10 Iconic Video Game Scores That'll Give You Goosebumps

"Halo? Is it me you're looking for?"

Halo 2

Leo Tolstoy once said that "Music is the shorthand of emotion"; a beautiful line, and even more poignant considering he never got to play Tetris on Game Boy or Freedom Fighters on PS2.

Music truly makes us feel. Think about it - how much of your Star Wars experience is linked to John Williams' legendary score? Is it The Shire itself which brings a tear to your eye every single time you watch Fellowship of the Ring, or Howard Shore's stunning, beautiful 'Concerning Hobbits' theme? (Okay, it's definitely both on that front...) .

Games are no different in this respect. Gorgeous graphics and heart-stopping gameplay are great, but what REALLY sells a world is the soundtrack.

A truly great video game score will subtly nudge the player toward exhilaration, fear, serenity, or reduce them to tears without the hapless soul even realising they are being - ironically - played like a meat and bone Ocarina.

So, here are 10 iconic video game scores that'll give you goosebumps, and while some entries group together entire franchises, there are some titles which stand so far apart from the other entries in their franchise that they have earned a place in their own right.

10. Halo Series - Martin O'Donnell And Michael Salvatori

One might imagine a franchise like the Halo series - with its futuristic weaponry, alien hordes, space travel, and unashamed science fiction influences - to play out against a backdrop of beeps, boops, and lasers, electric keyboards, and the occasional theremin thrown in for good measure.

The reality, however, is really very different.

From the debut of Halo: Combat Evolved through to the upcoming Halo Infinite for Xbox Series X, Martin O'Donnell and Michael Salvatori have taken fans of the franchise on a very different musical journey.

Where other sci-fi shooters may rely on the aforementioned keyboards and electronic drum loops, Halo has always been more about pianos and haunting chorus lines by full, live choirs.

Tracks like Halo 3's "One Final Effort" demonstrate this beautifully, with both dramatic and beautiful effects.

Beginning with a piano ringing out the familiar Halo theme, the track builds, layer upon layer, with increasingly dramatic sense of pace and urgency, all complimenting the accompanying gameplay sequence(s) perfectly.

Ending more or less where it started, the track culminates in a reprisal of the opening piano theme, bringing a sense of calm to the proceedings, and allowing the player / listener to catch their breath following such an intense musical ride.

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