5 Outstanding Original Game Soundtracks

WhatCulture run through five of the greatest original scores from gaming history.

Whether you€™re scaling cliffs to Uncharted€™s booming orchestra, or gunning down goons to the pounding beat of Battlefield 3, great music makes games better. Wandering the halls of the RPD building wouldn€™t be the same without the eerie tones of Masami Ueda to keep you company: who can imagine Mario€™s playful jumping without the trademark €˜der-der-der-der-der-DA-der€™? Whether it€™s aimless sandbox meandering you€™re after, or explosive full-speed action, superb soundtracks can set the mood faster than a candle in a wine bottle. Here are five of the best:

5. Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory €“ Amon Tobin

Composer and DJ Amon Tobin faced a tough challenge with the Chaos Theory soundtrack. Splinter Cell changes pace at a moment€™s notice: one minute you€™re tiptoeing your way along a darkened catwalk, the next, a guard has you in his flashlight and all bullet-flying hell is breaking loose. As such, Tobin broke his records into four distinctive parts, with each one moving from a steady, rhythmic ambient section to a pulsing action beat. The range of Tobin€™s soundtrack was tailored to fit Splinter Cell€™s ever-changing gameplay; each mission has its own signature track, mixed on-the-fly to suit whatever€™s on-screen. Take a listen to the track €œEl Cargo€ and you can hear it move from low-key drum and bass to pounding action-rock. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9SzhjG6OkvI Having the music change and blend organically creates a dynamic and sensory play experience, with you constantly having to listen out for any change in tempo that might indicate a suspicious guard - Red Dead Redemption, Portal 2 and Assassin€™s Creed have all picked up on Tobin€™s ideas since, using the gameplay as a kind of shuffle function. It makes for a wonderfully eclectic soundtrack album.

Manual laborer and games journalist who writes for The Escapist, Gamasutra and others. Lives in London. Last seen stumbling around Twitter muttering to himself @mostsincerelyed