Number 3: Chrono Trigger
Chrono Trigger. A masterpiece of composition by Yasunori Mitsuda, Chrono Trigger truly serves to encompass everything a soundtrack can aspire to be, and yet it is comprised entirely of 16-bit synthetic sound. But sometimes we just need to be reminded, just because something seems simple on the surface does not mean that it cannot be infinitely deep.
Chrono Trigger earns it's place for many, many reasons, the foremost of which is the sheer beauty of the music itself. Given it's 16-bit nature, Chrono Trigger succeeds beyond it's roots by distilling down the purest elements of music. This is one of the few soundtracks that can evoke the reaction of "wonderful" from a non-gamer who happens to be listening. Simply put, Chrono Trigger carries a depth and weight that can speak to the soul itself, conveying human emotion, mood and feeling in a way most other soundtracks wish they could.
Chrono Trigger succeeds on a variety of other levels as well. The music covers a wide range and is extremely varied, ranging from upbeat jazz and techno to haunting ambiance. There is a song for almost any foreseeable situation and it will not only fit well to it, it can come to be the situation itself. Suffice to say, there is not a single song when listening to Chrono Trigger that you will want to skip or gloss over. Each one is a new experience with a rush of emotion and depth.
A bit more should also be said about the composer, Mitsuda. Chrono Trigger was actually his first soundtrack, all his work prior had been in sound engineering, which he did not wish to do. When he handed his superiors an ultimatum (let me compose or I quit), he was given free reign to compose the soundtrack for Chrono Trigger. Mitsuda set himself hard at work on it, spending so much time making certain that each peace was the way it should be that he actually ended up hospitalized from the stress with stomach ulcers, and had to be assisted by Nobuo Uematsu of Final Fantasy fame on the last few tracks. Mitsuda poured his heart and soul into Chrono Trigger and the end result shows it. The closing song in particular can bring tears to your eyes.
Chrono Trigger celebrated its 15 year anniversary on March 11th this year, and yet its soundtrack still stands as a pinnacle of compositional talent after all these years. To this day, Chrono Trigger is consistently chosen for modern performances by everything from Symphonies to jazz groups. For its musical talent and soul touching quality, Chrono Trigger rightfully earns its position at number 3.
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
How else can I say it? Comment or be smitten with gremlins!