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

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Marty O'Donnell


The music of the Halo series has long been considered some of the most iconic of all video game music. O'Donnell served as composer and audio director of every Halo game developed by Bungie, as well as games like Oni and the mega-hit, Destiny.

When asked about the creation of Halo's signature theme, O'Donnell revealed that it had all been composed within two days for the unveiling at MacWorld 1999. The inspiration came from a mere three words conveyed to O'Donnell by Bungie's Joe Staten: ancient, alien, epic.

After speaking with Staten, O'Donnell hummed improvised monk chants to himself while driving home. He had composed the famous monophonic Halo chant by the time he arrived. O'Donnell also composed the fanfare for The Game Awards of 2014, and has recently founded a new development studio, Highwire Games.

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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