12 Best Video Game Soundtracks on Spotify for Sleeping
The best video game soundtracks are ones that evoke emotion and connect you with that special moment.
You entered the secret forest.
The villain actually had a good point after defeat.
Starting in summer 2016, everything from console to PC games with the best soundtracks have been available on Spotify.
The game music shared below is fantastic for sleeping, studying, or relaxing. Genres range from classical to electronic, ambiance to lullabies. There are cover albums and OST (original soundtrack) from a variety of artists. Many genres are presented below including RPG and adventure games.
Have a favorite video game soundtrack? Share in the comments below!
GENTLE LOVE is famed Metal Gear Solid/Bayonetta composer Norihiko Hibino (saxophone) along with Etrian Odyssey/PersonaQ performer AYAKI (piano). They've created some amazing video game lullabies with this release.
Secret of Mana, also known as Seiken Densetsu 2, was released as one of the biggest SNES RPGs in early 90s, a couple years before the famed RPG of its time, Chrono Trigger.
The original composer of the Secret of Mana soundtrack, Hiroki Kikuta, was given creative carte blanche by his employer Squaresoft (now Square-Enix). Can you believe it was his first gig as a video game music composer?
Prescription for Sleep: Lullabies of Mana is my favorite of the game soundtracks listed here and for good reason.
Favorite track: Leave Time For Love
This NieR Soundtrack album covers both games - NieR: Gestalt and NieR: Automata. The NieR Automata soundtrack hacking tracks aren't part of this album, but the musicianship is impressive nevertheless.
YouTube musicians and performers PurpleSchala (piano) & Animevivi (viola) come together to create an impressive amateur effort.
Favorite track: City Ruins
Zelda Ocarina of Time (OoT) has been graced with many orchestral arrangements over the years, from the Hyrule Symphony release in 1999 to the worldwide tour of Zelda Symphony of the Goddesses in present day.
OoT is considered to be one of Koji Kondo's greatest works. This orchestral arrangement isn't solely for strings like many other interpretations. Horns, harp, and a healthy percussion section are some of the instruments that make an appearance. My favorite parts are when the woodwinds carry the melody, especially the flute and oboe.
If you're inspired and wondering to yourself "where can I buy an ocarina", look no further than https://www.songbirdocarina.com.
Favorite track: Great Fairy's Fountain
Why is FTL so hard? With over 100 hours of playtime I only beat FTL twice. On normal.
FTL is a challenging game with endless playback value. There are countless achievements, secrets to explore, and strategies to employ. The gameplay is only further improved by the unfolding space soundtrack.
Different races have their own theme, and there's variations whether your exploring or battling. If you're looking for relaxing melodies and ambience you'll want to make a playlist of the explore tracks.
For the newest version of the soundtrack see Ben Prunty FTL: Advanced Edition Soundtrack.
Favorite track: Engi (Explore)
Daniel Rosenfeld, better known as C418, started his journey with electronic music composition in his teens. In his early 20s he stumbled across a small indie game developer and ended up creating music for one of the best selling games of all time.
What is the best Mimecast song of all time? It depends who you ask.
"Haggstrom" starts out with bells & strings and halfway through deconstructs into itself. The piano melody in "Excuse" somberly bounces around with delay. "Biome Fest" crescendos into magically clip clops right around the golden ratio marks, with ending synth strings dying into the distance.
Whatever song you like, you'll never know when it will appear since music is triggered randomly and not tied to a specific event.
Favorite track: Minecraft
Is Journey a game or interactive art? Does it matter? This PS3 exclusive (later released for PS4) is unlike most online co-op games, as there is no voice or text communication with the people around you. Instead, you're limited to jumping and singing, integral to the game design.
Journey's soundtrack is mostly comprised of strings, woodwinds, harp, and an eclectic percussion section. Admittedly, many of the songs sound the same, but that can be good for sleeping, relaxing, or studying.
Ultimately the game is short and questions about your pilgrimage are never answered, but the unique experience is never diminished. This game is truly all about the journey and not the destination.
Favorite track: Threshold
Here's another game soundtrack composed by Austin Wintory, released 4 years after Journey.
Abzu is a dreamy ocean exploration amalgamation of Ponyo and Echo the Dolphin. The gameplay mechanics are simple but finding harmony in the environment is the unspoken plot.
Instrumentation on the soundtrack is bolstered by harp and choir with a full orchestral accompaniment. Wintory's instrumentation perfectly translates the light crashing through the water or swimming along a school a fish.
In the game there's literally a button you press for "Zen" mode which has your character meditate and watch their surroundings. This soundtrack should be the same way - press play and get your Zen on.
Favorite track: Caranx Ignobilis
As part of this roundup of sleepy game soundtracks I was recommended by a friend to check out Monument Valley 2. A month later I've barely played the game but the soundtrack is in frequent rotation during my evening commute and before bed.
Steve Reich, Arovane, Aphex Twin, Bibio - musicians and composers I've loved for over 10 years - were oozing all over these tracks.
* The pulsing Steve Reich vibe on Interwoven Stories and Power of Two
* Bibio's warbly pitched acoustic guitar sound on "All Grown Up"
This was like seeing the movie then wanting to read the book. The soundtrack is fantastic and encouraged me to eventually download the app. Looking forward to checking out Todd Baker's other work.
Note: After writing this entry I found a blog by the composer, Todd Baker, who confirmed my suspicions about his influences.
Favorite track: (too many to list)
That Dragon, Cancer, is emotionally draining and a true celebration of life. The game's origins were born out of the game developer's response to the terminal cancer that took his son's life.
Playing this game was bittersweet. During chapter 6 sympathy cards scattered throughout the hospital you can read. There's one dedicated to Totalbiscuit, famed game journalist/personality who recently passed of cancer as of these writing. Here's a playthrough - it's tough to watch but try to make it through.
The uplifting parts of That Dragon, Cancer, are accompanied by a piano trio (piano, cello violin), as heard in So Few Words. More pensive tracks are often slower, minimal, echoing French composer Erik Satie.
If you have the faintest bit of human empathy this game will absolutely destroy you. Double that if you have small kids. Jesus why did I play this?
Favorite track: Colors That Heal
Everybody's Gone to the Rapture is a first-person walking simulator building upon Dear Esther, a 2012 game by the same indie dev team. My favorites of this genre are Gone Home and Firewatch, so I was inspired to try out this title.
The soundtrack mixes choral hymns with a sound akin to Secret Garden, an Irish-Norwegian new age band. How these songs are framed makes them more poignant. Silence is everything, and this dramatic music occasionally overcomes the tension of negative space between plot points.
Favorite track: The End of All Things
Hit indie game Fez by Phil Fish was popular during its release and has grown into a cult classic, with its own alphabet and bewildering puzzles. Furthermore there's no doubt Fez has one of the best soundtracks by prolific video game composer Disasterpeace.
The track Puzzle starts strong with a Coriolis effect pitch pending arpeggio warping throughout. That and other tracks mix chiptunes with an early IDM and 70s soundtrack vibe, calling to mind Warp Records duo Boards of Canada or lesser known musician Robotanalysis.
But don't just take my word for it. Disasterpeace goes into detail on his music creation process for Fez here.
Now why was the sequel Fez 2 cancelled? If it wasn't, can Boards of Canada officially do the soundtrack?
Favorite track: Adventure
While early game composers were limited by hardware, modern game composers are only restricted by their imaginations. This has paved the way for these songs to be heard by a larger audience. In fact, the demand is so great you can even buy video game soundtracks on vinyl.
Thanks for checking out these video game soundtracks on Spotify. It's great to see game music better represented by online streaming services.