By James Daly
- Calling To The Night from Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops
Atmospheric, operatic and poignant, Calling To The Night is quintessential MGS. The elevated, resounding saxophone is second only to the sweet, sincere, well-rounded vocal performance, which in itself is coupled with astute lyrics equipped with poetic notions of mortality and the duality of man. Truly, this is best record from the ‘Metal Gear Solid’ series.
- Still Alive from Portal
Jonathan Coulton’s skilled composition and Ellen McLain’s vocal talents delivered one of the most memorable, delightful and catchiest endings to a video game there has ever been with the wonderfully sinister ‘Still Alive’. A simple tune with a lot to love about it, this song is further proof, were it ever needed, that Valve’s ability to happily surprise fans with their outside-the-box rhetoric will no doubt continue to appeal to gamers for years to come.
- Hyrule Field from ‘The Legend Of Zelda: Twilight Princess
It would have been very easy for me to just list five tracks from the LOZ franchise but “variety is the spice of life”, as they say so I’ve limited myself to just one. This track is a masterful mix of grandiose orchestral harmonies, classically tense pacing and soaring high-end melodies that hold true to a beautiful major tone. Combine these exquisite elements with the sunrise over Hyrule and the other-worldly Twilight barriers standing in strong contrast, Hyrule Field just manages to surpass ‘Zelda’s Lullaby’ in this humble writer’s opinion.
- Pallet Town from ‘Pokemon Red/Blue/Yellow
A simple melody that rings crystal clear over minimal accompaniment, Pallet Town sets the standard perfectly for all three of the original Pokemon Game Boy games. Nothing so elegantly captures the wondrous sensation of first stepping out of your character’s house and discovering a new world as you start one of the most memorable adventures of a lifetime.
- God Only Knows from Bioshock Infinite
Performed by a cappella group A Mighty Wind, this beautiful version of God Only Knows is so arresting that I watched in awe as the in-game performers serenaded the airborne streets of Columbia and truly made me feel like I could fly. This piece, being just four layered vocal tracks, is proof that simple is always best. I’m not one for barbershop by any stretch, but the smooth baritone and crooning tenor are irresistible, and when the piece is played again over the end credits it’s simply impossible not to feel as though you’ve just been a part of something truly special. In fact, that last reason alone is enough to make God Only Knows my all-time favourite piece of music from a video game.