If there’s one aspect that sparks both intrigue and obsession among players in videogames, it has to be the soundtrack. Whether it’s the evocative majesty of a sweeping orchestral movement, the blistering shreds of a frantic guitar solo, or the thunderous beat of a set of drums, music plays a vital component in our overall enjoyment of games. After all, could you imagine traversing the fog bound streets of Silent Hill or pummeling an opponent in to the dirt during a bout of Tekken without its accompanying score? We don’t know about you, but for the folks at PSU Towers, it just wouldn’t feel the same.
As such, we’ve decided to tip our hats to some of the most memorable music tracks to grace Sony’s home consoles, starting with everyone’s favorite grey box of tricks, the PSone. Being the helpful chaps we are, we’ve also embedded YouTube versions of each track below so you can enjoy each tune to your heart’s content. Join us now as we count down our Top Ten Music Tracks on PSone.
– – – – – – – – – –
10 – Command and Conquer: Red Alert – “Hell March”
The 90s music mastermind Frank Klepachi delivers yet another classic C&C piece with this down and dirty rock number, Hell March. One of the lengthiest tracks on the Red Alert soundtrack, Hell March has become synonymous with this classic WWII-era strategy romp, serving as the game’s unofficial theme tune and has been subjected to numerous remixes over the years.
9 – WipEout – "Chemical Brothers: Chemical Beats"
You can’t get more retro than this. As one of the PSX launch titles, WipEout boasts a stellar soundtrack of quintessential mid-90s anthems and remixes, with this particular track, composed by the Chemical Brothers, a stand out piece. Juxtaposed with the metallic, futuristic speedways and hovercrafts that surround the franchise, Chemical Beats is a match made in heaven.
8 – Tekken 2 – "It Makes Me Higher" (Lee Stage Theme)
Namco’s sound boys never fail to disappoint when it comes to providing some catchy hooks for us to bop along to while pummeling our opponent in to the dirt, and this delightful little number is no exception. One of the most memorable tracks from the entire franchise, Lee’s theme has the distinct honor of appearing in both the original Tekken and its sequel, where in the former it served as the theme tune to the Chicago stage. Whenever we hear those infamous cries of “One, Two, Three, Four!” as the track kicks off, we’re simply itching for a brawl.
7 – Grand Theft Auto – Da Shootaz: "Joyride"
Rockstar’s venerable crime franchise has always delivered the goods when it comes to aural presentation, packing in a diverse and extensive range of tracks spanning from the ‘80s to present day. However, in regards to the iterations on PSX, nothing quite tops the iconic Joyride, performed by the fictional rap group, Da Shootaz. Quintessentially GTA, this ferocious track captures the very essence of the series in an explicit two minutes and thirty seconds. Awesome stuff.
6 – Tomb Raider II – "Main Title"
A beautiful, evocative and slightly expanded take on the original Tomb Raider theme, TR II’s main title positively oozes atmosphere, while still retaining the trademark elements that have become synonymous with the character of Lara Croft (come off it, we know you’ve hummed the tune many times over the years – right?) Indeed, this track remains one of our most beloved of the original trilogy and a firm highlight of the PSX era.
5 – Gran Turismo 2 – "Moon Over the Castle"
The iconic theme tune to Polyphony Digital’s immaculate racing sequel, ‘Moon Over the Castle’ is a deceptive little bugger, starting off as a subdued, tranquil piece before transitioning in to a full blown rock number perfectly suited to burning some rubber on the track. Unsurprisingly, the track has subsequently appeared in numerous other iterations in the franchise, including GT3, which boasts an array of stunning tracks in its own right. Fingers crossed we haven’t seen the last of it, either.
4 – Castlevania: Symphony of the Night – "Dracula’s Castle"
If you’re going to extol some of the PSX’s most memorable soundtracks, you can’t do it justice without giving a nod to Konami’s thrilling Castlevania romp, Symphony of the Night. Boasting one of the greatest videogame soundtracks over all time, SotN contains a number of standout greats, though we ultimately plumped for the iconic Dracula Castle, which epitomizes everything there is to love about this classic 2D romp.
3 – Resident Evil 2 – "Credit Line of Whole Staff"
Although there are ample pickings to be found throughout Capcom’s illustrious zombie franchise during its days on Sony’s grey box, nothing quite managed to top Resident Evil 2’s guitar-driven marathon that accompanies the ‘B scenario’ credit sequence. Clocking it at over two minutes, this scorching track is a no-nonsense barrage of pure rock ‘n roll goodness, completely disparate from the equally admirable piano-driven composition that you’ll get when finishing Leon or Clare’s ‘A scenario.’
2 – Final Fantasy VII – Fight On! (Boss Battle)
For us, Final Fantasy VII’s boss music remains, unequivocally, one of the all-time greatest videogame compositions ever conceived and a true icon of the PSX era. Indeed, ‘Fight On!’ has all the makings of a classic, from its epic nature, to its catchy, guitar-driven intro. It was a tough choice between this and the mesmerizing ‘One-Winged Angel,’ but we ultimately plumped for this stunning piece, as it overall felt far more iconic. Clock how many budding guitarists have uploaded their own versions of the track on YouTube and you’ll get a fair idea of how this tune has cemented itself within the public consciousness. An absolute classic.
1 – Metal Gear Solid – "The Best Is Yet To Come"
After some philosophical musings from Solid Snake, the curtains finally came down on Hideo Kojima’s stealthy masterpiece to this beautifully crafted piece, ‘The Best Is Yet To Come.’ Composed by Rika Muranaka and performed by Irish vocalist Aoife, the track accompanies some tranquil scenes of Alaska and its indigenous wildlife, and also appears in Metal Gear Solid 4 when Snake returns to the Shadow Moses base for the first time in nearly a decade. If there’s any track guaranteed to bring out your softer side (we know you have one, so don’t try and hide it), this is it.
– – – – – – – – – – –
Stay tuned to PSU over the coming months, where we’ll be extolling our favourite tracks from the PlayStation 2 & 3 eras. For now, enjoy, and be sure to let us know your personal favourite PSone tracks in the comments section below.