This week is E3, the Electronic Entertainment Expo, the world’s most famous video game expo. There’s a lot of excitement among gamers this time of year, as a bunch of new info is released by all the developers ragarding what they’re working on for the future. So today, I figured I’d list some of my favorite video game soundtracks today, in celebration of all gamers!
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
Was Grand Theft Auto: Vice City the greatest Grand Theft Auto Game? Probably not, did it have the best graphics? No, the biggest map? No, the best story? No. Then why is it my absolute favourite game in the series, and possibly my favourite video game of all time!? The immersion factor. GTA Vice City took place in 1986, in a city based on Miami, Florida. A huge part of the experience was the soundtrack, which featured some of the biggest hits from REO Speedwagon, Judas Priest, A Flock of Seagulls, Run DMC, Michael Jackson, Kool & The Gang, Toto, Slayer, and many others on the in-game radio. It was AWESOME taking a tank and running over pedestrians to “Raining Blood”, but it also was a lot of fun taking the Hunter helicopter, and blowing up stuff while jamming out to “Sister Christian” by Night Ranger. The game also exposed me to a few songs I never heard before and probably would’ve been left in the 1980’s if it weren’t for this game, especially songs on the rap station. It really made the experience authentic, the vibe, and the music was so much larger than life, and it just felt so 1980’s.
Here’s the 10th anniversary trailer for Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. Keep in mind, the game is Rated “M” for mature, so some of the content may be NSFW
2K Sports’ baseball franchise has had a bad rap for its gameplay, which has always lagged behind Sony’s MLB: The Show series, but it’s hard to come up with a sports game with a better soundtrack than MLB 2k7. The Stooges, The Pixies, The Editors, Sublime, Nerf Herder, The Specials, The Walkmen, Tapes N’ Tapes, Nirvana, and many more were featured on the soundtrack. These songs may not have fit in with a baseball game, or have ever been played at a sporting event, but it was such a cool soundtrack, and it turned me onto a few bands on the soundtrack, including The M’s, who released an absolutely fantastic record entitled Future Women which came out in 2006, and they’ve also released a split with Dr. Dog.
Okay, from a gameplay perspective, this game sucked, but the soundtrack and the music choice for different scenes throughout the game made the story feel epic. It didn’t have as many big names as Vice City or Rock Band, but it had a great smattering of indie artists, featuring Mellowdrone, and The Raveonettes. One of the coolest intros to any game is the opening of DRIV3R, mostly thanks to the scenes of Miami and the introduction of the main character, Tanner, set to Mellowdrone’s “C’mon Try A Little Bit”.
Here’s the dramatic intro to Driv3r, the part with “C’mon Try A Little Bit” comes in at about 2:00
Super Smash Brothers: Brawl
This is the only game on here with an original soundtrack, and I am definitely cheating with this one, a little bit. Besides being an all-star mash up of all of the great Nintendo characters through the years, the game also features a greatest hits of original music and remixes of iconic Nintendo soundtracks. It’ has fully orchestrated versions of theme songs from The Legend Of Zelda, Pokemon and Super Mario Bros. It’s got the DK rap, and and the addition of Sonic The Hedgehog brought in tracks from the Sonic series, which would have many games that I would a very honorable mention to this list. This game’s soundtrack is a video game nerd’s dream.
Rock Band (Series)
I was going to just post about the original Rock Band soundtrack, but this series has over a thousand songs available for it, across multiple games and add-on packs. The game put the player in the role of performer, and allowed people who weren’t really musically talented to live out rock and roll fantasies from inside their living rooms. The soundtrack to the series featured huge bands like Smashing Pumpkins, Metallica, Radiohead, The Ramones, Nirvana, Weezer, and countless others. There were games dedicated to The Beatles, Green Day, and Pearl Jam, and there were huge downloadable packs that included anything from a full album like Doolittle or London Calling, or career-spanning greatest hits packs, like they did for The Who or The Doors. Sadly they have stopped releasing new content for the game, but a few independent coders have decided to take things into their own hands and are still creating content for the game, and last week actually just released songs from Against Me!, Primus, and The Beatles.
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