Top 10 - Video Game Music - Playstation Edition
In the advent of CD-based gaming licensed music was regularly used in games (with varying degrees of success) and chiptunes were generally out. This in mind I've put together my most memorable, original videogame tunes from Playstation titles, that is none of the aforementioned licensed tracks (sorry Wipeout!) included.
As always I like to work with rules;
The version of the song needs to be a Sony Playstation release - That can be 1,2,3 or 4.
To bolster my decisions I've also included some tracks from the intros of certain games too.
Kindly note all links are provided from non-affiliated sources (on YouTube).
A strange choice this one. For some reason, it stands out to me on this charming tale of fixing the world. Maybe it was my childhood fascination with trains but it's a strangely calming track where you just know there's nothing sinister lurking anywhere and you're just readying yourself to travel forth...
This just had to feature somewhere for its pure craziness. The visuals, a passable Tom Jones impersonation. Even if you don't like it you need to hear it once (you won't fail to smile).
I have fond memories of coming home from work or being around a friends (remember when that was a thing) to find my parents in my room playing this game in versus mode. It's one of the few titles that I'm average at and actually have a decent challenge against other players (in a fun-as-intended way) Going along with the action the game packs a handful of jolly tunes which suit the aesthetic perfectly and I still find myself humming these to myself these days.
The intro to Grandia serves almost as a preview as to what you'll be experiencing in this classic RPG. Every epic tale deserves an epic soundtrack and that's what you're given here. It feels like the start of an adventure every time you turn it on and gives you glimpses of the action and the world you'll be exploring.
I first recall hearing this one in the end credits to Final Fantasy VIII, so at that point, I thought it was unique to that title. Upon playing FFXII it features on the title screen. Some call it the RPG Nation Anthem and frankly...they're not wrong.
Um Jammer Lammy was the pseudo-sequel to Parappa the Rapper on the PS1 (before the official sequel followed on PS2 a few years later. In this one you exchange rhyming words with guitar riffs as the titular Lammy tries to solve all the problems of her bad day by simulating guitar playing. It's odd, it's quirky and it's pretty short so that works! Of the 7 levels (and ergo tracks) available the 3rd called Baby Baby tasks Lammy with rocking an infant to sleep. Cue a rock and roll track which is actually a parody of The Offspring's "Come out and Play" (you're welcome).
Soul Edge (or Blade in the UK) was the original entry in the Soul Calibur series and one of Namco's flawless arcade conversions. It was a solid fighter that used the fact that characters wielded weapons as a USP (much like Last Bronx) but Namco at the time worked closely with Sony relatively exclusively to bring their arcade hits home to the PS1. Whereas a lot of fighters on Saturn included Tournament modes to pad out their home offerings, Namco preferred new gameplay modes entirely, here in the form of Edge Master Mode, a quest mode if you will. What it also got was a shiny new FMV intro (as was popular at the time) with its rather lively theme song found here. Top stuff!
I imagine we'll all soon be familiar with this tune when the Uncharted movie launches in the next year or two. Naughty Dog nailed this one by creating a John Williams-esque theme that would comfortably be at home in a cinema. Epic sounds from an epic series with plenty of epic moments.
There are a few catchy tracks on this forgotten favourite of mine. Bust a Groove (Bust a Move in other territories) has you facing one another in dance-offs not entirely unlike Dance Dance Revolution but wholly controller based rather than with a dance mat. Each character has a signature tune of which makes for many decent tracks (plus a couple of questionable one's but there's more good than bad). Kitty-N's stage features a track which is the game's namesake (in the Pal version at least) and it's in the tune of 90's dance featured here. best played in a dark room with the volume up!
This one was easy, you know how the mission impossible theme gets in your head? Metal Gear Solid has a similar soundtrack that's movie-worthy as the game's plot (save for the hot and cold bit). I still find myself humming the "dun dun dadun dun" melody today under the right circumstances. This is possibly owed to the fact that it was played on repeat for 3 months straight in the runup to release (and 3 months after) back #WhenIWorkedatgame.
Most fighting games improve as each sequel is released (MOST!). Budokai 1 & 2 were fine examples of how a Dragon Ball fighting game should look and feel but the story mode in 3 gives it the edge along with the inclusion of additional characters from the non-canon movies blended in. The intro to the game had an epic J-Rock soundtrack demonstrated here. There was also a special edition release which included the original Japanese vocals if that's your thing. Strangely the remaster on the 360 and PS3 changed this music and it isn't nearly as good in those versions. Give this one a shot and judge for yourself!
Often precursed by the words "Look Out", "Here it comes" or "What's That!?!", you knew what you were about to face when this music kicked in was an enemy superior to the grunts you'd be dispatching up until this point. Hearing the tune now I find myself adding my own limit break and spell sound effects reminding me of all the good times I had with FFVII and it was a tune that frequently played over several times before you eventually finished up (and that's no bad thing!).
Confession - I use this track as my alarm sound. My wife, not knowing where this has come from enjoys the lively yet gentle tune to get us (or me, she's usually already up to be fair) to get out of bed to. Taken from a brief episode of the story involving you enrolling in a school which strange activities going on, you're greeted by this track each day of that part of the adventure. It's by no means a high point of the story but if the first 2 hours of Kingdom hearts 2 opened each day this way (you'll know if you've played that one) then it wouldn't be such a chore!
That's me put out there. What do you think and I'm sure I missed something? let me know in the comments below.