A PC Gaming Music Journey: From Doom to Terraria, System Shock, and More Memorable Soundtracks

Great article, just like its prequel. Also like its predecessor, it's missing some major entries:

Half-Life 2 - One of the best game soundtracks ever on any platform. It was ingenious in the way it matched the mood of the scene or foreshadowed impending danger. CP violation is classic

Return to Castle Wolfenstein - Another soundtrack that fit the environments exceedingly well. Hard to believe it's 20 years old now, as it still sounds great. I still stream the music occasionally while working:

No list would be complete without mentioning Star Wars games from the golden era of PC gaming (90's to 2000's before everything became a console port). X-wing and Tie Fighter were good for their time, though my personal favorites were Dark Forces II: Jedi Knight and Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast. While these weren't original compositions, the choice of music for certain levels was spot on and made you feel like you really were living a Star Wars movie (the original trilogy, not the trash that came later).

Last, how about a nod to the old Sierra 3-D adventure games of the 80's and 90's? Games like Kings Quest IV, Space Quest III, or Hero's Quest (later renamed Quest for Glory):

(Side note - I had an original Tandy 1000 (4.77 MHz 8088) with 3-voice sound and after "upgrading" to a Gateway 386 I was appalled at how bad the regular PC speaker sounded. These games literally drove me to buy an 8-bit SoundBlaster just to hear the soundtracks. To put this in context, the game boxes had ads *from Sierra* to buy an AdLib card or a Roland MT-32 just for the soundtracks.)
Aside from music, one of the best game to have sound effects is I.G.I, the sound of guns is the most realstic I have ever heard up to date
My personal picks:

Red Alert 2 - Hell March 2 (Frank Klepacki)

Jazz Jackrabbit 2 - Frolick Lane (Alexander Brandon) (shame on Epic for not re-releasing this game on current consoles!!)

Heroes of Might and Magic 4 - Preserve (Paul Anthony Romero, Rob King, Steve Baca)

Fallout 2 - Vats of Goo (Mark Morgan)

The Last of Us - The Last of Us (Gustavo Santaolalla)

Astro Bot Rescue Mission - Discotree (Kenneth M C Young)


Killing Floor 2 - Collapsing


Diablo II Tristam (Matt Uelmen)


StarCraft 2 - Terran 4 (Derek Duke, Glenn Stafford, Neal Acree, Russell Brower, Sascha Dikiciyan, Cris Velasco)


(I have no idea why the forum turned the first 5 links into embeds, but not the rest)
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Shocked that Civ 4’s Baba Yetu was missed from this list.
A ton of iconic / outstanding soundtracks are going to be missing from a very short list of 8, from most things Jeremy Soule, Alexander Brandon & Inon Zur to Kiril Pokrovsky's last work before he died (Divinity Original Sin 1) going way back to half the old DOS-era LucasArts point & click games (jazzy Sam & Max, etc), to the weirder side of The Neverhood's "The Gargling Drummer" (link) to Planescape Torment's "Morte's Theme" (link). Some memorable soundtracks even came with a bonus Audio CD containing tracks that weren't even in the game (still got my No One Lives Forever's "In The Lounge" CD somewhere)...
Back in the day after Doom came DESCENT! 1 then 2 with it's awesome cd soundtrack with Type O Negative and skinny puppy. That cd rocked.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UGGojdnjSc
O and don't forget Quake1& 2, those cds rocked also.
It isn't that the music is always bad just usually. The music which isn't bad gets repetitious then gets bad. I turn music off always, if allowed to do so
We're guilty of not adding this kind of comment at the end of the article, but we've added it now to invite you to share your own favorites. Great job @bviktor @LetTheWookieWin and others that have already done so!

With potentially dozens of great PC games released every year and hundreds of amazing ones in history that had an iconic music score, this list can in no way be comprehensive, but it can be a conversation starter for you to suggest and share your favorite music in a PC game. What's yours?
MAX PAYNE II has a really special soundtrack.
Look around YOUTUBE to find concerts of video game music by symphony orchestras in Europe.
You know, one game that has some pretty awesome music is Godfall. The game itself isn't great (it's good, not great) but the musical score is fantastic and sounds like it was done by an orchestra.

Honestly though, I don't think that anything can beat the musical scores from games that were based on the Playstation 2. Back then, they were actually trying to make the music great because, you know, Sony.
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No love for Need For Speed musics? At least from the 1st, 2nd, 3rd up to the Most Wanted. I listened to those soundtracks when driving.... rather needily... ^_^

How about the Final Fantasy series?
You forgot a few legendary soundtracks:

Xenon 2: Megablast (1989) soundtrack:

Unreal (1998):

Unreal Tournament (1999):

The unforgettable Angry Birds theme:
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