After you spend hours in your favorite SEGA game, you always get those damn catchy tunes stuck in your head. They won’t go away, now we will share our favorite SEGA soundtracks, hopefully they stay stuck in your brain like they have ours.
If your favorite soundtrack wasn’t featured, make sure you head down to the comment section and share.
There are so many amazing soundtracks that Sega’s put out over the years, but one that I think deserves special mention is the music from the first Sonic Adventure game. Some of the level music sounds like the perfect next gen evolution of the Sonic the Hedgehog soundtracks, with special mention going to the Town part of Speed Highway, the Twinkle Park bumper car segment, Emerald Coast, both parts of Windy Valley…and those are just some of the highlights. Generally I’m not a big fan of remixes, but Sonic Adventure did these so perfectly. And that Nights pinball machine….don’t even get me started on that bit of musical perfection.
What’s I find so impressive though is that SonicTeam wasn’t content to simply do this and call it a day: they actually ventured into new territory with this soundtrack, and the eerily calm and relaxing Mystic Ruins theme is still one of my favorite songs of the series, and it doesn’t sound like Sonic at all. The Lost World’s music is also a bit of experimentation that goes very well, as is Tikal’s theme and Gamma’s piano-driven theme song… good stuff. And damnit….I’ll even give SonicTeam props for adding in those vocals. I actually can’t picture fighting Perfect Chaos without that song playing.
Pretty much just a very well-rounded soundtrack that not only feels awesomely familiar but that also isn’t afraid to venture into new territory. Whoever did this soundtrack managed to capture the nostalgia, as well as give off the feeling that you were playing “the next generation of Sonic,” and it blended perfectly.
- Shenmue series (my actual favorite)
- Jet Set Radio series
- Toejam and Earl 2: Panic on Funkatron (the funkiest tunes on the Genesis)
Panzer Dragoon series
As I’m sure most people will agree, not least the Segabits staff, it is very difficult to pick a ‘best’ Sega sound track. In my opinion Sega are the kings of the legendary sound tracks, I can’t think of any company with as many games known for their great music as Sega. I’ve thought long and hard about it and I’ve had to settle on the Panzer Dragoon series, I’m not going to pick any individual game in the series that’s asking the impossible as each game is rich with amazing music.
Panzer Dragoon has got to be one of my favourite videogame series ever made, the atmosphere is just breathtaking, it came at a time that the feeling of any sense of atmosphere in a videogame was very rare so playing Panzer Dragoon was mind blowing for a lot of us. I get the feeling the developers were trying to convey a beautiful yet baron world, with a huge scale and subtle plot that hints at a much bigger picture and I think the music just compliments the atmosphere completely.
Some of the tracks are quite somber and melancholy, played with flutes and drums other tracks are big and bold orchestral pieces that have that ‘epic’ grand feel to them. My favourites are the ones which are sung with vocals. Such as Panzer Dragoon Sagas ‘Sona Mi Areru Ec Sancitu’ and Panzer Dragoon Ortas ‘Anu Orta Veniya’ these are sung in a made up language which is also used in the games known by the Panzer Dragoon fandom as ‘Panzereese’. Panzereese uses a mixture of languages, mostly Latin making it a language that can actually be deciphered, if you can be bothered!
- Shenmue series – Just as beautiful and atmospheric as Panzer Dragoon.
- Jet Set Radio series – Completely different again but equally fantastic.
- REZ- Fear is the mind killer, enough said.
Barry the Nomad’s pick
Jet Set Radio
A SEGA game soundtrack was never more essential to the game itself than it was in Jet Set Radio. At the time of the Dreamcast classic’s release, the soundtrack was almost as big a deal as the game’s revolutionary cel-shaded graphics. The music of JSR wasn’t there to simply accompany the stages, as it was in a game like Sonic Adventure, instead the music itself was being pumped into the character’s headphones by Tokyo-to’s pirate radio broadcaster Professor K. Should the player’s character be left idle, they’d begin dancing to the very music that was being pumped through your TV’s speakers! Very cool.
This brilliant move by SmileBit lead to an awesome soundtrack that wasn’t just the music of Jet Set Radio the game, it was also the music hand picked by Professor K for Jet Set Radio the station. Original tracks included a number of Hideki Naganuma tunes as well as a track from SEGA vet Richard Jacques and a few from Deavid Soul. Non-SEGA artists Guitar Vader, The Reps and many more contributed tunes to all regions of the game. Some regions even had exclusive songs, which made owning all three regions worthwhile. A number of genres were covered, including rock, techno, house, hip hop, funk and yet they all had a distinct something that made them feel right for the JSR universe. I could go on and on about the soundtrack, but I’d rather readers just go and listen to it all now!
“Over tha’ hood, through the streets and right into your brain.” – Professor K
- Shenmue 1&2
- Jet Set Radio Future
- Sonic Adventure
Phantasy Star II
It is very hard for me to choose one soundtrack, I always have a differnet soundtrack from SEGA depending on when you ask me. So I had to think way too much on this round table and finally decided I would go with one of my first and favorite RPGs. Phantasy Star II.
Phantasy Star II’s soundtrack isn’t praised as highly as other SEGA soundtracks, especially during the 16-bit era. But to be honest, the damn thing is catchy, especially when you are grinding through the game and spending hours upon hours, you will catch yourself around the house humming along to songs like “Pleasure” and the awesome opening song “Phantasy“.
- Shenmue series (a big collaborate soundtrack that will be remebered forever)
- Streets of Rage 2 (Yuzo Koshiro is the man. Period)
- Jet Set Radio (Can’t stop the funky beats)
16 responses to “Round Table: Our favorite SEGA Soundtracks”
What I loved about Sonic Adventure's soundtrack was not just the quality of the music, but also the large number of unique tunes and their length. Often, you'd fight a boss with a unique theme and beat them well before the song even kicked off. a 1 minute fight might have had a 4+ minute theme written for it.
JSR takes my top pick, and NiGHTS is the runner up.
SEGA does have the best soundtracks though. The chiptunes from the good old days were always catchy, but I will never forget the first time I booted up my Saturn with Virtua Fighter Remix… my eyes bulged and my jaw dropped from how well they were composing with CD quality audio. Then I booted up the Panzer Dragoon demo and nearly wept just from the music…
Great choice to showcase Miller Ball Breakers from JGR. One of my favorite tracks in the game, really made Benten Cho come alive.
Shinobi wasn't even nominated? SegaBits… I'm disappoint.
But still, great picks overall!
My four picks would probably be:
1) Space Channel 5: Part 2
3) Shenmue II
4) Skies of Arcadia
Sonic Adventure would probably be my fave, followed by JSR.
Yeap, good article… Apart from you didn't put in the Panzer Dragoon track I attached to my write up so now ive change it.
Notice it's bigger then the others… the size you used wont centre for me… So you'll have to fix it.
Gonna be predictable here, but Sonic 3. Particularly, the VS. stages music like Azure Lake and Endless Mine.
House of the Dead: Overkill OST was pretty cool, too. I like how the funk music changes to reggae when you get into slow-shot mode.
Fixed it Sharky.
Glad everyone liked this weeks round table!
I would say my favorite SEGA soundtracks are Ecco the Dolphin: Defender of the Future and Sonic Unleashed.
Panzer Dragoon Azel/Saga is Sega's Ocarina of Time.
Cannot really choose, too many great soundtracks overall. I guess I could say Ecco I and II, both Genesis and SEGA CD variations, but then I might want to say Skies of Arcadia, or Shinobi and Sonic, but then I have to choose through dozens of releases under those series and then we are just wasting time.
I will just leave it at whatever Sharky hates.
Panzer Dragoon AZEL FTW! The sountrack gives you a truly EPIC and melancholic feeling similar to Conan the Barbarian soundtrack which was simply PERFECK!
Shining Force III
Streets of Rage 2
Shenmue I & II
Sonic Adventure 1&2 and many other…!
Ah, completely forgot about Ecco. I'd have to go with the Genesis version, of course.
Bah, sorry for double posting, but Eternal Champions also has a superb soundtrack – which also has an inferior Sega CD version, as well, imo.
One particular song I liked was from Shenmue: Earth & Sea
(plays during the 70 man battle)
I dunno, just kickin some ass with that going, made that whole part just freakin epic!