With almost every video game I play, I find my music collection expanding more and more each time. From musical scores to songs being played during the end credits of a game, I always want to own and carry a piece of the game experience I have loved and enjoyed with me.
Music conveys a feeling, an emotion, or simply embodies the theme of the story at large. After listening to the Dragon Age: Inquisition soundtrack on a loop for weeks now, I’ve decided to compile a list, in no particular order, of my own personal favorite songs from video games I’ve played.
1. M4 Part II by Faunts (Mass Effect). I had just beaten Mass Effect for the first time and I sat back in my chair riding a wave of satisfaction after saving the world with my femShep when this song by Faunts played during the credits. I was mesmerized by the techno beats and the almost somber and melancholic voice singing the words. The sound and lyrics fit the sci-fi plot and overall tone of the game. I especially fell in love with the lyrics. I feel the lyrics can either be interpreted as what goes through the minds of Shepard’s friends and crew or even your chosen love interest (if you decided to have one). There’s a sense of what Shepard becomes to not just the characters in the game, but to the player as well––a savior the galaxy needs and you hope will pull through no matter what gets thrown at them. It’s an ongoing theme that keeps coming back in the later games of the series and I love how this song just fits what Commander Shepard is to Mass Effect.
2. Take Us Back by Alela Diane (The Walking Dead). My heart felt rather heavy and my hands were a little shaky trying to process all the emotions I was going through after I finished this game. Like all games I finish, I like letting the end credits roll instead of immediately hitting the home button. When this song came on, I nearly came undone by the music and words. The song has a country folk sound to it, which did fit the world of The Walking Dead. The longing in the singer’s voice to go back to a time when things were simpler and the world wasn’t as cold and frightful made me think this could be a song Clementine was singing to herself. After everything she goes through right up until the painful ending with Lee, it’s enough to drive the feels-o-meter up to 100. I’m surprised I wasn’t a sobbing mess as I kept listening to this song. Maybe a little teary eyed, but not sobbing at least.
3. This Is War by 30 Seconds to Mars (Dragon Age: Origins). I didn’t realize this was actor Jared Leto’s band until I looked up the song and artist after hearing it during the end credits. Either way, the song was a culmination of the complete epicness I felt after watching my human noble Grey Warden end the Blight in Ferelden, live to see another day, and married Alistair and became his queen. I was utterly thrilled with the way my story ended for my Grey Warden, and hearing this song was the perfect battle song about overcoming unbelievable odds to come out victorious. I still get chills thinking about the final battle in Dragon Age: Origins whenever I hear this song.
4. Cosmos by Your Favorite Enemies (Dissidia Final Fantasy). I absolutely loved being able to change the music playing in the background, if memory serves me right, when I was fighting against opponents in this Final Fantasy fighting game for the PSP. The song conveys a sense of hope in light of the darkness, end-of-the-world type of scenario you have when you play through the main story. There are plenty of heroes in the game that span from Final Fantasy 1-10, and the best part about playing through the whole game was getting acquainted with the different personalities and personal hopes of these varying heroes coming together to stop an evil threat that brought them together in the first place. It was also a good introduction to the many Final Fantasy characters I wasn’t familiar with, as someone who hasn’t really played much of the older games in the series.
5. The Dawn Will Come (Dragon Age: Inquisition). I suppose with my mind filled with nothing but Dragon Age these days, it comes as no surprise that my final pick will end with Dragon Age and from the latest game too. It’s really the only song being sung on the soundtrack compared to the rest of the album, which is nothing but a musical score. I’m naturally drawn to songs and music that are emotionally moving and uplifting. It’s sung in the game itself after the events of Haven. The choral sound reminds me of Gregorian chants and church hymnals sung during a service. The lyrics are straightforward in that it’s a song about hope and a belief that better days will come again. I find myself listening to it on a loop when I just need a pick me up. The song makes me feel like everything will be okay after I listen to it and it’s the kind of song that has a powerful message about perseverance and never losing hope.
What are your favorite songs you’ve heard from a video game?