8 Amazing video game composers that show the best gaming has to offer

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Also, Beethoven.

Symphony No. 9 in D minor: Presto; Allegro molto assai, Op. 125 (abridged)

Video game music has undergone a significant evolutionary process since its days in the arcades. Before the likes of PAC-MAN and Super Mario Bros, games would rarely feature their own original soundtrack, but would rather sample themes from famous classical composers like Mozart, Beethoven, and Bach (both Donkey Kong Jr. and Gyruss used the opening theme from Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D minor). Now, composers of neo-romantic music, electronica, heavy metal, and even trip-hop are offering their talents to this interactive medium.

On top of receiving awards, video game music has recently been studied by the academic eyes of self-proclaimed ludomusicologists (or those who study the history of video game music). When considering this high-form recognition, it's clear that this sub-genre is quickly becoming as influential as the genre it serves.

What did you think of this list of musical masterminds? Did your favorite composers make an appearance? What are some of your favorite video game soundtracks? Sound off in the comments below!

Published Nov. 28th 2015
  • Fuzunga
    Just so you know, Gusty Garden from Super Mario Galaxy was composed by Mahito Yokota. Koji Kondo only composed four songs for that game. He doesn't do a whole lot of composition any more.
  • Joe DeClara
    Featured Contributor
    Hi there! Any chance I could get a source on that? I've done research, and have only turned up the two collaborating, nothing on either specifically being accredited with writing Gusty Gardens (I don't have a hard copy of the OST myself). Definitely don't want such misinformation in my work.

    Thanks for pointing it out!
  • !Xabbu
    Great list.

    And since you included Beethoven, I'll feel free to mention Joe Hisaishi, who did the wonderful soundtrack for Ni No Kuni (couldn't be a Studio Ghibli production without him!).
  • Venisia Gonzalez
    Featured Columnist
    I love Jeremy Soule!
  • GameSkinny Staff
    I'mma let you finish, but Transistor is the greatest soundtrack of all time. OF ALL TIME.

    Ok, not really, but it's damn amazing and worth a mention whenever Darren Korb pops up. Bastion was phenomenal and Korb somehow managed to top it, in a different genre, with Transistor. Feast your ears: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zA1jRmAYfU (And major props to Supergiant for making it so easily accessible on YouTube.)
  • Venisia Gonzalez
    Featured Columnist
    Yes, Transistor is fantastic.

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