Top 25 Soundtracks 2011: Number 3

Number 3: Halo Reach

Sometimes a soundtrack is great because its made with care and love. Sometimes its great because it brings a number of elements together in the best way possible. Maybe it's the composition. And just sometimes, it's great because it's all of these things and more besides.

As we come down to these last final three, it's truly only the best of the best that make it this far, that score this high, and are to put it bluntly, this incredible.

Halo Reach is, by Bungie's standards, the final Halo title. So when it came time from Martin O' Donnell to compose the games score, he had every resource imaginable at his fingertips. Also, much like ODST, he was free to deviate sharply from the original trilogies musical themes. ODST's strength came from O' Donnell's freedom to stretch, and Reach's power comes from the same source. Its powerful, its moving, and it is nothing short of purely phenomonal.

Reach is a powerful soundtrack. Perhaps one of the most emotionally charged soundtracks I've ever heard. Not without reason of course. This was O' Donnell's last outing with a Halo title, and it's meant to sound like it. There's a powerful well of emotion wrapped into this soundtrack simply based on that alone. Much like you can feel the artist intent with other soundtracks, O' Donnell clearly poured his heart into every note.

Its also just plain emotional music, and not exactly happy. Reach is somewhat grim, and quite often very sad. But at the same time, it carries a constant determinate mood with it that lifts the soundtrack from what could be a very melancholy experience otherwise. O' Donnell's compositional skill has climbed with every work, and Reach is a strong showing of that with multiple melodies, and often very different styles mixing together to form a cohesive whole.

Reach is simply put one of the best soundtracks gaming has ever produced. Its powerful, well composed, and a powerful force for gaming as a medium. Number three couldn't have gone to a better score.

Halo Reach
Enjoyment: 5
Stand Alone Quality: 4.75
Composition: 5
Emotional Reaction: 5
Non-Gamer Enjoyment: 1
Nostalgia: 0
Total: 5.19

Number 3--Halo Reach by Martin O' Donnell
Number 8--Sonic Colors by Various
Number 10--Final Fantasy: The Crystal Chronicles by Kumi Tanioka

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