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Music may not be the reason most of us decide to play a game, but it is probably one of the top reasons that we REMEMBER a game. Even if a game doesn't have the best gameplay or graphics, a gripping soundtrack can make said game live on in our collective memories for years.
So what are your top 3 (or more or less, doesn't have to be 3) video games (from any time) for MOST MEMORABLE MUSIC and why? What made their music so great?
1. Final Fantasy VI - Nobuo Uetmatsu is a genius. I loved listening to his music throughout the Final Fantasy series, but I think Final Fantasy VI was his magnum opus. Final Fantasy has a lot of melodrama in it, and it's hard to made convincing emotional scenes with 16-bit characters, but Uetmatsu's music really conveyed the emotion of each scene to the player. Every character had a theme that was not only excellent, but also taught you about that character's personality. You only need listen to Setzer's theme once to know that it's about carefree adventurer, or Cyan's theme to know that it's about honor and tradition.
2. Chrono Trigger - Much like FFVI, Chrono Trigger brought that almost operatic feel where every character had their own theme that really told you about their personality; Frog's theme is a great example of this. It also had truly great incidental music, like the Millenial Fair which I still listen to sometimes today.
3. Planescape - Torment: The music of PS:T was dark, desperate, alien, and cold. And this is exactly what the artistic theme of the game was. I don't think I've ever played a game since where the music and the art meshed so perfectly. When I walked through the streets of the Hive, I really felt immersed in the dark world of PS:T. The music was so good in fact, that it showed up in a Nicolas Cage movie (8MM).
Are you team Azeroth, team Tyria, or team Jacob?