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The Best Streaming Music Services for Video Game Soundtracks

2023-05-26 01:27
There are many reasons to love video games. From Final Fantasy's sweeping adventures to Super
The Best Streaming Music Services for Video Game Soundtracks

There are many reasons to love video games. From Final Fantasy's sweeping adventures to Super Mario Bros' perfect platforming formula, video games synthesize multiple artistic fields into wonderful new creations. That includes music. Video game music can be just as catchy, complex, and moving as tunes from other media, and the music industry has started to recognize this. The 2023 Grammys gave out their first ever award for "Best Score Soundtrack For Video Games/Interactive Media" and Assassin's Creed Valhalla took home the inaugural prize.

Video games have been around for decades, so there's a lot of music to enjoy. Fortunately, the best streaming music services offer vast song libraries from countless sources, including video game soundtracks. These are our favorite services for listening to game music.

The Many Video Game Music Streaming Options

Spotify remains the biggest name in streaming music, and video game publishers are starting to notice. It’s becoming increasingly common for big publishers to dump their entire video game soundtrack catalogs onto the service. Do you fancy RPGs? Let Persona’s bangers into your heart. Prefer live recordings? Video Games Live, a concert series that performs orchestral versions of video game compositions, has plenty of music available for streaming, too.

To separate itself from Spotify, Tidal focuses on delivering high-quality audio approved by the biggest artists. So, I didn’t expect to find any video game music. However, the service offers the surprising Tidal Gaming. These curated playlists collect songs meant to evoke certain video game feelings, such as defeating a boss or roaming an open world. Some of these songs come from video game soundtracks, such as Halo and Assassin’s Creed. Others are just dope songs from cool musicians, like Steve Aoki, The Glitch Mob, and Kendrick Lamar.

Amazon Music and Apple Music's streaming, video game music collections aren’t as big as their rivals' catalogs, but you’ll find the familiar soundtrack or two. More often than not, you’ll discover fan covers of famous game songs rather than official releases. On the upside, these tech powerhouses have their own storefronts where you can opt to buy digital tracks. So, if you don't want to pony up for a monthly music subscription, you permanently purchase tracks from Bugsnax, Hades, Transistor, The World Ends With You, and other video game soundtracks. When you buy these digital downloads, you'll gain the option to stream them and sync them with your cloud library.

YouTube Music is a fine streaming service that's a treasure trove of video game music. You can find practically any song, sometimes looped for hours on end. This raises some iffy copyright questions. Publishers often take down big channels dedicated to video game music, especially when the tracks are clearly ripped from pirated copies of games not yet on sale. Still, when you need to hear a specific video game song fast, you can’t beat YouTube Music.

Other Places to Find Video Game Music

Many games let you listen to their scores inside the game itself as a bonus feature. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate takes this concept and runs with it so far that it deserves a mention, despite not being a dedicated music platform.

This massive, crossover, fighting game includes more than a thousand songs, including original tracks and remixes, pulled from the world-famous gaming franchises on display. Fatal Fury. The Legend of Zelda. Minecraft. Sonic the Hedgehog. There are more than 24 hours' worth of incredible tracks. In fact, Smash's music player lets you turn off the Switch’s screen to save battery and use the console as a music box.

Other games and devices turn music itself into a playground. Fuser lets you mash up songs into imaginative new creations, as does the beautiful, dark, twisted, fleshy fantasy: the Stem Player.

Play It Again

Video game music is a genre unto itself. Before developers could record epic, orchestral arrangements and pack them onto discs, video game music was limited to the relatively simple sounds that retro consoles could produce. Talented composers spent years turning technological beeps and boops into masterful melodies that resonate with us to this day. In fact, contemporary musicians, from Anamanaguchi to Vektroid, use new technology to write songs in the vein of classic video game tracks.

Nowadays, it's easier than ever to enjoy game music, as you no longer need to pick up a controller to zone out to gaming tunes. With these excellent music services, you can effortlessly stream your favorite video game song or album to a PC or mobile device.

For more, check out The 25 Best Video Game Soundtracks Ever.