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#9 Super R-Type - Shooting games have a bit of history with good music, Xenon 2 having the most fame with the track Megablast. R-Type's BGM is a cracking selection of tracks, all created for the game specially and sound wonderful. Again, it's that marriage of toughness and top music that works, and brings to back to play again. The title track sets the standard high, but the second stage son "Wet as a Fish" is awesome, calming and fitting to the them of the level. The music also brings an important element of urgent feelings and excitement to the proceedings too.
#8 Grand Theft Auto - With a mixture of specially written tracks and US chart hits, the radio in the car you steal provides a fun aside to the carnage that you are involved in. It adds the much needed drive and thrill to the game, as the top down view can be a little dull at times. It's eclectic mix of various genres that cannot fail to raise a smile or two. From dance, to rock to country, its a wide soundtrack that encapsulates the ethos of GTA. It would not be the same game without it.
#7 Final Fantasy VII - From the title music, to the Midgar escape to the Aerith death theme; all the excellent music contained in this illustrious title is of a high standard. Would you have expected any less? Carefully written and included with need, the music of FF7 adds the effect of drama, mystery and intrigue to the game as you progress. The range of styles is vast too, but all works, even the insanely annoying Gold Saucer track is even accepted as important, and a nod to the memorable battle theme, but none more so than Sephiroth's 'One-Winged Angel' theme. Haunting and appropriate to the climax of the game.
#6 Beyond the Ice Palace - An often forgotten 8/16-bit fantasy platform romp, the game itself was rather mediocre, but the title theme was inspired. It even sounds good on the AY chip of the Speccy and CPC, but the Amiga's PAULA chip made it an epic musical piece that seems to tell the story of the game. It has two distinct parts; an intro of anticipation and a main riff of dramatic suggestions. Playing while you read the scroll at the beginning it's a theme which outweighs the quality of the game, but also makes you want to play it just for title music. A rousing theme indeed.
#4 Wip3out - The racing soundtrack to die for! It's dance music frenzy for sure, but nothing would do any less to fit the high speed aggressive nature of the Wipeout format. I must admit, I'm slightly biased here as my favourite band feature in the game, Orbital's 'Nowhere to Run' just underlines everything that is magnificent about this game, and the adopted main theme of the game is Sasha's 'Xpander', a trance classic. The fit of futuristic racing, outstanding visuals and the truly mind blowing music makes the whole package a highly fine game.
#3 Super Castlevania IV - The most famous track of the Castlevania series 'Bloody Tears' appears in one of the final levels, and that tells you how good the music is beforehand. With re-made tracks from previous games and new tracks such as the 'Dungeon' theme, the assisting tunes are excellently conceived and placed within the game. It starts with a hard hitting and tension building theme, and finally ends with the quick paced and dark composition to the final battle. It's full of organs, horns and harpsichord, bringing with it the feeling of the dark forces and other realm settings. Creepy and engrossing, the best castlevania soundtrack ever.
#2 Secret of Mana - From the moment the solemn piano of 'Fear of Heavens' opens the game, you know you are in for a treat in terms of musical excellence. The theme and mood of the game is captured wonderfully with the consistent variety and depth of the tracks, all underpinning the scenes and lands in which you are placed. The minimalistic Pure Land theme sends chills down your spine, the battle music is rampant and exciting, and the final techno-madness of the Dark Lich is stressful and scary. Every piece is vital to the game to enhance the experience, and nothing is out of place. Masterful.
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With a final crash of the cymbals, that brings the curtain down on another top 10 list. What has been your favourite BGM in video games? Are you a fan of the 8-bit classic or the orchestral masterpieces of the RPG genre? Music in games is often overlooked, but like my number 1 pick demonstrates can be vital to the success of the game. Big one tomorrow, I list my all time top games, ever! N - Novabug's Desert Island Games if you please!