Game soundtracks get no respect. Not to sound like Rodney Dangerfield, but despite years and years of amazing music coming from games, gaming music is often treated by the public the same way your mom treated your 3rd grade art project. A dismissive pat on the head and a "good work, Danny, this is beautiful!"…followed by it being promptly buried under calendars, grocery lists, and "real" art on the refrigerator.
Things have been particularly rough for PC soundtracks where, due to a lack of audio hardware uniformity, music in the pre-CD audio era was a wildcard at best. Hell, even well into the late '90s there was no guarantee a PC even had a soundcard. Still, despite the limitations, we're not ashamed to say we not only respect PC game soundtracks, we flat out love them! The good ones at least.
Comparing soundtracks from different genres and different eras is extremely difficult and entirely subjective, which is exactly why we
compare them: The 30 soundtracks are listed in no particular order. Only one "rule" applies—we're only referring to original compositions here, licensed soundtracks need not apply.
Make sure to click on the game name / composer to take a listen over at youtube, and let us know your favorites in the comments.
Bastion - Darren Korb
When talking about Bastion's audio design, most of the praise goes to the fantastic narration, however, the soundtrack may be the real star of the show. A joy to listen to, the soulful, Folk-Western inspired compositions are dripping with as much color and richness as the game's much-lauded 2d backgrounds.