Number 2--Top Ten Game Soundtracks

Number 2: Halo 3

When it comes to going out with a bang, Martin O' Donnell and Michael Salvatori (who here make their third appearance on the list) can be counted on to succeed with a monumental testament of music. As evidenced by the name, Halo 3 was the close of a trilogy, and hence it was the finale of everything musical they had worked on for the last seven or so years. So they set out to compose a soundtrack that would go over the edge...and back. They succeeded.

Like it's predecessors, Halo 3 echoes with the distinct heavy percussion style of O' Donnell and the Gregorian choruses that were made famous in their earlier works. Additionally, this is not ODST, several of the theme's present in this work are much grander re-imaginings of songs heard in prior Halo soundtracks...but considering that one of those prior won the number six spot on this list, the grand send off itself placing here shouldn't be hard to find reason for.

Halo 3 is in a nutshell a grander, larger more impressive work. Take Bruce Wayne. He's pretty cool, but when he becomes Batman, he's even better. That's Halo 3. O' Donnell and Salvatori take a great thing and make it bigger, badder and more epic. The choirs are larger, the orchestra is much larger and the whole soundtrack takes on a much larger scope. It simply feels bigger then Halo 2 was.

Halo 3 is home to some of the more epic tracks I've ever listened to. "The Ark: Furthest Outpost" has to rank up as one of the best songs I've heard, "Three Gates" is incredible, and well, the entire second disc is pretty much one of the best things you will ever listen to. Period. End of story. Which also happens to be another great strength of the soundtrack. Some soundtracks start out great but can leave you hanging dry near the middle, or start out great and fizzle out with a whimper. Halo 3 does none of these. It doesn't even start out amazing and stay that way. It starts out amazing and gets better. By the time you reach the final few tracks, your blood will be pumping so hard you'll swear you just ran a mile in 4 minutes.

One thing must be said though, Halo 3 is not a vast exercise in variety. It follows several very, very, very well done themes over a large and complex soundscape, but it is not a mix of various genres (well, save one bonus song...) by any stretch of the imagination. But Halo is so well performed, so epic, that it earns it's place at Number 2.

Number 2: Halo 3 by Martin O' Donnell and Michael Salvatori
Number 3: Chrono Trigger by Yasunori Mitsuda
Number 4: Command and Conquer by Frank Klepacki
Number 5: Halo 3: ODST by Martin O' Donnell and Michael Salvatori
Number 6: Halo 2 by Martin O' Donnell and Michael Salvatori
Number 7: Planetary Pieces: Sonic World Adventure by Various Composers
Number 8: Super Mario Galaxy by Mahito Yokota and Mahito Yokota
Number 9: Final Fantasy: The Crystal Chronicles by Kumi Tanioka
Number 10: Command and Conquer: Red Alert 2 by Frank Klepacki

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