- Every scene in a video game gets swayed by its musical choice and with hundreds of games having defining moments, the music in each of them holds extreme significance.
- Among a lot of great things in the game, titles like Risk of Rain, Dark Souls, and Red Dead Redemption really know how to sell this method.
- While other titles may not do it so frequently, they indeed have their own perfect moments as well.
There are some moments that have made me tear up, some have given me an absurd of adrenaline, and honestly, some have just made me laugh, but the only thing that has made these moments so critical, was the music. With the added essence of some sort of melody, many games go from good, to astonishingly beautiful, and sometimes even beyond that.
This list will contain some of the most significant and powerful moments that I have personally experienced through the course of dozens of different and unique franchises. These moments range from tearful goodbyes to beautiful sceneries, and some are just a rush of pure adrenaline. With all that being said, we arrive at times when the music went insanely hard.
10. Katana Zero – Full Confessions
After hours of slicing police, drug lords, and supernatural enemies all under the influence of a certain, very addictive, and life-threatening drug Chronos, our main protagonist fights against someone after the same drug, but not for money, for survival. Whoever injects Chronos into their system, needs it to survive all the time, otherwise, the withdrawal will last possibly centuries, inflicting a hell like no other.
These are the stakes that the player enters the final arena with. He knows that he has the advantage, he can win, but at what cost? The drug has already influenced him so much, is any of this real? is he even real anymore? No matter, he will fight, for he has someone to protect. Now this, is how you build up an ending. Although the highlight here is the fight against the drug, the music is the actual center stage.
The soundtrack for the entire game is extremely well made and really puts you in the mood to slice and dice some enemies, but this final track sets a new bar. The entire fight, you have the luxury to die because you’re still on Chronos, but your opponent is in withdrawal, he does not have that luxury, so he is basically fighting a battle that is unwinnable, no matter how you look at it.
Katana Zero is a torturous game, it really opens up the eyes of its players on drug usage and its extremely negative effects alongside the need for maintaining that addiction, but it also shows humanity, even within someone who has given up on themselves. This is definitely, most certainly, a very hard game, and this specific moment goes even harder.
9. Metal Gear Rising – RULES OF NATURE
The first of this list is an extremely iconic moment in all of gaming, in which our protagonist Raiden straight up slices up a machine the size of the empire state building by launching it in the air and shredding it to pieces when finally he lands the finishing blow splitting the titan into two pieces all the while this absurdly powerful track plays in the background flamboyantly.
Metal Gear Rising is all about its explosive gameplay getting crazier with every passing stage. The bosses, the music, and you being a cyber samurai definitely sweetings the whole deal by a mile. Putting more emphasis on its rock and roll aspect allows it to be on par with franchises like DOOM which build itself around using its action-packed gameplay and intense music.
8. Doom Eternal – THE ONLY THING THEY FEAR IS YOU
After playing through Doom 2016 and experiencing the thrill of absolutely shredding demons with chainsaws and huge maniacal weapons, the one thing that made it all the more explosive was the devilishly good soundtrack. And wow, Doom ETERNAL kept that mark up pretty high with some of the most blood-rushing music to have ever been conceived in gaming.
Pain is temporary, BUT DOOM IS ETERNAL. The first time players hear this soul-crushing beat, almost instantly, they are transported into its world. The first time this record plays, that singular burst of absolute insanity is something players won’t soon forget as they mow down hordes upon hordes of ungodly beats, with nothing but their bare hands and a bloodthirsty chainsaw.
7. Risk Of Rain 2 – The Rain Formerly Known As Purple
After the nausea-inducing games we talked about above, let us enter into a more spiritual title with beautiful scenery, amazing music, and a chance to die at literally any moment, let me welcome you to Sky Meadow, a beautiful vacation spot in Risk of Rain 2, be sure to mind the countless horde of unfathomable beings that can kill you in one hit.
After around 35 minutes in every run, all players will eventually end up here for a final teleporter jump to the moon. Here, the first time players arrive, they are enthralled to see a new place so different from other places previously explored. The Sky Meadow is a beautiful place and has one of the hardest-going soundtracks I have ever heard.
The song starts slow, getting you in that ethereal vibe of being on an alien planet surrounded by creatures beyond your wildest imagination, and suddenly, it explodes into one of the best songs on this list. Seeing as how crazy the Sky Meadow can get, this song definitely reflects that. ROR2 has a really good selection of songs for every stage, but this one has been stuck in my head for way too long.
6. Battlefield 1 – The Runner
Battlefield 1 is the best Battlefield in recent years, with the alluring large-scale multi-player, and an amazing, emotional, and realistic campaign, the game has it all. But ignoring the co-op aspect aside, the campaign itself had multiple miniature stories with their significant topics and aesthetics, but probably the most realistic and probably heartbreaking, was The Runner.
This story shows a young enthusiastic soldier named Jack Foster who lies to get into the war and finds out that it isn’t like what the books say. Here we, Fredrick Bishop, are teamed up with this young soldier and fight a losing battle. Like the name of the story, we become a runner, traveling from one place to another on foot to exchange communications with allied forces, all under the fire of the entire enemy brigade.
After we receive a message about the imminent shelling of the forts, we go onto the enemy fort alone and save our captive friend and other allies. Here we stand our ground alone as cover for the allies, waiting for the flare from Jack which would tell us that he made it alive, and here, we reach a moment that speaks the harsh truth, war has no winners.
“We’re impossible to kill.” What Fredrick said here was true, because even if he didn’t make it out alive, his sacrifice became a beacon for others and for the many lives he saved that day, including a young and stupid soldier, Jack Foster, at this moment, the artillery tricks at the beach, and we hear a calming song, one that feels fulfilling.
5. Furi – A Picture In Motion
Probably the least crazy scene on this list, Furi is a game about taking on jailers as they trap you many layers above the Earth’s surface, your job is to take them all out and get to freedom, pretty simple premise. After taking out a boss, you enter into a small walking segment where you analyze the new area and your mysterious companion also talks about the next jailor and his role in this prison to keep up the suspense.
After a few fights, you reach a new segment where you walk around some floating islands in a beautiful scene straight out of a fairy tale, this one isn’t flashy, it’s just calm and collected, getting you ready for a boss that fits its vibe. But no matter what people say, the track playing behind this scene, deserves its slot as one of the most memorable tunes in an indie game.
4. Nier Automata – Weight Of The World
When you hit the final ending credits in Nier Automata, it feels fulfilling. Although the game has many endings, each and every one of the major ones ends the game with a swell of emotions, and the final credits complement these endings as such. The ending for Nier Automata is exemplarily complimented by this final song, and it hits me as the hardest end-credit scene of all time.
Nier Automata has over a dozen endings, but this song only plays on the major ones so that players don’t lose that initial magic of the moment. Like Risk of Rain 2, Nier Automata has a beautiful soundtrack filled with dozens of soul-purifying songs, but Weight Of The World is one that surpasses all of them, and the reason for that is due to it having such an emotional drive to it, truly hard.
3. Dark Souls – Gwyn, Lord Of Cinder
After around 30 hours of slaughtering hollow soldiers, beasts, unrelenting bosses, and taking in its beautiful sceneries, after a player finishes the game, they ask themselves, what the hell did I just play? Dark Souls is undoubtedly one of the most influential games of all time, and with the ending being so sour and confusing, it helps to make the experience all the more alluring.
Although the ending is of great debate, the final boss fight being an emotional rollercoaster is something all players can agree on. Even though Gwyn, the final boss has no words for the player whatsoever, the player feels as if this boss is different, he’s so anticlimactic that it strikes him as a soulless king, something he basically is. And the music is so defining, so flavourful, it creates the best moment in all of Soulsborne.
As the piano turns to its next note so delicately, the player absolutely pummeling the god that created this world shows growth unlike any other. It shows everything that you have been through for this one fight, to take the place of Gwyn and continue the cycle, until another chosen one comes to take your place. This is peak storytelling complemented by a beautiful unforgettable track.
2. Outer Wilds – Final Voyage
Unlike others in this list, this moment, changes with time, and everyone has a different reaction to it. Occurring every 22 minutes, this moment can depict a wide range of emotions to a player, but the fact that it can occur almost infinite times is why this moment strikes as so tantalizing. But what is this scene I’m depicting, well, this video should explain it very well.
As you move through your miniature solar system, this song will randomly start playing, only it is not random, it starts every 22 minutes remember? That’s the loop, the loop you are stuck in. The moment is terrifying, yet beautiful, but the thing that makes it so magical is the song that it plays, and wow, it’s something that others on this list just can’t compare to in this specific category.
Your job is to find a way to stop the end of not just the solar system, but the entire universe. This moment, acts as a horrible marker, reminding you that no matter where you are, no matter what you do, this will always occur, and you will live to see it every time. That’s it, that’s the part that makes this scene so hard, the sheer weight behind it.
1. Red Dead Redemption 2 – May I Stand Unshaken
This is it, this is probably the hardest moment in all of gaming, all of cinema, and probably all of our current entertainment media. The death of Arthur Morgan after being betrayed by his crew is the single most heartbreaking moment in gaming, yes there may be other moments that rival the significance of this scene, but the music that plays here is so good it should be a crime.
This is one of the best western cowboy tracks ever conceived, and the creators waited for the exact perfect moment to deploy it. While other games would reuse tracks again and again for repurposing or branding a certain track to their game, Red Dead Redemption 2 used probably its best song for about half a minute, delivering enough trauma to last half a decade, maybe even more.
There are a wide variety of other tracks that definitely deserve a spot on this list, but without proper scenes to back them up, it’s pretty hard to see them ever coming out as memorable. Truly, making something memorable is a hard task, but the few that do break through, are remembered for years to come.
Although a lot of official soundtracks deserve their praise for being amazing, unless they are utilized correctly, they really can’t be remembered. Games like Hollow Knight or Celeste have some of the best soundtracks to ever grace gaming, but if it stays as mostly background music then it adds to the wonderful experience. If they strive to add a few memorable moments like these, they too can get the praise they deserve.
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