Video game nerds love video game music. There’s just something about it– it’s almost magical how an awesome musical track from a favorite game can transport us and remind us of the fun we had playing the game. Similar to how long, hot summers are full of nostalgia-filled pop songs, a playlist of video game songs can bring home the joys of games long since laid to rest. That said, there are definitely some video game composers who top that list of awesomeness. Who are the most famous composers? Let’s take a look:
10. Akira Yamaoka
Silent Hill, anyone? These super-creepy soundtracks are so full of delightful atmospheric refrains. The soundtracks alone set the franchise apart from other similar games.
9. Inon Zur
This guy’s behind the Dragon Age: Origins soundtrack as well as a mixed bag of others including RIFT, Fallout 3 and Prince of Persia. Varied stuff, but great stuff.
8. Michiru Yamane
Once you’ve heard any of the iconic tunes from the original Castlevania games, there’s no going back. They’re some of the most catchy songs from games of this era. This guy was a master of originality.
7. David Wise
David Wise is most well-known for the soundtracks to just about every Donkey Kong game. The series has some memorable tracks. Those gorgeous underwater songs will forever have a spot in many gamers’ hearts.
6. Harry Gregson Williams
The soundtrack to Metal Gear Solid 2 was this guy’s first claim to fame and turned a lot of gamers into game music lovers. His continued work in the series doesn’t disappoint.
5. Koji Kondo
No list of music is complete without this guy. He’s the master behind The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Super Mario Bros., Star Fox 64 and Super Mario 64. There are so many amazing, iconic tracks here.
4. Yasunori Mitsuda
My childhood just wouldn’t be the same without the memories of playing through Chrono Trigger, Chrono Cross and Xenogears without the simply awesome music of Yasunori Mitsuda. The music made those games epic.
3. Jack Wall
This is the guy behind the Mass Effect soundtracks. He also composed the music in Myst IV and Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow.
2. Jeremy Soule
This guy’s written the music for so many games. Oblivion, Morrowind, Skyrim, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Guild Wars 2, World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria and the upcoming EverQuest Next are among the games he’s worked on.
1. Nobuo Uematsu
Nobuo Uematsu is the guy who wrote all of the music from the classic Final Fantasy games and fans still salivate over any piece he writes. His style of music changed how video game music was looked at.
Video game music isn’t just a bunch of background noise, but an emotional accompaniment that shifts just as the moods of a game shift. It can be uplifting, painful, dramatic, heart-pumping and just plain awesome. Composing a piece intended for a video game isn’t any different from composing for a commercial album. It also goes through several processes that involves recording and studio work. Even if the audience is limited to the gaming community, it doesn’t make this genre any less important than the mainstream ones.