10 Video Game Soundtracks More Expensive Than Caviar

Nostalgia is a wild beast. In the few last months, we have written about how different formats and genres are currently experiencing a revival. In addition to the now well-established vinyl revival, we recently established clear trends of increasing prices in the markets for high-end cassettes and expensive CDs. And we’re not only speaking about price tags. The number of these physical formats sold on Discogs and elsewhere is hitting its highest mark since the late nineties. A few months ago, we thoroughly analyzed how the market for expensive vinyl releases has been peaking for some years now.

As of lately, we’ve been noticing how a genre traditionally considered to be relevant exclusively to video game collectors has been expanding massively in the Discogs Marketplace. That niche is video game soundtracks. While video game music was originally intended as an exclusive companion to the images on the screen, in the last few years labels like Mondo, iam8bit, Data Discs, and Square Enix (to name just a few) have been playing an active role in the recovery of iconic video game soundtracks as well as in the pressing of new soundtracks. Just this summer, Pitchfork published its first-ever video game soundtrack review, and there is clearly increasing demand for both new and old editions of these soundtracks.

There are different theories about the growing interest in these editions. Noah Lane, the Director of Licensing of Fangamer, recently told Forbes, “We recognize that many soundtracks will remain unopened, so we strive to create a product that’s worthy of being displayed in someone’s home.” But that’s not always the case. Behind some of the most recognizable video game soundtracks there are masters at work. Artists like Koji Kondo (Super Mario, Zelda), Yozu Koshiro (Streets Of Rage), Nobuo Uematsu (Final Fantasy), Akira Yamaoka (Silent Hill) and Michuri Yamane (Castlevania) created sound universes which not only matched the mood of video games, but also produced beautiful music which can be enjoyed separate from its main medium.

We’re not gonna lie to you, our investigation of this trend on the Discogs Marketplace has raised some eyebrows. In many cases, there is clearly a lack of balance between the prices Sellers are asking for these releases and the prices that have been paid in the past for them – if they have ever been sold in the Marketplace at all. In other cases, the scarcity of original material and the absence of reissued editions have led to those soundtracks becoming almost impossible to find collector’s items.

As you can see, the video game soundtrack world is one of contradictions and chiaroscuro. With this list, we hope to find some answers, and, on the way, discover some video game soundtracks well worth your time and – just maybe – your money.

Rare and Expensive Video Game Soundtracks

Taro Bando ‎– F-Zero X Original Sound Track

You know you’re up for a treat when a video game soundtrack is labeled as “speed metal” on Discogs. F-Zero was the Nintendo saga involving extremely fast spaceships racing for the first position. Its speedy nature allowed for a soundtrack reaching levels of pure insanity.

Alright, so how much is this gonna cost me?

There are two copies available at Discogs, and the cheapest is selling for CHF1,508.58 ($1540).

Is the hype justified?

Only two copies have been sold on Discogs, and both for less than $250. We’ll let you decide.

Mario Kart 64 soundtrack album cover

Kenta Nagata ‎– Mario Kart 64

It’s not that we have magic powers and we can see you right now smiling behind the screen. But we know that chances are high that this video game brings good memories if you grew up in the nineties. Mario Kart 64 was one of the most memorable games of the Nintendo 64 catalog and some of you could probably drive entire tournaments blindfolded. Kenta Nagata took care of this hard to find gem.

Alright, so how much is this gonna cost me?

Don’t know how valuable your young memories are to you, but a copy of the Japanese CD won’t be yours for less than $1,265. We know, that’s a lot of cheddar.

Is the hype justified?

No copies have ever been sold at Discogs. We have no clue.

Bomberman soundtrack album cover

Akifumi TadaBomberman 64

The soundtrack of Bomberman 64 (original title The 爆 Bom!!! 爆ボンバーマン オリジナル・サウンドトラック in case you were wondering) is a bumpy ride. The 33 tracks of breakbeat, techno, drum n bass, and big beat aren’t exactly what you want to listen to surrounded by aromatic candles in your bathtub.

Alright, so how much is this gonna cost me?

Errrrrrm you wouldn’t have $3,316.07 to spare by any chance?

Is the hype justified?

The only copy ever sold on Discogs was sold for less than $500. This might be worth waiting for a reissue.

Final Fantasy Vinyl boxest album cover

Nobuo Uematsu ‎– Final Fantasy Vinyls

We know after reading “vinyls” your eyes are burning but don’t run away yet. Nobuo Uematsu’s soundtracks for Final Fantasy are some of the most gorgeous pieces ever made either for video game soundtracks or soundtracks in general. Delicate, emotional, profound, esoteric… We could use an endless list of adjectives to describe this master’s creation for the saga. And now, if you excuse us, we’ll just ride our Chocobo and feel all the feels while listening to the beautiful piano melodies of Uematsu.

Alright, so how much is this gonna cost me?

There is only one copy available in our Marketplace for CHF1,215.98 ($1,241.91).

Is the hype justified?

Of course! Both the box set and the music belong in a museum. Prior sales on Discogs reached almost $700 and it doesn’t seem like this collector’s item will lose any value in the coming years.

Silent Hill soundtrack album cover

Akira Yamaoka ‎– Silent Hill Sounds Box

Silent Hill was one of the pioneering sagas of the survival horror genre. The terror in this saga is characterized by its more psychological and at times batshit crazy approach (am I the only one still getting goosebumps thinking about it?). And we’re not going to lie, Silent Hill wouldn’t have been half as scary without the insane soundtracks. The variations through the saga have touched different styles such as industrial, trip-hop, dark ambient, downtempo…and trust us, it’s a scary ride. This compilation includes the soundtracks of all the games of the saga and includes some juicy bonus tracks.

Alright, so how much is this gonna cost me?

Prices are currently ranging from $670 to $1,043 in the Discogs Marketplace.

Is the hype justified?

Only one copy has been sold for a similar price in the past, but you probably won’t be able to cop this box set for a cheap price ever again. Sorry.

Super Metroid Sound in Action soundtrack album cover

Kenji Yamamoto, Minako Hamano, Hirokazu Tanaka ‎– Super Metroid “Sound In Action” = スーパーメトロイド “サウンドInアクション”

The Metroid saga is a fun one to play, this is not debatable for gamers around the world. We’re not so sure about the soundtrack being a masterpiece or simply being the object of desire of fans obsessed with the game.

Alright, so how much is this gonna cost me?

With prices on Discogs starting at almost $700, this is not a record you’ll find in any bargain bin.

Is the hype justified?

Only one copy has been sold in our Marketplace for less than $90. Our price-gouging alarm is ringing very loud.

The Last of Us soundtrack album cover

Gustavo Santaolalla ‎– The Last Of Us

It’s not every day that you get the winner of not one but two Oscars to create the soundtrack for your video game. So the case of The Last Of Us is unique and one of those soundtracks that’s absolutely worth a listen even if you’ve never played the survival game. And if the music is breathtaking, this limited edition by Mondo is nothing short of beautiful and well designed.

Alright, so how much is this gonna cost me?

Prices on Discogs range from $170 to $450 at the moment.

Is the hype justified?

If you have to own one single video game soundtrack, make sure to put this one among the candidates.

Ghost In The Shell soundtrack album cover

Various ‎– Ghost In The Shell – Playstation Sound Track

One of our users stating “I will trade one of my organs for a copy of Fuchi Koma on vinyl” is solid evidence of how highly sought this edition is. This soundtrack was released in picture disc for promotion in 1997, which is remarkable for a time when vinyl production was hitting an all-time low.

Alright, so how much is this gonna cost me?

There are two copies available in the Discogs Marketplace for $300 and $350.

Is the hype justified?

Absolutely, the price history shows copies selling for much more than that, so maybe it’s time to give your wallet a little scare.

The Music of Destiny soundtrack album cover

Michael SalvatoriC Paul Johnson,Martin O’DonnellPaul McCartney‎– The Music Of Destiny, Volume I

Talk about great design. The packaging of this releases belongs in a museum. And luckily for any potential owners, the music created for this video game is beautiful and atmospheric too. From the notes of this release:

Compilation featuring Destiny Original Soundtrack and the previously unreleased companion piece Music Of The Spheres

Music Of The Spheres concludes with Hope For The Future (Main Version) by Paul McCartney. Here, it is presented as part of the final movement, The Hope. The mix is quite similar to the original recording released digitally and on 12″ but includes some minor embellishments.

Simply great stuff, ladies and gentlemen.

Alright, so how much is this gonna cost me?

There are a couple of copies available for $229.99 in our Marketplace.

Is the hype justified?

Hell yes.

Splinter Cell soundtrack album cover

Amon Tobin – Chaos Theory – The Soundtrack To Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory

The fact that a label like Ninja Tune decided to release the soundtrack created by Amon Tobin for Splinter Cell on vinyl speaks loud and clear about the quality of the music. With 148 ratings and a 4.55/5, the Discogs Community has spoken as well. This double LP is a good addition to gamers and electronic music fans collections alike.

Alright, so how much is this gonna cost me?

Starting at ~$100, the price of this release is not too high and it will serve a greater purpose than decorating your wall.

Is the hype justified?

Yeah, go for it.

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