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The best video game soundtracks to revisit in 2024

From classical symphonies and industrial noise to acid jazz and synthwave, these game soundtracks leave no stone left unturned.

Update: While most of us play games for the story, gameplay, or sometimes, the name attached to it, there sometimes comes a time in which you want to play a game just for it's banging soundtrack. There's no shortage of games with the best soundtracks out there, so we've updated this list with additional information and new entries so you've more musically-pleasing games to give a go.

The amount of video games with soundtracks that slap is immense, and the list continues to grow, with new classics like Baldur's Gate 3 joining an already stacked lineup. From atmospheric melodies to synthwave sounds and beyond, it can be quite whimsical how some of the best video game soundtracks will often have you feeling affectionately towards genres of music or specific songs that you may have never given a second thought to otherwise.

There are a mass of brilliant soundtracks out there, but which ones would we argue are the best of the best? I very well could be here all day listing various contenders, but I’ve done my best to try and narrow it down to just a dozen or so, and I’ll no doubt be mad at myself in less than 24 hours when someone points out yet another brilliant soundtrack that didn’t make the cut.

Music is one of the most important factors of a game for me, which is why I found myself so disappointed when the soundtrack for Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands didn’t live up to how fun the Borderlands’ soundtracks were. However, music isn’t there merely for fun and entertainment value, but to aid with telling a game’s story too. So, as Tiny Tina opted for a fantastical soundtrack this time around, I could appreciate how it added to the game more so than Cage the Elephant or The Heavy might’ve done.

Best video game soundtracks to revisit in 2023

Here are some of the best video game soundtracks of all time, in no particular order; with some honourable mentions made to other deserving soundtracks that didn’t quite make the cut.

Baldur's Gate 3

  • Released: 2023
  • Platforms: PC, PS5
  • Composer: Borislav Slavov

Baldur's Gate 3 is an incredible game on so many fronts, but its twinkling and dreamy soundtrack is its crowning glory.

The recurring refrain from the main theme, which reappears as a motif constantly throughout your adventure, is an instantly iconic stroke of genius that has you humming along in quiter times and pumping your fist as it underscores climactic moments.

While it's the newest entry on this list, it's already destined to become a classic.


  • Released: 2020
  • Platforms: PC, PlayStation, Xbox
  • Composer: Darren Korb

Supergiant Games has one of the most sonically arresting back-catalogues in gaming. From the fizzing cyberpunk strings of Transistor to now the moody, spooky, metal-infused soundscape of Hades, the way that composer Darren Korb and co blend narratively appropriate aspects of music theory into their songs is unmatched.

For example, take the Good Riddance duet between Orpheus and Eurydice, who sing at the relative minor and major keys to the main theme to reflect the pessimism and optimism of either character.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

  • Released: 2020
  • Platforms: Nintendo Switch
  • Composers: Kazumi Totaka, Yasuaki Iwata, Yumi Takahashi, Shinobu Nagata, Sayako Doi, and Masato Ohashi

I’ll be the first to admit that there’s better video game soundtracks out there than that of any Animal Crossing game. Yet, the soundtrack that changed hourly in Animal Crossing: New Horizons holds such a special place in my heart.

Maybe it’s the fact that I spent nearly 200 hours terraforming my island during the pandemic, or maybe it’s that so many content creators have since used the music of New Horizons to create their own cosy content.

Either way, the soundtrack for Animal Crossing: New Horizons has two main associations for me: calm, and cosy. That’s what Animal Crossing is about; the games are escapism at its finest. Even if Tom Nook is regularly reminding you of the impending doom of capitalism, New Horizons’ soundtrack reminds you that it’s going to all be okay.

Super Mario 64

  • Released: 1996
  • Platforms: Nintendo 64, Nintendo DS (remake), Nintendo Switch (via Super Mario 3D All-Stars)
  • Composer: Koji Kondo

Super Mario 64 hit it on the head when trying to make fun tracks for every environment. It’s near impossible to neglect how the likes of level music like Cool, Cool Mountain makes you feel like you’re on top of the clouds as you actually traverse them, while Dire Dire Docks slowed things down a lot, probably so you didn’t panic at the site of the huge eels.

Every track - even that of ability-based music such as Metallic Mario - perfectly intertwines with whatever is happening on your screen or whichever area you’re running through. I simply can’t imagine a Super Mario 64 level without the soundtrack echoing in my head, too; the music truly made this game feel all the more immersive and magical as a child.

The Sims

  • Released: 2000
  • Platforms: PC
  • Composer: Jerry Martin

I’m not sorry for this. Not one bit. I spent most of my childhood playing The Sims games on PS2, and later, Nintendo DS. Almost every single one of those games has something that surprisingly goes hard.

A group of Sims chatting in a modern living room setting.
Image credit: Maxis / Electronic Arts

I refer you to the SIM Hoe Down. That’s all.


  • Released: 2015
  • Platforms: PC, Mac OS, PS4, PS Vita, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
  • Composer: Toby Fox

It’s still rather wild to think that Undertale was created by just one person: Toby Fox. The characters, the charming dialogue, and every single piece of music was crafted by the solo developer.

All the while, the soundtrack for Undertale feels incredibly varied, and it becomes all the more surprising that each individual track came from one creator rather than a team of composers.

It’s a soundtrack that is incredibly hard to tire of, especially as you go from the games subtle and twinkly early tracks Once Upon A Time and Memory, to the alternatively upbeat tunes of ASGORE and MEGALOVANIA.

There’s around one hundred pieces of music in Undertale, none of them feel the same, and it’s surprising how many of them become deep-seated in your memory.

Silent Hill

  • Released: 1999
  • Platforms: PS1, PS3, PC (Emulation)
  • Composer: Akira Yamaoka

The sound of Silent Hill is that of Akira Yamaoka, and the original Silent Hill opening from 1999 is unforgettable. For much of the series, Yamaoka provided music that will forever make Silent Hill one of the most iconic horror games in history.

Silent Hill’s opening is a string-laden tune, and it’s the perfect introduction to a story that is so incredibly full of confusion and despair. Glimpses of what’s to come appear, acting as a warning message, and the eeriness of what is one of the more lively tunes in Silent Hill soon fill you with dread.

The entire soundtrack fills you with anticipation for the horror experience, and as you advance through Silent Hill, Yamaoka’s music is teaming with ambience, synthesisers and/or harsh industrial noises to propel your fear. Additionally, Yamaoka knows exactly when and how to make the sounds swell and burst into your eardrums, giving you goosebumps before you’ve even turned the next corner.

Yamaoka later left Konami for indie development, and there’s more on him next.

Let It Die

  • Released: 2016
  • Platforms: PC, PS4
  • Music Director: Akira Yamaoka

Let It Die is a game that has never been on my radar, and never would’ve been if VG247 guides editor, James Billcliffe, didn’t make me aware of it. The game is a free-to-play RPG developed by Grasshopper Manufacture, and for some reason, has music from over 100 Japanese bands.

James stresses that the multiple albums worth of music created for the game were done so with little to no reason, other than they had the budget, and well, for the fun of it, if I had to assume. Now, even though Let It Die isn’t something I plan on playing (because it is notoriously pay-to-win), I did end up in a YouTube hole exploring all the different musicians that contributed to the soundtrack.

Needless to say, I was impressed by the sheer amount of music on offer for this game, and how much of it was good. I suppose when you’re letting Akira Yamaoka direct the soundtrack, you can’t go wrong.

Yamaoka contacted hundreds of musicians that he was in admiration of, simply asking that they create a track titled ‘Let It Die’. That’s it. The end result is Let It Die’s 100+ track OST; it’s ambitious, and somewhat overwhelming, but it’s incredibly captivating to see each musician’s reimagination of the simple theme.

Narita Boy

  • Released: 2021
  • Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
  • Composer: Salvador Fornieles

I am such a sucker for synthwave in all forms, so I have to make mention to Narita Boy’s soundtrack. Created by Studio Koba, Narita Boy is an indie platformer that takes inspiration from 80s themes, reimagines them through an innovative lens, and then lets this spill over into its soundtrack.

An original score by Salvinsky, each track takes you somewhere fresh yet experimental, much in line with the futuristic nature of the game. Frankly, there isn’t a single song from Salvinsky’s soundtrack that falters as you heroically work to restore the Creator’s memories in a haunting landscape. Take a look at Beat Em Up.

Hotline Miami

  • Released: 2012
  • Platforms: PC, Mac OS, PS3, PS Vita, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Android
  • Composer: Jasper Byrne

Yet another soundtrack fuelled by synth and electronic noises, Hotline Miami keeps the pace up with its music. A third-person shooter in a brightly-coloured 8-bit realm, the game is equal parts frustrating and fun.

As you repeatedly die to the same level over and over (or at least, I did, anyway), it’s often the music that seems to encourage you to keep on going. Multiple musicians worked on the soundtrack to Hotline Miami, crafting a noisy yet hypnotic soundtrack packed with entrancing electronics and often, a really good beat for beating people up.

Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest

  • Released: 1995
  • Platforms: SNES, GameBoy Advance, Wii/WiiU (via Virtual Console), Nintendo Switch (via Online)
  • Composer: David Wise

David Wise was the sole composer at Rare for nearly a decade, and has gained legendary status since for his work on the likes of Battletoads, Diddy Kong Racing, and let’s not forget Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest.

What makes the upbeat melodies and energetic electronic sounds on display all the more impressive is the lengths that David Wise went to in order to compose and produce such a soundtrack back in the nineties. Every piece of music has unparalleled detail when it comes to technical trickery, including more sombre tracks such as In a Snow-Bound Land, and the final product is a soundtrack that will receive praise evermore.


  • Released: 2017
  • Platforms: PC, Mac OS, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
  • Composer: Kristofer Maddigan

Cuphead, as explicitly seen through gameplay and heard through music, takes great inspiration from the early 1930s. The result is an incredibly jazzy and loud soundtrack, accompanying visuals reminiscent of old-school animations, like Disney’s early Mickey Mouse and Silly Symphonies shorts.

Cuphead’s soundtrack is composed by Kristofer Maddigan, and each piece of music was performed live by a 13-piece big band, accompanied by more musicians, and even a tap dancer. The soundtrack’s biggest inspirations came from Duke Ellington and Scott Joplin, highly reflected in a soundtrack that is a hybrid of jazz, ragtime, and experimentation.

If you’ve played Cuphead, you’ll know that it can feel chaotic at the best of times, and its soundtrack works brilliantly to amplify that with the upmost rhythm.


I've neglected to note the release year, platform, and composers here purely because there are an abundance of Castlevania titles and spin-offs with astonishing soundtracks that span over two decades.

Another point to Konami. Castlevania is very different to that of Silent Hill, but still possesses a haunting score primarily written by Satoe Terashima and Kinuyo Yamashita.

I make mention to the whole series, as it wouldn’t be right of me - someone who is far from a Castlevania expert - to pick apart which game does it best. I’ll leave the discussion of which game has the best music to those with more of an affinity towards the series.

Either way, there’s no denying that Symphony of the Night’s Moonlight Nocturne by a later composer to join the team, Michiru Yamane, is one wholly amazing music piece for filling players with anticipation as they begin the game.


  • Released: 2018
  • Platforms: PC, Mac OS, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
  • Composer: Lena Raine

You got me, I’m a sucker for twinkly sounds; but doesn’t everyone love them, at least a little bit? If you do, then Celeste is simply the one. First Steps was all it took for me to fall in love with the soundtrack to this pixelated platformer.

There is more than what meets the eye when it comes to Celeste, however. As you traverse a mountain and be a hero, everything is an analogy for something much deeper, and that’s working through your own struggles mentally. The soundtrack, composed by Lena Raine, works to emphasise the journey you and your character are going on.

Almost every song has feelings of both tenseness and curiosity to them, and while they function so effortlessly as a component of Celeste’s narrative, they have been a big hit outside of the game too - rightly so.

Chrono Trigger

  • Released: 1995
  • Platforms: PC, SNES, PS1, PS3, PSP and PS Vita (via PSN), Nintendo DS
  • Composers: Yasunori Mitsuda, and Nobuo Uematsu

Chrono Trigger’s soundtrack was primarily composed by Yasunori Mitsuda. However, Final Fantasy composer, Nobuo Uematsu, contributed a few tracks too. At the time, Mitsuda wasn’t prepared to stay with Square Enix unless he could compose music.

So, when Hironobu Sakaguchi suggested Mitsuda score Chrono Trigger, it was the beginning of something beautiful. The composer worked tirelessly to create something fantastical and, quite literally, out of this world and most importantly, something that felt consistent.

It’s needless to say that Mitsuda succeeded with this, and the resulting soundtrack is a vast mixture of jazz, rock, and grunge, all while feeling incredibly harmonious one after the other.

Chrono Cross also soon followed, with yet another outstanding soundtrack by Mitsuda.


  • Released: 2016
  • Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
  • Composer: Mick Gordon

The original Doom games also have emblematic soundtracks that shouldn’t go unmentioned, but it is the soundtrack to DOOM (2016) by Mick Gordon that stands out the most.

Though quite different to the synths and twinkly tones mentioned in this list, DOOM has a roster of prog-metal tracks with industrial infusions and plenty of breakdowns, all of which accompany DOOM’s gameplay remarkably.

Specifically, reimaginations of the classics, such as Harbinger and At Doom’s Gate, still remaining faithful to the soundtracks of its predecessors while offering a harsher and unrelenting sound that helps to capture the bloodbath that is DOOM.

Final Fantasy

Similarly to Castlevania, I've left out the release year, platforms, and composer here purely because there are multiple Final Fantasy titles with amazing soundtracks to pick from.

This would not be a list of the best video game soundtracks without making mention to Final Fantasy. I make mention to Final Fantasy on the whole simply because of how prolific the music is across the board. VG247 assistant editor, Alex Donaldson, has a lot more to say about me on the topic. Namely that, really, there’s only one video game series musically rich enough to support an orchestra concert at scale, and that is Final Fantasy.

In fact, Alex spoke in depth with Arnie Roth, conductor of Distant Worlds, a few years ago about how music is Final Fantasy’s legacy.


  • Released: 2016
  • Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
  • Composer: Mick Gordon

Often credited as a soundtrack that gets people into gaming soundtracks in general, Halo's iconic main theme is just the most recognizable composition in a tracklist that's as grand and epic as the galaxy-spanning series itself.

One of the original and still best examples of how modern orchestral and instrumental music can reach a wider audience through gaming, millions of people still reach for Halo's soundtrack whenever they're looking for concentration or inspiration.


  • Released: 2012
  • Platforms: PC, PS4, PS3
  • Composer: Austin Wintory

Journey is a strange game at first. You begin as a robed stranger venturing through the desert toward a distant mountain, often encountering strangers along the way who may help you, and vice versa. You can't talk to the strangers you meet, and you won't find out who helped you until after the credits roll, but they'll still insist on having a profound impact on you.

Watch on YouTube

Accompanied by a score from Austin Wintory, Journey's music accompanies everything you do and responds to your actions in a dynamic manner. It was so good, in fact, that it was one of the first video games to be nominated for a Grammy Award in 2013. If you fancy a game that will take you on an emotional journey alongside a moving soundtrack, Journey is perfect for you.

Civilisation VI

  • Released: 2016
  • Platforms: PC, Mobile, Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One
  • Composer: Geoff Knorr, with Roland Rizzo, Phill Boucher

Civilisation VI is among one of the best strategy games of all time. In this tactical turn-based game, you'll pick a civilisation and try help them grow into a grand empire, whether that's via military domination, cultural influence, or otherwise. Aside from genuinely fun gameplay that only becomes better with friends, Civilisation VI has an epic soundtrack.

Watch on YouTube

All of the Civilisation games do, really, and your favourite soundtrack no doubt depends on which version of the game you grew up with, or your love of Christopher Tin's iconic 'Baba Yetu' from Civilisation IV. That said, Geoff Knorr, Roland Rizzo, and Phill Boucher's soundtrack for Civilisation VI (excluding the main theme, which is also composed by Christopher Tin), is an exceptional one.

Each civilisation has its own music, with melodies changing as time progresses and new era's arrive. In a game all about turn-based strategy, you'll find yourself bopping along to the sound of varying civilisations on a regular basis, and will regularly admire how tunes change during your time spent playing the game.


  • Released: 2011
  • Platforms: PC, Mobile, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, Wii U, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5
  • Composer: C418, Lena Raine

Minecraft, the survival-crafting game from Mojang, has a delightful soundtrack. It's electronic and calming, perfect for accompanying you as you explore the depths of your worlds caves, build your base of operations, and ultimately - probably - fight the Ender Dragon.

Image credit: Mojang Studios

Primarly composed by C418, who has spoke about how they've been inspired by experimental music and Aphex Twin, the soundtrack is simple but extremely comforting (thanks, Motherboard). It's the type of soundtrack you could easily listen to while exploring any beautiful in-game realm, and is one that has actually helped me get to sleep multiple times. A sad admission, I know, but it's just that good and that relaxing. It's the perfect accompiment for the blocky world of Minecraft, and with Celeste's Lena Raine later being involved in composing for Minecraft updates, you know it's undeniably good.

Jet Set Radio

  • Released: 2000
  • Platforms: Dreamcast, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
  • Composer: Hideki Naganuma

Jet Set Radio released in the Dreamcast era, so it's a little before my time, but I've been around long enough to at least hear people's endless praise for the game from Smilebit and BlitWorks. In this action game, you'll be skating around the streets of Tokyo, doing all manner of antisocial activities.

While you go around tagging the city with your graffiti, you'll also be accompanied by a lively, stellar soundtrack from Hideki Naganuma. It's bouncy, electronic, varied, but never boring. Games like Hi-Fi Rush and Bomb Rush Cyberfunk have come close to capturing the energy of this game and its soundtrack, but for people who miss Jet Set Radio greatly, there's good news. SEGA revealed during the 2023 game awards that Jet Set Radio is being remade.

Honourable Mentions

Other honourable mentions are owed to the following: Halo 3, Dark Souls, Demon’s Souls, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Shin Megami Tensei 5, Hollow Knight, Ridge Racer, Deathloop, Hades, Hollow Knight, Portal 2, NieR:Automata, Everybody’s Gone to Rapture, Super Metroid, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, Katamari Damacy, Metal Gear Solid 3, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

There you have it. What do you think are the best video game soundtracks of all time? Let us know. In the meantime, take a look at some of the best horror games of all time, or if that's too scary for you, some of the best co-op games.

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