12 Best Video Game Vinyl Soundtracks to Add to Your Collection

best video game vinyl soundtracks
best video game vinyl soundtracks

While there are great streaming services out there that provide music on the go, such as Spotify and Amazon Music, none quite compare to the more personalised listening experience that is vinyl. Something about owning a cover sleeve with carefully curated art before placing the well-pressed disk onto the turntable just ups the level of enjoyment for an album you’ve invested in.

With how much the gaming industry has grown over the years, the talent behind the music rivals the very best in other media. This list aims to find the best video game vinyl soundtracks that you should add to your collection.

From the arcade-like yet immersive soundtracks to the high-quality cinematic masterpieces of the modern world, there’s something for everyone on this list to perk your ears and give your vinyl collection some new flare.

 

12. Shadow of the Colossus – Kow Otani

Shadow of the Colossus vinyl
Shadow of the Colossus vinyl

Kicking off this list in a big way is one of the most acclaimed video games of all time, Shadow of the Colossus. Known for its impressive scope of gameplay and immersive soundtrack for its time, the game is still loved by many today and has since seen a remake to bring it back into the limelight for a new generation to experience. Composer Kow Otani created such an awe-inspiring masterpiece as players scale the giant beasts to music that evokes sadness as the colossi’s deaths aren’t out of spiteful revenge but of necessity.

The cover art demonstrates the sheer size and scale of the Colossi from the game, and the vinyl itself features the remake’s enhancements, including an additional orchestral accompaniment. If you are a fan of the original or never had the pleasure of playing this game, this is a performance that shouldn’t be missed.

 

11. Hero of Time (Music From The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time) – Koji Kondo

Hero of Time vinyl
Hero of Time vinyl

Before Breath of the Wild set the bar high in the open world format, previous Zelda games offered a very different experience. What has remained consistent in quality throughout, though, are the impressive soundtracks across the franchise’s long history. Ocarina of Time was the first in the Zelda series to be developed in 3D and offered a rich, calm, and majestic soundtrack that is still praised by fans today.

Strangely enough, the vinyl ‘Hero of Time’ isn’t affiliated with Nintendo or the original creators, but instead is a faithful recreation by The Slovak National Symphony Orchestra. To this day, Nintendo hasn’t released an official vinyl for Ocarina of Time and probably never will unless a remake sparks an opportunity. That being said, prepare to set off on an adventure with some great hits such as ‘Hero of Time’, ‘Princess Zelda’, and ‘Courage, Wisdom, and Light’.

 

10. Silent Hill 2 – Konami Digital Entertainment

Silent Hill 2 vinyl
Silent Hill 2 vinyl

For a psychological horror game of the PS2 era, Konami Digital Entertainment really captured the sadness of the internal conflict that James Sunderland suffered. The impact of this was nothing short of a critical success back in 2001, creating a benchmark for games as an art form that wasn’t as appreciated back then as it is today. If you ever want to know what it’s like walking through the fog-lit streets of Silent Hill 2, then give the vinyl a try and experience the uncanny yet sad atmosphere composer Akira Yamaoka creates.

This vinyl collection comes with 30 hauntingly beautiful tracks, with a few standouts being Theme of ‘Laura’, ‘Promise’, and ‘Betrayal.’ The cover art is creepy and eerie, featuring a few Silent Hill nightmares such as Pyramid Head and a rustic oak-coloured disk, which is a visual standout on this list.

 

9. No Man’s Sky – 65daysofstatic

Music For An Infinite Universe
Music For An Infinite Universe

Dance between the stars of an infinite universe with 65daysofstatic’s cathartic soundtrack that fills your mind with wonder and possibility. The game itself has had its ups and downs since its 2016 release, but the soundtrack has always captured the ethereal nature and scope No Man’s Sky has to offer. 65daysofstatic has since gone on multiple tours with this album, sharing their ingenious creation with thousands of people live.

This vinyl collection comes with stunning art on the slipcase that captures the vast setting of No Man’s Sky and features 10 tracks from “No Man’s Sky: Music for an Infinite Universe.” If you want to fork out some extra cash, there’s the Deluxe X4 Vinyl that comes with 4 disks instead of 2 and includes 6 soundscapes, each packaged with a custom-made spined sleeve, great to show off to your friends.

 

8. Death Stranding – Ludvig Forssell / Low Roar, CHVRCHES, Silent Poet, and Apocalyptica

Death Stranding Vinyl
Death Stranding Vinyl

There are actually two different vinyl sets to choose from under Hideo Kojima’s 2019 masterpiece, Death Stranding, and both are good enough to be featured in a joint place on this list. The first is the game’s original score by Ludvig Forssell, whose music inspires a wide range of emotions, from the eerie and chilling main theme to the more adrenaline-fueled, suspenseful soundtrack ‘Voidout.’ Listening to this on vinyl is a cinematic experience that rivals the top contenders in the synthpop world and comes with artwork that looks great on a shelf.

The second is much more emotional and stimulating, featuring work from artists such as Low Roar, CHVRCHES, Silent Poet, and Apocalyptica, which were all featured in the game itself. It is always a treat to hear one of these songs play during your adventures to reconnect the world, as it just heightens your experience during these moments. Some of the best-featured songs are ‘Don’t Be So Serious’, ‘Asylums for the Feeling’, and ‘I’ll Keep Coming’, but every song on this list is sublime, and you’re bound to discover your own favourites.

 

7. Dark Souls III – Motoi Sakuraba & Yuka Kitamura

Dark Souls 3 vinyl
Dark Souls 3 vinyl

Let the orchestra fill your soul with the flame of ambition with Dark Souls III’s majestic vinyl record. The talent behind composers Motoi Sakuraba and Yuka Kitamura is undeniable, as the pair have delivered dramatic, intense, and immersive tracks that remind you of the toughest foes you’ve slain (or not, it’s a tough game after all, but the soundtrack is still well worth listening to).

A few standouts from the vinyl that really light your inner fire are ‘Lorian, Elder Prince / Lothric, Younger Prince’, ‘Dragonslayer Armour’, and ‘Soul of Cinder’, but all tracks are nothing short of epic. There is a lot of nostalgia to hold dear with this vinyl soundtrack, especially for those who played the first Dark Souls game, as it marks the end of a long journey with some familiar tracks returning to the series finale.

 

6. Battletoads – David Wise

Battletoads vinyl
Battletoads vinyl

Travel back in time to 1991 for the release of Battletoads, a beat-em-up game that, despite being notorious for its incredible difficulty, manages to retain a special place in many gamers’ hearts. It might seem a little out of place on this list, but Battletoads boasts one of the best video game vinyl soundtracks ever, and you really need vinyl to replicate its original funky beat.

David Wise was the composer for some of gaming’s best, such as Super Smash Bros and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. His work on Battletoads, however, is incredibly unique, as it captures the true arcade feel that used to define older video games and delivers an experience that you don’t find in modern games. The vinyl comes with fun and colourful cover art designed by Nick Gazin and a slime green 180-gram disk, making this one of the more visually unique pieces on this list.

 

5. DOOM (2016) – Mick Gordon

Doom vinyl
Doom vinyl

For you metalheads out there, look no further than artist Mick Gordon for his impressive work on DOOM 2016. His music is sure to get your blood pumping, whether you’re chilling out on the sofa or ripping and tearing your household chore until it is done. Gordon bleeds talent and passion into his music, and you can’t help but dance with the flames of hell with this lineup of adrenaline-rushing tracks.

DOOM Eternal’s soundtrack would have made this list instead, as its updated killer music greatly improved on what was already a well-established soundtrack. Unfortunately, given the issues that occurred behind the scenes between Mick Gordon and id Software, the soundtrack never materialised. Regardless, DOOM 2016’s vinyl is a bloodcurdling experience that lets you relive your moments in Hell’s Inferno as a complete badass.

 

4. The Last Of Us – Gustavo Santaolalla

TLOU vinyl
TLOU vinyl

The most emotionally driven vinyl on this list, The Last Of Us communicates a gripping narrative through its wonderfully epic soundtrack that shines with the quality of vinyl. Many of the songs feature the use of a piano and/or acoustic guitar, which is part of the composer Gustavo Santaolalla’s minimalistic approach, helping the soundtrack connect to the gameplay. This especially hits hard during some of the game’s more important scenes, and the theme captures the tone so well that regardless of whether you’ve played it or not, you can tell what kind of game it is, even if it isn’t an atypical horror game soundtrack.

What’s most impressive is that Santaolalla marked The Last Of Us as his first soundtrack to be featured in a video game. He continued this drive into the sequel and beyond, carrying his passion and skills from the film industry into this new frontier. The songs are in order from the events of The Last Of Us, so you can relive Ellie and Joel’s journey without booting up the game.

 

3. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night – Michiru Yamane

Castlevania Symphony of the Night vinyl
Castlevania Symphony of the Night vinyl

Another retro game from the past, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night’s soundtrack is evocative, to say the least. A true blast from the past that takes us on a harrowingly dramatic journey through Dracula’s castle, backed by the incredible musical talents of Michiru Yamane. The symphonic metal genre doesn’t enter the limelight very often in modern gaming, but fans are saying this entry into the Castlevania universe has one of the best soundtracks of the bunch.

The vinyl comes with 41 songs, each as elegant as the last, but some fan favourites are ‘Lost Painting’, ‘Wandering Ghosts’, and ‘Dracula’s Castle.’ Paired with tea-stained parchment aesthetics for the cover art, Symphony of the Night’s vinyl is a treasure trove of retro goodies that any Castlevania fan would appreciate. Even with the plethora of genres included, such as classical, gothic rock, techno, and more, there’s bound to be something that you’ll enjoy.

 

2. God of War Ragnarök – Bear McCreary

God of War Ragnarok vinyl
God of War Ragnarok vinyl

The award-winning God of War Ragnarök is nothing short of an epic masterpiece, and Bear McCreary has captured the sheer might of Kratos himself. His album empowers you, emboldens your mind, and shakes your very being with his diverse range of music that finds a welcome home in all the 9 realms — and on your own shelf. Some strong choices of music that are included are ‘Blood Upon the Snow’, which was performed at the Game Awards 2022, and the dramatic yet majestic title track ‘God of War Ragnarök – featuring Eivør.’

The vinyl comes with a selection of in-game art, and all disks are icy blue, further adding value to this standout collector’s item. This is the most cinematic and dramatic pick on this list that will leave you roaring to the heavens and motivated to tackle the day ahead.

 

1. Final Fantasy VII Remake & Final Fantasy VII – Nobuo Uematsu & More

FF7 vinyl
FF7 vinyl

There’s no better way to close out this list than with the game that revolutionised the RPG genre and offered excellent narrative depth. From the original Final Fantasy VII to the revitalised and fully explored remake, this is a classic meets modern scenario in this double vinyl feature that gives you the best of both worlds. There’s a wealth of different tones in both versions, from the charmingly calm ‘Tifa’s theme’ from the remake to the aggressively climactic classic ‘Fight on!’ This vinyl set has it all.

So many collaborating artists, such as Nobuo Uematsu, Mitsuto Suzuki, and Masashi Hamauzu, took part in piecing together a collection that has stood the test of time for generations. Their talent and passion are etched into the beats and musical notes that echo throughout the 20 tracks included with the vinyl package. Paired with stunning cover art in tandem with the classic and remake, there is no doubt that Final Fantasy VII is the best video game vinyl soundtrack from one of gaming’s most innovative creations.

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