Table of Contents:
Best Music


Metroid had great gameplay and a chilling theme--that of being trapped in the bowels of an alien world. The malevolence of the mysterious corridors was second to none. These small, cramped passages filled with strange monstrosities were enhanced, however, by the amazing ambience of the game's soundtrack. The blips, bleeps, and tinkling chimes that the NES was capable of producing melded with the stark aesthetics to present a credible alien landscape. The oppressive opening theme immediately sets the tone. 

At first the soundtrack is buoyant, urging Samus forward on her quest into the depths of Zebes. From then we go through a number of motifs: melancholy, playful, oppressive, droning and discordant. As we get further to the truth of the hideous Mother Brain, the game's music gets darker and more ambient, a collusion of rhythmic sounds and bass tones that underscore the evil of the planet's harsh mistress. When you finally encounter the pulsating monstrosity, the soundtrack devolves into nervous burbling and stutters. With one foot in the avant-garde and way ahead of its time, Metroid's soundtrack hums on eternally in the back of our brains. 

Runners up:

Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse

By the release of Castlevania III, the series had already been known for its amazing soundtracks. To this day, Castlevania games have provided us with some of the most amazing sonic experiences on consoles. Castlevania III was the culmination of the jazzy, "rocky horror" tracks that had accompanied Konami's number one series until that time. The game gets you off to an amazing start with the very first track and rarely lets up; the music's active presence in the game makes it that much more enjoyable. The tunes move along quickly and keep the game's pulse flowing. Konami's composers conveyed both the importance of Trevor's quest and the horrors of the undead foes through their music. 

Mega Man II

Ask many gamers what series has the best music on NES and Mega Man will often be nominated. We had a hard time coming to agreement on the placement of games in this list and that's because these games all have amazing music. Mega Man II has a smooth and quick soundtrack that begins with an amazing opening theme and concludes with its breathtaking ending reprise of that tune. From level to level you're ushered onward with swift urgency. With a mixture of jazz riffs and quick beats, the game's soundtrack never lets up or ceases to impress. The transcendent beauty of Bubble Man's theme alone makes this one a true classic.

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My Two Cents:
"As far as I am concerned, Mega Man II should easily have won best music for NES. The fact that it was third place is just nonsense. Metroid has cool music, but it's a little basic and there aren't that many tracks. Mega Man II is classic after classic. Plus, it has the best tune on the whole system (IMO): Bubble Man's theme. Mega Man III is right behind it with classic tunes, and in fact, if it weren't for my constant bickering, MM III would've been completely shafted."

Christian Nutt
Dreamcast Editor

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