5 Criminally Good Video Game OSTs Guaranteed to Rock You

Music taste, this is obviously a very subjective topic…and we ain’t giving a fuck. You will love most of the tracks from these Video Game OSTs or you’re evil. While this is not a list of the best OSTs to exist, these are some of the OSTs that jam so hard that they will just become part of your music lexicon. Included are tracks new and old, instrumentals as well as voiced, no matter your style, you’ll probably be able to find some songs you really like out of this fantastic bunch. The list is in no particular order, read on to fill your musical bank of knowledge.

1.  Bayonetta 2 Original Soundtrack Vol 1 & 2

This soundtrack is built from the ground up with a regal and royal tone, very fitting as those two words describe Bayonetta herself perfectly. There have been times where I stopped playing Bayonetta 2 just to go and find a song that I heard in it and add it to my playlist. Slicing, kicking, punching, shooting, and bringing absolute hair foolery to enemies while hearing these tunes was sublime. Here are two tracks that stood out for me in particular.

1. Moon River

This song features the lovely voice of Keeley Bumford, and it’s fucking velvety smooth. I’m talking about an eargasm-inducing melody that makes anyone want to sing along. Even as a lover of completely different genres of music, this song instantly made me feel at home and at ease. Quite the awesome experience to discover a new sound that captivates you. Even after all this time, it still gets me hype. It has repetitive lyrics, but the artist’s voice progresses on each one, making this something I could listen to indefinitely. I’ve been known to listen to tracks that looped for upwards of 10 hours, and this would be a perfect track for that. Take a listen. Amazingly, this track is CRIMINALLY underused in the game itself as you hear it maybe a handful of times. My brother in Sega, if you don’t blast this banger at every chance!

2. Tomorrow is Mine

Another marvelously elegant tune with that same royal and regal tone, also once again recorded by the talented Keeley Bumford. Hearing this jam definitely makes me want to beat someone’s ass; it has the same potency as a 3-6 Mafia banger but in the package of a classy set of soundwaves. If your body does not shimmy on instinct when you hear this, you are not human. The ear intimacy continues as motivation shoots through the veins of the listener of this OST. I was absolutely heartbroken to hear that Bayonetta 3 would be a Switch exclusive, reaching comic book villain levels of evil by Nintendo right there. Take your mind off the pain of no mods, 8k textures, custom soundtracks, etc., with a physical version of the Bayonetta 2 Soundtrack for your collection.

2. Persona 4 Original SOundtrack

Phew, if you thought Bayonetta 2’s OST went hard, then you might legit face cardiac arrest after listening to the musical genius that is Persona 4 Golden’s OST. Where do I even begin? It’s pretty hard to pick out the top favorites of mine, but I’ll do you a solid. Here are three tracks from the Persona 4 Golden OST that rock hard as fuck. Whether or not you ever play this game, this music will make your head bob and induce that magical feeling.

1. Backside of the TV

Shihoko Hirata was in the goddamn zone when recording this track; it has a bright and poppy tone, and the lyrics perfectly complement the beat. Imagine a realm where shame did not exist, where you could Harlem Shake to this track to your heart’s content. I have blasted this song on every occasion, from about to go to sleep, to about to go on a date. It never fails to get me hyped. You must hear this for yourself to really appreciate it. Pop some headphones on and enjoy.

2. Heartbeat, Heartbreak

Once again voiced by the audio goddess Shihoko Hirata, the instrumentals for all of these tracks are not to be overlooked either. The composer Shoji Meguro is nothing short of a phenom himself. Who knows what goes into the creation of video game OSTs, but they seem to easily dwarf the music of typical mainstream music. Crafting a series of songs around a general tone or theme or an IP seems to lead to more consistently stellar results. Looking at the production values, etc., and how many video game musicians are not also mainstream musicians, seems to imply something weird when trying to intertwine those two worlds. This song has a timeless sound that will not stale as you listen to it for the 800th time in a row. Don’t take my word for it, listen to this once through and tell me you didn’t let it repeat.

3. Heaven

It’s like Shihoko Hirata can only make excellent music, as once again her lovely voice is at the center of another beautiful track. “Heaven” is a heavy song but can also be mellow/chill. Tears have absolutely been shed to this. There are countless fan versions of this one as well, including the one by Sapphire that I discovered shortly after a breakup. I’ve never gotten over a breakup faster in my life than after letting the tears flow to that specific fan banger. Experience the goosebump-inducing original here, and the outstanding fan version here. In fact, you know you need a physical copy of this OST in your collection; I’ve got you covered, boss. Seriously, this is one of the better video game OSTs I’ve ever heard and certainly worth a listen if you delve into the world of awesome game tunes.

3. Jet Set Radio Future

*Takes shades off.* Gaming brethren and sistren, in this article, we’ve been dabbling in the world of video game OSTs, but prepare yourself. JSRF’s OST might be the tightest, funkiest, dopest OST ever made for any video game. Pinning down even three tracks is too hard, so I’m giving you five, but nearly every track on this OST slaps stupendously, and you’re exposed to all of them as the OST loops during gameplay as you unlock different areas. You can pin your favorite track to play while you’re in your group’s hideout.

1. Teknopathetic

A creation of the legendary Hideki Naganuma, this track takes you right into the future with its offensively funky vocals and synth-type tone that feed the soul. The inner urge to dance to this track is involuntary. An excellent melody to take in as you rip up the various areas in JSRF. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve played through this game just to experience the OST in conjunction with the game. “Teknopathetic” is exactly what I envision when I think of futuristic rollerblading teens. The amount of audacity in video game composers is infinite as they routinely drop some of the best music I’ve ever heard with little to no recognition in comparison to their mainstream counterparts. There is also another Sega released version of this song that arguably goes harder in the e-Pop ‘n’ Disco 80s Mix. “Teknopathic” is simply one of the best songs I’ve ever heard in any game.

2. Birthday Cake

An interesting track that can be a little jarring for a musical snob type. But to my open-minded friends, Cibo Matto comes hard as fuck on this track, while it is not exclusive to JSRF, hearing it in-game for the first time in my preteens has stuck with me ever since. Very interesting vocals in tandem with tone-switching instruments give this track a superbly unique sound that feeds the ear in an unparalleled way. I have nothing but fond memories and opinions of this super-duper funky track.

3. Aisle 10 (Hello Allison)

The hits keep coming as Scapegoat Wax dropped a timeless gem that has garnered them listenership for life ever since I heard this song at the age of 12. A mellow jam about a man’s interest in a young lady. Nothing but positive vibes and funk on this one; the chorus is specifically hypnotizing. Scapegoat has other hits as well, but this one remains their most iconic track, in my humbly correct opinion. This track encompasses those early 2000s vibes well, taking me back to a simpler time when the hype for JSRF was at an all-time high. Take it in for yourself, but beware of your next store visit when stepping on Aisle 10.

4. Funky Dealer

The funkiest goddamn track you will ever hear. This track smells from miles away. Hideki is abominably talented, as I haven’t heard a track from him that doesn’t slap hard. His funky DJ style mixed with the perfect short looping vocals seems to be the perfect formula for him. “Funky Dealer” is another track that fits perfectly into the JSRF world. Ripping up the asphalt with this in the background is nothing short of therapeutic. This track was dry-aged for as long as possible to increase funk to the max.

5. Concept of Love

The final audio orgasm that I will subject you to is the intro song for the game itself. I have spent an unhealthy amount of my life grinding around in this game, playing this track. A perfect track to get you up and at ’em, the energetic vibes and instruments are just marvelous. Understanding the concept of love is something that will be second nature after hearing this gem. Hideki Naganuma clearly came to play when this OST was made, as he brought his A-game on every single song. A physical copy of this OST is a MUST for all OST enthusiasts. Are you kidding me? This is legitimately one of the best video game OSTs of all time. Honorable mention bangers include “The Answer” by Bran Van 3000, “Baby T” by Guitar Vader, “Statement of Intent” by BIS, “Like it Like This Like That” by Hideki Nagunuma, and “I Love Love You” by Guitar Vader. Get out of my face, man! The music in this game is spectacular.

4. NBA Live 2003

This oldie game is littered with custom-made as well as licensed tracks, all of them jammed, especially at the time of release. I used to leave this game on the title screen for hours just to hear the songs cycle, whether I was playing or not. Don’t forget the music CD that was included, depending on where you got the game. Of course, I lost mine, but the game itself served pretty much the same purpose. Here are some particularly good tracks from this relic of an OST.

1. If I Could Go

I’m sure you’ve heard this early 2000s tune from Angie Martinez, but just in case you haven’t. One of the more regal and classy R&B songs that came out at the time. You can hear the excellent vocals of Lil Mo, known for a hit song with Fabolous called Superwoman. The nostalgia produced from this track is tear-inducing. Goddamn, I can remember grinding season mode on this game and jamming like I’d never jammed before. If I could go… back to 2003 for one day.

2. Full Moon

Brandy and Fat Joe dropped a modest banger in the early 2000s, and it made its way onto the NBA Live 2003 soundtrack. There are a comical amount of censored lyrics, specifically in Fat Joe’s verse, but my early 2000s ear heard music differently. Absolutely, a stellar track with a hypnotizing chorus, once again by one of the classier R&B goddesses at the time. Phew, what a woman, and what a track.

3. It’s in the Game

The hottest song ever made for any NBA Live game, featuring a prime Fabolous. This shit was getting sung every day religiously in my middle school when the game first dropped. We could not wait until recess to put this OST on the speakers and try to cross someone over. Good fucking times if there ever were any, with its majestic and vibrant tone, this track quickly gained super-duper popularity. Internet view counts could never do it justice. I heard this song on the streets as many people were banging the whole OST in their cars like it was a normal CD. It did consist of some mainstream tracks and featured mostly mainstream artists, but there was a unique flair to the original track for NBA 2003. I personally use this song for all types of motivation even today. It gets the energy flowing and the ego ego-ing.

4. Too Hood

An unexpected gem from another classy R&B diva, Monica. The chorus is quite mesmerizing, and the beat is chill and fresh, perfectly encompassing the early 2000s vibes and making anyone feel right at home. A song that you could let replay over and over and bob your head indefinitely. Listening to it now as I write this article, I constantly stop and reminisce. If you are in my age range and have a similar music taste, you too can dabble in these nostalgic vibes. Another video game OST that brought the goddamn heat. Kudos. The physical copies are pretty rare, but they still make an excellent addition to any collection. You’ll have to search eBay or take your chances buying a “new” copy from Amazon that will potentially include the music CD.

5. Cyberpunk 2077

Absolutely one of the best video game OSTs in recent memory. A stupid number of hits that fit mannnnnny genres. I’m talking everything from rock to jazz, there is no shortage of memorable tracks in this OST. Here are three of my personal favorites, but you certainly cannot go wrong with nearly any track in the entire game.

1. Resist and Disorder

The most perfect song I’ve ever heard for revolution purposes. Imagine cleansing the world of its corruption with a gang and this song blasting. Well, you can live that to an extent in Cyberpunk 2077. Admittedly, I greatly empathize with the perspective of Silverhand in this game, so a song like this feeds my soul like no other. What a monster of a track. Rezodrone and the Cartesian Duelists brought their A-game, judge for yourself. Nowhere to run, it’s all undone, this track fucking slaps…

2. Heave Ho

Stupendously vibey banger created by Konrad Old Money and Frawst. Bobbing your head is an inevitability if this song is playing. A refreshingly lyrical hip-hop song in the age of mumble rap, robot-sounding like-minded zombies. Any gigs that required V to kick some ass, I was popping this on repeat with a special mod. The lyrics perfectly encompass the gritty attitude of the Cyberpunk 2077 Universe.

3. Archangel

Another perfect revolution-inducing spectacle of a song. Outside of “One by One” by the Ting Tings, I haven’t heard a more appropriate song to blast while you take down corpo swine. Samurai has hit after hit after hit on this OST, and it’s too difficult to pick a favorite, so honestly, jam them all. Riding through Night City on the Kusanagi, blasting this track is a must. Even though this game is relatively new compared to the other options on the list, finding a physical copy is quite hard. Certainly something to add to your collection now as this OST is guaranteed to age like the finest wine due to the sheer number of hits. Cop yours and let me know where you found it in the comments below.

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