Video game soundtracks are arguably one of the most under-appreciated pieces of music in entertainment. While you're sitting there blasting and slashing your evenings away, the sound design and background music do such a good job of immersing you in the virtual world you're inhabiting that you often forget that they're there at all. In fact the most memorable soundtracks are often full of licensed songs that you've probably already heard, with games like Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2 being famous for raising a generation on punk rock. Pretty much every EA game is a candidate for this too, with Need For Speed, FIFA and SSX filled to the brim with licensed songs, yet rarely are these full of anything that is truly unique to the game. But what about original songs and soundtracks, written and performed solely for the purpose of complimenting an action packed video game? There are of course many of these written by people who sadly don't get the recognition they deserve, but there are also a surprising amount of famous musicians and bands that have donated their talent to various games throughout the years. While some of these games are more deserving than others (why any band did an exclusive song for Iron Man 2 is beyond us) this list proves that great original music and video games sometimes co exist. Sometimes is the key word here, as several of these songs are actually unbearably awful.
Having written for Official Playstation Mag, Godisageek and obviously What Culture. Tom is a London based writer who loves him some games. You may also find his articles lurking in the film and comic sections on rare occasions.