PPM Top Ten:
Awesome Soundtracks


Games nowadays are cherished for their graphical prowess and 3-D renderings over all else, but an often-overlooked, yet equally important, aspect of game design is the musical accompaniment. Imagine playing through Super Mario Bros. without Koji Kondo's iconic 1-1 level theme. Just try to enjoy Rock n' Roll Racing to its full potential with the mute button clicked on! Music, sound effects, and audio development as a whole are pivotal to the making of a great game - and for this very reason we include "Sound" as a key part of our Game Reviews. In this edition of Top 10, we've decided to celebrate our very favorite gaming soundtracks. Although our publisher refused our request to include a sample CD with this issue, we expect our readers may be familiar with these titles enough to get the idea.

top10-10 apr94-10 F-Zero by Nintendo

A fun and frantic selection of songs bring this futuristic, Mode-7 racing game to life.

top10-9 apr94-9 Actraiser by Square

Is this a sound chip or a symphonic orchestra? Impeccable sound design in this SNES title.

top10-8 apr94-8 Super Castlevania IV by Konami

The upgrade of Castlevania to 16-Bit set the bar high for all SNES action titles to come.

top10-7 apr94-7 Castlevania: Bloodlines by Konami

This cart delivered spookiness on all fronts, especially in its musical score. Try out Stage 2!

top10-6 apr94-6 Star Fox by Nintendo

The Corneria Theme is sure to get trapped in your head if you've played this cart.

top10-5 apr94-5 Plok by Tradewest

Tim and Geoff Follin bring the hard-rockin' tunes in this excellent use of the SNES chip.

top10-4 apr94-4 Gunstar Heroes by Treasure

Catchy synthesizer melodies accompany the fast action of this killer Genesis hit.

top10-3 apr94-3 The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past by Nintendo

Composer Koji Kondo brought his A-Game with some unforgettable arrangements.

top10-2 apr94-2 Streets of Rage II by SEGA

Jet's Choice goes to SEGA's blazing cool techno-house score in this stellar Genesis sequel.

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Final Fantasy II by Square

Japanese role-playing games are oftentimes known for their fantastic scores, but the sound engineers over at Square proved their technical brilliance with Final Fantasy II on SNES. Each and every song is a hit and will have you humming along as you take down enemies one after another. Some of our favorite tracks include the Overworld Theme, Rydia's Theme, the Tower of Babil, and the blood-pumping musical accompaniment for the Final Boss fight. Composer Nobuo Uematsu headed this project on the musical front, and in Japan his work was so admired that soundtrack CDs have been released with his name on them! Uematsu led on the next installment, Final Fantasy V, as well. V may be the best Final Fantasy entry yet (and with the best tunes!), but us stateside folks will have to wait a bit longer to see that for ourselves.


[Article from the April 1994 Issue of PPM]