Americans! Congratulations on joining the rest of the civilised world with your Spotify accounts. You now have instant access to almost every song ever written and worth listening to, and also country and western. (And if you don’t have an invite yet, don’t worry – you’ll get one soon.)
But what are you going to listen to? How about some gaming soundtracks… like these!
Gray Matter: Jane Jensen’s latest adventure game, and a pleasant soundtrack courtesy of husband Robert and effective family band The Scarlet Furies. (Watch out for a nasty spoiler in the track listing if you’re planning to play this one at some point though.)
Hitman 2: Annoyingly, Jesper Kyd’s other soundtracks – including the terrific Assassin’s Creed 2 one – seem to have been taken off the service in recent months. This one remains though, and is a solid introduction to why he’s a great composer.
Fallout 3: As with every game that uses licensed tunes, you can find an official complication, or simply a collection of the same songs. For Fallout 3, try Songs of Wasteland, and Songs From The Mojave Wastelands for New Vegas. Alternatively, get more of the same style in the oddly named Music Inspired By Fallout 3 & New Vegas. I wonder if people like Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington knew they were being inspired by a post-apocalyptic RPG…
Bioshock 2: And speaking of them, here’s a similar selection for this most underrated of sequels. The Boogie Man and Nightmare are particularly good listening.
GTA IV: To get that official Liberty City feel, set your fake-radio for Vladivostok FM, home to songs like Schweine that instantly stick in your head whether you like it or not. You can also get the main themes and Liberty City Invasion, featuring the ‘tunes’ of no doubt fine gentlemen with names like ‘Busta Rhymes’. I’m sure they’re awfully funky.
Play! A Video Game Symphony Live: Lots of famous tunes, played by an actual orchestra. World of Warcraft, Oblivion and Guild Wars are the ones you can listen to without shame, along with some others bearing names like ‘Sonic The Hedgehog’ and ‘Castlevania’.
Video Games Live: And the same goes for here, with Myst and Advent Rising joining the pack, along with some other console game favourites.
Mafia 2: A collection of licensed tunes put together by fans, but no worse for it.
Pac Man Fever: Words… words cannot describe this one. Just put your special toe-curling socks on and click play. You’ll want to click stop, but won’t be able to.
Adventure Quest: Well… kindof. The singer Voltaire apparently did a guest starring role in this RPG, and here are some game variants of his songs – Day of the Dead, Tempest, This Ship’s Going Down, To The Bottom of the Sea, and When You’re Evil. Disturbingly catchy.
Dead Space 2: Dead space, but not dead air. Top marks for less-than spooky track names like “Much Ado About Necromorphs” and “It Had To Be Unitology”.
Crysis 2: Because if you’re going to hire Hans Zimmer, you may as well put out a soundtrack. Or three. Here’s Be Fast to go with it, and Be The Weapon, both painfully wasting the chance to call the disc “MAXIMUM ROCK”.
Need for Speed: Carbon: I think this is about cars. Not sure though.
Braid: Even cool indie platform games are on Braid. No Super Meat Boy though. Sadly.
Mirror’s Edge: The other game with a song called “Still Alive” in it.
Hellgate: London: Like the game, it’s now free to play!
Age of Conan: A truly meaty DOUBLE DISC bag of music. Or what would be double-discs, if such things weren’t so last century.
Dreamfall: And speaking of last century, here’s an adventure game. (Disclaimer: This flippant comment here purely to get a rise out of John.)
LA Noire: Okay, so it’s not a PC game yet, but it’s going to be one – unlike Red Dead Redemption (which is also on Spotify, but must go without the honour of a link). The game itself is a little… mixed… but there’s no arguing that the soundtrack is excellent. Unlike many open world games, you get original stuff on the soundtrack too, not just licenses.
Have we missed any good ones? Link them in a comment. And just to be on the safe-side – these are all live and working right now in the UK, but licensing being a stupid, silly thing, we can’t guarantee they’ll be equally available everywhere.