One of the great joys in gaming is definitely the background music to go with it. Good music for a great character or stage always makes the difference and the experience a little more worth-while. With some characters, gamers just expect good music to follow wherever they go. Here are some good examples:

Maybe one of the most memorable tunes of the fighting era was Ken' theme from Street Fighter II. Almost everybody knew it, and some still remember it. Since then, he's had a couple good alternate themes since, but nothing as nice as the original. And his theme may be the most used when it comes to Street Fighter remixes.

This red-headed kicking machine had some nice tunes in his Tekken 3 debut, original and arranged version. Given the soundtrack's popularity, it spawned a couple of official remixes, and Hwoarang always had a nice remix to boot

Iori and his music have always had one thing in common: style. Almost all of his themes, pretty much unlike any other fighter I've heard of has a strong touch of jazz to it. And it works! Like the jazz in Cowboy Bebop, some of his tracks can even pass for classic American Jazz. Some people listen his KOF 96 or KOF 98 theme and think music like this could never come from video game. Sad really.

Just as classic as Ryu's themes, Kyo has always had a good hit to them. Like Iori's, Kyo's themes are the kind you'd pay to listen to at concerts, especially if you love good guitar griffs. And what is possibly the best theme ever in fighting games, 'Tears' from KOF 99 is really something out of this world.

Epic is a great word to describe such a theme. The Halo series boasts music that goes across worlds, which is where the games go too. Other than online play, I think part of the success of Master Chief has to do with a great soundtrack. It fits him, and his status as hero & conquerer.

For gamers, nothing quite says adventure like the Hyrule overworld theme. All those hours traversing across Hyrule using Link to slay the forces of evil. And that was just part one. Since then, the theme has been apart of him, and he of it. Play any Zelda enough and Link's music will make you want to grab a sword and shield and go defeat Gannon.

Sometimes it's nice when a fighting game does a little extra for its fans. Since the appearance of Athena in KOF'94, every year almost begs the question "Will there be another Psycho Soldier song?" and "Will it be better than the last?" That was probably the first time I played a 2D fighting game, and heard vocals instead of midi-type music. Bravo SNK for raising expectations! '96 version has been the best so far, but maybe the next one will be better.

This might be bending the rules a little bit, having two characters, but it can't be helped. When you pit these guys against each other, the music is so sweet! Guilty Gear has always had great music, but Sol vs Ky is always top tier, and a top choice when you take it to versus mode and select the BGM. 'No Mercy' is great no matter how many times you hear it.

The only one-hit wonder on the list, and the only one that needs to be. Operatic gaming music is very popular now, probably due in large-part to this RPG giant. A lot of people argued after FFVII's release that the soundtrack was great, but could've been forgotten without 'One-Winged Angel'. And the song speaks of him like a deity on high, so it nearly describes him perfectly. Maybe other than 'Psycho Soldier', no other track could feature a choir narcassiticly chanting the character's name with as much succession as Seph-i-roth!

Since the dawn of the 16-bit era, and even now, Sonic the Hedgehog has been giving us track-after-track of memorable plaftorming music. Each fit and helped us to remember the stages we speeded through. Sonic has had several runaway hits under his belt, including the Chemical Plant Zone from Sonic 2, Flying Batter Zone from Sonic & Knucles, Ice Cap Zone from Sonic 3, and the list keeps going. Even in the jump to 3D and Sonic Adventure, some of those soundtracks are worth owning. Sonic is by-far one the coolest characters in gaming, partly because of and partly for his great music. Even his cartoon shows had good themes ('Fastest Thing Alive' or 'Sonic Drive' from Japanese Sonic X)

These characters' music tracks I can listen to over and over again. With honorable mention to those who didn't make it to the list (Solid Snake, Ryu, Mega Man, Samus, Terry Bogard, etc.), keep watching for some more good tracks from these guys.

List by thesolidshark (10/09/2007)

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