Three Video Games You’d Never Expect With Great Soundtracks

While a video game soundtrack is often an overlooked byproduct used to enhance another medium, it’s hard to deny the existence of some absolutely breathtaking original soundtracks. Final Fantasy and Zelda are largely recognized as some of the best series to consistently churn out masterpieces, but we’ve gone ahead and picked out a few you might not have expected or overlooked throughout the years. We’ll start with a title you might be more familiar with in its boardgame iteration. 

Monopoly (PC, 1995)

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 “Monopoly” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by elPadawan

No, your eyes aren’t deceiving you. Monopoly, the game that is infamous for its mind-numbing gameplay, endless playtime, being on pretty much any hardware currently available, and the ability to pit you against the people you love in a brutal bidding war for riches, has a pretty darn good soundtrack. While it might not be the most modern music that would have you dancing around the room, it supplies the player with an old-timey treat that really makes you feel like you’re trying to become an oil tycoon. 

To be fair, there are a hefty chunk of gambling games that get their soundtrack just right, and that’s due in part to not only their score but also accompanying sound design. Take a look at any of the online casinos out there and you’ll see how they blend music and reactive sounds to a satisfying effect. This combination of sound and music design create a sense of heightened excitement like you’re in a casino. When you hit amazing casino bonuses on any of the top games, they make sure you understand why they’re amazing. A flood of bells, jingles, and chimes accompany the music in a rush all at once. This emulates the feeling of hitting it big in a way that keeps the player feeling great. Monopoly manages to do all of this brilliantly with the help of composer Frank Klepacki.  

 “Video Games Live, AZ 2011” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by ShardsOfBlue

Dustforce

Despite being a game that tasks the player with cleaning, Dustforce manages to keep the player interested with snappy controls and frantic challenges. However, while the pace of the game can get quite crazy, the soundtrack by composer, Lifeformed, lulls the player into a cozy zen state that helps them focus and remain composed. Being able to guide the player in how they feel and interact with the game is a staple characteristic that good music brings to the table. Without that, a happy moment could be conveyed as sad or the feel of a location could be completely misinterpreted by the player. 

Splice Sounds

Dustforce’s OST makes sure players know that remaining calm and focused is a major part of success, while still allowing the music to have an upbeat impact that propels the player forward despite failure. It’s in this emotional indication process that many OSTs fail and succeed, and the next entry onto the list is no exception. 

 “I completed all 180 goals in Alto’s Adve” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Jesse Crockett

Alto’s Adventure

Phone games don’t always get the praise they deserve, but this time, we’ve got to give a nod to Alto’s Adventure, a game that tasks the player with seeing how far they can make it snowboarding down a never-ending hill. Creating a song for a game that could potentially go on forever is a feat in its own right, but the two tracks that Alto’s Adventure composers Brian Crawford and Torin Borrowdale implemented seem soul bonded to the source material they’re created for. 

Much like Dustforce, the soundtrack to Alto’s Adventure really allows the player to focus and slip into a trance-like state. While the gameplay might have you feeling like your playing a physics-based Temple Run, the OST will make you feel like you’re at a pianist’s private concert. Lucky for fans of Alto’s Adventure, the sequel, Alto’s Odyssey is still receiving major expansions, so check it out if you liked what you heard. 

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