The Top 25 Soundtracks of All Time: 2012 Edition Begins Now!

Months of work. Almost a hundred different soundtracks spanning decades of gaming material. More sound then you could listen to in a straight week. Newcomers, old favorites, and a new rating system. Some will rise. Some will fall.

This years Top 25 Best Gaming Soundtracks of All Time begins today!

As a reminder, here are the criteria for rating each soundtrack:

Soundtracks are graded on a points system. After listening to each soundtrack, they are graded on a 0-5 point scale in five primary areas:

Overall Enjoyment: This is the catch-all department that is a representation of how, as a whole, the soundtrack entertains the mind.
Game Representation: How well does this soundtrack represent the game itself?
Stand-alone Quality: This category asks how well the music holds up when disassociated from its source. If you can't listen to the music without thinking of the game or wanting to play it rather then listen, a lower score will result. Better music will (in my theory) stand well on its own.
Composition: Pretty basic, it rates the soundtrack on the basis of how well its musical composition fits together.
Emotional Reaction: This grade criteria gives a greater score for how much of an emotional effect the music pulls out of the listener. The more, the better!

In addition to these five primary areas, there are two secondary bonus categories worth either a single point or nothing (there is no penalty for not being awarded a bonus). The first is Non gamer enjoyment, which awards a bonus point to a soundtrack if people outside of the gaming sphere enjoy the soundtrack. The second is Nostalgia, which awards a single bonus point if the game is A) older then ten years and B) It's music is remembered with a nostalgic bent by those who played it (for the record this is easy to discover, just ask a gamer and watch them get all glassy eyed and start humming the tunes).

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