Videogame soundtracks to program to?
March 1, 2012 8:27 AM   Subscribe

Videogame soundtracks to listen to while I'm programming?

I discovered a few days ago that the Scott Pilgrim videogame soundtrack (which I found on Youtube) is perfect music for me to program to. It's energetic, bright, upbeat and repetitive (in a good way), and there's just a hint of something sweeping and epic; there's true gravity, a sense of something at stake.

Listening to it is starting to get grating though (it took five days non-stop), so I'm wondering what else is out there? Can you give me youtube playlist links?

These don't work for me: Straight-up techno, electronica, anything with voices, etc.. I'm really looking for videogame soundtracks because there was such a big jump in effortless productivity, and I'm curious if other soundtracks will work too.
posted by zeek321 to Media & Arts (30 answers total) 58 users marked this as a favorite
Chrono Trigger
posted by Jon_Evil at 8:29 AM on March 1, 2012

Best answer: I'm grooving on the Assassin's Creed soundtracks for coding, but they're a bit more on the orchestral side. YouTube playlist here - the tracks from ACI have a Middle Eastern flair, as it's set during the Crusades. ACII (further down the playlist) is Renaissance Italy, and the tracks are more typically Western European.
posted by telophase at 8:37 AM on March 1, 2012

Overclocked Remix...FTW!
posted by sexyrobot at 8:38 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

This is some fantastic chiptune made in LSDJ that, naturally, sounds like a video game soundtrack.

Yuzo Koshiro's Streets of Rage 2 soundtrack is also a thing of beauty.
posted by griphus at 8:39 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

I always loved the music to Jet Grind Radio.
posted by bdc34 at 8:43 AM on March 1, 2012

Okami's soundtrack is awesome. Also really really love the Shadow of the Colossus soundtrack
posted by royalsong at 8:45 AM on March 1, 2012

8 bit daft punk
posted by empath at 8:45 AM on March 1, 2012

Final Fantasy VI - VII would be great. They even have piano versions!
posted by Ms. Moonlight at 8:49 AM on March 1, 2012

Best answer: You can get the whole Portal 2 soundtrack for free - it has two vocal tracks (out of three volumes) that are awesome but easily skippable. It's upbeat to tense, mood-wise.

World of Warcraft has some great music - they've released soundtracks of, I think, all of the music, and it's the sort of soaring, epic orchestral stuff that works really well for me as a background.

I have similar tastes in working music, and this pushes all the same buttons for me. The whole album is pretty good, although I think Insomniac Olympics is the best track.
posted by restless_nomad at 9:03 AM on March 1, 2012

Doctor Octoroc's 8-Bit Dr. Horrible soundtrack is great.
posted by bcwinters at 9:03 AM on March 1, 2012

I'd try the Minibosses or Advantage. They are a band that does covers of classic (NES, SNES, Sega) videogame tunes. No lyrics, just rocking electric guitar.
posted by 2bucksplus at 9:05 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

The Castlevania: Symphony of the Night soundtrack is fantastic.

Tettix's soundtracks to fictional videogames: Technology Crisis I and II. Also, I guess he did versions of some themes from Metroid, but I haven't listened to them.

There are some Metafilter people-created, videogame-themed tunes here.
posted by cog_nate at 9:06 AM on March 1, 2012

(To be clear; I have listened to Tech Crisis I and II (and highly recommend them), just not the Metroid songs.
posted by cog_nate at 9:07 AM on March 1, 2012

For chiptune stuff I highly recommend Disasterpeace. He has done a few indie game soundtracks and some standalone albums. Most of his stuff is either available to download for free or to buy with a name your own price system. Neutralite the Hero is probably my favorite song of his.
posted by burnmp3s at 9:26 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

I would be remiss if I didn't link my favorite video game track ever, Stones, from the Ultima series. (Linked is a relatively new orchestral version, although there are a million of them official and otherwise, and I'm also very fond of the original UO version, which is more chiptuney without being totally 8-bit.)
posted by restless_nomad at 9:35 AM on March 1, 2012

I've been coding to the soundtrack from the game Sanctum and a few albums that aren't from games but might as well be: Daft Punk's Tron Legacy soundtrack, Ugress, and Lukhash
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 10:00 AM on March 1, 2012

Whilst not a videogame soundtrack, I have discovered's R.E.T.R.O album which takes inspiration from old 80s games to create some fantastic Tron:Legacy like music combined with chiptunes.
posted by DuchessProzac at 10:13 AM on March 1, 2012

Secret of Mana Plus
posted by Phssthpok at 10:13 AM on March 1, 2012

Bastion. There are a couple of brief vocal tracks but the rest is awesome instrumental stuff.
posted by mattholomew at 10:13 AM on March 1, 2012

For a bit of a different vibe, here is the youtube playlist for the Katamari Damacy soundtrack.
posted by rtimmel at 10:33 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

The ChronoCross soundtrack is my favorite video game music and I think it works perfectly with what you're going for. Here are some of my favs...

Time's Scar
Home Gardov
Another Telmina
Star-Stealing Girl
Magic Dreamers

Someone's got the whole OST on Youtube it looks like - should be here.

A couple of other random favorites of mine from various video games that I think fit the bill....

Eternity: Memory of Lightwaves from FFX-2
Ovelia's Theme from FF Tactics
Battle Theme 1 from Unlimited SaGa
Enigmatic Scheme from Unlimited SaGa
posted by Squee at 10:52 AM on March 1, 2012 [2 favorites]

Best answer: musicForProgramming(); recently got posted on hackers news and spawned a couple of threads with some music recommendations which maybe worth a look.

As for game music, I've found Tomáš Dvořák soundtrack and solo work great.
posted by Z303 at 10:58 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

and I just remember Kohina and Nectarine for game demoscene radio streams
posted by Z303 at 11:11 AM on March 1, 2012

Best answer: There are hours and hours of music for Homestuck, and nearly all of it is very chiptuneish/videogamey in nature. An example.
posted by pts at 11:19 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

It's expired, but there are some good choices at the Game Music Bundle.
posted by backwards guitar at 11:20 AM on March 1, 2012

Bastion soundtrack by Darren Korb is quite acoustic/organic. You can stream the whole album for free, or purchase it to carry around with you.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:37 AM on March 1, 2012

The Social Network OST isn't all like that, but it has a few tracks that might be applicable. (Further examples.)
posted by en forme de poire at 11:49 AM on March 1, 2012

For something in the '60's swing vein, No One Lives Forever: In The Lounge has some good, upbeat instrumental jazz. Not music from the game itself, it was released as a bonus CD.
posted by schleppo at 1:37 PM on March 1, 2012

I think Tales of Legendia has one of the best video game soundtracks. This link is for the full two plus hours, but it does open with the Japanese theme song. Once you've skipped past that, the remainder is mostly orchestral. Here is an alternate link, if there are only a few songs you would like to download.
posted by valoius at 9:26 PM on March 1, 2012

Seconding Squee's recommendations. Beat me to the punch for Unlimited SaGa, specifically, Battle Theme 1. I would add the inexplicably catchy DG "sine".

JRPGs I think are great background music since the dungeon/battle themes are composed with the knowledge that they're going to be looped and listened to for dozens of hours.

Here's a playlist I found of someone who helpfully uploaded several OSTs onto YouTube. Look for anything that says "fight" or "battle" in the song title. I like several of the selections, but highly recommend any of the Genso Suikoden OSTs and their arrange/remix albums. Really pretty stuff, and from a wide variety of styles and influences. Can be a tad on the slow side, but certainly won't distract you.
posted by jpolorolu at 11:52 AM on March 2, 2012

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