We suspect that Portalcould've made it on this list off the back of "Still Alive" alone. Jonathan Coulton wrote the perfect song to close out a game where an AI called GLaDOS did its level best to kill a "test subject" as they made their way through Aperture Science's labs with nothing but a portal gun and trusty companion cube. The soundtrack as a whole is good, but GLaDOS' coda just pushes the game's music towards greatness.
4. 'Final Fantasy VII'
Speaking of games that feature one song that would justify making this list, next we come to Final Fantasy VII, the renowned JRPG that debuted on the original PlayStation. "One Winged Angel" has been covered by everything from heavy metal bands to full orchestras, and the rest of Nobuo Uematsu's work on the soundtrack is equally strong. The emotions captured by the game's music helped people fall into a world where a group of misfits with awe-inspiring abilities has to band together to save the planet from the son of a galactic parasite. (We're paraphrasing.)
3. 'BioShock Infinite'
BioShock Infinite brought its series from the depths of the ocean to a city above the clouds. It also saw a different approach to the soundtrack that focused more on simple tracks played by small string ensembles instead of grandiose pieces played by a full orchestra. The approach worked--BioShock Infinite won numerous awards for its soundtrack, from Best Song in a Game at VGX 2013 to Outstanding Achievement in Original Music Composition at the 17th Annual D.I.C.E. Awards. While the game has its fair share of critics, the soundtrack is less questionable in quality.
2. 'The Witcher 3'
Composing music for open-world games isn't easy. Different locations have to elicit different feelings, and players can jump in and out of combat at a moment's notice. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt's soundtrack, which was played by the Brandenburg State Orchestra, rises up to the occasion. Whether you're hunting down some monsters, exploring the countryside, or watching Geralt of Rivia stumble through social interactions, the game's soundtrack meets the standards of quality set by its story, graphics, scope, and gameplay. That's a high bar, and the soundtrack vaults it.
1. 'The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim'
Everything we said about The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is also true for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Both games see you traversing huge open worlds where you can do pretty much anything you want any time you want. Skyrim also had the benefit of a standout theme, "Dragonborn," that featured a 30-man choir singing in Draconic. Most gamers are used to the size of Skyrim's world by now, and Bethesda's insistence on bringing the game to every platform under the sun almost makes it feel like it can't be escaped, but that main theme is still powerful enough to get our blood pumping.