My Favorite MMORPG Music

It’s Saturday and that means questions and sharing time!  I want to share with you all my favorite MMORPG music.  It doesn’t get any better than the original EverQuest soundtrack.

I love all of the music in this video.  The first song is the one I’ve had stuck in my head for a decade.

At around the 3:55 mark is some great music to lean back, close my eyes, and be transported back to an era of wonderful memories.

In the video above, the music in the beginning gives me goosebumps every time.   At 1:18, you’ll hear the Rivervale theme which always makes me want to get up and dance.  Then later on in the video the Kelethin theme is just a classic.

All of this music was so well done.  I don’t know if it’s years of memories aiding my imagination, but listening to it gives me a sense of the atmosphere.  The wooden, floaty feel of the Kelethin theme song paints a picture of a forest.  The Boat theme makes me see a ship skimming across the ocean.  I never turned the music off because it did so much for the experience.  This music is magical.

Now that you’ve had a chance to hear my favorite MMORPG music, what’s yours?  Do you prefer the older music or something new?  What is it about the music you like so much?

  • Off Topic

    My favorite music from all time games (and I know it’s not a mmorpg) goes for streets of rage 1.

  • I don’t think I had ever heard the music in EQ befre watching that video. I kept it turned off full time and just played MP3’s in the background. Which of course was a royal pain in the ass for a long time until they finally made EQ play nice with alt tabbing and such. I used a modified executable for years just so I could alt tab and play the game in a window, etc.

    I think I might have heard more of the WoW music but again I’d rather listen to something else that isn’t on a five or ten minute constant loop.

  • The first trailer of one of the best games ever made. Asherons Call, very fond memories indeed, played it for 5 years! I remember seeing the trailer before I could actually play the game, I was waiting for my first ever credit card to arrive so i could setup a subscription…the game blew me away and had me hooked for so long. Golden Age of Mmos as far as im concerned. The music in this trailer just brings me right back……I miss dereth.

  • EQ’s music of course was awesome. Most of WoW’s was so-so but I remember Shadowfang Keep’s music being especially cool. It always changed and turned even more epic as you were heading up the flight of stairs.

  • I actually still listen to the original WoW soundtrack a lot as very little seem to top it in my mind, even EQ.

  • I have to agree with silvetemplar. I got bored of the game AoC pretty fast, but I still regularly listen to the soundtrack.

  • Never listened to any music in any mmo, I allways turn it off.

    Most of the time i’m talking with ppl on vent. or mumble, and if i’m not i’m listening to my own music.

  • I have to join you in Everquest being my favourite MMORPG music. I acquired the Everquest Classic Remastered CD a few years ago and it evokes such great memories. I get chills just from hearing “You Are Entering Norrath” every time. “Fisherman’s Waltz” and “Aviak Village” are a couple of my faves amongst the whole soundtrack, and you are spot on with the Rivervale theme hehe.

  • yeah, nothing can touch eq in this department. the docks music is what always gets me. The only game music that comes close is the tristram theme from the original diablo, but that’s a distant second place and another type of game entirely.

    I think it must be obvious that memory plays a very significant role in this phenomenon. The music is absolutely loaded with it, and uniquely powerful as a recall mechanism to a wide and complex variety of thoughts and emotions from an amazing period of time. That may be most of it, but I think there’s something special and great about the music itself, as well. There’s something simple and pure in the way that eq’s relatively uncomplicated music captures an idea of place that just sticks so much more readily than the complex (and admittedly beautiful) orchestral numbers I’ve heard in many more modern games. I think it’s a real accomplishment of the composer, and memory shouldn’t get all the credit.

  • Another vote for EQ music, one small reason I’m still playing EQ today.

    Random non-MMO that gets no recognition, The Last Remnant has a pretty amazing soundtrack, probably my favorite this generation.

  • Guild Wars: Prophecies is really the only one that has managed to leave a lasting impression with its music. A part of it probably has to do with the fact that I own the original collector’s edition which came with a soundtrack. And what a soundtrack that is ! It has 28 tracks of which like 20 are really top notch both in game and out of game. One of the songs there is a track that even for an avid music listener as myself still stands as one of the most memorable songs ever composed. That track is Crystal Oasis:

    I recall only hearing the song once or twice when I played. The most beautiful moment was probably hearing it after finishing the Prophecies campaign long after the release of the game. I’ve heard the song probably over a hundred times but the progression of those chords leading up to a subtle, gorgeous finale at times brings a tear to my eyes.

    For the hell of it I’ll list a few more favourites that I think are among the best works on the soundtrack. Ashford Abbey is a brilliant one with the opening melody being so infectious that it’s really hard to get out of your head. I remember hearing this one a lot because it was played in Lion’s Arch and especially in the Prophecies times you spent a lot of time there. Ashford Abbey:

    Gwen’s theme is another great one. A moody, autumnal piece that suits this season well. Somehow appropriate considering Gwen’s character in the game too. I think this was used quite a lot in the game and I’ve also heard it in Guild Wars 2. Gwen’s Theme:

    Tasca’s Demise is yet another beautiful piece that I’ve also heard in Guild Wars 2. There’s not much of anything specific I can say about this one other than the mood is really impeccable and the song has an interesting progression. Since most of these songs are around the two minute mark, it’s nice to hear things that aren’t based on repetition so much. Tasca’s Demise:

    One song that ain’t really so special as a composition is The Great Northern Wall. As for capturing the mood of the ruined Ascalon it’s absolutely flawless so the short length and the fleeting composition is still one of the highlights for me. The first 20 seconds sum up perfectly the anxiety and feelings of the ascalonians after the Searing. Truly magnificent. I think this is used in Guild Wars 2 also:

    Finally we arrive at the Sands of Kryta. What a song ! The melody on this is just plain ear-candy. A somber, elegant mood piece. Sounds like the beginning of a new life to me. Think I’ve also heard it in Guild Wars 2. Sands of Kryta:

    There’s also a couple of good battle anthems on the soundtrack with Temple of Tolerance and Guilds at War being the best. I’ve heard Temple of Tolerance many times in Guild Wars 2 also. Guild at War:
    and Temple of Tolerance:

    There’s really only been one Guild Wars 2 song that I’ve been inclined to checking out after hearing it and that is the theme of Divinity’s Reach, also known as The Last Great City of Men:

    Well that ended up being quite a wall of text. I should write a proper album review of the soundtrack sometime but I hope anyone who read this enjoyed the music :). It’s kinda funny that I also have the Guild Wars: Nightfall soundtrack but I’ve never really bothered listening to it. Maybe it’s because when Prophecies released I was a lot younger and a lot more excited and absorbed all kinds of things about the game. That made for a lot stronger emotional bond than Nightfall could hope to achieve. I think I’ll get my hands on the Guild Wars 2 soundtrack at some point too. It’s all on Youtube but that’s quite tiresome for me to listen to so I’ll rather just buy it someday. Jeremy Soule does deserve the money for sure. A true genious.

  • I love the Everquest music, even though I never played _that_ much EQ. I even use an Everquest piece as my phone ring tone. Though, come to think of it, that might also be considered heresy. But it works in getting my attention, and it’s obscure enough that only other players will be able to recognize it. (Plus, the Monkey Island theme was already occupied by a co-worker with seniority. That’s a reason, isn’t it?)

    I think WoW has many great themes. The best ones, in my mind, are the ambient ones, because they work in exactly the way good ambient music should work: they’re well-composed, highly atmospheric, but always stay in the background and never try to catch all your attention. The Barrens theme (with the oboe or something similar?) is great in that respect. As is the desert klezmer(?) theme. And of course the Ahn’Qiraj soundtrack, which I think is way too often overlook. It is a group of several pieces that starts out like the desert soundtrack, but the farther you move in, the more it darkens and warps and breaks apart… a great fitting for the area.

    Barrens Day Themes:
    Barrens Night Themes:
    AQ themes:
    Can’t seem to be able to find the Silithus theme.

  • Listening to EQ music right now because I’m playing on project1999 🙂

    Best MMORPG ever created.