The Top 25 Soundtracks 2012: Number 2

Number 2: Sonic 3 & Knuckles

The year is 1992. You've just finished releasing your second title in what looks to be a hit series. It's sold faster than any other title out there and kept your system on the map, even going up against your long term rivals newest console. You're hard at work on the next game in the series that's been so successful for you only to show up at work the next day and get the horrible news: the team that was doing your soundtrack, a popular Japanese pop group, has quit. You need a new composer fast, and you've got high standards. You need someone who can really crank out catchy music, and you're in luck! A famous pop musician wants to help out with your soundtrack because he's a fan of the series. He thinks he can give you a soundtrack unlike any other.He's got the moves, he's got the music, and you quickly tell him of course he can compose for you. After all, what director would turn down king of pop music Michael Jackson?

Sonic 3 & Knuckles, an ambitious game so large it had to be divided into two cartridges that locked into each other, is widely regarded alongside Sonic CD as the peak of the Sonic series, a peak it has yet to approach again. Incredibly huge levels, brilliant graphics and of course an absolutely jamming soundtrack put the game at a peak above its peers where it still stands today. Many a childhood (and adulthood) hour has been spent rocketing through S3&K's colorful stages while all the while tapping a foot away at the games catchy and addictive soundtrack. Even OC Remix home of some of the Internets best game remixes is forced to acknowledge the sheer amount of S3&K remixes they've been flooded with, many of them tackling the fan favorite Ice Cap Zone music.

To be honest, a large part of S3&K's success really is owed to its soundtrack. Sonic games have proven over the years that the soundtrack is almost as important as the rest of the game, and Sega's landing of Michael Jackson as one of the composers for the S3&K soundtrack was really made S3&K's sound for many people. There is a constant groove to the soundtrack, a beat that's always there in the back that moves you forward. The composition is tight, well constructed and never misses a beat. The tunes are almost immediately catchy, and if you're not careful will end up stuck in your head for the duration of the week.

S3&K scores high in all areas, even picking up both bonus points. Simply put, it's an incredible soundtrack, one of the best you'll ever listen to.

Sonic 3 and Knuckles
Enjoyment: 5
Stand Alone Quality: 4.75
Composition: 5
Emotional Reaction: 5
Game Representation: 5
Non-Gamer Enjoyment:  1
Nostalgia: 1
TOTAL: 5.35

The bottom line is that if you're looking for an impressive soundtrack, S3&K is a great place to start as this years 2nd best soundtrack of all time.

Number 2---Sonic 3 & Knuckles by Michael Jackson and Jun Senoue

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