For the price of an album per month you can subscribe to the music streaming service Spotify and listen to as much music as you can possibly stuff into your ears. You can even feel good about it, knowing that the artists you listen to get money every time you play one of their tracks – it’s a win-win.
Recently I’ve been trawling Spotify for my favourite video game soundtracks, old and new, in order to re-live some fond memories without having to boot up old saved games. I’m pleased to report I’ve found more music albums than I’d ever anticipated, and it’s now time to share the spoils.
The service is available in 15 countries worldwide so if you’ve not signed up for Spotify yet then head over to the official website. Once installed, you’ll be able to play these songs simply by clicking the links.
SimCity (Jerry Martin)
The SimCity 3000 soundtrack might be the finest musical score written for a game ever. I may be biased for all the hours I spent as a child zoning, building and rejecting tax cuts but I’ve yet to meet a person who isn’t soothed by the soulful jazz and ambient grooves on this OST .
Also featured here are the SimCity 4 and Streets of SimCity soundtracks, also written by Jerry Martin and fondly remembered.
Command & Conquer (Frank Klepacki, James Hannigan, Tim Wynn & Others)
What better way to relive your time crushing foes with nuclear bombs than with this exhaustive list of soundtracks?
The Sims (Jerry Martin, Mark Mothersbaugh, Steve Jablonsky)
Another seminal franchise, another perfect set of soundtracks. Much like SimCity, the music featured here fits the pace and gameplay entirely. Just listening to this music makes me want to construct a room full of fireplaces, kidnap the neighbors or construct an outdoor wonderland.
Also included as a hilarious bonus mention is the tribute album, Songs in the Key of Simlish.
Bonus: Songs in the Key of Simlish
Halo (Martin O’Donnell)
The Halo soundtrack hasn’t changed too much over the last six or so games, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Unfortunately users in some areas (Australia, at least) won’t be able to hear all of these due to licensing, but hopefully that will change soon.
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: The Game (Anamanaguchi)
Thanks to Game Boy-wielding 8bit rockers Anamanaguchi, the Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network side scrolling beat ’em up couldn’t have received a better soundtrack. It’s so good that I was disappointed when I found out the film itself didn’t share the same soundtrack.
If you missed the game then there’s no need to miss out on this OST as well, especially when you can stream it by clicking on the link below.
Bully a.k.a. Canis Canem Edit (Shawn Lee)
Rockstar have a bit of a thing for creating engaging, third-person open world adventure games, and Bully is probably one of their finest creations. Unlike the Grand Theft Auto series which used famous hits to great effect, Bully had an original soundtrack that fitted the game world, characters and Bullworth Academy to a tee.
If you’ve still not played it you can pick it up cheap for PlayStation 2, Xbox 360, Wii and even Windows. Look out for signs of a sequel now that Max Payne 3 is done and dusted.
Mirror’s Edge (Solar Fields & Lisa Miskovsky)
Mirror’s Edge is one of those games with very unique gameplay mechanics and a futuristic graphical style that deserves an equally fitting soundtrack. Thankfully Solar Fields delivered the perfect accompaniment in addition to Lisa Miskovsky’s trademark theme which was used heavily to promote the game.
Also included here are the remixes of Still Alive, a 7-track EP that squeezes even more life out of Lisa’s voice.
Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood & Revelations (Jesper Kyd & Lorne Balfe)
In my opinion Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood is the best Assassin’s Creed to date, despite the fact that Revelations has been out for a few months now. Both games provide an awesome blend of stealth, adventure and combat and both share equally epic soundtracks that fits right in with the style of play.
Thankfully they’re both available for streaming on Spotify, including a triple CD edition of the music from Revelations. That provides you plenty to listen to while you wait for Assassin’s Creed 3, coming later this year.
There are of course more classic game soundtracks on Spotify, so if you’ve got any personal favourites or have painstakingly constructed a complete playlist then please do share it with us in the comments. In addition to OSTs, there are a lot of covers and tributes that do justice to some of the best theme tunes ever written, and it’s those we’ll be taking a look at next week.