The Top Songs from Surprisingly Great Video Game Soundtracks

(We figured they’d be good, but not THIS good.)

Castlevania: Vampire Killer

           If a chiptune is so recognizable that it’s synonymous with murdering Dracula, it must be something special. Upbeat, fast-paced, and dynamic, the chippy beats of Vampire Killer work tirelessly to deliver the kind of punchy head banger you need to fight the conniving, evil bloodsuckers.

Mortal Kombat: Techno Syndrome

           Brutally techno with a muffled, pixelated voice in the background daring you to “test your might,” Mortal Kombat’s main theme inspires exactly the kind of hype a fighting game needs. Beyond 24-bit, it has a little bit of everything from the game in it, from punch-like drum hits to zippy buzzes that stab like Scorpion’s kunai.

Tetris Effect: Connected

           From the moment the trailer launched to the first moments of the in-game experience, Connected had us all-in and fully committed to each prolonged synth and slow-building beat. The highlighted vocals plea to us inside resonating bells, guiding piece after piece of echoing, acute tetriminos through the hypnotic beat with “no end in sight for us.” It’s powerful, and results in the kind of love affair we continually try to rediscover.

Crypt of the Necrodancer: Stone Cold

           A game built entirely around keeping the beat really ought to have a soundtrack full of bangers, and because Crypt of the Necrodancer 100% delivers on that, it’s hard to choose just one song; Stone Cold, however, really hits the “unexpectedly amazing” proverbial nail. The song moves into phases abruptly and without warning, surrounding you with pulsating urgency that builds with each new layer of sound. It’s fast, nonstop, and dire, and perfectly complements the feeling of the game itself.

Persona 5: Beneath the Mask (Rain)

           A lowkey incredible game with a lowkey incredible soundtrack, Persona 5 really hit us with the last surprise on in-game rainy days, where we hear a stripped but somehow amplified version of Beneath the Mask. With no drum set to hide behind, you can actually feel the reverberation of the chimes as they flit from left to right through the watery streets, gently pulling you deeper and deeper into a puddle of bliss.

Bastion: Setting Sail, Coming Home

           Punches of rough percussion combine with guitar and violin strings to both haunt and inspire, while a gorgeous male/female duet dances just above the beat. The result feels forlorn, but hopeful, with each simultaneous part of the song conveying a different message of past and future. Setting Sail, Coming Home is the final track of the game, but with a lump in your throat, you’ll be hitting “repeat.” 

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