FREE copy of Photoshoot when you spend £50+ with code: FREEGAMEFRIDAY

Menu

A mystery box filled with miniatures to enhance your RPG campaigns. All official miniatures and for a bargain price!

Buy Miniatures Box »

Not sure what game to buy next? Buy a premium mystery box for two to four great games to add to your collection!

Buy Premium Box »
Subscribe Now »

If you’re only interested in receiving the newest games this is the box for you; guaranteeing only the latest games!

Buy New Releases Box »
Subscribe Now »

Looking for the best bang for your buck? Purchase a mega box to receive at least 4 great games. You won’t find value like this anywhere else!

Buy Mega Box »
Subscribe Now »

Buy 3, get 3% off - use code ZATU3·Buy 5, get 5% off - use code ZATU5

Top 5 Video Game Soundtracks

soundtracks from video games skyrim

Between homework, class, or working full time, it can be tough to find time to play video games. Why not do the next best thing and incorporate your favourite video game soundtrack into your everyday routine?

What you choose to put on your work or study playlist can be the difference between success and failure. A good playlist can help you get in the zone and finish your work in half the time. Listening to classical music is proven to help you relieve stress and improve concentration—and video game soundtracks are often designed to help you focus as well!

Whether you want to use music as white noise to block out distractions or to get pumped up when you see the end in sight, video game soundtracks are perfect. But which franchises to choose?

Here are my personal top 5 video game franchise soundtracks to get you through revision or that project at work you keep putting off.

#5: The Elder Scrolls

What are you’re doing when you play an Elder Scrolls game? You’re solving puzzles, speaking to NPCs to get information on quests, sorting out your inventory, and sneaking through dank crypts to take out draugr without being spotted. You can’t do any of those effectively with someone blaring out lyrics with an upbeat tune—or in complete silence, for that matter.

Wandering around Skyrim, the latest game in the franchise, makes you feel calm, vibrant, and incredibly heroic all at once. Its orchestral battle music is enough to make even the most battle-hardened Nord ready themselves for a challenge. It’s particularly enthralling when you’re faced with a monstrous dragon swirling around the skies above you, ready to strike. The violins and flutes used in tracks such as ‘The City Gates’ or ‘A Winter’s Tale’, in contrast, orchestrate a whimsical atmosphere that takes you back in time and immerses you in a fantastical world. It’s not just epic, it’s cosy.

The Oblivion and Morrowind soundtracks are just as extraordinary. There are tracks that make you truly feel like you have been blessed by a god or marching into battle. ‘All’s Well’ from Oblivion allows you to take a deep breath, reset, and press on. It’s just what you need to finish crafting a weapon fit for a warrior, or whatever else you’ve been working on.

This is the power of the music from the The Elder Scrolls franchise. It can make you tear up, feel nostalgic, or believe that you can achieve anything. You don’t have to be a Dragonborn to feel like one.

#4: Doom

Whilst some need a swelling orchestra to inspire them, others need a banging, energetic soundtrack to get them raring for the grind.

The original Doom is a pioneer in video game history. As one of the earliest first-person shooters, it included 3D graphics, multiplayer gameplay, and mod support. It’s only fitting that the music from its franchise has blasted into the collective consciousness to stand the test of time.

Composed primarily of digitally synthesised progressive metal, the soundtracks are heavy metal music powerhouses. You race through Mars, its moons, and even hell, taking out demons and the undead with unwavering bloodlust. The heavy guitar riffs and pounding drums help speed up the action even further, encouraging adrenaline to pump through your body at a pace necessary to blow up heads and spray blood with incredible precision.

If you have a particularly energetic job on your to-do list, or a troublesome task that you must get done quickly, the Doom franchise provides the perfect soundtrack to blast through it faster than you can reload.

#3: Final Fantasy

As a long-standing, beloved JRPG series, Final Fantasy presents arguably one of the toughest challenges for video game music composers. The music must be epic, emotive, and exciting. Soundtracks must be distinct from each other and yet recognisable. What would Final Fantasy be without its familiar synth, climbing violins, thrashing drums, and mournful piano?

The game devs know how iconic the soundtracks are. In many of the games, discs are collectables to find, and are playable in your car radio or in jukeboxes in seedy bars. Playing ‘Aerith’s Theme’ or ‘Waltz de Chocobo’ in the newer games bring a sense of widespread nostalgia that only the most exemplary games can get away with. The atmosphere the soundtracks bring to these serious, beloved games is as much a part of the experience as the story and the characters.

What truly distinguishes the soundtracks of Final Fantasy is the way the music emulates a serious, epic journey, drawing you deeply into the world. You travel with Cloud, Squall, Tidus or Noctis for 70+ hours each, so when a particular piece of music comes on, you’re immediately warp-struck to the Midgar slums, or Balamb Town, or Cosmo Canyon, or straight into battle with daemons.

Stick on the battle theme ‘Stand Your Ground’ to speed clean your house. Play ‘Behind the Door’ to context shift and churn out that painful essay. Turn to ‘Safe Haven’ to help you chill out before you jump into your next task. Whatever you need, Final Fantasy will get you pumped up or relaxed enough to finish what you started.

#2: Pokémon

If nostalgia was a scent, I’d bottle up all the music from my favourite Pokémon games and carry it around with me.

A huge part of any Pokémon game is the ride. That’s why, when you are given your choice of starter creature at the beginning of each story, you are excited to commence “your Pokémon journey”. The music sets the scene for each route, town, or building you set foot in, and takes you from one end of the region to the other. It’s a huge part of your experience.

Route 1 of Kanto, the very first path in the very first game, is upbeat and lively, encouraging you to eagerly take your first steps towards becoming a Pokémon Master. Ecruteak City’s chilled, ethereal tune emulates the lore-heavy nature of Johto—the perfect setting for Ho-Oh and the legendary dogs to reside. Sunyshore City in Sinnoh, with its jubilant tempo and happy melody, makes you feel triumph and relief as you prepare to take on the final Gym of the region. Taking on Team Rocket in Saffron City or Mahogany Town is accompanied by a sense of foreboding, urging you to take down the evil group as fast as you can. Battling Champion Cynthia will have you quaking in your running shoes. Listening to the chanting of the crowd at any gym battle in the Paldea region will spur you to victory. Snowpoint City is a mystical snowy paradise, where being alone isn’t really lonely.

I could go on. Whichever tracks you choose to listen to will likely be routed in whichever games you played as a child, but that doesn’t matter. Turn on a Pokémon playlist and you’ll melt back into your seat, relaxed or motivated, ready to work.

#1: The Legend Of Zelda

The Legend of Zelda soundtracks are on repeat whenever I want to motivate myself to get a crucial writing task done—like right now!

If you like video games, chances are you’ve played at least one from the Legend of Zelda series. The soundtracks are full of familiar, beloved tracks, from the bouncy ‘Lost Woods’ and the cheery ‘Tarrey Town’ themes to the mystical ‘Fairy’s Fountain’ and ‘Zoras Domain’ instrumentals. And the best news is, variations of plenty of these widely adored musical masterpieces crop up in multiple games in the series.

Whichever game is your favourite, each song is a bop. Tell me you won’t whistle in time to ‘Kokiri Forest’ or waggle your head along to ‘Gerudo Valley’.

Whilst the title track to Ocarina of Time is a treasure to many, it’s the songs from Breath of the Wild specifically that I come back to again and again. Just when you feel like you’re flagging and watching the clock, the ‘Rito Village’ woodwind track will swell, reminding you to take a deep breath and deep going. ‘Horse Stable’ is like coming to a safe haven, where you can warm up next to a cosy fireplace and pet the stable dogs. The cheery notes of ‘Hateno Village’ and ‘Goron City’ are so distinct and full of personality that I immediately picture the characters I know and love. Breath of the Wild often feels like an incredibly lonely and sombre game, but returning to these sanctuaries through just a few notes of a song fills me with warmth and the motivation to keep going.

Ultimately, the varied nature of the songs that span all the Legend of Zelda soundtracks provide the perfect base to any hard-working video game fan.

Wrap Up

Video game soundtracks are incredibly subjective. Chances are, you’ll prefer the ones from games you adored as a kid. So here are just a few tried and tested soundtracks that are guaranteed to help me knuckle down and churn out whatever I need to that day, whilst giving me a serotonin boost to keep my mood and energy levels up. Hopefully they’ll give you that boost, too.

What’s your favourite video game soundtrack to work to? Let us know your thoughts and tag us @zatugames.