The Most Memorable Video Game Songs

For the high-brow music crowd, video game scores rarely make their regular listening rotation, but these video games buck the trend. We’ve sifted through hours of video game soundtracks to find the ones that really stand out. Some are surprisingly simple, providing the perfect backdrop to a quiet gaming session; others are dramatic, amplifying the experience and taking it to new heights. My personal favourites are the ones who had to delve deep into archive footage to bring history to life. So, if you’re ready to add some video game songs to your playlist, let’s get started.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Composed by Jeremy Soule, this Nordic masterpiece encapsulates the beauty of the world that the Skyrim developers have created. If you’re not familiar with the game, then understand that it’s an enormous open world, based on the Nordic landscape, but with the addition of dragons. It’s magical, mystical, and staggeringly beautiful, just like the soundtrack.

Some of the musical highlights include a men’s choir singing in the game’s own dragon language – Dovahzul. It’s epic in proportion, combined with haunting strings and, in some pieces, a full-scale orchestra. Critics and fans alike praised the imagination and ‘epic’ qualities of the soundtrack. In fact, it was so well received that the whole thing was released on a four-disc set and on all streaming platforms. Since then, many famous musicians have made their own covers and remixes of the songs, making sure that this soundtrack has remained relevant even 13 years after its initial release.

Jungle Break

It would be fair to say that some slot games have theme tunes that don’t exactly push the boundaries. However one of the online slots that has a spectacular theme tune is Jungle Break. This slot game combines timpani drums with chirping birdsong to create the image of an island paradise. The game itself features jungle animals on the reels, as well as luscious exotic fruits and two explorers as the main characters. While the theme tune is unlikely to be one that you’d download and listen to on its own, the casual tempo and relaxing feel of the music go perfectly with the excitement of this genre of video game.

Last of Us

Since the success of the hit HBO series The Last of Us, the video games have been fully resurrected. People are enjoying them all over again and the soundtrack has been noted. One of the most poignant parts of both the video game and the television series is watching the protagonist, Ellie, play an acoustic version of the famous A-ha song, ‘Take on Me’. However, this isn’t the only song that Ellie plays on the guitar during the game. She also plays Pearl Jam’s ‘Future Days’ in poignant moments throughout the game, symbolizing the highs and lows of her relationship with Joel.

Gustavo Santaolalla was the mastermind behind the soundtrack for The Last of Us, and including various acoustic guitar numbers was his genius idea. Not only do we hear Ellie playing those two hits, but he even composed Ellie’s Theme, which was later used in the TV adaptation. It’s brilliant to see such a thoughtful soundtrack, especially when the central character of the game gets to take part in it.


Though not quite as famous as the rest of the games on our list, Journey is a soundtrack that’s well worth listening to. It was released in 2012 for the PlayStation 3 and immediately its minimalist soundtrack was praised. Austin Wintory is the genius behind the score. He’s managed to create something unbelievably sparse, but still incredibly moving.

The idea of the game was to allow people to fully immerse themselves in a new and unfamiliar environment. So it makes sense to create a soundtrack that’s unobtrusive. However, Wintory took this a step further, creating a minimalist soundtrack that seeks to enhance every element of the physical location. He carefully picks out individual instruments which shift and change depending on the part of the world that the player is in. His use of the cello is masterful. In fact, it was so brilliant that he received a Grammy nomination for his work. Although he sadly didn’t win, it was the first video game sound track to ever be nominated.