Top 12 Sad Songs

Well Andy was surfing YouTube one day and happened upon a bunch of top 10 sad song videos – and, to be quite honest – they were all pretty bad. Yes, Final Fantasy has some fantastic sad music, but an entire list of them doesn’t do Video Game Music justice. It merely gratifies the fan boys that justify the FF series as the IT of gaming. Not that Nobuo Uematsu is not deserving of as much recognition, but there are other composers. As for the rest of the lists, I did see some notable choices, such as Sadness from Terranigma, but there were a few suspect songs missing.
cyantrainTop 12 Sad Songs of Video Game Music
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My goal with this list is to find a diversity of games and styles from past and present. As much as SNES and PSX-PS2 have featured some amazing (RPG) soundtracks – and I could easily make the list from them,  I want to break the sterotype a bit.

-This was going to be a top 10 but for the sake of my sanity I left it at 12 because choosing between some of these tracks just doesn’t make sense because they each have their own genre and console.

12. Blue Hector – Grim Fandango – Peter McConnel
Remember the 1930’s? I don’t. But this soundtrack just takes you right back, and this is a standout sad, jazzy track. GF never seems to get alot of musical props even though it’s considered the best adventure game ever made… seems contradictory. I’d blame how short alot of the tracks are, but nevertheless, here is your 12.

11. Leo’s Farewell – The Witcher – A. Skorupa
This game was a really different experience to play. It had some Diablo click/slash elements mixed with a stronger storyline, but the standout feature of it was its Celtic soundtrack. It’s rare to hear the genre in music past or future so the whole OST is worth a listen.

10. Remembering Those Who Have Passed On – Albert Odyssey Gaiden – Naoki Kodaka
This game is pretty rare for most people because it was on the Sega Saturn, but the composition is strong (Naoki Kodaka [BATMAN! (NES)]) and the sound quality is fantastic.

9. Celes – Final Fantasy VI – Nobuo Uematsu
Well I had to put at least one FF in here, and Celes’ theme is by far one of the most touching tracks. I find it interesting that this track doesn’t appear more often on playlists. The combination of strings and musicbox/bells and harp is really evocative.

8.Cursed Shinshuu Plains – Okami – Masami Ueda
Here is a game that  I wish had more musical hype to it. Not only was the style of play revolutionary, but the soundtrack is one of a kind (and over 200 tracks long)! The amazing blend of modern technology and traditional Japanese music elements is really amazing.

7. A Requiem (ending) – Castlevania II – Kenichi Matsubara
What’s more powerful than fighting all the way through Castlevania only to see a tombstone with your character’s name it? It set one hell of a precedent for video games.

6. Auriel’s Acension – The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion – Jeremy Soule
This song is really startlingly powerful in how it uses piano and blending between instruments. Of course, I wouldn’t expect anything less from Soule.

5. The Girl Who Stole the Stars – Chrono Cross – Yasunori Mitsuda
Mitsuda had to make it up here somehow or other, and I can’t imagine a better soundtrack to do so on. Chrono Cross took full advantage of CD quality sound and samples are really made a breathtaking OST. Here Mitsuda uses a voice sample that balances perfectly between real and MIDI to reach through the song.

4. Farewell – Ninja Gaiden -More Yamasan, B. Hasake
Say what you want about the NES soundchip, I’d still say that Ninja Gaiden is easily one of the best soundtracks ever made, and it really proves that a good track shines through anything, “Farewell” being a fantastic example.

3. A Wish – Seikken Densetsu (Secret of Mana) – Hiroki Kikuta
The soundtrack and composer speak for themselves, but I find “a wish” to be another surprisingly absent track from many compilations.

2. Sadness – Terranigma -Miyoko Kobayashi and Masanori Hikichi
Terranigma is one hell of a soundtrack/game (to never see America) and Sadness is one of the top tracks hands down.

1.Alan & Cerl Forever – Breath of Fire – Yoko Shimomura
This bugged me the most about every list I saw: this track wasn’t on any of them! I find this to be one of the most moving songs ever made, AND  it’s by Shimomura, yet it’s still not that well known. The music box, piano, and strings on this track work together on this song so well, it’s impossible to say that one is more powerful than the other.

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5 Responses to Top 12 Sad Songs

  1. Andrew says:

    Dan… I love you.

  2. Great article! I’m loving your website;

  3. Dan says:

    I need to retool in light of some songs. Expect a revamp!

  4. Entertaining and informative post! I was looking around on the internet for a post about this and this is the 1st great one I have read.

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