Posted on November 14, 2012
My Top 10: The Best of the Rest!
I’ve counted down my favourite 8-bit and 16-bit tunes, but there have been quite a few games since that have had very memorable soundtracks. The only “problem” is that they were across so many different platforms, I’m not really able to make a list for every console. It wouldn’t really feel right.
That being said, here’s the best of the rest. From Sega Genesis to PC, to PlayStation 1 and the Xbox 360, here are my favourites of the bunch.
10. Syphon Filter (PS1) – Rhoemer’s Stronghold
I think what makes this song memorable is actually the level that it plays in. Within the walls of a creepy old cathedral, Logan sneaks around to this music. It creeped me out back in the day, and I am greatly looking forward to going back to play this game, some day.
9. Super Mario 64 (N64) – Dire, Dire Docks
Of all the things that truly got me excited about Super Mario 64, it was actually the bleak setting for the Dire, Dire Docks level. It wasn’t a happy-looking place, and the music had that mellow underwater feel to it… it showed what could be done when 3D graphics came together with music to set a truly unique atmosphere.
8. Metroid Prime (GameCube) – Space Pirate Battle
Most of the music in Prime fits perfectly with the environments Samus finds herself in. When the proverbial poo-poo hits the fan and Space Pirates attack her from all sides, this tune has me calmly humming along through the craziness as I blast their hides into oblivion.
7. Mortal Kombat II (Arcade) – Prologue: The Battlefield
One of the things that always impressed me the most about arcade cabinets was the sound that came from them. Sure, the graphics always looked nice, but the way they cranked those sound effects, and the music… man. So great. I’d start playing other games in the arcade, but MKII had this epic “attract mode” music that always sucked me right back in.
6. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Genesis) – Emerald Hill
I’m not sure why, but long before I chose to play the bass guitar, my ear was always trained to focus on the bass line in a song. Instead of the melody, I’d always hum the bass line. Weird. In any event, this is one of my favourites to hum along to, whenever I borrowed someone’s Genesis.
5. Half-Life 2 (PC) – CP Violation
City 17 is a creepy place… but when you’re walking down that railway tunnel and this techno-ey two-note tune comes on, you just want to start dancing. Well, after disposing of some flaming fuel canisters and angry guards, of course.
4. Doom (PC) – Episode 1, Mission 1
I can still picture our old one-piece 486 computer. It had those tinny speakers on each side of the “base”, just below the screen, and the volume controls were up and down buttons, not turnable knobs… so the sound was either on pretty loudly, or not on at all. Annoying for most things, but I liked the music and sound in that shareware version of Doom enough to crank it anyway.
3. Super Street Fighter II (Arcade) – Vega Stage
You know, I’m still not sure who is who (canonically) in the Street Fighter series. M. Bison, Vega and Balrog all had alternating names in various versions of the game, and I’m still confused. All I know is that the dude with the mask and claws will always be Vega to me, and he had the best stage music in the game.
2. GoldenEye 007 (N64) – Facility
Of all the levels I’ve played over and over when going through this game, the Facility is the one I’ve played the most. That friggin’ Invincibility cheat, man. I could never get it. I eventually did, but this music is etched into my brain forever.
1. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (GameCube) – Dragon Roost Island
Of all the 3D Zelda games, Wind Waker by far has the best music… this is the best song from an incredible soundtrack. Amazing!