All the great music from the original Super Mario games, redone in glorious 16-bit sound. For making what was already great ever better, this game gets a spot on the list. It's the only time I'm putting a remake soundtrack on this list, I promise.
The music for Yoshi's Island was simple, and there weren't many songs, but they were absolutely perfect for the game. The songs were fun, light hearted and memorable, much like the whole game. Of all the music on the SNES, Yoshi's Island just might be the most fun to listen to.
And if Yoshi's Island's music isn't the most fun, the Kirby's Dream Land 3 music is. Any Kirby game's music can be described as unique, but Kirby's Dream Land 3 is unique even for a Kirby game. Wether you're sucking up blocks in Grass Land, swimming through Ripple Field, or flying through the Sand Canyons, this game never fails to give you an entertaining musical experience to make up for gameplay that doesn't quite measure up to other games starring the tiny, pink, hungry blob.
Perhaps this game should be a bit higher on the list. But it is the one game on the list that I have not played. (what?!) But I have heard the music, even have the soundtrack on my computer. I can't say anything about how well it fits with the game, but I do know the music is quite enjoyable. I particularly like Frog's theme. I suppose the fact that I can feel comfortable putting this on my list without having played the game says something about the game's music.
No game that I've played has ever had a soundtrack quite like Secret of Mana's. This game is unique in many ways, and the music is no exception. The beautiful, moving opening theme is one of the best songs in any game on this list. The songs usually set the mood just right and the game is full of great melodies that will have you humming along in no time.
From the heroic Theme of Samus Aran, to the intense boss music, to the eerie Maridia music, this soundtrack really helps give the game it's epic feel. The music often gives the game's environments a feeling of suspense that they otherwise would not have had. In the case of Super Metroid, the music actually enhances the gameplay. How I wish I could say the same for the more recent Metroid games - they may have good music, but not like Super Metroid has.
Untile quite recently, this game had my favorite Zelda soundtrack. Every song in this game is superb and works with the game environments flawlessly. When the Zelda theme was brought back for this game, it was twice as good as the original, which was already amazing. It was in this game that we saw the introduction of some of our favorite Zelda songs, such as Kakariko, Hyrule Castle, and Zelda's Lullabye, that returned for the later games. The Dark World theme even made an appearance in Twilight Princess (in Kakariko). Pay close attention, it's easy to miss.
These top three games could have appeared in any order. Deciding between them was tough. But for #3, I have chosen Super Mario RPG. Rarely does a game have a story, characters, dialogue, graphic style, and music that work together so well. This game redoes some classic Mario music to fit the game, and introduces many amazing original songs as well. Much like the story, the music can be serious at times, but never completely loses that fun, light-hearted feeling that defines the game.
While all three Donkey Kong Coutnry games had good music, Diddy's Kong Quest is by far the best of the three. Very much unlike the #3 game in the list, DKC2's music usually sounds very serious. One time as I was playing it several years ago, my mother commented on the dramaticness of the music. It is that intensity (with the occasional super-happy song to change things up a bit) that makes the music great. Of course, not every song is dramatic; some are ambient and relaxing - like my favorite: Stickerbush Symphony (bramble levels). Unlike the other two games in the Country series, nearly every level has brilliant music that really captures the essence of the game.
Some call it a masterpiece, others call it a fluke. It doesn't matter, the fact is: Nobuo Uematsu really did something amazing with this game. Few soundtracks come close to bringing out the emotion of a game the way the music of Final Fantasy 6 (aka FF3 outside of Japan at the time of it's release) did. The variety in this game's soundtrack is rarely matched, but regardless of style or mood, every song is well-written and well placed. It has fantastic character themes, including the best villian theme ever, and more memorable songs than just about any other game. But what pushes this game to the top, above the other great soundtracks listed here, is the opera. Even if every other song were bland and boring, the opera alone could have put it somehwere on this list.
So before you think, "This list is terrible, _______ is better than most of this stuff," remember that the SNES's selection of games is huge, and while I would love to have played all of them and created this list having heard everything the SNES has to offer, I just don't have that kind of time and money. Typing this up was one huge nostalgia trip for me, I write it in hopes that some of you may look back and think, "yeah, that was some good music." It definetely deserves to be remembered, and to be listened to many times. While some developers are satisfied with background music, these games go much further, giving us a musical experience that, in many cases, move the game up to a whole new level of greatness.
List by Fayceless (01/24/2007)
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