Rob's Top Video Game Composers!

David Wise 
(Donkey Kong Country, Diddy Kong Racing)
David Wise began his work in video games in 1987 working on Slalom on the NES. His latest offerings being Snake Pass and Yooka-Laylee (with Grant Kirkhope.) David got the job with Rare by demonstrating a Keyboard to the company owners, Tom and Chris Stamper at the music store he was working at. After years of working on portable game soundtracks; on 2014, he returned to Nintendo home consoles after 12 years and gave us the Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze soundtrack. Which is a fantastic soundtrack all of the way through.





Grant Kirkhope 
(Banjo-Kazooie, Goldeneye)
Along with David Wise; Grant Kirkhope's music was my childhood. I would spend hours playing Banjo-Kazooie, 007 Goldeneye, Perfect Dark, and Donkey Kong 64. He stayed with Rare studios from 1996 until 2008. Later working with Big Huge Games on the soundtrack for Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, showing that he had the ability to make a score worthy of being in a Fantasy film. Since 2012 though he was been working as a freelancer, doing soundtracks for all different developers. With his latest soundtrack with David Wise being Yooka-Laylee.





Yasunori Mitsuda
(Chrono Trigger, Xenogears, Mario Party)
Yasunori Mitsuda is a name widely known among RPG fans. His work on Chrono Trigger with Nobuo Uematsu and Noriko Matsueda helped launch his career with Square to give him more composing jobs. He got the assignment by threatening Hironobu Sakaguchi with quitting the company. In 1998, Mitsuda left Squaresoft to become a freelancer. He ended up working with Hudson Soft and Nintendo to compose the Mario Party soundtrack later on that year. Since then he has worked on anime, films, and independent albums as well.





Koji Kondo
(Mario, Zelda)
Koji Kondo is responsible for universally known soundtracks. If you don't know the name you know the songs. The original Super Mario Bros. and Legend of Zelda themes are known by everyone even if you're not a gamer. I haven't met a single person who didn't know the theme songs from both games. This man is truly iconic and is a legend among all of the other composers on this list.




Keiichi Okabe
(Nier, Nier Automata, Tekken)
Keiichi Okabe has made one of the best soundtracks I've had the pleasure of listening to in a long time. Everything about Nier Automata is incredible, and Okabe's work makes it even better. From songs that can calm you down to songs that keep you on the edge of your seat. Okabe knows how to convey the emotion you should be feeling in a spectacular way. He has even assisted with the Tekken soundtracks since the third installment. With the Nier Automata soundtrack alone he has surpassed plenty of other composers to make this list.






Akira Yamaoka 
(Silent Hill, Shadows of the Damned, Rime)
Akira Yamaoka has made some of the best Survival-Horror soundtracks of all time. In control of the scores for the Silent Hill franchise including both films, Akira has solidified his position as one of the best composers in recent time. Taking influences mostly from Trent Reznor from Nine Inch Nails, Metallica and Depeche Mode; Akira has been making great soundtracks since he began with Smart Ball in 1991. 





Josh Mancell
(Crash Bandicoot, Jak and Daxter)
Josh Mancell hasn't been too active in composing lately other than working on a few short films and a few tracks here and there. He worked on the original Crash Bandicoot trilogy, Crash Team Racing, and the Jak and Daxter series. Since the mid 90's he has been in a handful of bands ranging from punk rock to funk and psychedelic influences. He has stated in a few interviews that he gets his influences from Pink Floyd and plenty of Electronic artists such as Aphex Twin and Kraftwerk. He was also nominated twice for a Daytime Emmy for his work on Clifford the Big Red Dog. Hopefully we get to see a comeback with an eventual Crash or Jak sequel!       





Harry Gregson-Williams
(Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater)
Harry Gregson-Williams is well known for this compositions from films such as X-Men Origins: Wolverine, The Martian, and the Shrek series. He is much appreciated in the video game industry for his contributions to the Metal Gear Solid series. Working on every entry since Sons of Liberty. He also helped with the score for Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.






Nobuo Uematsu
(Final Fantasy, Lost Odyssey, Last Story)
Known as the "Beethoven of video game music" Nobuo Uematsu has created some of the greatest soundtracks of all time. Working on every Final Fantasy entry up until Final Fantasy XIV. His career began with Square on 1985, working on the title Cruise Chaser Blassty the following year. Leaving in 2004 to work as a freelancer, began to continue to work closely with Hironobu Sakaguci and continue to compose for his games. He also has a band with other Square composers called The Black Mages. Releasing 3 full albums and performing all around Japan. 




Honorable Mentions:

Shoji Meguro (Persona, Catherine, Shin Megami Tensei)



Junichi Masuda (Pokemon, Yoshi, Pulseman)



Michiru Yamane (Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Suikoden IV)




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