​The Best Video Game Music Of The Last Generation

Illustration for article titled ​The Best Video Game Music Of The Last Generation

There may be no one part of a game that connects to our memories as immediately or intensely as music. Of course we remember a game's music: Those were the melodies that accompanied us on adventures in other worlds, through trials and triumphs, through victory and defeat. A musical score exists outside of visuals and gameplay; it's the closest thing a video game has to a scent.

Today, as part of our Last-Gen Heroes series, we recognize the best music of the last gaming generation. This time around, we're all going to contribute to a master list, because there's simply been too much great music from the last eight years for one list to possibly contain it all.


If we stick to these guidelines, we can make this into a list that's easily searchable and reads well. So let's do.


1) Yes, this list is technically for console games only. That said, if you really want to post music from a handheld game or a PC game, I won't hold it against you. Though don't post stuff from before 2005.

2) Please follow this format, including bold text:

Youtube Link/Embedded Video

Game: The name of the game

Platform: Which platform/console the game was on

Song: The name of the composition

Composer: Who wrote the music?

Where it plays: Describe where in the game the song plays.

Why it's great: Why is this song so great?

3) For real, please follow the format above. Don't just throw in a youtube clip with a short description. If everyone follows the format, this list will look really nice and be easy to read. If you copy/paste the above outline, be sure to select it all in your comment and hit the "pullquote" button (looks like " quotation marks) so that you remove pullquote formatting.

4) Don't write non-entry comments on this post. Instead, comment on others' entries, if you've got something to say about them.

5) Feel free to enter more than one song! After all, no one's got one favorite song. Unless they've only ever heard the one song.


Everybody ready? We've made some great playlists together in the past, but I think this one could be our finest yet. Let's do it.

Update: I can't add this in a comment or it'll get buried, but just wanted to say that you guys are kicking ass and this list is incredible. Keep 'em coming!


Last-Gen Heroes is Kotaku's look back at the seventh generation of console gaming. In the weeks leading up to the launch of the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One, we'll be celebrating the Heroes—and the Zeroes—of the last eight years of console video gaming. More details can be found here; follow along with the series here.

To contact the author of this post, write to kirk@kotaku.com or find him on Twitter @kirkhamilton.

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Kirk Hamilton

Game Name: Mass Effect

Platform: 360, PS3

Song: Vigil

Composer: Jack Wall

Where it plays: It plays in the opening menu of the first Mass Effect, and is hidden in the background audio of Mass Effect 3.

Why it's great: To me, this piece defines Mass Effect. I still remember how I felt when I fired up the game for the first time and heard this peaceful music—a stillness, the feeling of being suspended in space… more than anything, it felt like possibility. There was a whole universe out there for me to explore. Don't press start just yet. Let it linger.

All three games in the series had excellent music, but "Vigil" will always be my favorite.P