The best MMO soundtracks really help make a game. Many games rely on music to set the tone, or to tie together plot elements. Over the years a number of different games have risen above all others and shown that they are the best of the best. On this list of top MMO soundtracks, I hope to show you the soundtracks I liked the best.
#15 - Spiral Knights
While this game isn't the best known, it has some amazing music that landed it on our countdown of MMO soundtracks.
The music starts out quite tranquil but upbeat, giving you an optimistic feeling when you start the game and soothing you while you play the first few levels. As you progress, the tempo changes, giving you a feeling of what is to come, and culminating in some pretty epic fight music. Overall it works well and serves to keep you interested in the game. A lot of other companies could learn from this soundtrack and use it to improve their games!
#14 - Wildstar
One thing that Wildstar did particularly well was the music for the different races. Each of the different races has music that captures their personality and really shows how they fit into the world. The Chua theme - "Cutely Grotesque and Certifiably Insane," might be the best example of this. The bouncy theme has a slightly sinister backing track that truly sets the stage for their play style.
Moving through the game, the music reminds you of the more cartoon-like aspects of the game, while maintaining an underlying tension as well, ensuring that the graphics and sometimes intense gameplay come together well. This might be one of the best uses of a soundtrack to really meld a game together, instead of using music to continue the story.
#13 - Maplestory
Everything about Maplestory is cute, including the music. Even the more intense moments in the game have a cute pop to them, ensuring that the over aesthetic is preserved. One of the best examples is number 34 on the playlist - "Showa: Battlefield." In this song, the overall tone is sneaky and edgy, but there is a fun little pop in the beat, keeping it from seeming too serious.
With over 208 different songs, Maplestory has a lot of music to choose from and has created a style that really works for their game. People who have played it will almost always recognize the songs, making it memorable as well. The sheer volume alone would ensure it a spot on the top MMO soundtracks list, but with the musical quality, it is an extremely solid contender that refuses to be ignored.
#12 - Guild Wars 1
Guild Wars 1 had music so good they re-used some of it for Guild Wars 2 and most players were actually happy. The entire soundtrack has an almost ethereal property to it, setting a great stage for the game world. Each piece of music is more epic than the last, serving to build excitement and keep the player interested.
One interesting thing that the Guild Wars team did was incorporating silence and environmental sounds into the soundtrack itself. This comes as a surprise due to most games layering sounds instead of working the soundtrack around gameplay.
#11 - Age Of Conan
When a game is set in the middle ages, I have high expectations for the music. Thankfully, Age of Conan more than met these expectations. The music starts out fun and light but gets serious when it needs to. This is one soundtrack I could actually see myself listening to outside of the game. Overall I feel like the developers did an amazing job.
#10 - Blade And Soul
You may notice that there are a large number of Korean Games on this list, but they have all earned their place. This is partially due to the large teams that work on Korean MMOs, and partially due to the market for OST soundtracks.
The first Korean MMO on our list of MMO soundtracks is Blade and Soul. With a huge following in Korea, the game has a large amount of music. There have been a few new tracks included for the English release.
With over 150 different tracks, the game was bound to have a few hits. However, every track is next to perfect, with the login screen theme setting the tone for the entire game. Most of the backing music is simple but beautiful. I think one of the best examples is the haunting Deathlake Loop.
#9 - Tree Of Savior
With the original RO team working on this game, everyone knew that the music would be amazing. I know a few people who were blown away by the music, and I have to completely agree with them. The music is light and cut, fitting well with the sprite nature of the game, but still meaningful.
With over 8 hours of music, the game is off to a strong start. Each patch brings more amazing music, and there is a large fanbase for the compositions. A quick youtube search shows a number of transcriptions for different instruments. I would say this is the best game on this list of MMO soundtracks when it really comes to fan appreciation.
#8 - Rising Force (RF) Online
If you have played this game, you know that every race was truly unique. from the hardcore robot race to the friendly elfin race. This made for a unique set of challenges when creating the game. A set of challenges that the developers more than met. From the clanky and menacing sounds of the Accrecians to the sweet and soothing Cora, the game was truly ahead of its time. My personal favorite is the chip war songs, with their jaunty upbeat tempos.
#7 - AION
When AION came out it was ready to break the gaming world. One of the ways it did this involved amazing music. The original Korean music had haunting vocals and smooth transitions. While the transitions stayed, the English songs seemed lacking in terms of vocals. However, the entire soundtrack was enticing and sweet.
The simple melodies, epic compositions, and not-quite-real sounding music really set the tone for this MMO.
#6 - Vindictus
This is one game that didn't believe in starting small or playing it safe. From the start, it showed you just how epic it was going to be. This soundtrack really shows you how music can set the mood in a game. Each song brought tension, fear, and a passion for the game along with it. Overall it rocks.
#5 - Star Wars The Old Republic
As with everything in the Star Wars universe, the music in this game is thrilling. Although it only has around an hour of music, it is still some of the most stunning music in the gaming world. I particularly love how you can hear whole orchestras playing in most pieces, giving you a sense of the games scale through music.
#4 - Ragnarok Online
Bubbly and sweet, the music from Ragnarok is one of the most memorable things about the game. Filled with haunting tunes that urge you forward and pulse-pounding hits, the OST is full of memories. Considering the repetitive nature of the game, good music was essential. Thankfully, the RO team was more than up to the challenge, ensuring that players were happy with the overall results.
Prontera had some of the best music in the game, and each zone seemed perfectly matched when you first heard the music. Even years later, it still snags the number 4 spot on our MMO soundtracks countdown.
#3 - Lord Of The Rings Online
With a basis in the epic Tolkien world, there was a lot of pressure on this game to be perfect in so many ways. One place it truly excelled was in the music. I personally feel like it fits perfectly with the game, really enhancing the gameplay.
I particularly loved that the music borrowed heavily from the films. This really helped me feel connected to the Tolkien universe as I played. I still find myself humming the tunes from time to time. The music brings me back and provides a really immersive experience. It was a tough call placing this soundtrack at number 3 on the MMO soundtracks list.
#2 - World Of Warcraft - Wrath Of The Lich King
While many different MMOs have great music throughout, WoW changes music with each expansion. I thought about leaving the game as a whole on this list, but I honestly felt like WOTLK stood above all the other expansions. With haunting melodies and battle music that gets you pumped, it was some of the best music from Blizzard to date. I think I will always measure MMO music against this expansion.
#1 - Final Fantasy XIV
Final Fantasy has always been known for amazingly beautiful music, and the MMO delivers as well. I remember sitting in different zones just listening to the music, not even caring about gameplay when the title launched. Many of the songs have replaced the themes from FFVII in my mind as the most iconic Final Fantasy music. I don't think any other game comes close to beating this soundtrack, leaving Final Fantasy XIV the undisputed champion.
That wraps up my list of top 15 MMO soundtracks. Do you agree with me, or do you think some other game should have been on the list? Let me know in the comments!