This past weekend, ABC’s Classic FM held its latest Classic 100 poll, this year asking listeners to vote for the best “Music for the Screen”. In 2013 the station held a “Music for the Movies” countdown, but this latest opened the door to all screen music – film, TV and videogames.
There’s a grand history of amazing music for film and television, but videogame fans know how good many game soundtracks can be. Symphonies often hold videogame soundtrack events to showcase this music and fans love to debate how game music holds its own – but did they turn out to vote in this poll?
In the final countdown, six game soundtracks made the top 100. Highest ranked amongst them was The Legend of Zelda at #23, with Halo at #29 the only other videogame soundtrack to crack the top 50. They were followed by Super Mario, Minecraft, Final Fantasy, and Pokémon as the game soundtracks to make the cut.
The videogame soundtracks that made the list
#23: Legend of Zelda
#52: Super Mario
#64: Final Fantasy
Most voting was based on ‘series’ and not specific pieces, with a few exceptions.
As for the rest of the list, Star Wars won the top spot, followed by The Lord of the Rings and The Mission. John Williams took four spots in the top 10, with Harry Potter, Schindler’s List and Jurassic Park all there (plus Indiana Jones just outside at #11). The top places TV soundtrack? Game of Thrones at #10.
My personal shockers were seeing Doctor Who only make it to #12 and The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly to #14. Both top five material in my book! And it’s noteworthy that Daft Punk made an appearance on a Classic 100 for their Tron: Legacy soundtrack at #89.
The station also published the 101-200 list for those wondering what just missed out… and The Witcher 3 came in at 101. There were a lot more games in this slice of the list: The Last Of Us (122), Civilization (136), Hollow Knight (146), Fallout (155), Assassin’s Creed 2 (159), Age of Empires (172), Journey (175), Witness (176), Kingdom Hearts (178), Untitled Goose Game (187), Mass Effect (197), World of Warcraft (198), and Elden Ring (200).
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Seamus runs Byteside. You may also have spotted his words at the Australian Financial Review, the ABC, Junkee, Gamespot, The Esports Observer, CNET, Gizmodo and a few other spots over the years. He's very happy that he gets to nerd out for a living.