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30 Beautiful Video Game Compositions You Need To Hear

30 Beautiful Video Game Compositions You Need To Hear

Within video games you will find innovative and extraordinary modern music. The highly creative nature of the industry, which promotes unrestricted imagination, has resulted in an exceptional array of diverse recordings over the last three decades.

To celebrate the genre, here are 30 examples of brilliant video game compositions (you can find many of the complete soundtracks on YouTube), and the geniuses behind them.

1 . Donkey Kong Country

David Wise’s Aquatic Ambiance, from the famous 1994 SNES game, begins the list. A British composer, Wise joined developers Rare in the 1980s and has since created a critically acclaimed body of work.

2. Donkey Kong Country 2

The Donkey Kong Country sequel from 1995 improved on the original, with Stickerbush Symphony remaining one of the finest recordings.

3. Donkey Kong Country 3

Wise concluded the Donkey Kong Country trilogy in 1996 with another sublime selection of compositions. Frosty Frolic remains a particularly enduring piece.

4. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

After a brief spell away from music, Wise returned to work on Tropical Freeze in 2013. The result is a wonderful soundtrack for the Wii U edition, with Grassland Groove proving a big hit with fans.

5. Okami

This unique title also offered an inspired soundtrack. Infused with Japanese culture, the compositions are mesmerizing. It was such an achievement Capcom won the Best Soundtrack at the 2007 Video Game BAFTAs.

6. Secret of Mana

A role-playing game from 1993, Secret of Mana was not only brilliant, but complemented by an emotive soundtrack by Hiroki Kikuta. The title now holds legendary status within the gaming community.

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7. Rayman Origins

http://youtu.be/efO5kApequ4

Ubisoft’s extraordinarily imaginative Rayman Origins is overloaded with innovative music. Desert of Dijiridoos’ Lost Beats is one of the many highlights.

8. Rayman Origins

http://youtu.be/tNqRRXr3YXY

From the underwater levels on The Sea of Serendipity, it’s clear why Rayman Origins’ soundtrack is so well regarded. This is The Lum’s Dream (Glou Glou).

9. The Curse of Monkey Island

LucasArts hit new highs with this remarkable soundtrack – a popular inclusion at video game music orchestral performances. Michael Land composed the music to this charming 1997 adventure game.

10. EarthBound

An enigmatic RPG from 1994, EarthBound (Mother 2 in Japan) has only just become available to Europeans. The soundtrack was composed by Hiroshi Kanazu, Keiichi Suzuki, and Hirokazu Tanaka.

11. Final Fantasy VII

Arguably the finest moment in the Final Fantasy franchise, VII reached a peak in storytelling and emotional impact. Nobuo Uematsu composed the unforgettable music.

12. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

Still considered by many to be the best game ever, Ocarina of Time naturally showcased many mesmerizing compositions. The Forest Temple piece is a highlight – Koji Kondo composed the game’s music.

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13. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

Twilight Princess built on the increasingly mature themes of the Zelda series. Toru Minegishi, Asuka Ota, and Koji Kondo were the composers.

14. Halo 2

The landmark Halo series had its critically acclaimed soundtracks composed by American Martin O’Donnell. This is Peril, from the second release in the franchise.

15. The Last of Us

One of the finest games of 2013, The Last of Us boasted some extraordinary musical moments. Gustavo Santaolalla was the composer – he’s the winner of two Oscars for his work on the films Brokeback Mountain and Babel.

16. Assassin’s Creed II

Jesper Kyd is the composer for the series’ much celebrated music. Also employed for the second Assassin’s Creed game was a 35-person string ensemble and a choir.

17. Super Mario 64

A legendary title from Shigeru Miyamoto, Super Mario 64 revolutionized the games industry in 1996. It’s still a classic, and its music is as beautiful as ever. This is Dire Dire Docks, as composed by Koji Kondo.

18. Super Mario Galaxy 2

Nintendo’s composer, Koji Kondo, employed some 60 musicians for what was dubbed the “Mario Galaxy Orchestra,” a symphony orchestra offering new depth to the Mario series. This is a more playful composition, highlighting the franchise’s sense of fun, known as Puzzle Plank Galaxy.

19. Super Mario 3D World

One of the very best games from 2013, the latest Super Mario title offers more inventive takes on Mario’s musical landscape.

20. Bit.Trip Presents…Runner2

This fiendishly addictive platformer boasts arguably the best soundtrack from 2013. A heady mix of jazz and dance, it’s exhilarating stuff. Petrified Productions provided the music – this piece is Superfunk.

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21. Lost Winds

A humble platformer from 2008, Lost Winds utilized minimalistic Japanese music to great effect.

22. World of Goo

This wonderfully quirky soundtrack was created by Kyle Gabler. This track, Brave Adventures, has vocal sections performed by two people – Gabler used a keyboard to amplify the effect. The World of Goo soundtrack was released, free of charge, in 2009. You can download it here.

23. Bastion

Mine, Windbag, Mine is from the highly creative Bastion soundtrack by Darren Korb. What he has dubbed as “acoustic frontier trip hop” makes up the compositions, with the intention to be as innovative as possible.

24. Journey

2012’s acclaimed PS3 game had its soundtrack composed by Austin Wintory. He based the soundtrack around one theme, with heavy use of the cello in order to represent the player. This track is called Reclamation.

25. Shadow of the Colossus

http://youtu.be/UmkRKotTQ9w

This is Swift Horse from the outstanding soundtrack by Kō Ōtani from the 2005 PlayStation 2 game.

26. Skyrim

http://youtu.be/Cmp5fr4wUEA

Jeremy Soule composed the music for Skyrim, relying on a choir of over 30 men for certain sections of the game.

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27. World of Warcraft

For an MMORPG like the World of Warcraft series, a brilliant soundtrack is a necessity. Developers Blizzard have used over a dozen composers since the game’s inception in 2004, with sheet music for the many recordings released in 2011.

28. Jet Force Gemini

Rare’s 1999 N64 classic was home to some of the most advanced music ever heard in a video game. Robin Beanland composed it all – this is Water Ruin. 

29. Earthworm Jim 2

http://youtu.be/8OtrgZ2r2GA

Composer Tommy Tallarico used inspiration from classical music (primarily Beethoven) for a number of Earthworm Jim 2’s distinctive tracks. This is one of Tallarico’s original creations, from the level Lorenzo’s Soil.

30. Metroid Prime

Nintendo’s remarkable Metroid Prime Trilogy featured ethereal music that perfectly complemented its futuristic themes. This is the iconic opening world music, which is remixed from a level in the 1994 SNES game Super Metroid. Kenji Yamamoto and Kouichi Kyuuma created the soundtrack.

Featured photo credit: Video Games Live/Roxanne Ready via flickr.com

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Alex Morris

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Last Updated on November 20, 2018

10 Reasons Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail

10 Reasons Why New Year’s Resolutions Fail

A new year beautifully symbolizes a new chapter opening in the book that is your life. But while so many people like you aspire to achieve ambitious goals, only 12% of you will ever experience the taste of victory. Sound bad? It is. 156 million people (that’s 156,000,000) will probably give up on their resolution before you can say “confetti.” Keep on reading to learn why New Year’s resolutions fail (and how to succeed).

Note: Since losing weight is the most common New Year’s resolution, I chose to focus on weight loss (but these principles can be applied to just about any goal you think of — make it work for you!).

1. You’re treating a marathon like a sprint.

Slow and steady habit change might not be sexy, but it’s a lot more effective than the “I want it ALL and I want it NOW!” mentality. Small changes stick better because they aren’t intimidating (if you do it right, you’ll barely even notice them!).

If you have a lot of bad habits today, the last thing you need to do is remodel your entire life overnight. Want to lose weight? Stop it with the crash diets and excessive exercise plans. Instead of following a super restrictive plan that bans anything fun, add one positive habit per week. For example, you could start with something easy like drinking more water during your first week. The following week, you could move on to eating 3 fruits and veggies every day. And the next week, you could aim to eat a fistful of protein at every meal.

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2. You put the cart before the horse.

“Supplementing” a crappy diet is stupid, so don’t even think about it. Focus on the actions that produce the overwhelming amount of results. If it’s not important, don’t worry about it.

3. You don’t believe in yourself.

A failure to act can cripple you before you leave the starting line. If you’ve tried (and failed) to set a New Year’s resolution (or several) in the past, I know it might be hard to believe in yourself. Doubt is a nagging voice in your head that will resist personal growth with every ounce of its being. The only way to defeat doubt is to believe in yourself. Who cares if you’ve failed a time or two? This year, you can try again (but better this time).

4. Too much thinking, not enough doing.

The best self-help book in the world can’t save you if you fail to take action. Yes, seek inspiration and knowledge, but only as much as you can realistically apply to your life. If you can put just one thing you learn from every book or article you read into practice, you’ll be on the fast track to success.

5. You’re in too much of a hurry.

If it was quick-and-easy, everybody would do it, so it’s in your best interest to exercise your patience muscles.

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6. You don’t enjoy the process.

Is it any wonder people struggle with their weight when they see eating as a chore and exercise as a dreadful bore? The best fitness plan is one that causes the least interruption to your daily life. The goal isn’t to add stress to your life, but rather to remove it.

The best of us couldn’t bring ourselves to do something we hate consistently, so make getting in shape fun, however you’ve gotta do it. That could be participating in a sport you love, exercising with a good friend or two, joining a group exercise class so you can meet new people, or giving yourself one “free day” per week where you forget about your training plan and exercise in any way you please.

7. You’re trying too hard.

Unless you want to experience some nasty cravings, don’t deprive your body of pleasure. The more you tell yourself you can’t have a food, the more you’re going to want it. As long as you’re making positive choices 80-90% of the time, don’t sweat the occasional indulgence.

8. You don’t track your progress.

Keeping a written record of your training progress will help you sustain an “I CAN do this” attitude. All you need is a notebook and a pen. For every workout, record what exercises you do, the number of repetitions performed, and how much weight you used if applicable. Your goal? Do better next time. Improving your best performance on a regular basis offers positive feedback that will encourage you to keep going.

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9. You have no social support.

It can be hard to stay motivated when you feel alone. The good news? You’re not alone: far from it. Post a status on Facebook asking your friends if anybody would like to be your gym or accountability buddy. If you know a co-worker who shares your goal, try to coordinate your lunch time and go out together so you’ll be more likely to make positive decisions. Join a support group of like-minded folks on Facebook, LinkedIn, or elsewhere on the internet. Strength in numbers is powerful, so use it to your advantage.

10. You know your what but not your why.

The biggest reason why most New Year’s resolutions fail: you know what you want but you not why you want it.

Yes: you want to get fit, lose weight, or be healthy… but why is your goal important to you? For example:

Do you want to be fit so you can be a positive example that your children can admire and look up to?

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Do you want to lose fat so you’ll feel more confident and sexy in your body than ever before?

Do you want to be healthy so you’ll have increased clarity, energy, and focus that would carry over into every single aspect of your life?

Whether you’re getting in shape because you want to live longer, be a good example, boost your energy, feel confident, have an excuse to buy hot new clothes, or increase your likelihood of getting laid (hey, I’m not here to judge) is up to you. Forget about any preconceived notions and be true to yourself.

  • The more specific you can make your goal,
  • The more vivid it will be in your imagination,
  • The more encouraged you’ll be,
  • The more likely it is you will succeed (because yes, you CAN do this!).

I hope this guide to why New Year’s resolutions fail helps you achieve your goals this year. If you found this helpful, please pass it along to some friends so they can be successful just like you. What do you hope to accomplish next year?

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