Exploring The Best Video Game Soundtracks On Vinyl
A great game can be made even better with a standout soundtrack, and most audiophiles agree vinyl is the best way to experience the music you love. The medium has gone through a bit of a resurgence in popularity over the past few years, and some incredible packages have been put together to bring some of the best video game soundtracks of all time to your turntable. Here are a few of our favorites.
If these releases get you thinking about starting your own video game vinyl collection, you're in luck. We have partnered with iam8bit to give away a number of records, including signed versions of the Uncharted: Nathan Drake Collection, FTL, Guild Wars 2, and Dustforce soundtracks. To be eligible to win one of these records, leave a comment below telling us all about your favorite video game soundtrack!
This recently announced release is a great collection for fans of the insanely popular sports game. The limited edition first run of 1,000 copies features records with artwork of various tires and wheels available in game. A pre-order of the triple LP package grants you a digital copy of the full soundtrack immediately, featuring a variety of artists.
No Man's Sky
65DaysOfStatic was already an established instrumental rock band before composing the soundtrack for the hotly anticipated No Man's Sky. The group has put together music worthy of blasting while you soar around the galaxy, and is even planning a worldwide tour of the game's music. The vinyl release is planned for later this fall and features a beautiful gatefold with unique artwork.
There is no shortage of Minecraft merchandise available, but this vinyl soundtrack from artist C418 is something special. It features nearly all of the game's ambient music and will bring back memories of all the hours you lost in the game. The limited edition green vinyl has since sold out, but the record is easy to find on standard black wax.
Hyper Light Drifter
One of the biggest indie titles released this year, Hyper Light Drifter also brought one of the year's best soundtracks. The music comes from Disasterpeace, an experienced artist who also scored the fantastic horror flick It Follows. This 4LP collection comes in an assortment of colors and features a folding, triangular outer sleeve.
When lost in the Wasteland, music on the radio is one of your only companions. This vinyl boxest, available only on the Bethesda Store, collects the game's ambient score across six records decorated with Pip-Boy decals. Also included are a number of gatefold jackets with the game's 1950s-era art.
Not only does this collector's edition record come with a copy of the game Necropolis, the packaging itself is a game. The maze-like artwork is designed to replicate the puzzling nature of Necropolis, and comes with everything you'll need to explore the labyrinth besides a pair of dice. The music is pressed on light blue vinyl.
The collector's edition of the upcoming Mafia III comes with two 180-gram records,one featuring licensed music from the game's 1960s soundtrack and the other with the full bluesy score. This package runs $150 and also includes dog tags, an art book, and drink coasters. The game and its collector's edition launch on October 7.
Oxenfree's tense setting was made even more unsettling by its ambient soundtrack, scored by SCNTFC. The vinyl release of the game's score is pressed on gray and purple records and features artwork on the cover and sleeves of the game's various towns and caves.
For even more classic and indie game soundtracks, continue on to Page 2.
Mega Man Picture Disk
This Hot Topic exclusive picture disk featured a print with the game's iconic art style and a sampling of the series' classic music. Spacelab9 produced this record which included the chiptune music of multiple boss stages from the first ten Mega Man games.
The XCOM double-LP package contains a sampling of the best music from both Enemy Unknown and the recently released XCOM 2. The soundtrack is pressed on stark blue vinyl and features the compositions of Michael McCann, Roland Rizzo, and Tim Wynn.
One of the Nintendo 64's most iconic video game scores came from Rare's classic Nintendo 64 platformer, Banjo Kazooie, and this recent release from iam8bit pays homage to it in all the right ways. The original soundtrack from Grant Kirkhope is pressed on two records that resemble each of the titular characters as well as a true-to-life recreation of Banjo and Kazooie on the cover.
Life Is Strange
One of the best aspects of the episodic story game Life Is Strange was its incredible licensed soundtrack. A CD with all of the featured songs was included with the game's physical collector's edition, but a limited edition LP was released as well. Though the package is not the most distinct imagery featured on this list, the music is some of the best, featuring artists such as Sparklehorse, Bright Eyes, and Amanda Palmer.
Guild Wars 2
This release features the orchestral soundtrack for the popular MMO's expansion, Heart of Thorns, mastered specifically for vinyl by Telegraph Mastering Studio. It features artwork of some of the game's largest, most formidable, creatures and is pressed on scaly green records.
The Last of Us
One of the most beloved games in recent memory received a fittingly beautiful soundtrack released on vinyl by the notable collectibles retailer Mondo. This package included the game's harrowing score pressed onto four 180-gram black vinyl records with stunning art by Olly Moss and Jay Shaw.
The score for FTL: Faster Than Light set the perfect ambiance for a crew lost in deep space slowly losing themselves to all sorts of alien threats. The limited edition vinyl release comes in a metallic foil jacket and a similarly patterned record with art by Leif Podhajsky.
Far Cry: Blood Dragon
Everything about Far Cry: Blood Dragon oozed '80s throwback, including the energetic synths on the electronic soundtrack. The vinyl release features all of the game's music by Powerglove, and was distributed in a limited run on pink vinyl for Record Store Day in 2014. The black vinyl release is much easier to obtain now, though.
For a game that relied so heavily on atmosphere and emotion, Journey's soundtrack may have been the key to holding the entire experience together. The artwork on the vinyl release captures the game's sprawling environments as well as colorful art direction. The hero and his scarf are featured on the record, and are made to dance around as it spins.
Even more box sets and colorful records are featured on Page 3.
Grand Theft Auto V Boxset
The Grand Theft Auto series is known for always having a stellar soundtrack, and Grand Theft Auto V was no exception. This limited edition box set collected a huge amount of the game's music across six multi-colored records. The Welcome To Los Santos record was also released, which included new tracks that were recorded for the PC release of the game.
This psychedelic, rhythm-violence experience is headed to PlayStation VR in October, and is launching with a collector's edition also including the full soundtrack. Iam8bit is putting out the picture disk, that features bright artwork ripped right out of the rhythmic gameplay.
Street Fighter 2
Brave Wave underwent a labor of love to produce a full release of the original score from Street Fighter 2, ripped straight from arcade boards. The 4LP box set features artwork of the game's most popular characters and interviews and essays from the original composers.
The pulsating violence of Hotline Miami's gameplay is only matched by its memorable soundtrack. Devolver Digital and Dennaton games paired up with Laced Records to produce a massive box set of the game's music on vinyl via KickStarter. The Collector's Edition project is nearing completion, though the Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number soundtrack was already released on vinyl in a limited edition with the game's launch.
Providing the soundtrack for one of the biggest indie games of all time turned artist Disasterpeace into a breakout success. Fez's score is instantly recognizable and still regarded as one of the best game soundtracks ever made. This vinyl release from Polytron features the game's glyph alphabet printed on the back cover and colorful vinyl records.
Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection
To celebrate the release of the first three Uncharted games on PlayStation 4, iam8bit collected the scores from each game in one big set. All of the music was composed by Greg Edmonson and each game gets its own full dedicated record. There is pixel-style art on each of the sleeves depicting key scenes from each game. Later on, the Uncharted 4 score was also released.
It only makes sense that a game based on heavy metal music received a full vinyl release. The guitar-shredding score from Peter McConnell was pressed to vinyl by Double Fine and made to look weathered and just as brutal as the name suggests.
One of the most infamous games of all time rounds out this list with one of the best video game soundtracks of all time. The music of Battletoads is fast and funky, pressed here on slimy green-colored wax. The artwork of the outer cover is designed by Nick Gazin, who also did art for Run the Jewels and Wavves.
Have you added any of these records to your collection? What game soundtrack do you think should be pressed on vinyl? Sound off in the comments below!