Everyone loves video game soundtracks. Often times it's the heart of the game itself, lending itself to the atmosphere and the setting, matching the mood of a scene, or just generally being fun to listen to as you escape reality for a few hours.
Of course, then you just love certain OSTs so much you go YouTube them, and sooner or later you find covers you just love. So let's look at a list of some covers that are definitely must-listens for many gamers, even if you haven't played them.
1. Dovahkiin Metal/Rock Covers (originally from The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim)
Starting this list off is the theme song of one of the most popular (and memetic) open world RPGs this decade, Dovahkiin (meaning Dragornborn in the game's fictional language) is a monumental orchestral piece with a haunting chorus of ominous sounding vocals that just scream how awesome the player is.
To no one's surprise, metal/rock covers of it take the awesomeness and crank it up a notch. Now while plenty exist, this one in particular by Jonathan Young featuring Caleb Hyles brings in resounding guitar shredding and drum banging in addition to the original grand orchestral style of vocals they mimic the feel of so well. It's an extra layer of enjoyment on top of an already great song.
2. MEGALOVANIA Jazz Cover (originally from Undertale)
Undertale's brilliant soundtrack could be its own article, and as far as video game music covers go, insaneintherainmusic's style of making jazz covers for them could be its own thing too. Despite this, one track stands out in his jazz covers list.
The frantic fast-paced boss battle music most people probably saw in some YouTube parody or the other is now presented as a groovy, saxophone-driven song you just want to dance along to. Insaneintherain's jazz style adds a whole new layer to the catchiness of the original's 8-bit tune. The sheer contrast of both styles, if nothing else, warrants a few listens.
3. Still Alive live at Symphonic Hall (originally from Portal)
Valve's iconic platformer's ending song still remains popular with fans today. Written exclusively for the game by Jonathan Coulton, one of the main characters of Portal lends her vocals to the song that sounds so upbeat despite its bleak depressing lyrics.
Now considered one of the most iconic video game ending songs of all time, this version performed live by the Video Game Orchestra is a fantastic cover with Ingrid Gerdes's stunning voice that almost puts the original's catchy charm to shame. It certainly helps the audience is lively too, and adds a whole new level of enthusiasm to the song that the original lacked.
4. Pokémon Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald Ending Theme Piano Cover (originally from Pokémon RSE)
Many people first began their Pokémon journey on the GameBoy Advance generation's set of games. Pokémon RSE was a gateway to many people's love for the franchise, and I'm sure many will remember the iconic theme that plays during the credit sequence after you and your team of favorites trashed the Elite 4 and the Champion to beat the game.
Kylelandry's piano cover is a touching rendition that captures that nostalgia you might have for the GBA era of games and makes you think back to those days when you thought these were the peak of Pokémon games. Very true to the original song, it's just as sweet to listen to while relaxing.
5. Vigil Acoustic Cover/Remix (originally from Mass Effect)
BioWare's incredibly immersive Mass Effect trilogy is still lauded as one of the greatest RPGs you could play. Vigil in particular, is a song that'd tug at the heartstrings of longtime fans and make them a little emotional, as the song always played at some very emotional points in the story.
This cover by LittleVMills flips around the original's solemn haunting piano tone for an upbeat acoustic guitar leading the main sound, accompanied by some of the original piano in the background. It's an interesting remix to say the least, considering how the song is used, but offers some optimism to contrast the original's somber tone.