Video game music is a theme we’re passionate about here at Nintendo Life, and we’re certainly not alone. We ran a whole season of interviews and features on last year’s topic, and it’s one of those topics that always ignites enthusiasm at the office.
It’s not really surprising. Great music wherever you find it has a way of transporting you and rekindling memories that have been dormant for long. And with many video games, you spend hours absorbing the sounds – no wonder the best tunes stick around in your mind!
The Nintendo Switch has an extensive and varied game catalog with an equally great selection of music. For this feature – and the accompanying video by the lovely Felix above – we’ve picked just 10 Switch games that we think have particularly spectacular soundtracks. That’s 10 belong to best, no the 10 of the best soundtracks on Switch!
Obviously, with so much love for the sound on this hybrid console, we could go on forever. If you enjoyed this list and Felix’s videos, let us know – we want nothing more than to make this the ‘Part 1’ of an ongoing series!
So come join us now when we’re lost in the music, trapped, can’t turn around, etc. Sit back and enjoy – in no particular order – some absolute beat…
Publishing company: StudioMDHR / Developers: StudioMDHR
Cuphead is a game where aesthetics really shine, with classic cartoons transitioning beautifully to visuals and gameplay. Background music is also a big part of the experience, with the live performances and fun beats capturing the action beautifully. The compositions have a realistic feel, and some of the soundtracks can replay in your head long after you’ve taken down this game’s diverse enemies.
Publishing company: 8-4 / Developers: 8-4
In terms of gameplay Indie has really impacted and shaped the gaming scene, Undertale right up there. It’s visually appealing and its approach to the RPG genre and storytelling has captured much of the imagination. Like most games, the soundtrack was created by Toby Fox and has become so loved and respected that they have produced compositions for the main Pokémon titles.
If you haven’t played Undertale yet, we bet you still listen to its music.
Publishing company: Nintendo / Developers: Nintendo SPD
The inclusion of soundtracks from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will probably seem unlikely when the game comes out. For all the praise given to the game, not all appreciated the music led by the piano and environmental composition. As a series known for its iconic tunes and intense arrangements, the approach here is completely different.
However, as the years passed, appreciation for the technical approach to the game’s music and beauty grew. If you want to listen to a track that’s perfectly suited to a game, this is a good place to start.
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Publishing company: CD Projekt Red / Developers: CD Projekt Red
The Witcher game trilogy is an amazing achievement, but for many people the big focus and inspiration is The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. A massive RPG with a seemingly insane sense of scale when played on a small Switch, it’s a big budget endeavor that delivers true ‘triple-A’ range.
The soundtrack also benefits from the attention to detail and focus on performance. It has great pieces performed by a live orchestra and that is a big part of the adventure.
Publishing company: Team Cherry / Developers: Team Cherry
Hollow Knight is one of the most iconic Indie games of the past five years, a carefully crafted game Metroidvania with a design aesthetic and memorable world. Many have fallen in love with different regions of the world, while the powerful enemy design is also key to its immersive nature.
The music is also outstanding, with an exceptionally high quality not only in terms of melody but also in production. It’s amazing considering the game’s Indie status, it’s a beautiful soundtrack that’s not easily forgotten.
Publishing company: Nintendo / Developers: Nintendo Software Technology
Splatoon Not only is it one of Nintendo’s biggest successes as a new IP over the past decade, it’s also completely different in the industry. A shooter that rewards greater territory control than splashing enemies, its sequel Splatoon 2 continues the legacy on Switch with an exciting campaign and stellar online play.
However, one of Nintendo’s biggest successes with the series has been the music. An odd sounding perfectly consistent with the game’s lore, it’s hugely popular – especially in Japan. Live concerts and album showcases are common for this series.
Publishing company: Whippoorwill / Developers: Adam Robinson-Yu
A short walk Not only is it a fun experience, it’s also a kind of long-term memory game. While it’s theoretically short, it’s a title full of variety and opportunities to explore, with a world-building and writing style that will encourage you to peruse the world.
Its dreamlike visuals are accompanied by vibrant background music, full of fun and catchy tunes. A lovely main theme has lots of variation, while guitar and piano-led melodies perfectly establish key aspects of the game.
Publishing company: Nintendo / Developers: Nintendo
Animal Crossing: New Horizons became the Game of the Year 2020, capture the extremists in a unique challenging year. Its blend of island life, socializing, and undeniable charm has captivated millions of Switch owners, and many of us are still playing to this day.
Its music also continues to be interesting. From major themes, through seasonal occasions and a full set of unique tracks from KK Slider, it’s absolutely filled with great tracks.
Publishing company: Matt created the game / Developers: Matt created the game
Celeste has been one of the most influential Indie games in recent years. Its visuals immediately catch the eye, while it provides a terrible level of challenge for those looking for credits and also all additional features. It also gained a lot of fans thanks to its serious and emotional storytelling, with plenty of depth to the story as you search for the top of the mountain.
Of course, Lena Raine’s soundtrack is key to the story’s rhythm, with its timbre perfectly matching the setting and the visuals. This is a real game best enjoyed with a pair of headphones.
Publishing company: Nintendo / Developers: Nintendo
Unfortunately no longer on the market, this collection brings together three great games – Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine and Super Mario Galaxy. All offer very differently based on the classic Mario 3D formula, with the soundtracks also acting as reflections of their respective eras.
Super Mario 64 has a lot of tracks that can be the same dwarves compared to previous 2D hard disks, but with a new sense of depth to the sound courtesy of the Nintendo 64’s capabilities. Super Mario Sunshine accomplished it all with its tropical island setting. , while raising the stakes for boss encounters. Memorably, Super Mario Galaxy saw Nintendo enter the realm of fully staged music, with production and composition setting a new standard.
So here you are! Let us know below which game soundtracks are your favorite and which games you’d like to see included in a potential ‘Part Deux’…