The Best Orchestral Video Game Soundtracks

Rear View Of Woman Playing Video Games

Jedrzej Kaminski/Getty Images

With advances in technology happening as regularly as the sun rises, video games have the unique ability to attract new users as well as retain old ones. Innovative gameplay, captivating plotlines, exceptionally realistic computer-generated imagery, and soundtracks on par with, if not better than, cinematic and classical music composers, give players a multi-faceted experience. These recommended video game original scores and soundtracks will make a great addition to your classical music collection.

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Greatest Video Game Music

Greatest Video Game Music
Greatest Video Game Music. X5 Music Group

Released in November 2011, the London Symphony Orchestra focused their remarkable talent on video game music. From the Angry Birds theme to the original Super Mario Bros. theme, you'll hear expertly performed orchestral versions of some of the industries most popular and beloved video game soundtrack like The Legend of Zelda: Suite, Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, Call of Duty 4: Main Theme, World of Warcraft: Seasons of War, the Tetris theme, as well Nate's Theme from Uncharted 2.

Recommended Track Listings

  • The Legend of Zelda: Suite
  • Final Fantasy VII: Liberi Fatali 
  • Uncharted: Drake's Theme
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Castlevania: Lords of Shadow

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow

This haunting soundtrack was included within the game's limited edition release. With a score written by Spanish composer Óscar Araujo, a 120 piece orchestra was used to create the lush orchestrations of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow. Araujo won the International Film Music Critics Association's award for Best Original Score for a Video Game or Interactive Media in 2011.

Recommended Track Listings

  • Belmont's Theme
  • Waterfalls of Agharta
  • Final Confrontation
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Civilization V

Civilization 5

Included with the limited Game of the Year edition, the soundtrack to Civilization V is nothing less than spectacular. The thoughtful and insightful score by Michael Curran and Geoff Knorr was painstakingly written after studying the many world cultures included within the game. Curran and Knorr masterfully wove together specific cultural melodies and themes into each of their original scores as a way to envelop the player as he or she plays as Alexander the Great, George Washington, or even Gandhi. Within the game, but not included in the soundtrack, are also works by great classical composers like Dvorak, Copeland, and more.

Recommended Track Listings

  • Washington Peace Theme
  • Bismark Peace Theme
  • Elizabeth Peace Theme
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Distant Worlds 1 & 2: Music of Final Fantasy

Distant Worlds: Music of Final Fantasy
Square Enix

With over a dozen installments, Final Fantasy has a huge following. Along with the many great storylines and gameplay is a plethora of fantastic music. Distant Worlds I & II: Music of Final Fantasy contains orchestrated versions of some of the series most popular soundtracks. Even with 26 total tracks between the two albums, this collection barely scratches the surface and leaves many fans wanting more, including me!

Recommended Track Listings

  • One Winged Angel
  • Terra's Theme
  • The Man with the Machine Gun
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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

This four-disk set features the award-winning music of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Skyrim is one of the biggest games released in the last few years with gameplay easily into the hundreds of hours. With all that game time, there has to be a truly epic score - and that there is.

Recommended Track Listings

  • Far Horizons
  • Frostfall
  • Dragonborn
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More Recommendations

  • Dragon Age Inquisition Theme from Dragon Age Inquisition
  • The Hunter's Patch from The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  • Alabaster from Infinite Undiscovery 
  • Luxerion from Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII 
  • The Last of Us from The Last of Us 
  • Taking to the Skies from Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch
  • The Beginning of the End from Final Fantasy Type-0 HD
  • Nascence from Journey