This post has not been edited by the GamesBeat staff. Opinions by GamesBeat community writers do not necessarily reflect those of the staff.
Well, this is it! The big one. It''s the final Bitmob Community Jukebox. I'd just like to take a second to thank everyone who submitted a song for this or any prior edition of the Jukebox. Also, a special thanks to Evan Killham for maintaining a catalogue of all the music that the community has selected over the last year. As a small token of gratitude, I posted his songs first. After that, I randomized the contributors and put my choice last.
I will be doing one final post down the line that will act as a sort of hub for all of the past Jukeboxes, so keep an eye out!
Evan Killham, Community Member — Ratchet and Clank
I'm not about to throw the "best music ever" title around all willy-nilly, but David Bergeaud's score for the first Ratchet and Clank is one of my favorites, and it's the first soundtrack I went out of my way to listen to outside of a game. The music perfectly conveys the "futuristic-action cartoon" vibe that Ratchet and Clank was going for, and it's great stuff to blow things up to.
Kyzil Plateau: Veldin
Blackwater City: Rilger
Brett Bates, Editor — BioShock
The '50s tunes echoing from the broken-down radios and jukeboxes that litter Rapture's landscape were enough for BioShock to earn my vote. But let's not forget about the haunting original soundtrack that accompanies the game as well. Every time I hear the rush of strings halfway through "Welcome to Rapture," my mind travels back to that initial bathysphere-reveal as Andrew Ryan's voice boomed in my ear. At that moment, I realized I was about to play something very special — and the soundtrack was an intricate part of that.
Beyond the Sea (by Django Reinhardt)
Welcome to Rapture
Igor Bonifacic, Community Member — Machinarium
You must include at least one song from Machinarium in the final Community Jukebox. In case anyone hasn't played Machinarium — and you really should — it has wonderful music throughout. In fact, I think the only time I've ever stopped playing due to a soundtrack was with the in-game music of Machinarium. What makes the soundtrack so successful is its eclecticism. The game's many songs draw inspiration from a wide array of sources like Jazz, dubstep, and even an 8-bit tune here and there. All the songs are prime examples of their respective genres.
I think the Robot Band Tune and By The Wall are the two of the best examples of the game's music.
By the Wall
The Robot Band Tune
Carlos Hernandez, Community Member — Metal Gear Solid
I think the best video game soundtrack of all time has to be Metal Gear Solid's. The music has a variety of tracks that perfectly suit the game. From sneaking to intense action, it has the feel of an over-the-top movie score. Whenever you arrive in a new area in the game, a noticeable change in the music swells, and Konami reworks the musical tracks. Two representative songs from the game would be "REX's Lair," which makes you jumpy and curious about what's coming. And also "The Best Is Yet to Come," which, ironically, is not an optimisitic track.
The Best Is Yet to Come
Jason Wilson, Managing Editor — Final Fantasy 7
My iTunes has an entire section dedicated to video-game music: tunes from the Star Wars: X-wing series and Baldur's Gate, Heroes of Might and Magic, and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, too. Some of these are tracks direct from the game; others are community-mixed tunes.
But only one game gets its own playlist: Final Fantasy 7. Like many of my favorite concertos and symphonies, Nobuo Uematsu's compositions have stuck with my until this day. The One-Winged Angel and J-E-N-O-V-A themes stir my heart, especially the later arrangements that include choral lines and different instruments. I listen to parts of this game's soundtrack practically every time I edit or write.
Dan "Shoe" Hsu, Co-Founder — Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory
I was torn between submitting BioShock and Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory. Both soundtracks pull me into their respective worlds so perfectly, whether it’s BioShock’s scratchy, old-timey radio tunes or Chaos Theory’s intense and moody techno, done by one of my all-time favorite artists Amon Tobin. I’ll give the edge to Splinter Cell, since I still listen to that soundtrack today, outside of the game.
Theme from Battery
Kristian Bonitz, Community Member — Cave Story
These are the only chiptunes that I will actively listen to on my iPod despite the fact that I've played Cave Story more than five times over.
I don't normally listen to the soundtracks of the games I play (outside of when a controller is in my hand), but two titles that I've recently booted up stand out in my mind. Both Demon's Souls and Shadow of the Colossus tunes would repeat in my head for days after a session with either game. Pretty much everything in both titles stuck with me, but I'll pick one song from each as a standout example:
Maiden Astraea (Demon's Souls)
The Opened Way (Shadow of the Colossus)
Mike Minotti, Writer — Super Mario Galaxy
It's almost impossible to pick my single favorite game soundtrack, but I'm going to go ahead and pick Super Mario Galaxy. I love that is has the characteristics of an old-school gaming soundtrack — very melodic and designed for looping — but with a beautiful orchestra playing it. Super Mario Galaxy 2 also has a great soundtrack, but I don't actually own it yet.
Trevor Hinkle, Community Member — Guild Wars
My favorite video game music has to be the soundtracks to Guild Wars and its expansions. Jeremy Soule, who also composed the soundtracks for the last two Elder Scrolls games (Oblivion and Morrowind), has created some beautiful music that manages to incorporate different cultural elements that are relevant to the respective campaigns. For example, the campaign with an unmistakable Asian influence incorporates Asian instruments into its accompaniment. Soule's soundtracks have a distinct feel that reminds me of film scores — another thing that brings these two mediums even closer together.
Eye of the North Theme
Meghan Stratman, Community Member — Silent Hill 3
If I had to pick one favorite game soundtrack, it would probably be Silent Hill 3. I love how the mood created by the music perfectly matches the mood of the game — sad, lonely, and creepy.
Memory of the Waters
Letter from the Lost Days
You're Not Here
Mitch Dyer, Writer — Actraiser
Actraiser's combination of medieval, Greek, Egyptian, and Norse themes lent a wonderful flexibility to its music. In spite of its era, the 16-bit soundtrack is convincingly orchestral. Its melodic winds and piano soothe during the slower sim stages, while the speedier horns and drums pump you up for the action scenes. Actraiser's songs are more like genuine music rather than just colorful, looping themes, and its one of gaming's best.
The Birth of the People
The Beast Appears
Omri Petitte, Writer — Homeworld
Homeworld's excellent real-time strategy mechanics got all of the attention following its 1999 release, but it also wins my award for best soundtrack with its surprisingly fitting ambience. I like to imagine that this is what hibernating astronauts listen to while hurtling through the inky blackness of space. My particular favorites are Samuel Barber's "Agnus Dei" (set to a haunting choral version of "Adagio for Strings") and "Swarmer Battle Music."
Swarmer Battle Music
Omar Yusuf, Writer — Halo
While Halo's original soundtrack didn't provide an industry milestone, it certainly marked a particular point in my experience with video games. Marty O'Donnell's score was the first in-game orchestral arrangement that I really sat down and took note of. The music flawlessly complimented the mood and atmosphere of each level and would later find a comfortable place among my most listened to albums on iTunes.
Brothers in Arms
Jimmy Flores, Community Member — World of Goo
To me the best soundtrack I ever heard would have to be World of Goo. I was not expecting the quality of the music to be so…beautiful. It was like sex for my ears, and I felt like every new song was the best I had heard in a long while. Of course, some songs stood out to me.
Ode to the Bridge Builder
Red Carpet Extend-o-matic
Aaron Thomas, Editor — Shenmue
I've preached the gospel of the Shenmue soundtrack so many times I feel like a broken record. Haha — broken record, community jukebox — get it? Composed by Takenibu Mitsuyoshi and performed by a full orchestra, Shenmue's score is phenomenal. Every time I hear a song from the game I'm instantly taken back to the time I spent in virtual Japan, trying to solve the murder of Ryo's father. And then I get sad that there will probably never be a Shenmue 3.
The sweeping main theme perfectly compliments the epic scope of the game, while later movements are perfectly crafted to mirror the mood of the scenes during which they are heard. Mitsuyoshi even arranged a stylized Christmas-like version of the main theme that plays during the time of the holidays in the game. Words do not do this soundtrack justice, you need to hear it for yourself.
Nozomi and Ryo
Greg Ford, Editor — Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
Grad Theft Auto: Vice City: The '80s. Flash FM. Michael Jackson, Hall & Oates, Lionel Richie, The Buggles. For anyone who grew up in that distinct time period, this is the soundtrack of our childhood. I can appreciate all the other suggestions, but this game's tunes often kept me in a smoking jalopy when I should have been flushing out a rat for the big boss. Or, to put it another way, Vice City's soundtrack made doing nothing in this do-anything game a joy.
Running with the Night (by Lionel Ritchie)
Video Killed the Radio Star (by The Buggles)
Tim Robertson, Community Member — Gears of War
It has to be Gears of War and its very first trailer, with the remake of the Tear for Fears song "Mad World" from Michael Andrews (for the film Donny Darko). It was both moving and brilliant. It changed the way video game commercials were seen. After this Gears ad, gaming trailers became more like movie trailers. It lifted the entire industry. Besides which, I had people who never talked about games asking me what this was all about. And everyone loved this ad the first time they saw it.
Mad World (by Michael Andrews and Gary Jules)
James DeRosa, Editor — Chrono Cross
When I chose this topic for the last Jukebox, a ton of different games swirled through my head: Mega Man 2, BioShock, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy 6, World of Goo, Silent Hill 3….
But one soundtrack has to rule them all, and for me, it's Chrono Cross.
This game was a huge disappointment when it came out. Not only did it disregard the characters from the original classic, it went out of its way to destroy precisely what made Chrono Trigger so good: time traveling.
To be specific, Chrono Cross threw away everything its predecessor did well except its composer. And that composer, Yasunori Mitsuda, shined.
Playing to the game's oceanic theme, his pelagic music drifts and soars, recedes and rises like an ebbing tide. It has epic highs that are more triumphant and devstating lows that are more melancholy than any other title I can think of, and it truly displays one the industry's finest composers at the height of his powers.
Dreams of the Shore near Another World
Scars of Time