10 Indie Games with Amazing Soundtracks

The industry has come a long way since Pong.

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10 Indie Games with Amazing Soundtracks
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No matter what they say, video games are art. While initially games were only used for escapism, they've come a long way since Pong and don't plan to stop any soon. But besides gameplay, there have always been soundtracks to accompany it and, surprisingly, the real gems of the industry can mostly be found in indie games.

Here are ten indie games with soundtracks that are worth a listen even if you're not a fan of video games.

Bastion

The romantic 'lone wolf' motif in Bastion is supplemented with a perfectly fitting cowboy-ish soundtrack by Darren Korb. Moreover, it’s more narrative than other soundtracks on our list, with voiceover from the game’s narrator.

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Binding of Isaac

If only all basements had soundtracks such as this. This soundtrack by Danny Baranowsky is a tasty amalgam of epic synth orchestra, rock, and a little bit of chiptuned goodness for added flavor. The layering and dynamic variation are totally on par with "Super Meat Boy," and the instrumentation is dark and creepy in that "abandoned child's attic" kind of way: something perfectly fitting for this game, and something that Baranowsky seems to have a proclivity for.

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Journey

It's hard to grasp that Journey is an indie game. It has received numerous 'Game of the Year' awards and is a prime example of how video games can make you feel deep emotions. Composer Austin Wintory used an impressive amount of various instruments and tonalities, something that video game soundtracks often miss. 

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Undertale

In 2015, a video game developer and composer Toby Fox turned the indie game world upside down with the universally acclaimed game 'Undertale.' The game had everything; it was innovative, had memorable characters, captivating story, and, of course, an amazing soundtrack. And while the fandom may be cancerous at times, its members have made a lot of surprisingly good-sounding remixes through the years, none of which, though, can beat the original.

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FEZ

Creator of Fez Phil Fish needed a soundtrack to capture the spirit of the game, the old-school vibe and its vibrancy and the composer Disasterpeace sure delivered on all the promises as FEZ soundtrack is a pleasure to listen to. It can be dark and bright, it has punch and it’s somber at the same time.

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Crypt Of The Necrodancer

Nearly every song in Crypt Of The Necrodancer has a special retro feel to it. Danny Baranowsky once again created a perfect soundtrack and it’s one of the few soundtracks that you can listen to in the car without needing the game behind it.

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Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery

The soundtrack of Sword & Sworcery is the true hero of the game. The electro soundtrack made by Jim Guthrie provides depth and texture to the world created by developers.

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To the Moon

To the Moon is an almost spiritual experience that would be impossible without the game's piano soundtrack. It’s amazing that a simple instrument can reach emotional levels even the most grandiose orchestras might fall short of. To The Moon perfectly emphasizes that indie soundtracks are best left simple and pure.

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Transistor

The way Darren Korb incorporated his music into the actual gameplay of Transistor is almost magical and not only that, but Ashley Barrett's sweet jazzy voice is perfect for every song so it will be a pleasure for you to listen while you hack your way through Transistor's beautiful levels.

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FTL: Faster Than Light

Ben Prunty created a soundtrack as mysterious and exhilarating as space itself. Faster Than Light is a game about surviving in the frigid depths of the universe and fighting your way through its impossibly challenging trials and this soundtrack captures that beautifully. It will sure give you a feeling like you’ve stared into the void of space, and had it look back at you with a challenge.



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And what is your favorite indie game soundtrack?

68 comments sorted by best / new / date

    the.beefcleaver
    No Hotline Miami? really dude?
    Niass
    Hotline Miami OST is as great as any OST on the list, but the songs weren't created specially for the game so it wasn't included. Dennaton basically found some existing songs they liked, asked for rights and put them in the game. 
    N7Crazy
    Always loved Braid's soundtrack, suited the game perfectly, and the opening piece to the first level is one of the finest pieces of game music
    Joeseye
    Came here for this, although I don't think the soundtrack is original.
    Kutsu
    Doom 2016 by Mick Gordon Cuphead
    ermonski
    If you're gonna mention Mick Gordon, better mention Killer Instinct as well. But then, KI isn't an indie game too. ULTRAAAAA
    Ed...
    Does Shovel Knight count as indie? That soundtrack is absolutely metal as fuck, even more so when ripped out on the guitar.
    666MeTaLLiCa666
    How the hell is Ori and the blind forest(also considered an indie game) not in here... They hired a full manned orchestra and conductor for their music! Check this out peeps!
    ;t=3s
    Wisthler
    It goes beyond me how they were able to afford such a production.
    666MeTaLLiCa666
    They eventually got backed up by Microsoft, which makes it debatable if it's still concidered indie, but to me it still is indie since moon studios (which did all development of the game and such) is still a small indie like company
    nanu991
    Soma has a great OST also.  Suites the game perfectly like Super Metroid did in 1994. 
    Wiggimus
    I can think of a ton of indie games that absolutely deserve a place on this list, but when I read this article, this song came immediately to mind. Retro City Rampage is a much-needed title, no matter which system you own (it's on basically everything).
    DeaThrash
    No love for Hacknet? The Algorithm (among others) made songs for that game, and it's flawless!
    katanalevy
    Great list (especially Bastion and Journey), but I was surprised not to see Cave Story on here!
    VampireSpaceHog
    Scott Pilgrim Vs the World has an amazing soundtrack composed by Anamanaguchi. Check them out if you've never heard of them - Best rock/chiptune instrumental band.
    Eifler121
    Indie games are such a risk, there's always poor promotion, but they look on the surface like the kinds of games I would like to play. I miss games that seemed designed for fun, and not to win, for story, for realism...Bastion is the only one I have played at all, but the soundtrack was excellent. Many trailers have excellent soundtracks, so I believe it. The biggest harm is that prices never reduce on indie games and we're at the mercy of PSN
    negativefx
    "The biggest harm is that prices never reduce on indie games"   maybe on PS4...  I picked up Bastion for $1.00, Transistor for $1.00, Fez was free, etc. on PC.
    Eifler121
    I think that's the case. I think the publishers have more control over pricing on the internet/steam. On the PS3, PSN would do cuts on new games, or a ton at once, but I'm speaking more generally.
    negativefx
    Thumper.  Lightning Bolt's bass player did all the music.  Really cool game.
    RedLabelRecords
    Anyone remember that game Whale Tail? It was fun and the song that was released for it was catchy too.
    TMP2k1
    Missing - The Swapper - Nihilumbra - ... and maybe Punch Club
    dchambers2112
    Electronic Super Joy and its dlc Groove City are easily in the top 5 video game soundtracks I've ever heard. <div style="position:relative;height;padding-bottom:56.21%"><iframe src="
    " style="position:absolute;width:100%;height:100%;left" width="641" height="360" frameborder="0" gesture="media" allowfullscreen></iframe></div>
    TBone142
    ABZU, Sasons after Fall, PixelJunk Eden Just a couple what should be on the list. Also: of course it's my opinion, but this song should've represent Bastion.
    santi_666
    Always thought that some tracks of Aphex Twin (especially some of the Richard D. James Album) would be very good for the FEZ soundtrack...
    estranged_2003
    No mention of fifa? Poor list. 
    paltares8
    Anybody ever play the game N2O for PlayStation? Whether it was an indie game I have no idea, but the whole soundtrack was Crystal Method, mostly remixes of their songs. In the game you flew this ships through tubes of changing colors and shapes, while shooting bugs and collecting different kinds of mushrooms. It was pretty neat
    XV15GHOST
    I´m not that into gaming, due to the fundamental lack of freetime but no Homestuck??? WTF? :::
    WowSuchGuitar
    How is Metal Gear Rising not on the list? It's one of the best vidya OSTs ever written! I mean, just listen to this
    Zoso67
    Because the title is relevant to indie games. Kojima and Konami don't exactly fit that category.
    WowSuchGuitar
    My bad, didn't notice "indie" in the title. I nominate Super Meat Boy then!
    Zoso67
    +1 for not being a douche and owning up to your mistake on the internet. And Super Meat Boy! HA! Awesome.
    jgauslin
    Just dropping by to mention Let It Die had a pretty badass soundtrack.
    beanoz
    I dont know how popular the game was but Closure has an awesome soundtrack
    twiggy3634
    Journey is awesome, the game and soundtrack. Game soundtracks have always amazed me, even through the 80s and 90s, the classic 8-bit NES songs were actually quite complex and well-composed. And today, some mainstream ones like Skyrim, The Last Guardian, The Last of Us, and Shadow of the Colossus, to name a few, are some of the best music I've ever heard.   
    st017
    Though not an indie game, Nier had the best soundtrack of any game I've ever played hands down.