How often do gaming soundtracks go unfortunately unnoticed? From adrenaline-charging guitar solo boss fights, to romantic acoustic ballads that create a moment as memorable as your first kiss, to sonatas that softly, whimsically carry the subtlety and style of an entire world. Each soundtrack is painstakingly envisioned over many hours as songwriters and composers attempt to describe a feeling with sound.
Composing a piece for any form of media is challenging, however, as immersive as video games are, it can often feel like describing a painting to the blind — not just the colors and shapes, but the emotion. A video game’s score can sometimes go completely unnoticed by a gamer, and, to an extent, that’s almost exactly what the composer set out to accomplish. Hours toiled away capturing a complete experience, blending so perfectly with the environment that it feels like an essential part of the game.
Although almost every video game score receives not nearly enough attention they deserve, gaming’s unsung indie heroes only ever garnish a periodic nod of support or thumbs-up — often only from fellow fans of the obscure. For however many Mass Effect or Bioshock OSTs are out there, there are just as many talented and gorgeously striking indie albums, as well.
Each album selected in this list can stand-alone, but, more importantly, have each shown that gaming is only a full experience with the perfect music behind it.