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Music is a universal form of media. Even if you don’t go out of your way to regularly listen to music, it will still be a big part of your life. Every TV show, film, game, or even advert will use music to try and make you feel something. If you were to rewatch moments like the speech from Braveheart or the portal scene in Avengers: Endgame without the music in the background, those moments lose part of their emotive power.

Video games are no different, and need to cover their hours of content with lots of different themes for everything. Characters and locations need their own motifs that make them stand out; battles need something catchy that won’t be grinding after the 100th time you’ve heard it; and every cutscene needs just the right kick to give it all the emotion you want.

Gaming is full of masterful composers that defined series and helped shape entire genres over the years, and we want to honor such brilliant work.

We’ve put together 40 tracks that cover all different kinds of awesome video game music. Whether it’s a battle theme, an overworld theme, or a character theme, all that matters is that it’s a banger. Our only restriction is one track per series – otherwise, this entire list would just be the Persona 5 soundtrack.

If you're looking for something to play on a budget this year, check out our list of the best laptop games.

Persona 5 Royal key art.
Assassin's Creed 2
Super Smash Bros Ultimate, Sephiroth standing in flames
A whalepunk ninja spies through a window while crouched on the ledge outside in Dishonored. A robotic strider stomps around in the background and there's a gothic clocktower in the distance.
Shadow of the Colossus: the player is tiny on the screen, standding next to a giant made of stone.
You have to see this incredible Skyrim map in Halo Infinte Forge: A man in dull green armor with a glowing amber face visor stands against a black and beige backdrop of stars
Towerfall Ascension Dark World DLC key art
Planet Coaster massive park with many rides and attractions
Fire Emblem Three Houses, Byleth and Nemesis crossing swords
Sayonara Wild Hearts, Mine level bosses
Undertale Sans fight
Paradise Killer key art
Animal Crossin New Horizons, town gathered to listen to KK Slider
Castlevania Harmony of Despair key art
Tekken 7 key art
Double Dragon Neon key art
Bravel Default 2 Edna
Moonlighter, inside the Moonlighter
The House in Fata Morgana key art
Street Fighter 5 Rashid
Mirror's Edge key art
Portal Glados boss fight
Starcraft gameplay
Red Dead Redemption key art
A top down view of two spaceships in FTL.
The Legend of Zelda Ocanarina of Time, Gerudo Valley temple
Tetris 99 gameplay
Donkey Kong Country key art
Civilization 4 gameplay
Pokemon Dialga
Octopath Traveler protagonists playing music
Ace Attorney Phoenix Wright pointing
Skyrim player shooting an arrow at a dragon
Celeste, Reflections, Madeline vs Badeline boss fight
Mario Odyssey New Donk City Festival, Mario dancing to Pauline's singing
Sonic Mania Flying Battery Zone Knuckles walking on the ceiling
Xenoblade Chronciles 2 Mythra awakening
Nier Uatomata 2B and 9S simultaneously attacking a robot
Pokemon Cyntia with Garchomp

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