There is simply no denying that music plays a huge role in today’s culture. Heck, it has played a huge role in culture throughout history and will always continue to do so. This is probably because it is such a powerful thing. Imagine trying to watch a movie or play a video game without music. Imagine just listening to someone sing without any background music. It would not be the same at all. Music has the power to completely transform any situation. It’ll take you from feeling blue to up and at ‘em. And, it can do just the opposite if that is the kind of thing that you are looking for. All that aside, music just makes some activities more exciting. This is especially true for video games.
There is nothing like being pumped by a metal riff right before a big boss fight or during. What about those somber licks that are played over a montage as you likely pay homage and respect to one of the key members who just died. Some of this music has grown so popular that it has spawned its own subcultural. Some individuals will just sit around and little to video game soundtracks because they want to be reminded of those key scenarios. Maybe they just want to grove out to some hard-hitting beats. Whatever the situation is, that option is available to you when you take advantage of the top 10 underrated video game (my selection).
10. Tetris The Original Theme
Everyone has heard of Tetris. Whether you’ve spent hours on top of hours trying to connect all the oddly shaped blocks in place, you’ve at least heard mention of the game somewhere. Heck, there is a good chance that you have played a similar game on your phone or a game that was inspired by Tetris and didn’t even know it. That’s because it was an instant classic and while the concept of the game is simple, it is one that will keep you engaged and occupied for hours on in. Sitting in the doctor’s office waiting for your turn to get in? Hanging in the car waiting to pick the kids up from school? All tedious and boring tasks that can be made that much better with a rousing game of Tetris.
That being said, the game would be nowhere near the same without Korobeiniki. Just listening to it you can envision Cossack dancers, matryoshka dolls, vodka, bears, and the turrets of St. Basil’s. While the song does not contain any lyrics, it is based on a poem by Nikolay Nekrasov that was first printed in the Sovremennik magazine back in 1861. The poem is based around Korobeiniki, which is a popular marketplace where Russian peddlers go to sell goods. It is here that a peddler boy meets, haggles with, and eventually seduces a peasant girl. It is implied that he offers his goods in exchange for a kiss and sexual favors. She refuses everything that he has to offer, but for some unknown reason just can’t say no a beautiful turquoise ring that he has.
They spend an entire night in a field and the next morning, he vows to marry her after returning from the marketplace selling his wares. This is where the song’s narrative ends. This puts a whole new twist on the Tetris theme and you’ll likely never listen to the soundtrack the same again after knowing the true story.
Here is another game that you’ve undoubtedly heard of. The game is still so popular today that it is spawning all kinds of spin-offs based around the two main characters as well as some of the supporting cast. However, out of all the games produced, there will be none with a theme song like the original. This theme song is known as Ground Theme or oftentimes referred to as Overworld Theme and is just one of six tracks that can be heard on the first stages of the original Mario Brother game. It was composed by Koji Kondo and set in the key of C major with a swung rhythm and prominent use syncopation.
8. Double Dragon Theme
Double Dragon is one of those games that inspired a whole future generation of similar type games. This beat ‘em up game was originally developed by Technos Japan and was only available via arcade machine in 1987. The game was about two twin brothers Billy and Jimmy Lee who were also master martial artists. The game eventually became so popular that it inspired an animated series in 1993 and a live-action film the following year. However, the game would not have been the same without the original rocking theme. The song was a little piece that was composed by Kazunaka Yamane and it sounds similar to that of a super-fast metal rift.
It’ll certainly get you in the mood to crush some bad guys. The song itself became an instant classic as well. It has since been remastered and redone tons of times by many popular artists.
7. Pac-Man: Intermissions
Pac-Man is one of those games that is iconic for its quirky little sounds. If you didn’t have the sound of Pac-Man chomping down on those bits or the sound you get from eating ghosts, the game would simply not be the same. The theme ties everything together rather nicely, but you won’t quite find anything like the Intermissions theme. After clearing stages in the game, you’ll be granted little scenes with the characters. And, it is the first Intermissions that is the most intriguing. This piece was composed by Toshio Kai and it has a super fast beat and rhythm that’ll get you pumped right away. You’ll feel the excitement immediately and want to keep going.
6. Primus – Jerry Was A Race Car Driver From Tony Hawk Pro Skater
There is no denying that Primus has always been a strange band, but after hearing this song, you’ll more than understand how it got ranked as a top 10 video game underrated . This song in particular goes perfect with Tony Hawk Pro Skater, given that it offers a quick, high-pitched baseline that creates an angular flow forward. In fact, it creates such an angular flow forward that it throws the entire song forward from this point, much like the angles of feet on pavement and skateboard propelling forward. It is true that this style of song just isn’t for everyone, but it would be hard to ignore the influence that it has had on today’s musical society. In fact, they have created a whole niche for themselves that few other bands have dared enter into.
5. The Bravery – Believe From Madden ‘08
Whether you are a football fan or not, it would be hard to deny what the Madden series did for gaming. It is easily one of the most popular gaming franchises available and that is why The Bravery hit it big when they landed a spot on the game. While they aren’t as well-known or popular as bands like Green Day, they do offer a similar alternative Indie rock feel. Their song Believe can be heard while you are browsing through the user interface screen and it certainly makes navigating this section of the game more tolerable.
4. Secunda From The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (2011)
Elder Scrolls was one of those games with remarkable scenery and scenes. There was a huge focus on the graphics and outlay of the game and this much will be clear when you delve into it. However, it is pieces like Secunda that also tie everything together so nicely. This laid back, easy-going tune is just so relaxing that it fits right in with anything you go do in the game. Whether you are wandering through the world, maybe along a river, through a forest, or gazing at millions of stars above you at night, this song will match the moment and the mood. It is the perfect, gorgeous piece filled with the wonder and loneliness that comes along with being a Dragonborn with the weight of the world resting squarely on your shoulders.
3. Price Of Honor From Fallout 3 (2008)
Fallout is obviously one gaming series that is still going strong to this very day. And, it is not just because of the compelling storylines, the post-apocalyptic settings, or the engaging characters. Sure, all of these things help make these games more intriguing and exciting, but it is all of this being tied in with the right pieces of music. While there have been plenty of titles released since Fallout 3, it is this game and the Price of Honor tune that still remains a favorite amongst many longtime fans. Just hearing it will bring back some of your fondest memories from the game.
Price of Honor is a heart-aching melody that conjures images of brace patriotism even when there is nothing much left to be patriotic about. The world in which the characters live in is destroyed and in ruins, but here is a song that inspires you to want to do more and rebuild. The song was designed to tell the story of past soldiers desperately fighting while living and trying to deal with the sadness of the carnage that war always leaves behind. This is something that can be said about every war. Regardless of who’s involved or the meaning of the war, it always leaves carnage, wreckage, and ruin in its wake.
2. Leliana’s Song From Dragon Age: Origins (2009)
As an RPG fan, you’ve no doubt at least heard of Dragon Age. Heck, you’ve likely already played the series, but if not, you at least know it exists. And, this is because it is easily considered by many to be one of the best fantasy RPGs. And, once again, this is not entirely because of the intriguing characters and the awesome storylines. A lot of this has to do with the use of the right tunes at the right time to get players pumped and invested in the content. And, it is more than safe to say that is exactly what Leliana’s Song does.
This hauntingly gorgeous tune will shake and chill you right down to the very bone when you hear it. However, unlocking it will not be the easiest thing in the world. It’ll take some work, as you have to complete a side quest. Leilana is a bard and song is unlocked after completing the right side quest.
1. Yuna’s Ballad From Final Fantasy X-2 (2003)
It probably isn’t a big shocker to see another role-playing game make the list. It seems like they always produce the most intriguing and breathtaking ballads. This is probably because a lot of their storylines just set the tone and pace for epic tunes. That aside, some individuals probably won’t agree with the decision to put Yuna’s Ballad first. Some would say that To Zanarkand from Final Fantasy X deserves to be in this spot. There is no denying that it is also a great piece, but it doesn’t simply doesn’t tie in like Yuna’s Ballad does.
It brings just a little more sadness and heartbreak to the game, as it portrays everything that Yuna ultimately sacrificed to save the world that she loves so much. She was willing to give up her lover and pursue what seems like an endless journey searching for him. It’s already been two years of searching with little being uncovered. This song ties the whole scenario together so nicely that you can just feel the heartbreak.
Video games just would not be the same without the game music behind them. In fact, you could probably say that it is the music that tells the story more than the characters or the game itself. Yuna’s Ballad would be the perfect example of this, and this is why it made it all the way to the first spot of this top 10 video game music list.
Check out my blog to find more information about video game music, guitar and equipment.