Cloud 1 – Main Theme Is Rightfully One Of the Best Video Game Soundtracks

Dark Cloud 1 - Main Theme.

Talk about an underrated gem of a video game with an even more underrated series of soundtracks, right? Dark Cloud is an absolutely wonderful RPG that should be getting more exposure from Sony. At least that’s what we’re wanting from them anyway. Imagine a Dark Cloud 3 release around the time of PS5 Pro? We’d lose our minds for sure!

But anyway, until such a time, we always have the incomparable Dark Cloud 1 and its amazing main theme to satiate us. The fun, upbeat, lively, and yet sophisticated tunes mesh together so well to give a really unique sequence. Plus, the soundtrack lays out the thought-provoking, heart-wrenching story you’ll experience.

[83]

Dark Souls – Firelink Shrine Theme Is One Of The Timeless Video Game Soundtracks

Dark Souls 1 Firelink Shrine theme is one of the most iconic video game soundtracks ever.

Oh, boy, sorry if the fandom has a meltdown, but we believe all other Dark Souls 1 video game soundtracks pale in comparison to the awesomeness of Firelink Shrine theme. We’re not kidding; we’re adamant about this point. The dark, depressing, and outright dangerous world of Dark Souls has very few locales that give you a sense of peace and comfort.

The Firelink Shrine is not without its own perils, but even still, the soundtrack is just so soothing. It’s almost like a lullaby for weary travellers to rest and take a break from the constant struggles. The only place where you can stretch your legs and kind of get your bearings without an ambus… well, mostly. But anyway, Firelink Shrine equals must-list music.

[82]

Kula World – Egypt 1 Theme Is Among Top-Tier Video Game Soundtracks

Kula World - Egypt 1 Theme.

Now, we’re gonna jump back to the days of PlayStation 1 demo disks. Specifically, the one that had the most unique video game ever with the most hauntingly beautiful soundtracks ever, Kula World. We gotta say, for all the lack of dialogue, story, and any sort of narrative hints, Kula World is a masterpiece.

Just the first stage alone in Kula World, with the Egypt 1 theme makes you just watch in awe. From the simple instrumental beginning that slowly rises to match the ticking clock, everything just flows so wonderfully. Kula World is one of Sony’s prized gems that’s just collecting dust and needs a remaster asap!

[81]

Red Dead Redemption: Born Unto Trouble

Red Dead Redemption: Born Unto Trouble Theme.

Whoa! Shocking, right? Didn’t expect to see one of the big dog video game soundtracks to show up this early on, huh? Well, that’s how we be. Boy, howdy, what an immersive soundtrack it is in Red Dead Redempion. That’s right, the first one from Rockstar when they used to develop games at a faster rate. Everyone’s gushing over the GTA VI reveal and discussing things missed.

But anyway, back to Red Dead Redemption, the one soundtrack that sets the tone for the lawless land journey is Born Unto Trouble. It holds so much foreshadowing for the tragedy that will come and is so emotionally rivetting. We listen to it constantly when to soak in its greatness.

Our List Of Amazing Video Game Soundtracks RemainsTo Be Continued

Welp, that’s gonna do it for this one, folks. You get 20 a pop, so look forward to part 2 of the catchiest video game soundtracks soon. So, then, what’s the verdict here, folks? Y’all like our curation or severely disagree with our picks? Either way, leave your thoughts in the comments below; we’d love to get a discussion going with y’all.

If you’re still hankering for something newish, take a gander at our favorite upcoming 2024 most anticipated Roblox games. You’ll definitely enjoy it if that’s your thing. Until next time, happy gaming everybody!

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Rafi Ahmed
Rafi Ahmed
Retro(and modern) gamer, proud comic geek, anime connoisseur, and opinionated peach without a filter. I'm bringing you hot takes, recommendations, and what-if fantasy scenarios and championing the gamer cause against corporate greed. You're welcome!

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