Responsive controls and impressive graphics can really help a game, but there's something that only a strong soundtrack can add to the experience. Visuals and scripts invoke wonder while audio allows you to feel the game's moments, if you will. The perfect track can add an edge of anticipation to clashes with antagonists, help smash hearts against in-game tragedies, or just anchor memories of a game to your mind when you remember its tunes.
With talk of games of the year or what we're currently playing, soundtracks can kind of get snubbed in our gaming-themed conversations. That could be left as one of life's tragedies that we just accept as a norm, but not on my watch! I'd love to hear about your favorite musical moments in games, songs that have stuck with you long after you earned a scroll of the credits.
As for a few of my own, I think Final Fantasy 10's "To Zanarkand" is hauntingly beautiful - I always stop what I'm doing when I come across it, just so I can listen without distraction. Kingdom Hearts 2's "Dearly Beloved" (which was wonderfully interpreted by Backer Ruth) is perfect to me in its simplicity, and it always sweeps me away to the past. Mass Effect's "Uncharted Worlds" makes me want to block off two weeks to return to Shepard, Zelda: The Wind Waker's "Farewell Hyrule King" gives me the creeps in the best way, and Final Fantasy 8's "Liberi Fatali" makes me want to be a brooding teenager again. Then there's Metroid Prime's "Title Theme," Pokemon TCG's "Trainer Battle" and pretty much the entire Pokemon Red/Blue soundtrack.
Okay wow, I've gotta stop. Those are my standouts, but I'm eager to hear about yours! Tell me all about them in the comments, right after you check out the PS4's debut in this week's Japanese hardware sales after the break!