4. Red Dead Redemption (2010)
Red Dead Redemption isn't simply one of the best games in recent memory; it's also a masterpiece of cinematic storytelling with a highly evocative soundtrack. To wit: Halfway through the game, as John Marston makes the long, four-minute ride across the border into Mexico for the first time, something remarkable happens – background noise and effects fade and a haunting acoustic song by José González called "Far Away" plays in its entirety. It's an unexpected, powerfully subtle moment that hints at Marston's fate to come.
3. Tetris (1984)
The music of Tetris, especially the theme based on the Russian folk song "Korobeiniki," is familiar even to those who aren't fans of the game. The track is based on an 1861 poem by Nikolay Nekrasov and tells a tale of burgeoning love between a young peddler and a peasant girl. What this has to do with stacking brightly-colored blocks is anybody's guess.
2. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (2011)
The Skyrim score is every bit as massive and sweeping as the game itself. (The commercial version spans a whopping four discs.) For the main theme "Dragonborn," composer Jeremy Soule used a male choir of approximately thirty singers and wrote lyrics in the dragon's native tongue of Draconic. Geeky? Sure, but this level of detail can be found in almost every aspect of the game and explains why many are still playing almost two years after its release.
1. Super Mario Bros. (1985)
The Super Mario Bros. soundtrack, composed by Koji Kondo on nothing more than a small keyboard, contains only six songs, but it's easily the most iconic in gaming history. The main track, officially known as the "Ground Theme," is so inescapably catchy that even Kondo himself has wondered whether he'll ever top it.
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