Video Game soundtracks for studying and motivation

Sometimes getting through work is a never-ending bore. Here are some video game soundtracks that might help move things along.

When doing work, studying for exams, and writing proposals or essays, it can be hard to find motivation or inspiration. Video game soundtracks offer music that can help, since they usually don’t have lyrics that can distract you. The five following soundtracks feature songs that can help you focus, give you peace of mind and, most importantly, psych you up to get your work done.


Austion Wintory

Journey’s soundtrack is a whirlwind of emotions, some scary and others enchanting, from start to finish. The chilling use of string instruments to their fullest potential is an awe-inspiring experience. My favorite track of the album is "The Road of Trials". It has this source of energy and movement that makes my mind race, and it naturally reminds me of the fun and gorgeous sand-surfing section of Journey.

Ori and the Blind Forest

Gareth Coker

Like Journey, Ori is an indie game that features beautiful visuals and an equally enchanting soundtrack. Ori has its own style of music that mixes vocals with a variety of percussion and stringed instruments. Usually I’m distracted when a song has a singer or lyrics, but Ori’s soundtrack has some gorgeous singing that seems to get me focused or inspires me to keep on working. As for a favorite song from the album, it would be a close call - but I would go with “Ori, Lost in the Storm”. There is just something bewitching about it that I can’t quite put my finger on.


Masami Ueda, Hiroshi Yamaguchi, Rei Kondoh, Akari Groves

I recently finished playing Okami HD on my PS3. Its dungeons, the characters, the beautifully unique visual technique, and (of course) the music were nothing short of spectacular. The music in Okami was inspired by classical Japanese works, which only adds to the unique style of the game. The plethora of music that make up Okami’s soundtrack covers a large spectrum of emotions, from fear to wonder. One of my favorite tracks is "Kushi’s Ride". It surrounds me with a sense of urgency and power.

Persona 3 and 4

Shouji Meguro and Atsushi Kitajoh (Persona 4)

The Persona series is one of a kind; it combines serious deep messages with wacky characters, amazing battles, and the unique experience of Social Links. And its music is pretty amazing, too! I tried and failed to decide if Persona 3 or 4 had a better soundtrack. Both of them have songs that add a special ambience to simple mundane activities like studying for exams and the more fantastical aspects of Persona like dungeon crawling. My favorite track for Persona 3 has to be “The Battle for Everyone’s Souls” while Persona 4 features an awesome battle theme: "I’ll Face Myself-Battle-" However my current top Persona track would be the theme used in Persona 5’s trailer - it has this epic beat that just kicks my ass into gear.

Distant Worlds: Music From FINAL FANTASY

Nobuo Uematsu

So this could be seen as cheating, but Nobuo Uematsu himself creates all these arrangements for Distant Worlds. It would be so difficult to select just one of the countless Final Fantasy games to suggest, so I found a compromise. Distant Worlds has the best of the best, the tunes that are the top-tier tracks from a variety of Final Fantasy games. The orchestra versions feel like they are giving the classic songs new life, but keeping to the original formula at the same time. At the moment, I believe there are three volumes, each featuring songs from the original Final Fantasy to its fourteenth installment. I couldn’t decide which one was my favorite so I checked to see which song I had played most on my iPod. That song was “Terra’s Theme” from Final Fantasy VI. It is a fantastic song to just walk to, and it has an invigorating beat to it.

Hopefully now you have some tracks in mind to help you slog through the essays, papers, and presentations of the future.

Did I miss any favorite soundtracks? Are there other video games whose musical scores get your adrenaline pumping? Leave a comment and add to the list!

Published Sep. 5th 2015
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