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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

Content Manager, Copywriter, & Blogger

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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