Doom (2016)'s soundtrack certainly isn't going to be for everyone, but if you enjoy heavy metal, it's a fantastic ride. Composer Mick Gordon has done a fantastic job crafting songs that perfectly match the adrenaline-pumping action on screen as you battle your way through the game.
If you're unfamiliar, the reboot of Doom sees you battling through hordes of demons in a modern spin on the old formula. It's a game that relies on your reflexes and settling into a rhythm. Something made much easier thanks to the music that backs you throughout your adventure.
Ori and the Blind Forest
Ori and the Blind Forest is an emotional game and offers a soundtrack to ramp up those feelings. It's serene in places and haunting in others, with a few uplifting tracks sprinkled here and there. Whatever the tone, the music is beautiful and something you'll want to listen to long after you've completed the game.
Ori and the Blind Forest follows the titular character on a journey to save the forest of Nibel from a dark force. It is a 2D platformer where you will explore the world in search of items and upgrades. Sometimes, you'll find paths inaccessible until you get certain abilities or items, meaning you'll do a fair bit of backtracking. But with a game this lovely, you won't mind.
Halo: The Master Chief Collection
My first memory of Halo's music was the choral singing that plays when you boot up Halo 3. It immediately lets you know that you're about to play a special video game, and the music remains fantastic throughout. And it extends to the series as a whole, rather than solely the third instalment, which is why it's great we can include The Master Chief Collection as one entry.
Bungie knew how important music is, so worked as hard on the score as every other aspect of the game. And the rest of the game is fantastic too. The shooting mechanics remain fantastic, even all these years later. It's not surprising Halo influenced plenty of modern titles when it still holds up
Mass Effect 3
Much like Halo, the original Mass Effect trilogy has fantastic music. Blending conventional instruments with sci-fi electronics, the Mass Effect 3 score covers everything from epic moments to intimate melancholy. It even has lovely ambient music you can easily relax to, such as the tune that plays when you look at the galaxy map.
You can play all three of them on Xbox Game Pass, and I'd certainly recommend them if you haven't before. We've simply included Mass Effect 3 here because it's the most recent offering of the trilogy. You could play ME3 without touching any of its predecessors, but you would miss out on a lot of character development partially shaped by your choices throughout the game.
Octopath Traveler is a wonderful JRPG that takes inspiration from the genre's classics while bringing a modern spin to the table. The soundtrack is a true marvel in that sense as well. Though it utilises an orchestra, the songs are simple and catchy, paying homage to the 8-bit tunes of early JRPGs.
The songs sweep with all the grandiose you'd expect from an orchestral piece, but they never become something you couldn't easily hum along to. At times, it feels like listening to all those retro ditties set free from the limitations of the time. It's nostalgic and modern simultaneously. Truly brilliant.